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Strong and Sensitive? Does Such a Beast Exist?
Posted by: Dennis Penton (---)
Date: May 19, 2020 06:01PM

My recent attempt to build the perfect rod that was ultra-sensitive while at the same time tough as nails-- failed. I thought I found the perfect blank. It was incredibly light, extremely sensitive, and a remarkable caster, until I broke it... on its maiden voyage! It was a medium action casting rod that went to war against a BIG jack. The jack won. This was the first rod I've ever broken in over 45 years of fishing, and I've fished some pretty good models. From the looks of it, the manufacturer is going to send me a replacement, which is good. But to be honest, I've kinda lost confidence in it. Make sense?

So my quest for the perfect caster continues. I've considered the MH Elite-X, but have heard a few stories of them breaking too. Also in the running are Rainshadow Immortals, St. Croixs, and Phenix.' The rod needs to be sensitive but also be able to withstand a good amount of pressure. As you can tell, I'd like something that is higher end. I know that as a general rule, the higher the graphite modulus, the more sensitive, but also more brittle, (aka more apt to break), so I'm wondering if any of the newer graphites reinforced with the "secret-sauce-nano-impregnated-yokahama-resins" will cut the mustard? Or, am I looking for a unicorn? Has anyone fished the above line-up? Care to weigh in on your findings?

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Re: Strong and Sensitive? Does Such a Beast Exist?
Posted by: Michael Danek (---.alma.mi.frontiernet.net)
Date: May 19, 2020 06:13PM

I have no objective data to offer, but from my recent experience with a Point Blank 731MXF, I think that Point Blank may be a candidate for the solution you are looking for. I got snagged in shallow water, with a good wind blowing, and in the process of dealing with it my Point Blank got tangled up in the trolling motor. I was drifting, and not wanting to start the motor and chewing up the rod, it got bent so severely aroung the shaft of the motor that looking down on it had me convinced that I now had a two piece rod. Somehow I got it free, and all it had was a bent guide frame, which was easily fixed. I have loaded it since, cast with it, and carefully inspected it. I can find no evidence of a scar that could cause a future failure.

Granted, not scientific data, but I'm convinced that the Point Blank blanks can really take a lot of abuse. It didn't strike anything sharp, for sure, just the smooth shaft of a trolling motor, but believe me, it was really abused.

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Re: Strong and Sensitive? Does Such a Beast Exist?
Posted by: ben belote (---.zoominternet.net)
Date: May 19, 2020 06:37PM

i gave up on extremely sensitive rods and started using extremely sensitive lines..you can have the most sensitive rod ever made but if the vibration doesn,t get to the rod tip, your not going to feel it..nothing beats the super braids for transmiting these vibrations..i now build on the cheapest glass rods i can find but use these super lines and no longer worry about damaging the rod..it,s fun to fight a fish on a glass rod..they stay hooked because the hook isn,t so easily torn out like with carbon rods..

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Re: Strong and Sensitive? Does Such a Beast Exist?
Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: May 19, 2020 07:05PM

Graphite (carbon) is NOT brittle. Not at all. But the higher the modulus the less material you need to obtain the same stiffness so you have a less substantial structure which means it is not going to withstand rough handling. You have to decide what your priorities are and lean in that particular direction.

Material is only part of the puzzle - the design; the ratio of wall thickness to diameter, etc. plays a very large role in how durable a blank is going to be. Most manufacturers see little sense in using the highest modulus carbon in a small diameter, very heavy, thick walled design to deliver durability. Why bother?

Typically, the higher modulus graphite rods are indeed stronger. But what do you mean by strength? Ability to carry a load or ability to withstand abuse?

Where did your rod break?

...................

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Re: Strong and Sensitive? Does Such a Beast Exist?
Posted by: Phil Ewanicki (---.res.spectrum.com)
Date: May 19, 2020 07:06PM

I second Ben's response. NO rod blank, no matter how sensitive, can approach the solid and immediate feeling transmitted by basically ZERO stretch gel-spun lines. When light hits are the rule I equip myself with a bait casting rod and reel filled with superbraid, point the rod directly at the bait, and the line always passes lightly between the thumb and forefinger of my left (rod) hand.

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Re: Strong and Sensitive? Does Such a Beast Exist?
Posted by: David Baylor (---)
Date: May 19, 2020 07:31PM

I don't know what the lure weight or line weight ratings are for the blank you had break, and I have no idea how a jack fights. I know it's a lot harder than any freshwater fish I have ever hooked, so the blank I would mention may not be even a close fit. With that said, if you're looking for a blank with ratings of 3/16 - 5/8 oz baits, and 8 - 17# line, then I'd offer the Immortal IMMC73ML as a blank you may want to look at. Don't let the assigned ML nomenclature deter you. The blank fishes to its specs. Using my bass fisherman thinking, I would say it fishes like a medium power rod. Speaking sensitivity wise, while I wouldn't say it is as insanely sensitive as the rods I've built on 2 NFC X ray blanks, (I would doubt that there are very many that are) I would definitely put the Immortal blanks I have built on in the same class as a G Loomis GLX. They provide awesome sensitivity.

