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Overwhelmed Newbie rod builder. Need advice
Posted by: Timf1981 (---.mpls.qwest.net)
Date: January 09, 2021 07:31PM

First time builder. Overwhelmed with choices.
I do know I want a .....
Spinning rod
Med-light
Fast or extra fast action.
6'10" up to 7'6"
1/8 oz. popper. Mostly teased,
Braid 6 to 10 lbs.
2 or 3 or 4 pc.
Shortish handle . About 9 inches

This rod will be strictly for fishing smallmouth bass from a canoe with a 1/8oz. popper.
10hrs per day on the water. For week long fishing trip.
CASTING DISTANCE IS TOP PRIORITY when casting a 1/8 oz. popper. We ave been doing this for 30 years so we have become pretty darn accurate

I own a 7ft St Croix Triumph TRS70MLF2 1/8 to 1/2oz. And have no issues with it. Maybe a little tip soft/whippy.
But I have always wanted to build something.
I know quality of blanks differ greatly. But I don’t know how the rods I listed below compare to one another.
And I don’t want something so light that it can be fragile.
My rods do week long canoe trips. I am more than willing to look at something from another manufacturer.

Here are some rod blanks I have found at Mud Hole.
2 piece
SJ9000-2 MHX 7’6 ML-F 1/16 -3/8oz. $90 maybe my favorite
SJ842-2 MHX 7’0 ML-F 1/8-1/4 oz.$66
3 piece
TR842-3 MHX 7’O ML-F 1/8-1/2 oz.$95
TR902-3 MHX 7’6 ML-F 1/8-1/2 oz. $113

Here are two from Batson catalog
Revelation RX7 2 piece
REVS72ML-2SB 7’2 ML-F 1/8-3/8oz. Cost $ ???
REVS76ML-2SB. 7’6 ML-F 1/8-3/8oz. Cost $ ???
I believe I held a one piece blank, REVS68ML-SB and the tip to more pressure to bend and was less wiggly then my St Croix

Here are some totally built rods from St Croix.
If I could find these blanks. That would be awesome.
AVS70MLXF2. 7’0. ML-XF 1/8-3/8 oz. $230 handle#4
AVS760MLXF2. 7’6. ML-XF 1/8-3/8 oz. $220 handle#4 favorite blank if I can find it. Also mud hole SJ9000-2 7’6
ATS70MLF3. 7’0 ML-F. 1/8-1/2oz. $260 3 piece
TSR66MLF4. 6’6 MLF 1/8-1/2oz. $150 4 piece

I have additional question how much spool size(lip diameter) affects casting distance. And how much spool size affects drag smoothness.

Will the larger spool LIP DIAMETER give me greater casting distance with 6 to 10# braid ?

Will larger spool diameter give me a smoother drag when fighting 2-4 lbs smallies?

Also inches of line per crank is a consideration.
Most fish are caught within 5 ft of shore. So we spend a lot of time reeling in fast for the next cast.
For forever I have been using Shimano reels with quickfire. Inexpensive, heavy reels.
I will be buying a Daiwa Tatula LT . Or maybe two. But I haven't decided on size. No matter which size I choose. I will be significantly reducing reel weight from what I have used in the past.
Tatula LT
4000= 7.4oz,26.4# drag and 39.8 inches per crank.
3000=6.3oz, 22# drag and 36.8in..
2500=6.3oz, 22# drag and 34.5 in.
2000= 5.8 oz, 11#and 32in
1000=5.8 oz, 11# drag. And 30.5inches
I have been told the 2000 just has just a deeper spool than the 1000. But I am guessing the 2000 spool has a greater diameter because its inches per crank is more than the 1000.
The new Shimano Vanford VFC2000 Is 5.3oz.7# drag and 32in per crank. But has no anti reverse switch that the Tatula LT has. But I would consider it because of its very light weight.


Don't be shy to give advice on guides or handles or anything else. Once again, casting distance is a priority.
And I HATE TIP WRAP.
I read somewhere rod guides can help prevent.
I dont think I would notice a guide that wasn't the best when reeling in a fish if it was the best guide for casting distance. But obviously don't want an eye the braid will cut into the guide.

