Looking for a longer rod ? perhaps ?

New technology and the old, choosing the right rod and how to set it up.

Looking for a longer rod ? perhaps ?

Postby lbg15k » Sun Jan 15, 2017 8:48 pm

Been fishing a while with a Century TTS and the rod is a beast. I'm looking for something different and my reading of the 'net tells me there are a few to look at. Hoping there is some direct experience I can tap into here.

My TTS taught me to cast overheads and fixed spool reels a long way. This on the basis of if not right it would let you know all about it. I'm happy with the distance I can get under most circumstances, but I'm curious about longer softer rods.

The timing for the TTS is quick and it needs good technique to bend it. I am 90kg and 6' and until I learned a proper pendulum cast I was not bending this rod properly. It is a very good rod for overhead reels. I use Daiwa Saltist #30 and #40 on it, plus a little Omoto Chief when I feel like a bit of field casting. But is too stiff, too quick for a fixed spool. The timing is brutal and is hard to load the thing. I want something a bit different and easier to use before I throw my back out with one of my half-tailor-plus-6-oz rigs on that TTS thunderstick.

Reading on the topic, it seems as though others have found longer softer rods to offer some real advantages. In the UK people are discussing "European" style rods - soft, slower rods that get fantastic distances in fishing circumstances. These seem to be quite light rods. In South Africa the talk has also gone from the strong and stiff rods they all use, and now include much softer rods, the latest one being 15' (Assassin Horizon). These seem to be quite strong, as they talk about casting BIG baits and pulling big sharks.

I got in touch with the makers of the Assassin range and the gent there (Barry) tells me that he is continually amazed by how easy these long rods are to use and how average casters are putting baits amazing distances. He suggests the Horizon is a more robust rod than the model it replaces (the Evo). Daiwa seem to have a local offering of a Sensor Surf in the 15' size rated for up to a 50lb line.


anyone on this site have experience with long softer-actioned rods for fixed spool reels?
Anyone own and fish the Daiwa Sensor surf XX?

Comments and insights welcome.
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Re: Looking for a longer rod ? perhaps ?

Postby rinkerdink » Mon Jan 16, 2017 6:54 pm

I've heard good stuff about the continental style rods. If I remember correctly the philosophy is to use lighter leads and lower diameter line to maximise the distance and finess. Supposedly a lot easier to get decent distances out of which is probably why they are gaining popularity. The Breakaway shop sells a variety and I've only ever seen praise for them on the facebook page. Just remember that they have a much shorter life though, not sure why this is but I read somewhere that you can expect to get up to 5 years out of a rod vs 10+ for centruy or Zziplex - this is something I considered when deciding to get a ttldsm. As a half measure it might be worth looking at a Leeda (traditionally low end brand) Icon rod, available in fixed spool or multiplier versions and retailing at around 120GBP (Veals), again I have seen rave reviews of these and claims they are better than rods 3x their cost - again I considered one or maybe even a pair of these 13'10" Icon M Sport Match rods but had just been hankering for a century for too long :)
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Re: Looking for a longer rod ? perhaps ?

Postby Jeremy Schrader » Sat Jan 21, 2017 6:31 pm

What weights are you wanting to cast and what sort of distances are you wanting as there a number of rods in the longer length available especially from the European and Japanese rod manufactures. I have been using the 15' SRE but that is a 3 piece and rated up to 175 gram though I fish it with the lighter braids and weights in the 3 and 4 oz range.

With simple OHT casts running a braid shock leader the distances are quite good :D
https://youtu.be/gSvSjkRoag4

Hopeng to get my hands on one of the new Century T700's which are also 15' but based on the Black Bird mandrel and therefore a bit thicker in the Butt section as well as having a Glass tip and some new Graphene material in the build to keep the weight down. Sadly finances dictate that I will have to wait a little while before I get one :D

Regards :mrgreen:
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Re: Looking for a longer rod ? perhaps ?

Postby lbg15k » Tue Jan 24, 2017 2:38 am

Hi Jeremy

75% of the time this will have a 5 or 6 oz sinker clipped to a bait from maybe a thumb size to a goose-egg size. On occasion this would be a bit bigger - say a fish head weighing about 100g or 150g - call that 15% of the time.

The rest of the time it would cast a lure of say 3 to 5 oz for a half-hour before I put out a bait.