I use the rod I built on the IMMC73ML for throwing smaller 3 1/2 - 4" swimbaits on 1/4 - 3/8 oz heads. It's awesome for 1/4 - 3/8 oz tube bait and smaller Texas rigged soft plastics to 3/8 oz as well. The rod casts extremely well, and handles beautifully. I have mine paired with a Shimano Curado 200 I and 12# Tatsu fluorocarbon. And finally as I said earlier, I don't have a clue what a jack fights like. I've seen more than enough fishing shows to know it's way harder than the biggest fish I have caught on my rod. That being about a 10 lb northern pike. Not much of a fighter when compared to a jack. lol



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/19/2020 07:35PM by David Baylor.

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Re: Strong and Sensitive? Does Such a Beast Exist?
Posted by: ben belote (---.zoominternet.net)
Date: May 19, 2020 08:12PM

that,s right Phil..the thumb and finger tell you all you need to know..it can be an old bamboo casting rod but with super braids your in business..lol.

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Re: Strong and Sensitive? Does Such a Beast Exist?
Posted by: Dennis Penton (---)
Date: May 19, 2020 08:14PM

Michael. Don't ask me which model I broke. lol. Yep. That's the one. Jack ran under boat towards trolling motor... then crack!



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 05/19/2020 08:16PM by Dennis Penton.

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Re: Strong and Sensitive? Does Such a Beast Exist?
Posted by: Dennis Penton (---)
Date: May 19, 2020 08:18PM

Tom Kirkman Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Where did your rod break?
>
> ...................

About 5ft up.

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Re: Strong and Sensitive? Does Such a Beast Exist?
Posted by: Dennis Penton (---)
Date: May 19, 2020 08:27PM

David Baylor Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I don't know what the lure weight or line weight
> ratings are for the blank you had break, and I
> have no idea how a jack fights. I know it's a lot
> harder than any freshwater fish I have ever
> hooked, so the blank I would mention may not be
> even a close fit. With that said, if you're
> looking for a blank with ratings of 3/16 - 5/8 oz
> baits, and 8 - 17# line, then I'd offer the
> Immortal IMMC73ML as a blank you may want to look
> at. Don't let the assigned ML nomenclature deter
> you. The blank fishes to its specs. Using my bass
> fisherman thinking, I would say it fishes like a
> medium power rod. Speaking sensitivity wise, while
> I wouldn't say it is as insanely sensitive as the
> rods I've built on 2 NFC X ray blanks, (I would
> doubt that there are very many that are) I would
> definitely put the Immortal blanks I have built on
> in the same class as a G Loomis GLX. They provide
> awesome sensitivity.
>
> I use the rod I built on the IMMC73ML for throwing
> smaller 3 1/2 - 4" swimbaits on 1/4 - 3/8 oz
> heads. It's awesome for 1/4 - 3/8 oz tube bait and
> smaller Texas rigged soft plastics to 3/8 oz as
> well. The rod casts extremely well, and handles
> beautifully. I have mine paired with a Shimano
> Curado 200 I and 12# Tatsu fluorocarbon. And
> finally as I said earlier, I don't have a clue
> what a jack fights like. I've seen more than
> enough fishing shows to know it's way harder than
> the biggest fish I have caught on my rod. That
> being about a 10 lb northern pike. Not much of a
> fighter when compared to a jack. lol


I have an inshore Immortal (IMMP76MH) that I really like. Also, I recently got to yank on the IMMC72M, which felt more like a MH to me, so maybe your recommendation of the ML is more to my liking. How would you rate the durability of those NFC xRays?

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Re: Strong and Sensitive? Does Such a Beast Exist?
Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: May 19, 2020 08:30PM

Okay, that's not an overload break so strength was not the issue. Sounds more like a high stick break.

...............

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Re: Strong and Sensitive? Does Such a Beast Exist?
Posted by: Dennis Penton (---)
Date: May 19, 2020 09:01PM

Tom Kirkman Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Okay, that's not an overload break so strength was
> not the issue. Sounds more like a high stick
> break.
>
> ...............

Hmmm? Perhaps. I'm not questioning your expertise on the subject, but it didn't feel like the "traditional" high stick break, as the rod was in the water trying to lead the fish away / around trolling motor. I'm thinking I kept the rod at 90*, but who knows as it happened so quickly.

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Re: Strong and Sensitive? Does Such a Beast Exist?
Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: May 19, 2020 09:27PM

Exactly - when we say "high stick" that doesn't mean the rod was pointed upwards necessarily - just that the upper portion may have gone well beyond 90 degrees. Trying to follow a fish while the rod is in the water and the fish is running under the boat is often a recipe for disaster with any rod.

