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Favorite Smallmouth Bass builds
Posted by: Patrick Noll (---)
Date: November 20, 2022 03:27PM

I’m a Minnesota smallmouth bass junkie and love the rivers. Just going to post some of my favorite smallmouth blanks and some that I wanting to tryout. Feel free to post some of your favorites or comment.

1) mhx NEPS81MXF for Ned rig, finesse swimbaits, drop shot, wacky worm, Midwest worm, finesse tubes and even jerkbaits and small cranks
2) mhx NMB-873 anything bottom contact, larger swimbait, spinnerbait, buzz bait, blade baits, lipless up to 1/2 oz, finesse jig, can work topwater baits but a bit long.
3) mhx CB-845 square bills to wiggle warts. Any crankbait sub 10+ this thing is pretty killer for. Can work topwater in a pinch but flexes deep into the blank. Works well for open water swimbaits.
4) mhx MB-842 great for poppers, smaller walking baits, small swimbaits, sub 10’ crankbaits (flexes deep into the blank when hooked up), senko weightless and light T rig.

Interested in a NFC sj762 IM for small swimbaits, shad raps, hair jigs, spy baits. Think that length would be great in current and the IM over the HM for the moving baits. Would double as a slip bobber crappie rod. Also interested in the NFC HS7600 HM, the specs on that blank seem like it would be great for lighter bottom contact, tubes, lighter moving baits. Really think the length would be great for long casts and hook sets in current for aggressive smallies. Also would double as a walleye slip bobber and lindy rig rod.

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Re: Favorite Smallmouth Bass builds
Posted by: Spencer Phipps (---)
Date: November 20, 2022 04:32PM

The NFC 7600 is a great choice, both presentations. Also, bonefish, steelhead with plug, spinner, or spoon. Spawning Lake browns, any small stream salmon.

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Re: Favorite Smallmouth Bass builds
Posted by: Michael Danek (---.alma.mi.frontiernet.net)
Date: November 20, 2022 05:18PM

For EVERYTHING mentioned except deep cranks, Point Blank 701MLF. The only reason you may need another rod for anything else (other than deep cranks) is to have multiples set up with different lines. But for all finesse, consider that Point Blanks have the highest True Natural Freaquency of any other blanks I've tested, and I've tested quite a few.

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Re: Favorite Smallmouth Bass builds
Posted by: Matt Ruggie (---)
Date: November 20, 2022 07:19PM

I havent used any of the blanks since rodgeeks took over sellIng St croix blanks but the SC 66MLF, s66MF, 69MLXF(now 610MLXF), and 68MXF are some of my favorite smallie blanks. all these do alot of things well

MHX SJ781 is another favorite, very versatile , built mine as casting and really love it for small jerks and poppers but still fishes small nose hooked flukes) 1/16-1/8oz jig heads plus plastics (thin smaller stuff..neds, grubs, swimbaits) very well. great all round finesse casting

will be building a handful more this this winter that will see alot of smallie use. Immortal IMMS68ML and NFC xray SJ703 are 2 to note, should make great smallie finesse sticks. And i am hoping the xray SB684 works well as a 3-4" tube rod with 3/16-1/4oz insert heads and bottom contact baits on weighted hooks.

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Re: Favorite Smallmouth Bass builds
Posted by: Patrick Noll (---)
Date: November 20, 2022 10:50PM

Matt- I’ve been wanting to try the nsj871 but it’s always out of stock. I Would build as a spinning rod but very cool to hear you did a casting build with it.

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Re: Favorite Smallmouth Bass builds
Posted by: John Nesse (---)
Date: November 21, 2022 02:20PM

I am a fan of the NFC P703-1 and P704-1 blanks for smallies. I'd call the P-703 is a medium-light moderate-fast action with good power. The 704 has more power - I'd call it a medium moderate-fast again with excellent power. I tend to reach for the 703 when I'm on the Mississippi and the 704 when I'm on Mille Lacs - the 703 will easily handle a 20" smallie, but it's in the wheelhouse of the 704. I love them both for ned rigs. I also like the 704 for casting shad rap style crankbaits (e.g. jointed shad raps in shallow rocks). Both throw jigs really well. The 704 in particular is one of the more versatile rods I own.

These blanks have a somewhat more moderate action as you'd expect of something apparently designed for saltwater. That translates to a rod that casts light baits really well, especially shad raps are other light cranks that have a tendency to tumble when casted with a faster action rod. The slower action makes them incredible for fighting fish, too. But both blanks have a lot of power in spite of weighing next to nothing in the HM graphite. This is perhaps the most surprising thing about them. I've fished Loomis Greenwater rods and similar inshore saltwater blanks in similar actions. They always feel a little heavy. The 703 and 704 feel almost too light until you load them up. Put a soft touch VSS16 grip with a SKSS/ASH-16 rear locking graphite nut and a set of KR Concept guides with the KL-H reduction guides on either of these blanks and you won't regret it.

