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Need a little help from those that have built on the NFC Xray SJ blanks
Posted by: Russell Brunt (---.lightspeed.miamfl.sbcglobal.net)
Date: October 15, 2020 06:00PM

Decided to splurge and make an impulse buy. I wasn't getting anywhere on inquires for salt water blanks from NFC. So I just bought the one of each of the Xray spin/jig blanks. I don't have a plan for them other than I think I will make them all spinning rods. They seem a little light in power for bait casting use.

I fish both fresh and salt water. I have 2500, 3000, and 4000 Stradic reels I could use for them (as well as others). More peacock than largemouth in my area and they don't like worms/soft plastics. Salt would be snapper/mackeral not trout/redfish.

So what reels would you match each blank with. What guide sizes assuming braid? What fishing technique do you consider each one best suited to?

Also I got three of the CTRG9-.375 grips. Would you use them on all three blanks? Should I count on cutting one down....or maybe needing to order a longer one?

First time with these blanks and thinking I'd like to order parts now without blanks in hand. Oh, I was thinking 10, 15, and 20# on the braid for each reel. Hoping the SJ732 isn't so light I need to get a 1000 size reel

Russ in Hollywood, FL.

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Re: Need a little help from those that have built on the NFC Xray SJ blanks
Posted by: David Baylor (---)
Date: October 15, 2020 08:13PM

I don't have any experience building on the SJ X ray blanks. When you say you bought one of each, I take it to mean that you purchased one of the SJ 703s? If so, once you receive them I would love to hear your opinion of the SJ 703 blank"s power. I'm looking to build a new spinning rod for use with tube jigs and shaky head jigs for large and smallmouth bass.

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Re: Need a little help from those that have built on the NFC Xray SJ blanks
Posted by: Thomas Kaufmann (---.mobile.att.net)
Date: October 15, 2020 08:44PM

David, I actually use the x ray sj736 for shakey heads. I only use a 1/4 oz head and with my worm total weight is 5/8oz. I also use it for light wobbleheads and finesse jigs as well. I have no problem feeling the most subtle of bites in water as deep as 25’. I will say that I prefer my 7’3” mh point blank for the wobblehead though especially when using a 7/16oz head. The point blank is also a heck of a dock skipping rod!

Tom

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Re: Need a little help from those that have built on the NFC Xray SJ blanks
Posted by: Shawn Riebe (---.midco.net)
Date: October 15, 2020 08:50PM

Hey Thomas, what do you like about the Point Blank as a dock skipping rod? That is a rod I would like to try to make if I figure out this rod building hobby. Thanks

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Re: Need a little help from those that have built on the NFC Xray SJ blanks
Posted by: Thomas Kaufmann (---.mobile.att.net)
Date: October 15, 2020 09:47PM

Shawn, I use the 7’3”mh as a dock skipper, it for me has the perfect tip and the additional length allows me to back off of the dock and keep my distance. I have built docks skippers from 6’3”,6’6”, 6’9”, 6’10” and 7’. I actually prefer the 7’3. On lake of the Ozarks the docks are very close together and being able to stay out a little farther makes it easier for me.

Tom

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Re: Need a little help from those that have built on the NFC Xray SJ blanks
Posted by: Russell Brunt (---.lightspeed.miamfl.sbcglobal.net)
Date: October 16, 2020 05:39AM

David I bought a SJ703, SJ732, and SJ736.

Russ in Hollywood, FL.

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Re: Need a little help from those that have built on the NFC Xray SJ blanks
Posted by: David Baylor (---)
Date: October 16, 2020 04:00PM

Russell, I'm happy to hear you purchased one of the SJ 703's.If you would, please share your thoughts on that particular blank. I would greatly appreciate it.

Thomas, I've actually become a little leery of buying blanks of late. The last blank, based on it's lure weight and line size ratings, was nothing like I expected it to be. I had far less power than I expected it to have. I have two rods built on NFC MB 736 X rays, and I have seriously considered building a spinning rod on the blank, but it is higher in power than I am looking for. In a perfect world, Rainshadow would offer the Immortal series in a natural finish, but alas, they don't. If they did I'd just buy an IMMC73ML blank and build it as a spinning rod. I'd be as happy as a clam if they did.

