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Rods for shore/river/pier fishing


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I was at the local pro shop today pricing out a new rod for these river/pier adventures. Price of course varied from 89 dollars to 345 (gloomis) Is there a "do all" length and action? To be honest I really liked the 9 ft St Croix for about $129.99. It listed line ratings at 8-12lb test and lure weight up to 3/4 ounce.

Suggestions? what do you guys like to use for your various applications?

Edited by Josey_Wales
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The question is what do you want to do the most.

For surf fishing (for bait)

I use 12' Whoopin sticks from cabalas. For the price point of 24 dollars they can not be beat. Match it with some decent reels that hold a fair amount of line.

For casting in the surf

I use 8'6 Gander steelhead rod with a Okuma reel.

River float rod

That is truly up to you. I have a 10' south bend ultra light that I love.

All the set ups I run cost under 100 dollars each. The rod does not make the fisherman....

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there are a lot of factors when looking at different rods in different price ranges. All rods will catch fish. The differences if whether the rod is fiber glass with graphite or pure graphite. what type of graphite and the resin used in construction. what the grade of cork is or foam. how the reel seat is attached. the better graphites will give a better feel you will be able to differentiate between the split shot hitting the bottom or a fish picking up the bait. you'l be able to feel more what your bait is doing under water also better. Anoter facto in feel is the way the reel seat is attached on a spinning rod. Most cheaper rods use a build up of masking tape and epoxy to hold the reel seat on which transfer very little feel to your hand. Better rods use either graphite (used on most manufactured better quality rods) bushings that fit tightly to the blank and to the reel seat wih just enough epoxy to hold it in place therefore transfering almost all the energy in the blank to your hand. Then you can get into high end or custom where hardwood bushings are used and they transfer all the energy to your hand. also cork grades and fitting come into play. A well made rod will have a tapered fit to fit snuggly to the blank were cheaper rods use a general taper and are built up with masking tape. Masking tape and epoxy are by no means bad but they dont transfer the greatest amout of feel and energy to the hand. St Croix is a well built rod for the money. Also shimano has some out around a hundred bucks that are pretty nice. When i used to build i hand tapered all my crok to fit nice and snug and always used graphite bushings unless they were downrigger rods where that feel it necessary. Hardwood bushing are a pita to deal with and take forever to get the fit right. thats why you pay more for that feature. As far as quality of blank you have graphite, im6, im7, im8, imf, imx. any im6-im7 rod would be good for rolling spawn. im 6 has come down so much in the last few years with the better graphites coming out. I have been out of building for abiut 15 years and reall dont keep up on wat is being used in blank manufacturing anymore. My personal fav is a penn imx i was given to build up and field test. it is actually a 6 weight fast action 9 ft blank that i built into a steel head rod. you can just about feel the fish breath on the spawn bag.

As far as a do all rod the st croix you are looking at will do anything from spawn to casting cleos in the spring for browns off the piers. Only thing about it would be for low clear water you cant drop to 4 or 6 pound test.

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Eyefull was nice enough to tell me about a never fished custom 9'6" Rainshadow two piece RX7 that he would sell me... I am seriously considering it. Now I just wished my Shimano stradic C14 came in a 4000 series. All my bass Rods are Gloomis, but this Rainshadow sounds pretty nice. Anyone familiar with them?

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Rainshadow makes a pretty good blank. Quite a few of the poles I make are Rainshadows. Did Eyefull make it? IMO custom rods are the way to go. Is the blank a Mod/Fast Action? What power is it? I just looked it up a 9'6" Mod/Fast Medium Light and that is a nice blank. So any blank around there will be really nice! I would definitely go with it if it fits the action and power that you wish. Sounds like a really nice set up!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Yes, I did build the rod. I originally built it for the Grand Rapids show last spring. I loaded it up with all the good stuff and put a big price tag reflecting the rods worth. With the economy being what it was, it didn't move despite being the most "held" rod all weekend. Need the space in the rod racks, so it has to go. The guides are Batson/Alps TiCh frames with gold zirconia inserts. Batson/Alps triangular aluminum seat with dual locking rings. It has an amazing holo tiger wrap in the foregrip area that the photo can't do justice to. Can't wait to see some photos of Jose Wales holding a pig steelie next to it. Comes with unconditionable lifetime service guarantee.

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The onlly setup I would spend money on is a good river rod/reel. I have gone out with my dad (who is a once and a while type fisherman) and stood right next to him, fish the exact same setup, and I catch more fish. For steelhead you were right on the money with a st croix. I use the wild river 9' light action and I LOVE IT. Salmon are a bit harder runners, so if you are plugging for fresh kings in the river, yo will want a rod with more backbone (that's where your 8-12 lb rated st croix would do nicely). Higher end rods are more sensitive, so if you are ticking across bottom with light weight, you will notice a difference in high end rod performance.

For pier/surf rods don't spend gobs of money. I like atleast a 10 foot rod, but 12 or 13 foot is better. Whoopin sticks are great. Typically you are bobber fishin for steelies, or throwing bait on the bottom or chucking hardware, so a sensitive rod is not needed. You know when that bruiser brown grabs your spoon :)

As far as rainshadow blanks are concerned I love em. I have a 9 ft 5 wt custom fly rod and its great. Landed plenty of steelhead in low/clear situations and loads of browns on it. It is my goto rod for nearly all river situations, unless the river is really high then I bump to my st croix which handles 6 pound line.

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