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Blank Search - Long Rod Ice Fishing
Posted by: Tyler Swoboda (209.63.30.---)
Date: February 12, 2019 02:25PM

I'm looking for a new/better blank(s) to build a Lake Trout ice rod on. The rod will be used to jig 1/4-3/4 oz baits and catch lakers 5-15 lbs on average with a real chance at 20+ lb fish as well. It will never be used inside a fish house so the finished length will be 5'-6' long. I definitely want a moderate action to keep the fish pinned so that's led me to fiberglass crankbait blanks. I'm just not sure how trimming 1'-2- off the butt end will affect each of the blanks listed below.

Rainshadow GCB70M E-Glass Crankbait
Rainshadow GCB70MH E-Glass Crankbait
MHX SSP844-MHX - 7'0" Med-Heavy S-Glass
RodGeeks SG70MM S-Glass

I know I'll get recommendations for the Rainshadow Solid Glass .385"X.105"X72" or similar solid fiberglass offerings from MHX or Jann's Netcraft. I can assure you this is not a blank I am interested in. Over the years I've built many rods on that blank for myself and friends/family that I fish with so I know it very well. I'm really looking for a blank with better performance, i.e. lighter weight and more sensitive.

Re: Blank Search - Long Rod Ice Fishing
Posted by: herb canter (---.atmc.net)
Date: February 12, 2019 03:28PM

Tom W commented about the RodGeeks S blanks a while back , the below is what he had to say :


" I have built close to twenty of the Rod Geeks crankbait S glass rods. Both MM and MH they are truly outstanding blanks. Zero defects, and one of the only rods I have sold that have brought back unsolicited praise from owners. Two tournament fisherman using the MH have stated that in a complete season the performance of that Rod is second to none. Neither lost a fish once hooked"

"I have two myself, one med one med hvy, and can can honestly say the Rod Geeks is the way to go. BTW, it is manufactured in the St. Croix factory" !!!!

Re: Blank Search - Long Rod Ice Fishing
Posted by: David Baylor (---.neo.res.rr.com)
Date: February 12, 2019 04:01PM

I want to preface this by saying that I have done very little vertical jigging, so my thinking may not fit in with what makes a good vertical jigging rod. The little vertical jigging that I have done, has been done using 1/2- 3/4 oz. Little Georges and Sliver Buddies. Both of those baits have a decent amount of water resistance when you rip them up. As such, I used them on a rod that had a pretty stiff tip section. I don't know how aggressively you need to jig the baits you'll be using, or the type of water resistance they have, but if you're using baits like those I listed above, I'm wondering if the blanks you listed will have the power in the upper third of the blank that you may need?

I'm also wondering if the blanks you listed are all moderate or moderate fast action blanks? If they are, with the amount of length you're talking about taking off of them, you'll be turning them into slow action blanks, and taking a lot of power out of them. Of course you could always take length off the tip and butt of the blank. No matter what end of the blank you take the length off of, you'll still be slowing the action, but you won't necessarily be taking any power away. Taking length from the tip increases power, taking it from the butt, decreases power.

At the end of your post you mentioned wanting lighter weight, and more sensitive. I'd like to propose something you may want to consider. And that is using a fast action graphite blank with a traditional bass taper, and just take length off the butt to slow the action. The graphite blank would give you the sensitivity you're looking for. You'd have power in the tip for jigging the bait, and bend into the mid section of the blank when under the load of a fish. I'm thinking it would also give you more control for those times you hooked into one of those 15 lb or better fish you mentioned.

I used the above philosophy for building a jerkbait rod, for bass. It worked out beautifully. Power in the tip for the times I need to really rip the bait to make it jump. Bend into the midsection to help keep fish hooked on treble hooks buttoned up. And the sensitivity to feel that little tick you get when you're dead sticking a suspending bait.

