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surf rod build
Posted by: Jeremy DeCoudres (---.ks.ks.cox.net)
Date: January 04, 2019 03:25PM

Im looking at building a surf rod to use on piers. This would be my first build so curious if a surf rod would be a good rod for a first time builder?

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Re: surf rod build
Posted by: Phil Ewanicki (---.res.spectrum.com)
Date: January 04, 2019 03:30PM

Most fishing piers don't allow overhead or sidearm casts. Most surf rods are 9' or more long. They aren't much use on fishing piers.

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Re: surf rod build
Posted by: Jeremy DeCoudres (---.ks.ks.cox.net)
Date: January 04, 2019 03:50PM

Ok thank you, Im new to saltwater fishing but however I was going to try to keep it under 9 ft. Was hoping to find one in the 8 ft range. I guess i was leaning towards surf rod because of the amount of lead that is used to keep your bait on the bottom.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/04/2019 03:56PM by Jeremy DeCoudres.

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Re: surf rod build
Posted by: herb canter (77.111.246.---)
Date: January 04, 2019 04:21PM

What you want is probably a hybrid type surf rod which casts well when needed but will also be stout enough to be able to horse big fish away from wrapping you up in the pilings and breaking you off. An eight to nine foot blank in medium heavy power ratings is ideal for this type work . The extra length gives you a better chance of keeping a strong fish away from the pilings and breaking you off but not long enough to be awkward to handle .

As far as building a surf rod for your first build , most will tell you to start with inexpensive blanks because a first build usually has a lot of mistakes , while thats true i also chose a surf rod blank for my first build and had little interest in building one that was for practice purposes . Well i did a ton of research and bought the blank, ( Expensive) that i wanted to build on originally and luckily for me the whole thing turned out very good & the rod performs fantastic .

That being said i probably went through ten times the amount of thread and epoxy that a very experienced rod builder would have gone through because i kept redoing everything over and over , it was constant trial & error until i eventually was satisfied , this hobby takes a long time to get really good at in my experience but since i never had any intention of building rods to sell i never had the opportunity to improve over time.

My goal was to build about 4 rods for myself and thats it so when your goal is to just build a couple rods for yourself you can see why the chance to really improve over time just doesn't happen.

I'm exceptionally pleased with the rods that i built because i was able to pick what guides , what colors , the best guide layout based on the reel and line i was using and being able to extensively test many different configurations & now there is no doubt in my mind i have the best performing rod for my usage that i have ever had and thats what building a custom rod is all about , i wish you much success and enjoyment as well Jeremy .

One last thing, try not to sweat the small stuff , you can drive yourself nuts with this stuff .

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Re: surf rod build
Posted by: Norman Miller (---.lightspeed.jcsnms.sbcglobal.net)
Date: January 04, 2019 05:34PM

Are you going to be using a casting or spinning reel, braid or mono? What weight lures, and what size of reel and line? What’s your budget? These do make a difference.

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Re: surf rod build
Posted by: Jeremy DeCoudres (---.ks.ks.cox.net)
Date: January 04, 2019 07:34PM

Im going to be using a spinning reel, probably mono as I am unfamiliar with braid. Im going to be using this for mostly fishing on the bottom with sinkers, probably going to be up to around the 3 oz sinker range for pier fishing and occasional surf.

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Re: surf rod build
Posted by: Norman Miller (---.lightspeed.jcsnms.sbcglobal.net)
Date: January 04, 2019 09:44PM

I don't think you can go wrong with a RodGeeks 2 piece 9' surf rod blank. They are a good buy. Since you are using mono I would suggest doing a new guide concept (NGC) layout, usingFuji corrosion control KW (double) or KL (single foot) guides, or a combination of both, for the reduction train and KW or KB guides for the runners.
Building a surf rod is no different than any other type of rod. A two piece rod is acutually easier to deal with than a one piece rod Since this your first rod try wrapping with a size D thread, much easier to wrap for a beginner and still looks great.

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Re: surf rod build
Posted by: Sandy Harris (---.ec.res.rr.com)
Date: January 04, 2019 09:46PM

Unfortunately this time of year may not be the best for what I am about to suggest. If it were me, I would start by spending some time on my local pier looking at what others are using. While I'm sure the majority of them are not using custom made gear you should get a feel for length and power in relation to what species are being caught. Are they casting 20 ft 0r 100? Are they really using 3oz to hold bottom? Are more fish being caught on a bottom rig or on an artificial? Talk to the folks who look like they spend a lot of time fishing from the pier and see what they like and don't like about the tackle they are using. You may find the rod you have pictured in your mind may not be the best one for the job.

And a word of "warning"........for most of my acquaintances in the rod building community the hobby has been an addictive one......very few stop at building one rod.......

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Re: surf rod build
Posted by: Jeremy DeCoudres (---.ks.ks.cox.net)
Date: January 04, 2019 10:01PM

Thank you guys. Sandy I don't live anywhere near a pier or saltwater. Im a fly fisher but we are going to the saltwater this summer so I figured since i want to get into building fly rods I would use this time to learn on rod that I could use on vacation.