.............

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Re: Strong and Sensitive? Does Such a Beast Exist?
Posted by: Lynn Behler (---.97.252.156.res-cmts.leh.ptd.net)
Date: May 19, 2020 09:37PM

Define "big jack", What was the blanks length and rating?

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Re: Strong and Sensitive? Does Such a Beast Exist?
Posted by: Dennis Penton (---)
Date: May 19, 2020 10:35PM

7' 3" Med. Action / XF
Rod rating: 10-20# braid
Lure: up to 3/4 oz.
Fishing 16# braid with fairly light setting..
I'd say the jack was 10-12#

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Re: Strong and Sensitive? Does Such a Beast Exist?
Posted by: Spencer Phipps (---)
Date: May 20, 2020 01:27AM

I caught jacks that size fairly regular on my hot shot rods with no failures while stationed in Florida and the Caribbean.

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Re: Strong and Sensitive? Does Such a Beast Exist?
Posted by: roger wilson (---)
Date: May 20, 2020 07:37AM

No help at all, but any time that I rod is getting overly bent, release the line and let the fish go where it may.

Or, keep a knife handy and if the fight is getting too much or out of control, cut the line and save the equipment.

I also have to agree that with the use of braided line, the use of a virtually unbreakable glass rod will avoid the blank breaking issues.

Once the rod is get past the 90 degree point, the drag from the guides can really elevate the drag effects from the reels setting and blink - the blank has broken.

But, no matter how it goes, a nice fish or a nice rod always cause heart break when one is lost and or the other is broken.

Be safe

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Re: Strong and Sensitive? Does Such a Beast Exist?
Posted by: David Baylor (---)
Date: May 20, 2020 05:01PM

Deinnis, I can confirm Tom's rod disaster scenario when trying to chase a fish that's gone under the boat. I've shared the story on this site before. Long story short. 40+" muskie rockets under the boat with about 8' or line between the fish and the rod tip. Rod against the gunwale, CRACK !!! top half of the rod, along with the fish, gone. The whole thing took about 3 seconds. And that was a blank that I would consider very durable. An Immortal IMMC72MH. One bad mammy jammy of a blank BTW.

As far as the durability of the NFC X ray blanks goes, I can't really say. I haven't put them in any bad positions, and I haven't caught any really big fish with them. I've only been fishing them for about a year, with the biggest fish I've caught on either one of them being a smallmouth bass between 3 1/2 and 4 lbs. Both rods are built on the MB 736 X ray blanks.

Edit for addition: Concerning the named powers on the Immortal blanks. I'm not surprised you felt the IMMC72M fished more like a medium heavy power. It's specs would bear that out. I've only built on two different models thus far, the IMMC72MH and the IMMC73ML. Both fish to their specs, which in most factory rods aimed at bass fisherman, would be heavy power and medium power, respectively. If CCS numbers mean anything to you, the IMMC72MH has an IP of 1079. The IMMC73ML has an IP of 605. Based on it's specs, my guess would be that the IMMC72M probably has an IP of at least 750. This is an estimate based on other blanks I have tested with similar lure weight and line size ratings.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/20/2020 05:14PM by David Baylor.

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Re: Strong and Sensitive? Does Such a Beast Exist?
Posted by: Phil Ewanicki (---.res.spectrum.com)
Date: May 20, 2020 05:07PM

Good fly fishers are very protective of their fly rods. Even when they have a #40 wire leader or an #80 shock leader they usually have a #15 or #20 section of monofilament to act as a "fuse" to protect their rod from breakage. This is not a common problem in fresh water, except when someone with a one-hand rod and a reel filled with #50 braid starts horsing to get a plug off a stump.

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Re: Strong and Sensitive? Does Such a Beast Exist?
Posted by: Kendall Cikanek (---.res.spectrum.com)
Date: May 21, 2020 01:54AM

If your replacement rod is from a reputable maker, I wouldn't lose confidence in it. I've heard a few people disparage the rods of every good maker I can think of as being fragile time bombs that can't land a quality fish without breaking. I only know of one rod series from a top maker that actually was this unreliable. That was just over thirty years ago and these were reformulated fairly quickly.

Shock, subtle damage, and angler mistakes happen. Tying a strong fish to a two-ounce blank with low stretch line is going to end badly once every few thousand or so times when everything is done well. I made a silly mistake landing a fish a couple of weekends ago and was fortunate to only lose a jerkbait and not a good rod. I sat the rod down with a few inches of tip past the gunnel and then proceeded to lose my grip on the fish. I know way better than that and even thought about it being risky before I inexplicably did it. It's always easy to think that the rod had a flaw (and some will), but human fallibility and fish quickly changing directions just happens.

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