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Mangrove Snapper Rod
Posted by: Mark Brassett (---)
Date: July 08, 2021 08:07PM

I have a friend that wants two 7' mangrove rods. He will be using 65# braid and a heavy duty casting reel. Casting distance needs to be about 40 feet. When fishing for mangroves around the oil rigs in south Louisiana, we hover up-current about 50 feet and chum back into the rig. These snapper live in the upper water column and stay really tight to the rig. What he needs is a rod that is powerful enough to horse these snapper away from the rig. Drag is always set to max as they will get into the rig legs every time if you let them. The snapper are between 5# and 15#. The occasional 40# cobia is always a nice bonus.

I'm thinking 7' with a 10" cork handle, a reel seat, and 9 eyes plus the tip. Advice would be greatly appreciated on the components required to meet his needs.

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Re: Mangrove Snapper Rod
Posted by: Russell Brunt (---)
Date: July 09, 2021 08:00AM

I have no experience with your waters and fishing method. Sure wish the mangroves down here averaged that size!

I'd be inclined to look at a composite blank. I'd prioritize durability and strength over weight. Nine guides sounds about right and I'd use double foot guides for durability. You can go less, and single foot, if you spiral wrap. I'd want a grip material that can stand up to being in a rod holder and I'd want it long enough so the reel isn't hitting the gunnel. So for me, probably EVA and 12 inches. I also like a gimbal.

Calstar, Seeker, Lamiglas, and maybe United Composite are names I'd look towards. Plenty of other good choices. I've been particularly impressed with the triflex series. They fish beyond their ratings so don't go too heavy. 15-30# sounds about right IMHO.

FWIW I built something awhile back. Perhaps a bit overkill but I'll mention it as everything fit and matched perfect (pretty enough that once seen the total rod recipe was changed). Blank was a triflex inshore 7', 15-30#. Used a smooth butt rear grip, channel lock reel seat, perfection ball gimbal (one in black one in silver). Guides were black virtus lights in a 316 SS frame with nanolite rings. EVA grips with graphite gimbal and reel seat would suffice and save a lot of weight.

Here is a video on a triflex 20-40 lifting 40 pounds. I think you will agree you probably don't need something quite that strong. I wouldn't be afraid to try a 12-20# depending on weight of bait being cast. Grab one of your heavy rods and trying lifting 5 gallon buckets filled with 15, 20, 25, and 30#'s of water. If you have never done it you might be surprised. Be realistic about how you would actually hold and fish the rod. A raised platform, high porch/balcony helps.


Russ in Hollywood, FL.

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Re: Mangrove Snapper Rod
Posted by: Lance Schreckenbach (---.lightspeed.hstntx.sbcglobal.net)
Date: July 09, 2021 02:58PM

That is awesome Russ. I would say that is a contender. I would spiral wrap it and maybe go with a 7'6" to 7'10". Look at the Batson E Glass blanks also.

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Re: Mangrove Snapper Rod
Posted by: Mark Brassett (---)
Date: July 09, 2021 06:35PM

Thanks, Russell! I looked at the Seeker and think it would be nice but It isn't available so I found a Bushido MB73/15-30 7' with a .605 butt. I think you're right about the 12" rear grip and I'm looking at one in rubberized cork. The channel lock seat is definitely a go. My buddy doesn't want a gimbal so that's out. The black Vitrus guides would be perfect but not in stock so I'm looking at HD fuji double foot 16,12,10, 8,8,8,8,8,8 and a fuji tip.

I've fished mangroves in South Florida. While the average is much smaller, they make up for it in quantity and the bays are infested with them. Over here all of them on the inside are very small and under legal size.

If you want to get a shot at a 10 to 20 pounder give me a shout out. Best time is May and June.

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Re: Mangrove Snapper Rod
Posted by: Russell Brunt (---)
Date: July 11, 2021 05:22PM

Mark, let us know how it works out. Never tried a Bushido blank but have heard good things. My first thought is a freshwater bass graphite rod with a 15-30# rating is a very different animal than a saltwater rated composite with a 15-30# rating.