An easy way of getting an idea of whether or not it's something you may want to consider, would be to take some of your fast action bass rods that are 7' or longer, (if you have some) and grip them further up the blank and see how they react.

Just a thought ....

Re: Blank Search - Long Rod Ice Fishing
Posted by: Bob McKamey (---.se.biz.rr.com)
Date: February 12, 2019 04:43PM

David Baylor, my exact thought process. Tyler Swoboda, a series of MHX Rod blanks to consider - [www.mudhole.com] -- Thank You

Bob McKamey
Mud Hole Custom Tackle
bobm@mudhole.com

Re: Blank Search - Long Rod Ice Fishing
Posted by: Jay McKnight (---.dhcp.aldl.mi.charter.com)
Date: February 12, 2019 08:43PM

I would try and contact Roger Wilson, bet he's got the answer to your question.

Re: Blank Search - Long Rod Ice Fishing
Posted by: Tyler Swoboda (209.63.30.---)
Date: February 12, 2019 10:16PM

Thanks for the suggestions and ideas guys, I appreciate the input on this unique application. I've been researching for awhile now and can't seem to find much information or examples of anyone building a rod similar to what I am looking for.

I have considered graphite crankbait blanks as well, but keep leaning towards the e-glass or s-glass due to my stereotypical thought (possibly incorrect) that fiberglass blanks can handle more abuse.

I've read many posts from Roger W about the Rainshadow solid glass .385"X.105"X72". It was actually his posts that led me to the blank in the first place. I wonder if Roger has experimented at all with doing the same on some tubular fiberglass blanks.

Re: Blank Search - Long Rod Ice Fishing
Posted by: Bill Sidney (---.gci.net)
Date: February 12, 2019 10:54PM

Guides you want larger guides [the ID ] reason ,ICE build up,on guides , will ice over faster with small size guides

William Sidney
AK

Re: Blank Search - Long Rod Ice Fishing
Posted by: Phil Ewanicki (---.res.spectrum.com)
Date: February 13, 2019 10:34AM

Will you be using a small float to detect light bites? If so, your guides should be big enough so the float can pass through them.

Re: Blank Search - Long Rod Ice Fishing
Posted by: David Baylor (---.neo.res.rr.com)
Date: February 13, 2019 04:58PM

Tyler, as I said, I haven't done a lot of vertical jigging, but if you're looking at crankbait blanks, I'd be looking at something heavy powered. I'm still thinking you want some oomph in the upper third of the blank. If you're taking a 7' crankbait blank and taking 1' off the butt of it, you are going to lose a substantial power. Take 2' off and you're going to be left with what I would guess to be pretty much a wet noodle. Again just my opinion. Also if you're looking at a fiberglass crankbait blank I would be looking at taking length off the tip and the butt, to come up with whatever length rod you're looking for.

Re: Blank Search - Long Rod Ice Fishing
Posted by: Tyler Swoboda (---.sub-174-219-146.myvzw.com)
Date: February 14, 2019 12:47PM

David Baylor Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Tyler, as I said, I haven't done a lot of
> vertical jigging, but if you're looking at
> crankbait blanks, I'd be looking at something
> heavy powered. I'm still thinking you want some
> oomph in the upper third of the blank. If you're
> taking a 7' crankbait blank and taking 1' off the
> butt of it, you are going to lose a substantial
> power. Take 2' off and you're going to be left
> with what I would guess to be pretty much a wet
> noodle. Again just my opinion. Also if you're
> looking at a fiberglass crankbait blank I would be
> looking at taking length off the tip and the butt,
> to come up with whatever length rod you're looking
> for.


David, trimming a small section off the tip is certainly something I would consider if necessary to get the desired power and action.

I'm trying to replicate my experience with the solid glass rainshadow blank. That blank is of moderate action and yet can be cut in half and the tip section still makes for an adequate ice rod. The difficulty is in predicting how these other blanks will respond to large amounts trimmed from the butt end and possibly some from the tip. I know they will lose power and have slower action after trimming, but the difficulty is in predicting how much everything will change.