Power Pro Super Slick V2 and Berkly 9x braided lines are my current plan.
57 ¾ years old. budget. $100 -$220ish
Would like to save weight were possible without going crazy. I would also like to paint the blank. Maybe sparkles? Yellow? Lime Green?. Sparkly Porsche green.
I have a good mechanical ability . And like to be a little creative.
Let me know if you need any more info.

Minneapolis Minnesota area
THANKS…
Ps.
Besides the rod blank. What can I expect to pay for the rest of the parts?
And what can I expect to pay for building materials for a few rods?



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01/10/2021 03:18PM by Timf1981.

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Re: Overwhelmed Newbie rod builder. Need advice
Posted by: Barry Weaver (---)
Date: January 09, 2021 07:44PM

do you close your bail by hand or by handle?
if you close it bye the handle it throws a loop around tip, try closing
it by hand and see how it does,I think you be surprised.

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Re: Overwhelmed Newbie rod builder. Need advice
Posted by: ben belote (---.zoominternet.net)
Date: January 09, 2021 09:17PM

Closing the bail by handle has helped sell a lot of K guides..do as Barry says, close by hand and give the line a tug to tighten the wraps on the spool..

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Re: Overwhelmed Newbie rod builder. Need advice
Posted by: Kendall Cikanek (---)
Date: January 09, 2021 09:40PM

Quickfire is likely a big part of your wrap issue. Those auto-bail casting features were really popular about 25 years ago. Now, they are missing from manufacturers’ lines, or relegated to the bubble packaged class of reels, because of tangle and reliability issues. Building a custom rod with that level of reel is a bit of a mismatch. You are on the right track with what you are now talking about. Rod geeks (now, St. Croix) sells a variety of blanks similar to what you described as liking.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01/09/2021 09:44PM by Kendall Cikanek.

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Re: Overwhelmed Newbie rod builder. Need advice
Posted by: Spencer Phipps (---)
Date: January 09, 2021 10:05PM

If you think your rod's tip is to soft, the two 7 1/2 ft blanks you mentioned will be also to soft, they will cast well, just not pop well, compared to your rod.

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Re: Overwhelmed Newbie rod builder. Need advice
Posted by: Ray Raff (---.customer.broadstripe.net)
Date: January 09, 2021 10:05PM

As far as the reel goes,

I believe Vanford is very similar to the stradic fl just uses lighter material. I have an FL and can't recommend it enough for anything around the $200 price point. One of the main "features" shimano added when they released those models was the long stroke spool. Longer spools mean that the line changes direction less frequently and increases casting distance.

For size, it is either a 2500 or a 1000. No reason at all to go larger than 2500 for smallmouth. 1000 would work too. they are lighter but you'll get less casting distance and they twist line twice as fast as a 2500.

As for lip diameter, I think the most important piece is where the line lays in relationship to the lip. Adding more line will allow it to pass over the lip with less friction, but if you add to much you will get knots.

Since you mentioned you had a limited budget. Check out the Pacbay Arctos - ASP872-2 at $50. It has moderate action and might help keep those small trebles pinned.

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Re: Overwhelmed Newbie rod builder. Need advice
Posted by: Kendall Cikanek (---)
Date: January 09, 2021 11:03PM

Unless I have a planned upgrade in an out year, I match everything on a rod build and it’s accompanying reel in regards to price and performance. It’s when every part is of similar specification that the magic happens. If you put the Vanford on a 1.5 oz blank with light guides and similar components, it’s going to be a wonderful outfit. If you are going to compromise on the blank and bits, then I would recommend dropping down in what you spend on the reel. Something as light as the Vanford isn’t going to be well realized on a heavier rod with less than good balance.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/09/2021 11:04PM by Kendall Cikanek.