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Re: Need a little help from those that have built on the NFC Xray SJ blanks
Posted by: Russell Brunt (---.lightspeed.miamfl.sbcglobal.net)
Date: October 16, 2020 06:29PM

David, I will do my best.

Two things though. I'm working through a serious injury, one that has kept me from fishing for two years. I basically have no feeling in my dominant arm/hand and very little dexterity (and lets not even talk about my right leg). While I do plan to build them ASAP I'm not sure I physically can. Next, I don't speak bass lingo. No idea what tube jigs and shaky head are. So chances are I might not articulate things well enough to be of any help. Plus, as I also mentioned, the bass I am fishing for don't like soft plastics, which is weird as that is previously about all I have ever fished for bass.

Me, I hoping the SJ736 will be more powerful than what I have read the MB736 is....which I would not have expected. Baston has always been very good (and honest) about suggesting blanks for a given need. NFC so far has declined to offer any suggestions for my needs. I certainly would not let finish, or lack of, deter me. For example, I loved any of their titanium chrome colored blanks. Steve Gardner claims one of them, which I have, is the one square bill rod he has never failed to miss a strike, and land the fish on.

Russ in Hollywood, FL.

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Re: Need a little help from those that have built on the NFC Xray SJ blanks
Posted by: Spencer Phipps (---)
Date: October 17, 2020 12:57AM

They shorten the SJ804 to 7 1/2 ft. than build a salmon hover rod out of it at Edge Rods.

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Re: Need a little help from those that have built on the NFC Xray SJ blanks
Posted by: David Baylor (---)
Date: October 17, 2020 11:28AM

Russel, no problems as far as not speaking bass lingo. If you just share how you feel the power of the 703 compares to that of the 736, I can go from there. As far as what you've read about the MB736 X ray's power. If you're basing your concern partially on something I may have written about the blank's power, you should know that my opinions probably differ quite a bit from what others may feel. When I am fishing cover, I want a very powerful rod. I want rods with the power to move the fish on the hook set, and with the power to get it up and out of cover quickly.

For me the MB 736 doesn't fit that bill. Otherwise it has very good power.

And I love the color of the Immortal blanks. It just doesn't lend itself to the color combinations grip and thread colors that I want to use for this particular build. Personally, while I don't find the Immortal blanks to be quite on par with the X ray's from a sensitivity standpoint, I don't feel they are that far off. I love the Immortal line of blanks.

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Re: Need a little help from those that have built on the NFC Xray SJ blanks
Posted by: Russell Brunt (---.lightspeed.miamfl.sbcglobal.net)
Date: October 17, 2020 07:32PM

If I can believe FedEx I should have them on Tuesday. I hope they are one piece with no defects. I'm excited to feel them.

I'll need to read up on CCS. Care to recommend a scale at a reasonable price. Best if it can do double duty on the reloading bench.

Surprised nobody wants to comment on guide layouts/sizes and reels that balance nicely. Reckon I'll go KL16H, 8, 5.5M on one, KL20H, 10, 5.5m on another and KL25H, 12, 5.5M on the last one. That way I see what each one brings to the table. If the SJ736 is powerful enough to use as a 12-15# class inshore rod I would like the ability to fish mono on it.

Russ in Hollywood, FL.

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Re: Need a little help from those that have built on the NFC Xray SJ blanks
Posted by: Thomas Kaufmann (---)
Date: October 17, 2020 08:29PM

David, use citrus strip to remove the finish on the immortal. The sj’s definitely have more power than the MB’s by a long shot. I think the mb736 is best suited for finesse type stuff.

Tom

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Re: Need a little help from those that have built on the NFC Xray SJ blanks
Posted by: David Baylor (---)
Date: October 18, 2020 08:01AM

Russell, going by the guides you listed it appears you're going with a KR concept guide train. That is exactly what I would do. They perform beautifully, and far better than any factory rod (assuming they were laid out properly) that I've owned that uses an NGC or COF guide train.. Far less line slap, probably at least a 10% difference in casting distance, and far far lighter in weight.

