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Trophy Lake Trout Jig Rod
Posted by: Daniel Grundvig (---)
Date: April 24, 2021 01:07PM

I'm grateful to all those on the forum posting helpful hints and answering our many questions- that's what makes this such a great forum!

Four years ago I posed a question asking for suggestions on building a short jig rod to target trophy lakers using 20# braid, 10-12# leader, using a 1 oz. jig. I received a few rod blank suggestions and one response stated that those specs for trophy lakers don't add up. Since then, I've worked with my friends in the intermountain west who mostly fish Flaming Gorge reservoir on the Utah/Wyoming border to develop a rod that meets their needs and this particular niche. I want to give the forum members some feedback on what I've learned and if any of my rod build suggestions can help anyone on the forum, then I'll feel like I've made a contribution to the forum. First off, I can attest that those specs do add up and those using these short jig rods consistently and frequently catch lakers ranging from 30 to over 40 pounds. The following will probably be obvious to the forum pros but I've learned a lot over the last four years.

A couple of things about rod blank specs when looking for the "perfect" blank (if there is such a thing): if a client wants to use 20# braid but uses a 10-12# leader, you don't need a rod rated 20#;
If a client wants to use a 1 oz. jig, you don't have to search for a rod rated for a 1oz. lure (this is a vertical jigging rod, not a casting rod)- if the rod can handle a large fish, it can certainly handle a large jig bounced off the lake bottom;
The client needs to describe the fishing technique he'll employ so you'll understand perfectly what the rod is intended to do. They wanted a fast action, stiff backbone to slowly bounce a heavy jig (Bondi, Gitzit, etc. some well over 1 oz.) several inches off the bottom and to be able to instantly set the hook when they felt the subtle pick-up:
The clients jig for hours for that one subtle bite so the rod must be very light and well balanced. Many jig with the rear grip under their armpit with heavy clothing so rear grip material can be a factor. These fishermen may not be aware of all the grip materials available- need to introduce/educate them in the many options not only in materials but configurations.

After trial and error, tons of on-the-ground evaluation and lots of success (built over 40 of these rods) here's what we came up with- these configurations have been the most popular:

BLANKS (all blanks trimmed to 5'6" by removing 6" from the butt except the United Composites which is already 5'6")
MHX Shooter (CS724-MHX) 6', 12-17#, 1/2 - 1oz, Fast Action, Heavy Power
RodGeeks Carbon 2 Series (C260MHF) 6', 10-20#, 3/8 - 1oz., Fast Action, Medium Heavy Power
United Composites Dual Helix (UC56H) 5'6", 8 - 25#, 1/4 - 1 oz., Fact Action
Note: I tried Lamiglas blanks and although they made beautiful rods, they were considered too soft for an effective hook set.

GUIDES (Spiral Wrapped)- brand of your choice
12, 10, 8, 6, 6, 6, 6 Tip-top 6. Note: many use these rods to also catch the trophy lakers through the ice and request larger guides so will bump up to 8's

GRIPS
EVA- Mudhole's thin vertical jigging grips have been the most popular. 13" rear, 3-1/2" fore. Other grips generally need to be turned down on the lathe to reduce weight and diameter

BUTT CAP
CRB or Fuji door knob most popular

REEL SEAT
17 or 18 casting/trigger grip

If anyone is interested in building something similar and wants suggested guide spacing feel free to pm me for more info. Love to hear from you.

Thanks, Dan

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Re: Trophy Lake Trout Jig Rod
Posted by: Gary Weber (173.241.113.---)
Date: April 25, 2021 03:21PM

Dan, thanks for sharing. Some of these things could help me in a jig build for walleye in the future.

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Re: Trophy Lake Trout Jig Rod
Posted by: Lynn Behler (---.44.66.72.res-cmts.leh.ptd.net)
Date: April 25, 2021 07:07PM

Needed to build a rod for this purpose last fall, (though it will likely never see a fish over 20lbs.) but it had to be 7ft.. I used an AT Matrix AMMBC846 XH 15-30lb. 1/2 to 1 1/2oz. I was out of my realm on this one. Hoping I did O.K. What do you think Dan?

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Re: Trophy Lake Trout Jig Rod
Posted by: Daniel Grundvig (---)
Date: April 25, 2021 07:45PM

Lynn, what I described above is certainly a niche rod for a specific jigging technique for a specific fish although many of these fishermen also use the rod with smaller lures for lake trout "pups" (any laker under 28") and for 2-4# kokanee. I consider myself a hobbyist (although I build a lot of rods for myself and friends) so would only be comfortable advising someone on this specific application. In years past, people targeting these trophy lakers have used rods of all lengths but have zeroed in on this length rod and this technique to up their game- it was somewhat of a paradigm shift from the old technique of trolling with a huge flatfish and wireline. To answer your question, "did you do ok?" If you or your customer learned a successful technique using this 7' rod then you did great. Keep in mind, the rod is only one of the arrows in your quiver.

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Re: Trophy Lake Trout Jig Rod
Posted by: Spencer Phipps (---)
Date: April 25, 2021 09:10PM

My last laker rod is a Lamiglas IM700 IMC807, 10-30 lb. line, 1 to 3 oz. lure weight. Originally designed as a frog rod blank, anything longer would have been difficult to fit in the bush plane. Original rods were telescoping 7 1/2 ft. flipping sticks with roller tips to wire line troll also.

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