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Re: surf rod build
Posted by: herb canter (77.111.246.---)
Date: January 04, 2019 10:33PM

I bought the two piece 9 foot RodGeeks surf rod blank along with a one piece surf rod blank at the Expo last year where RodGeeks had some of the best discounts i have ever seen and will again with this upcoming Expo so thats an event always worth attending. Excellent recommendation by Norm both have been outstanding for me and you really get your money's worth .

Don't worry about not being able to get to a pier , the piers down where i'm located wouldn't be a good place to check out equipment anyway , nearly 98% of anglers down here buy their rods and reels at Walmart & price is the only thing that matters . You will see rods from five feet up to twelve feet on every pier there are no norms lol.

I don't fish on piers but i regularly fish the sand underneath them on either side depending on current in the very early morning hours 3:00 - 4:00 am or late at night 11:00 -1:00 am , those times can be very productive. So you're a fly rod guy i see , well you came to the right place for building fly rods , guys like Phil Ewaniki are walking encyclopedia's , this forum is loaded with expert fly rod builders & top shelf anglers who love to share their knowledge.

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Re: surf rod build
Posted by: Lance Schreckenbach (---.lightspeed.hstntx.sbcglobal.net)
Date: January 04, 2019 11:00PM

The first rod that I built was a fly rod. It was a 9' Sage RPL 8wt 2 pc blank. The only reason I did it was because I could not afford the same Sage rod that was already built. I guess I saved about 50% from retail building that on the newest fly rod blank that Sage had at the time. Came out real nice and worked well. I was still making surfboards when I did it and it really was not that hard for me to put together, a lot easier than surfboards. So, depending on how well you are with details and working with your hands, you can make a pretty good rod if you put your mind to it. To me a good pier rod is basically a light offshore boat rod capable of handling fish up to around 40 lbs. and casting heavy weights. 6'6” to 7'-7'3" built on a heavy power blank. You could go with hybrid glass / carbon blank that you can bull the fish around with. The length is not going to help you in a pier situation as much as the power you need in the rod. If a fish goes between the pilings you are going to have to bull him out of there and the rod length won't matter because you are over the fish and want to get him to the surface where you have the advantage and can move him where you want him to go. If you fish jetties, then rod length does matter, and it helps to have a longer rod. I have been fishing piers since I could walk and the best advice, I could give you is to get a drop net or also called a bridge / pier net. I cannot tell you how many fish I have lost because we did not have this at the time. If you are not near saltwater, I would build a fly rod first. There are a lot of subtleties in building a fly rod that will help you building other rods.

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Re: surf rod build
Posted by: David Miller (---.triad.res.rr.com)
Date: January 05, 2019 01:28AM

A saltwater pier rod can also be used for freshwater fishing such as catfish. The Rod Geek X Comps are perfect pier/ catfish rods and their SG, Bass 2 or Inshore series would do well too. If you underhand pitch from the pier soaking bait you don’t need a rod with a lure rating as high as if you are overhead power casting the same weight. A blank rated 3/4-2 can underhand lob 3 no problem. With this rod you can cast 1oz Carolina rigs for flounder, jigs and casting spoons.

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Re: surf rod build
Posted by: Michael Tarr (143.59.156.---)
Date: January 05, 2019 12:32PM

Not sure what part of the country you plan to fish but the guys in the northern gulf of FL are using 9’ 1-4oz surf rods, with spinning reels, off the piers. A lot of builds I’m seeing are concept layouts but this is really up to the builder. Guides sizes look something like 40-25-16-10-10-10-10-10-10 something along theses lines with the doulbe foot Fuji K guides. These guys are all fishing for King Mackeral or Cobia. I second the RodGeeks blanks mentioned above as well, I’m a fan of theres’ no bias here. Follow the manufactures guide spacing chart to start with.

As for reels a lot of folks use the Van Staal 150 but I couldn’t spend $700 on a reel that wasn’t used everyday. A good buy is a Shimano Shperos 8000 ($220) or Daiwa BG. I have many reels but I’m currently use the BG4500 ($120) with 40 braid and a short mono or wire leader. I’ve landed some large fish on these reels without problems from the beach and the pier. Biggest fish to date on the BG is a 36” king mackerel (pier) and a 30” Bull Red (beach). I have a lot of different reels and I really like the performance and cost of the BG. As for line you can get away with mono but having 300 yards off 40lb braid over 200 yards of 20 mono makes me feel better when a monster runs off with my bait. Braid doesn’t do as well around rocks as mono so if you fish rocky areas maybe do mono but everywhere else braid is king.

Also, bring a smaller spinning rod for a sabiki rig, plugs, spoons, etc... to catch some bait fish.

Hope this helps.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/12/2019 10:13PM by Michael Tarr.

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Re: surf rod build
Posted by: Jeremy DeCoudres (---.mobile.att.net)
Date: January 05, 2019 01:16PM

Thank you so much. I plan on fishing south Texas , corpus Christie area

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