As far as guide size goes, I use fluorocarbon line (Seaguar Tatsu) as the main line on all of my spinning gear. And even though Tatsu performs beautifully, it's still a fluorocarbon line. Because of that, I've used the KL 20H, KL 10H, and KL 5.5M on all of spinning rods I've built.

Concerning reel size.... I let the type of line, and the sizes of the line I'm using determine the size reel I use. With fluorocarbon line, or heavier nylon and co poly mono filaments, spool diameter plays a huge role in how well it handles on spinning gear. The larger the spool diameter, the better. I generally use 8 - 10# fluorocarbon line, so I use 3000 series Shimano reels on all of my spinning gear. For me, the rod's power or even its' length has no bearing on my choice of reel size. It's all line related.

And Thomas, I stripped the paint off of one of my old factory rods using Citri Strip. And while it was a bit time consuming and messy, it worked really well. I was more wishing a perfect world scenario concerning the Immortal blanks. lol And while I personally love the color of the Immortal blanks, I can't help but believe Rainshadow would sell a lot more of them if they offered them in a natural graphite finish.

Perhaps they only offer them painted because the paint covers up some blemishes that might not be well accepted by the rod building community. But based on the 2 Rainshadow blanks I've built on that had natural finishes, I'm kind of doubting that. Both of those blanks had beautiful finishes.

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Re: Need a little help from those that have built on the NFC Xray SJ blanks
Posted by: Russell Brunt (---.lightspeed.miamfl.sbcglobal.net)
Date: October 20, 2020 07:03PM

David thank for all your contributions to this thread.

Looking at your last post I was left a little speechless. Not sure if you are the lucky one or me:)

When you fish for everything from Bluegill to Tuna you just can't get by with one size reel, and therefore one size guide layout. It would sure cut down on my costs if I could. But on the other hand I think I'd get bored!

I can tell you this much. Saltwater fishing in the deep blue ocean can ruin you for other types of fishing so be forewarned. Nothing like being out of sight of land.....setting that hook and seeing a sailfish jump ten times as it rips 150+ yards of line of your reel in 6 seconds. Jump doesn't do it justice as they seem to dance across the water on their tail. You are in such awe you almost forget to fight the fish the first time in happens.

Russ in Hollywood, FL.

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Re: Need a little help from those that have built on the NFC Xray SJ blanks
Posted by: David Baylor (---)
Date: October 24, 2020 10:01AM

LOL Russell. I only fish for bass, and have been doing it for a long time, so that makes my reel choices much easier to make. I'm a Shimano guy when it comes to reels. Casting reels are all 200 series with varying retrieve speeds based on what baits the rod is used for. Spinning reels always 3000 series. The only difference between a 2500 Shimano and a 3000 Shimano is spool diameter, so because I use fluorocarbon line, I opt for the larger diameter spool.

My use of braided line is very specific, so I only have one reel with braid on it, and I just put on a rod if I am going to need it. I have a couple of other reels that I have nylon mono filament on that I'll put on various rods when I need a line that floats, or a line with a larger diameter to control how deep a bait will run on various retrieves. All my other reels have anywhere from 8 - 20# Tatsu fluorocarbon line on them.

I can only imagine the excitement you describe when hooking and fighting a sail fish. The closest thing for me would be when a big smallmouth or largemouth comes rocketing out of the water. I used to do quite a bit of fishing for steelhead trout (lake run, not ocean run) and those fish are jumpers as well. It is definitely a blast, and something that memories are made of. I can only imagine the power of saltwater fish as well. The closest thing I have around here that may even approach that kind of power would be flat head catfish. I've caught a couple of those approaching 40 lbs. while bass fishing. Then we have muskies, but compared to a flat head of the same size, they're kind of a sissy fish. They look a lot meaner than they are. The biggest muskie I've landed was 44". But I had one on that approached 50"

Definitely not like what I have seen on TV for saltwater fish, but fun.

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