My brothers are up in Pensacola so maybe I will give you a shout out in the future. I'm at the age where I don't know if I want to sell and move up there, have them move down here, or go through the cost of having both locations available. The keys are nice but offshore Venice sounds like it is even better. Besides, we like to shoot and up north sounds better for that.

Best of luck to you and hope you slay them Mangroves!

P.S. FWIW my brother was an engineer on boats serving oil rigs in the gulf. He always fished much stouter tackle than I would for the same fish in my area. I suspect if you were on a private boat things would be a tad bit relaxed in that aspect.

Russ in Hollywood, FL.

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Re: Mangrove Snapper Rod
Posted by: Mark Brassett (---)
Date: July 11, 2021 07:14PM

Yeah, I really wanted that Seeker. I wonder if I can find it on a site other than Mudhole. On the other hand I really like that smaller butt diameter.

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Re: Mangrove Snapper Rod
Posted by: Russell Brunt (---)
Date: July 12, 2021 01:26AM

Mark, have you looked at what NFC has to offer? You have one more week left on their sale. Hard to pass up on those discounts and I have been a sucker for them lately. If you are afraid based on past experience/info be advised they have gotten their act together these days.

I have the Xray MB7109 but they offer the MB 709-1 in both IM and SM in the bass section. It is on the lighter side of what I'd pick for your needs but if you are looking at the Bushido it will certainly suffice.

I have the pelagic 705 and it doesn't weigh much. More rod than you need though. I'd think the pelagic 704 would do nicely. I don't need any more, having bought at least a dozen recently, but I'm strongly considering adding the SW 708-2 (and others). I think it would do and 2-piece is nice to have in the arsenal.

You haven't said much about how you will be fishing. In my experience, if you chum a lot you bring up other trash fish (jacks) and the fish hold tight to structure so you need more rod. If you fish live bait with minimal chumming the predator fish will venture away from structure and you can fish lighter tackle. If I'm chumming a lot and fishing cut bait I'd lean more towards the pelagic series and 4/0 type reel. If I'm fishing live bait the MB 709 and a 4000-5000 spinning reel is where I'm going. If I'm five yards from the pilings I'm feeling okay with that occasional 40# cobia. For a bit of both maybe the SW 708 with a Lexa/Tranx 400?

Sorry, I'm probably not helping at this point. Just tossing out ideas and suggesting you consider the NFC sale. I have been happy with what I bought, and at these prices, the blanks are a steal. Just hard to know what you are buying based on web site info.

Damn you Mark you just talked me into buying more of them NFC blanks! What an evil man you are! Did I/you mention you need three to qualify for 75% off and $200 for free shipping? Hmmmmm, HS 7600-2, BB 806-2, SW 708-2, HS 885-2. I just have to have a P 704-1 and don't you think I need the pelagic 704-1 too?

Russ in Hollywood, FL.

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Re: Mangrove Snapper Rod
Posted by: Mark Brassett (---)
Date: July 12, 2021 10:12AM

Now I'm in a quandary. What makes a bass blank different from a saltwater? I don't think the composite material knows the difference.

When we approach the rig, usually 30 to 50 feet depth, the driver hovers up current about 50 ' from the rig. About 1/2 cup of canned corn nibblets (they prefer DelMonte lol) is tossed toward the rig. A live cocahoe or a chunk of bonita is casted back. A short shank hook is tied to a 4' fluoro leader on heavy braid. The bite usually comes as the bait nears the rig. The smaller mangroves don't have the power to get into the pilings, but the 8# plus ones dive straight to them.

We can usually get 1 to 3 snappers to bite before they get wise (unbelievably smart fish). We then move to the next rig and repeat the process. We don't see many other species coming to the chum because we aren't there very long. The cobia will never bolt back to the rig and can be boated with lighter gear.

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Re: Mangrove Snapper Rod
Posted by: benjie bates (---.hfc.comcastbusiness.net)
Date: July 13, 2021 01:02PM

Here is my favorite

I have used this in the Atlantic and caught them up to 8-10lbs

We chum and drift back chunks, have sharks and goliath so you have to get them into the boat asap

i have had no problem getting them in fast and boat flipping to get away from predators

in fact i am about to build a duplicate bc i like it so much. Its also a great keys yellowtail rod

I went spiral wrap with double footed kw guides. kw12, kw10, 2 kw8 to kw6 runners

RodGeeks XC732 Blank

11inch discontinued winn wrap rear grip
soft foam butt no gimbal
Alps Alumium reel seat
small fore grip winn wrap
Tranx400 reel with 50braid then either a 20-30lb wind on flouro leader depending on how picky they are. I like to get a few turns around the spool of leader so you don't have to worry about re-tying for the trip.