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Re: Overwhelmed Newbie rod builder. Need advice
Posted by: Spencer Phipps (---)
Date: January 09, 2021 11:51PM

The TR 902 3 pc may work if it got a tip like the 2 power popping rods out there. One thing we all need to remember is that we all can usually cast further with our rods than we can effectively fish them, braid doesn't fix everything, braid that small will fish well on all those reel sizes, the microwave guide system maybe a good idea, or the KR system also.
Drag power should not be a concern for you, if they are accurate measurements they are in the range of deep sea reels used on huge fish since the 30's that are still produced today. If I have an 8 lb drag I have all I need for most freshwater fish, certainly any smallmouth.

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Re: Overwhelmed Newbie rod builder. Need advice
Posted by: Kendall Cikanek (---)
Date: January 10, 2021 12:39AM

I fished avidly for smallmouth in Minnesota for ten years, with some of this time spent as a working fisheries biologist. I’ve caught many between 3.5 to 6 lbs. smallmouth from canoes. Most of these were caught on a Stradic 1000 when really light lures were used. I certainly never ran out of drag as there are only so many beans you can put to a quality smallmouth on a long, light rod.

It’s important that any angler selects their outfit based on the parameters that are most applicable to the intended use. In your case, it’s fairly extreme parameters. You throw really light, aerodynamically challenged lures, which need to be worked a certain way. Rods that load well in this weight rang aren’t the ones that muscle in large smallmouth with aplomb. You are throwing poppers that are down in the ultra-light to light range. Thus, it seems like anything much larger than a 1000 sized reel is going to have trouble casting them as far. I’ve got a really shallow spooled Daiwa 2506 PE, it doesn’t handle the light, fluffy stuff as well as the 1000 sized reels. I do get more wind issues with braid and light lures on it. You likely need to stay long and light to cast without issues. This likely means playing the fish a bit longer on a smaller reel.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/10/2021 05:10AM by Kendall Cikanek.

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Re: Overwhelmed Newbie rod builder. Need advice
Posted by: Russell Brunt (---.lightspeed.miamfl.sbcglobal.net)
Date: January 10, 2021 10:57AM

I'm not familiar enough with northern smallmouth fishing to have much to offer.

If I were fishing from a canoe and wanted a short rear grip on a 7" to 7'6" rod....I'd be concerned with ending up with a tip heavy rod. So I'd be inclined to go with a little heavier metal reel over a lighter composite. Hard to go wrong with a Stradic FL IMHO. The 1000 and 2000 are the same reel so an extra spool gives you both sizes. Same thing on the 2500 and 3000. For balance reasons I'd probably lean towards the 2500. Should cast a little farther and give some leeway if you have to break off/cut back line.

I agree with Spencer. I have the SJ900-2 and it doesn't have the tip for a popper. I would add a saltwater popping rod blank to your list.

Rodgeeks sells the St. Croix blanks and will paint them for you. Seems like a natural fit but they lack 2pc offerings in the higher model lines. The bass/carbon 2 series will be more durable though. They are like your Triumph. The 4 series is the step above Avid....or at least I think the Avids were 3 series which I am sad to see that rodgeeks doesn't offer.

I wonder why you seem to be leaning towards an extra-fast action. While it would be good for casting such light offerings it just doesn't seem right for poppers and treble hooks.

To me, your application screams for fly rod fishing. They fish poppers great. You aren't wasting fishing time reeling back to the boat. Your casting distance won't change much if you decide you want to fish an even smaller (or larger) poppers. If you have never fly fished you could learn enough in one day (with some help from an instructor/friend/local club) to be effective at catching fish. And they are just more fun to catch a fish on:)

Russ in Hollywood, FL.