I set the rod and reel up with about 5m to 6m of 100lb braid leader for the cast, joined to 1m to 2m of 0.8mm nylon trace. I use a breakaway cannon to hold the line for the cast. Distance - as far as possible because that way I can be fishing water that not a lot of people fish. I can always cast short if I have to.

I have been thinking about the way we have developed ever stiffer rods and I am not sure we have this right. For an overhead reel, especially the larger ones used for fishing decent sized fish, a good quick action is desirable. The release of the spool is relatively slow and soft and it takes a few milliseconds to get up to speed. The rod is unloading and this all seems "Right". The timing is important but not hard to feel properly, and relatively forgiving in most situations - it does not have to be 100% in order to get a good cast out. You do not get much in the way of tip bounce using an overhead reel.

But a fixed spool reel demands quicker and more precise timing on these stiff rods. The release is instantaneous and if the rod is unloading and whipping straight, it is also going to over-correct (there is zero load on it from an accelerating spool, for eg) and this then pulls a bunch of line off the spool. Push it hard is looking for trouble and the timing is critical. An overhead lob cannot load a stiff rod. I am thinking that a softer rod that can be loaded with a simple swing back and then overhead thump will do a better job in most circumstances.

I have hints that there is something to find out here. I have a 12' 4-piece Blue Marlin 2-3 oz rod that I use for light spinning with lures from 20g to 70g. It is slower, built intentionally slow with 2 x T53 carbon butt sections and 2 x T24 carbon tip pieces. Push it hard and this is a recipe for trouble on a fixed spool reel as the tip bounces. A smooth cast with power at the very last moment throws every bit as far as a much more energetic cast. I am amazed at the distances I can get with a 20g lure dragging a 15lb braid.

Interestingly, I have an old book which records some casts made a long time ago. In 1959 a cast made by a Mike Stott went 265 yards 2 feet and 6 inches. I had the pleasure of meeting Mike decades later and discussing this casting record and others in that book. He told me he used a long fibreglass rod, an Abu 6500 reel, 3-in-one oil and 6lb line. Other records noted have a JP Engelbrecht casting a 4oz sinker 283 yards in 1961. A Bill Ford is recorded as using a fixed spool reel to cast a 2 oz sinker 340 yards in 1962 on the "open" category - that would have been a nylon at the 2-lb breaking strain class. All of these were done with what would today be considered very soft rods.
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Re: Looking for a longer rod ? perhaps ?

Postby Jeri » Thu Jan 26, 2017 12:15 am

Hi lbg15k,

I think perhaps you are getting a little confused with a lot of different types of rod. Super slimline 'Continental' rods are basically designed for much smaller baits, very low line size, and fished in quite gentle waters - originally designed for fishing in the Meditterranean Sea. Used in match fishing in the UK with very small baits to catch anything, but usually smaller fish than your 'Tailor'. They are quite soft, but have some power in them, but not up to the task of 'half a Tailor and 6oz'.

South African rods and blanks are going through a transition period from years of solely multiplier and nylon to very high proportions of fixed spool and braid. This transition is causing a lot of issues, especially for folks like Assassin, as they brought out their Evo to be the best thing since sliced bread, only to find it too soft to actually compete against the local industry standard - the Blue Marlin Super Slim. The next generation was their Horizon, which has gone through a few changes since introduction to try and still get on a par with the BM Super Slim, and it still has the same problem - too soft in the butt sections.

The issue is that while a softer top section is needed to dampen down the 'violent release oscillations' of fixed spool and braid, the blanks still need a stiff lever section in the bottom half. Blue Marlin recognise these design criteria in their Super Slim range and build two different versions on the same mandrel, one 100% high strength carbon purely for multipliers, the other a combination of different carbons to give a more flexible blank for fixed spools.

Being a custom rod builder, I've experience of both blanks styles, and within those parameters they work perfectly, and even to the point where we build 14'-6" and 15' versions of the fixed spool blanks, and get awesome results in our angling competitions with both models. However, we do find that the 15' does need slightly longer fellas to get the best results from the extra length.

We are also using some UK and very new Continental blanks (which have been modelled on UK designs) to great effect, but the fact that they have much softer tips, they don't respond well to very heavy bait loads, but are used as pure distance machines in angling competitions with baits up to 1-2oz and 6oz sinkers.