For the few who mentioned guide trains... I have built many ice rods, so my preferred guide train and handle are pretty dialed in. It's just selecting the blank that is my challenge. There are literally zero blanks designed for the application.

Re: Blank Search - Long Rod Ice Fishing
Posted by: roger wilson (---.hsd1.mn.comcast.net)
Date: February 14, 2019 05:22PM

Tyler,
Pick up a rainshadow solid glass blank in medium power in a 6 foot or 6'6" length, and use a chop saw to chop off as much length as you need from the butt of the rod. The rod will have plenty of power and sensitivity to do exactly what you wish with the rod.

If using a spinning reel, I would use a size 16 first guide and then size 10s to the tip and a size 10 tip top. The size 10 guides and tip top will minimize icing effects when used in the open.
The rod will perform perfectly for you. Don't trim anything from the tip on this blank.

Good luck

Re: Blank Search - Long Rod Ice Fishing
Posted by: Tyler Swoboda (---.eot.com)
Date: February 15, 2019 10:19AM

roger wilson Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Tyler,
> Pick up a rainshadow solid glass blank in medium
> power in a 6 foot or 6'6" length, and use a chop
> saw to chop off as much length as you need from
> the butt of the rod. The rod will have plenty of
> power and sensitivity to do exactly what you wish
> with the rod.
>
> If using a spinning reel, I would use a size 16
> first guide and then size 10s to the tip and a
> size 10 tip top. The size 10 guides and tip top
> will minimize icing effects when used in the open.
>
> The rod will perform perfectly for you. Don't
> trim anything from the tip on this blank.
>
> Good luck


Thank you for responding, Roger. I was really hoping to hear from you since I know you have many years of experience with somewhat similar ice rods.

I've built a dozen rods exactly as you describe. The same exact blank and I've built them from 40"-60" long, only trimming off the butt end and never the tip. Guide train is exactly as you describe... a size 16 flexlite or Pac Bay Minima stripper and size 6 wire fly guide runners (similar ID to standard size 10). I personally do not enjoy fishing these rods anymore. The rods do have plenty of power and the right action but I strongly disagree on the sensitivity. I mean we're talking a 5' blank weighing almost 4 ounces! That's ridiculous, I've built an 8' musky rod on a blank almost that light. We all know weight and sensitivity are a direct correlation so I'm just not sure how a 4 oz 5' rod to jig 1/2 oz lures can be considered sensitive.

I'm really wondering if you have ever experimented with using tubular glass blanks for the same application. Have you tried and it just didn't work out? If not, is there a reason you haven't?

Re: Blank Search - Long Rod Ice Fishing
Posted by: roger wilson (---.hsd1.mn.comcast.net)
Date: February 15, 2019 01:38PM

After one entire batch of tubular - both graphite and fiberglass rods were broken by clients who used them quite vigorously, and commonly beat the tip against the ice to free the tip of ice, I completely stopped building tubular blanks.

But, by all means, if you wanted to go to a tubular glass blank, go for it and let us all know how it works out.

As much as anything else, when ice fishing for a lot of fish, even with a long rod, it is a very common procedure to use a float when fishing. Thus, there is 0 need for rod sensitivity, since all of the strike indication is from the bobber, bobbing in the ice hole.

Good luck

Re: Blank Search - Long Rod Ice Fishing
Posted by: Tyler Swoboda (209.63.30.---)
Date: February 18, 2019 06:23PM

roger wilson Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> After one entire batch of tubular - both graphite
> and fiberglass rods were broken by clients who
> used them quite vigorously, and commonly beat the
> tip against the ice to free the tip of ice, I
> completely stopped building tubular blanks.
>

Well this is the exact kind of response that I was hoping to get when I posted this topic... One based on previous first hand experience.

Thank you, Roger!

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