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Re: Overwhelmed Newbie rod builder. Need advice
Posted by: Norman Miller (---)
Date: January 10, 2021 11:13AM

Both MHX and Rainshadow Revelation Blanks are excellent buys for the money. I have built on all the rod blanks you have listed and I have had no complaints with any of them. They will all do the job. The MHX SJ blanks are actually a little faster and more powerful than the Revelation blanks. I would classify the MHX blanks in the fast to extra fast range and the Revelations in the moderate fast to fast range. The larger butt sections of the MHX SJ gives them a little more power. They are all quite light and responsive. The nice thing about the MHX travel rods is they do break down into a relatively small package, but yet fish very nicely. I don’t think you would go wrong with any of them.
I would certainly use a KR concept guides for the guide train and a reel seat and grip of your choice. You can certainly put together a very nice component list for around $50, depending on what you choose. All of the various ceramic guides are extremely resistant to grooving. In fact you can’t cut or even scratch any of the various ceramic inserts with a hacksaw blade. So they will all hold up to braid.
I own a Daiwa Tatula 2500, as well as a bunch of Stratic 2500 and 3000 Ci4s. They are all very nice reels which cast and hold up very well. I normally use 10 to 15 pound test eight strand braid with a fluorocarbon or monofilament leader attached via an FG knot. Been using the Daiwa J X8 braid recently and it appears to be a good buy for the money. Hope this helps.
Norm

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Re: Overwhelmed Newbie rod builder. Need advice
Posted by: Kendall Cikanek (---)
Date: January 10, 2021 02:10PM

Do you work the popper panfish, tease and skip style, or are you fully working it like a larger popper? Doing the later, seated in a canoe, is really hard for extended periods. It also requires a shorte rod than what is optimal for casting light lures long distances.

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Re: Overwhelmed Newbie rod builder. Need advice
Posted by: Timf1981 (---.mpls.qwest.net)
Date: January 10, 2021 02:38PM

Once again. Thanks for all the replies.

First, will everyone that has posted above be notified of this reply?
Or do I need to reply individually?

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Re: Overwhelmed Newbie rod builder. Need advice
Posted by: Norman Miller (---)
Date: January 10, 2021 05:28PM

We all see it.
Norm

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Re: Overwhelmed Newbie rod builder. Need advice
Posted by: Timf1981 (---.mpls.qwest.net)
Date: January 10, 2021 09:52PM

Last year I started closing the bail by hand to prevent wind knots and loops over the top of the spool.
How does using the crank cause a tip wrap?
Thanks.

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Re: Overwhelmed Newbie rod builder. Need advice
Posted by: Timf1981 (---.mpls.qwest.net)
Date: January 10, 2021 09:54PM

I dont understand your comment about K guides and closing bail by hand.
Are you recommending K guides.
Thanks

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Re: Overwhelmed Newbie rod builder. Need advice
Posted by: Timf1981 (---.mpls.qwest.net)
Date: January 10, 2021 10:07PM

This is the only med-L fast 2 piece St. Croix blank that Rodgers sells.
SCV70MLF2
$195.00
Thats double most if the blanks I listed

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Re: Overwhelmed Newbie rod builder. Need advice
Posted by: Timf1981 (---.mpls.qwest.net)
Date: January 10, 2021 10:10PM

I mostly tease the fish. I rarely "POP"it or walk the dog.
So heavier is not needed

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Re: Overwhelmed Newbie rod builder. Need advice
Posted by: Timf1981 (---.mpls.qwest.net)
Date: January 10, 2021 10:30PM

I picked up vanford 3000 6.4:1 and a Daiwa Balistic LT 2500.
The vanford long spool was only about 1/8 inch taller.
Even my wife who does not fish was surprised how much louder while cranking the vanford was compared to the Ballistic.
I returned the Ballistic because I could save $35 with the Tatula. And not have do deal with the Mag seal of the Ballistic.
And will probably return the vanvord.

I specifically mention spool "lip" diameter . Because spool diameter changes as line goes out.
Weather or not I get a large or small spool. I will fill the spool up to roughly the same distance from the lip.
Thanks...

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Re: Overwhelmed Newbie rod builder. Need advice
Posted by: Barry Weaver (---)
Date: January 10, 2021 10:38PM

when you use the handle, it throws a twist in the that ends up at the tip. if you watch the line when you use the handle to close bail you will see how it does twists the line. closing by hand stops that from happening.

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