That tranx is a beast of a little reel, plus it casts great and has the level wind so you can just have to crank them in, plus its a reel that you can hand to anyone and just tell them to feed line back until they get bit, then just start cranking

i have the double handle lower gear ratio

I love this little combo

its handy and light, the boys call it my "bass combo" but it puts them in the boat.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 07/13/2021 01:07PM by benjie bates.

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Re: Mangrove Snapper Rod
Posted by: Russell Brunt (---)
Date: July 13, 2021 06:40PM

"What makes a bass blank different from a saltwater?"

Good question. I'd say a question best answered by a honest blank manufacturer. You have the blank taper. You have the material used. You have the wall thickness.

Find someone who makes both freshwater and saltwater blanks. I think you will find the same power blank in the saltwater series will weigh more. One company told me the saltwater blanks are a 1/2 power heavier. They also said that if they built their freshwater blanks to dead lift the upper end of their rating nobody would buy them because they would weigh too much.

Everything has a weak link. I want my line to be it. You mention 65# braid and a locked down drag. Then you mention a freshwater bass blank with a 15-30# rating. What happens if a 50# cuda decides he wants your mangrove for dinner? I'd rather my line goes snap than my blank. You may feel differently. I set my drag at home with a spring scale. I use my thumb if I must keep a fish away from something.

P.S. I like Benije's suggestion a lot.. The leader provides that weak link I want. At 4.6 ounces I think the leader would break before the blank and that is something I require.

Russ in Hollywood, FL.

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Re: Mangrove Snapper Rod
Posted by: Mark Brassett (---)
Date: July 14, 2021 05:47PM

Its a delicate balance. Lock down only until you get the fish away from the rig, then adjust the drag accordingly. We have a catch rate on the larger snapper of maybe 50%. the other 50% get into the rig or cut the leader or just pull off. Last weekend we were fishing speckled trout in about 8' of water and the same guy that wants the snapper rod hooked a 25# jack. Normally we would just thumb the reel and pop it off but he wanted to take a pic for his grandson that wanted to see a big fish. He was using a 7' ML I built for him and had the heavy braid with a fluoro leader (It was built for 12# mono). After wasting 10 minutes on the beast he finally locked down the drag and about 10 seconds later the rod snapped midway. "No, you can't get a free replacement".

Maybe I should bite the bullet and get a saltwater with a big ole butt.

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Re: Mangrove Snapper Rod
Posted by: Russell Brunt (---)
Date: July 15, 2021 12:33PM

"Maybe I should bite the bullet and get a saltwater with a big ole butt."

Maybe not for you Mark.....but for your friend it sounds like a smart idea.

As a rule of thumb I'd say it is very hard to get 10#'s dead lift per ounce of blank and easy to get it at 2 ounces. Consider adding a couple/few of feet of 20-30 mono between the braid and the leader as a weak link. Say about 3-4.5 ounce blank weight for you and 4-6 ounce for your friend, depending on weak link strength. A lot is in the balance of the blank. For example the Batson RCLB series feels light in the hand despite being in that 2 ounce per line rating area. Chances are, you guys aren't obsessing about an ounce or two of reel weight so don't freak about it in the butt of a rod blank.

Still like the triflex for your friend and would suggest St. Croix/Rodgeeks inshore 2 series for you. I haven't fished the new offerings but the old St. Croix offered a nice mix of weight, durability, and sensitivity. I'd look at 10-20#-12-25# for your needs. I have the 8-17# and 15-30#. The SW2's are versatile enough to fish both end of their ratings. I like to get an extra reel spool and load one near the bottom of the rating with mono and the other near the top with braid. Let's one rod cover snapper/trigger fish to dolphin/blackfin tuna. You can do a lot with 200-250 yards of 10-15# mono and 20-30# braid in our southern waters.

Russ in Hollywood, FL.

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