In answer to your original query, a 15' 6oz rod might well be the answer to your need for more distance with a fixed spool, but pick which blank you buy, very carefully, as there is a lot of science involved in getting the right rod at the end of the day. For your spinning, I would stick with your BM G4-12 (2-3), if you wish to throw heavier lures, look to see if BM will make you a 4oz tip as a special, I know they have a G4-12 (3-4), so it should be too different.

Hope that helps

Cheers from sunny Africa.

Jeri
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Re: Looking for a longer rod ? perhaps ?

Postby lbg15k » Mon Jun 12, 2017 1:01 am

So the wheels turned and eventually a 14'6" rod designed for casting 6-8 oz off a fixed spool reel came into my hot little hands. Okuma Metaliod - designed for the good folks in S Africa - and made from a 36T Toray graphite. This rod is softer than the TTS with a bit more bounce in it. Fitted with K - series guides and a "breakaway cannon" the rod is light in the hand for a big stick. Delighted with the thing, managed a few fish the first outing - the biggest a NW blowie about 1m long. It broke the surface about 130m out when it took - I thought I had a good fish on....

First observations on the rod:

- is noticeably slower in the cast than the TTS - which I like. You can lean into the thing and then release without that feeling that everything is about to snap.
- compared side-by-side with an Assassin Evo (similar specs) there is no difference in casting distance. Is maybe a bit sturdier in the butt section.
- the technique required is to get that left elbow up and throw for the clouds - this helps you get "underneath" the loaded rod without too much dancing about.
- I can get this a long way with a simple backswing and thump. This is an advantage on soft sand and sloping beaches. That means that feet can remain mostly stable and "fixed" in soft sand without too much of a penalty in distance.
- It is easier on the body than a stiffer rod - no question.
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Re: Looking for a longer rod ? perhaps ?

Postby Jeri » Mon Jun 12, 2017 6:01 pm

Good to hear that you have found something that you are comfortable with, amd it is giving you the performance you were looking for.

This is something we often find in the shop - folks come in with a preconcieved notion of what they are looking for, and after test casting a few rods, actually find that they are most comfortable and get best performance with something 'less powerful'. The two aspects here are power and comfort, especially when mixed in with some balance to the tackle, it makes all the difference.

What I have noticed with a lot of UK specialist blanks is that they try to be dual purpose, fit for both multiplier and fixed spool, and rarely does that work out best. In southern Africa, because the motivation behind design and performance is more orientated to the very active competition scene, and that scene is now more focused on fixed spools, we are getting some seriously good new designs of blanks for that specific purpose. When the competition anglers were all using multipliers - that was where the focus lie.

Once the concepts of the design are found for a particular range of blanks then various weight parameters are built, so we now get a range of rods that are all very similar in performance, just adjusted for different weights, like a 4oz, 5oz, 6oz, 7oz and 8oz. Buy according to the actual sinker weight desired for your personal comfort. Additionally, because we don't have an active tournament scene, no one is looking for outright distance designs, so rods too powerful for the individual aren't around. It just changes the focus from pure distance to fishing.

What's a NW Blowie???

Cheers from sunny Africa

Jeri
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Re: Looking for a longer rod ? perhaps ?

Postby lbg15k » Wed Jun 14, 2017 7:44 pm

NW blowfish - is a swimming bolt cutter of the "serious" variety. Often not landed because they bite through almost anything, including snapping tempered hooks. They can be a pest and remove baits and hooks quickly. You then have to move.

They are a blowfish, but get big. About a meter long would be the biggest I have seen/heard about. That would be about 8 or 9 kg. The first big one I ever saw was on my boat off Dampier. Friend said:

"watch this"

and placed a bait knife in the beak of the thing. Bit down, bent then snapped the knife (the steel was not that cheap either). He was expecting only that the steel would be marked by the bite, not snapped. A wooden handle like a broomstick - no issues biting straight through that. Not bad for a creature using teeth.
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Re: Looking for a longer rod ? perhaps ?

Postby Jeri » Thu Jun 15, 2017 12:31 am

Thanks for that - more info to store.

And we thought we had it bad with a small marine catfish with poisonous spines. Another bait robber, which always seems to get to the baits before anything else. Then, you guys would be pretty familiar with venomous critters, just about everything down their stings, poisons or bites, as I seem to remember as a kid living in Sydney for 6 months.

Cheers from sunny Africa, where our only threat on the beach north of the main fishing areas are Lions!!!!
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