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Re: Favorite Smallmouth Bass builds
Posted by: Patrick Noll (---)
Date: November 21, 2022 02:58PM

John - That's great information I've been intrigued with the P703 HM after Lance mentioning it in a separate post. Now you are adding the P704 HM to the list, are you building these both as spinning rods then? I really like a soft tip and more of a parabolic bend with smaillies because they're really good at throwing a bait.

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Re: Favorite Smallmouth Bass builds
Posted by: Patrick Noll (---)
Date: November 21, 2022 02:58PM

Thanks for suggestions and information.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/21/2022 03:25PM by Patrick Noll.

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Re: Favorite Smallmouth Bass builds
Posted by: John Nesse (---)
Date: November 21, 2022 04:10PM

Patrick,

Yes - spinning rods. If your smallies are averaging 12-16" with only occasional fish larger, go with the 703. If you're frequently tangling with 18"+ fish, I'd recommend the 704. As you surmised, these rods are great at keeping fish pinned!

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Re: Favorite Smallmouth Bass builds
Posted by: Patrick Noll (---)
Date: November 21, 2022 05:17PM

I might build a p703 as a spinning rod and was thinking the p704 as a casting rod, I’d love to throw cranks with some extra feel. I tend to fish the upper Mississippi and there’s some dinks but we get some giants. We’ll see!

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Re: Favorite Smallmouth Bass builds
Posted by: Matt Ruggie (---)
Date: November 22, 2022 09:19PM

Patrick Noll Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Matt- I’ve been wanting to try the nsj871 but
> it’s always out of stock. I Would build as a
> spinning rod but very cool to hear you did a
> casting build with it.

Patrick
If its anything like the power/action of the sj781 then you wont be disappointed

Another i forgot to mention is the Phenix UMBX s700L. Also built as casting. I like it for Neds, Dropshot, and 3" senko style baits.

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Re: Favorite Smallmouth Bass builds
Posted by: Ross Montgomery (---.ipv6.telus.net)
Date: November 22, 2022 10:30PM

I use the ds721 for drop shots and find it great for the 1/4 to 3/8oz weights that I fish in 15-20’ of water. The extra length gives a good lever for the hook set and it has a great bend for the 4-6lb test I’m fishing. My next favourite technique is jerkbaits and I like the 110jr and the x80. I fish those on the sb683 in casting and have found it to work great and keeping the fish pinned. Then I have the sj703 which I’ve built in both spinning and casting for small swim baits. Then I have the sj732 in both casting and spinning for shakeyheads and small jigs and even tried some free rigging on it last year. I have a few other brand blanks but no big standouts. The rest are factory loomis mostly.

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Re: Favorite Smallmouth Bass builds
Posted by: Patrick Noll (---)
Date: November 23, 2022 04:42PM

Great suggestions, I appreciate everyone sharing!

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Re: Favorite Smallmouth Bass builds
Posted by: Ed Rose (---)
Date: November 27, 2022 07:16PM

Does anyone like the North fork FW-702 for smallmouth in rivers/streams?

I Just made an SB 722 and it is a bit stiff for my uses/lighter lures. Thinking the FW-702 would be about right.
thanks



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/27/2022 07:17PM by Ed Rose.

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Re: Favorite Smallmouth Bass builds
Posted by: Matt Ruggie (---)
Date: November 27, 2022 08:17PM

Ed Rose Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Does anyone like the North fork FW-702 for
> smallmouth in rivers/streams?
>
> I Just made an SB 722 and it is a bit stiff for my
> uses/lighter lures. Thinking the FW-702 would be
> about right.
> thanks

im actually surprised to hear ya say its too stiff from what ive read on that blank between here and other forums. heard some guys like it as finesse casting rods too. even read its similar to the xray SJ703 which ill be building shortly and flexing that blank it should make a really nice 1/16-1/8oz ned rod as well as throwing small swimbaits on similar weight heads.
what type lures/weights are ya throwing with it. what size smallies are ya targeting.

IDK anything about that FW blank but they strike me more in line with blanks labeled as "spinning" from loomis, MHX, and others, which tend to be less powerful than say SJ, MB,SB for the same lure ratings. i.e. mhx SJ781 vs mhx S782 both rated 1/16-5/16 but the SJ has way more power. The S782 never comes smallie fishing with me unless its a small creek (small fish) trip. Its a trout/panfish blank IMO. The SJ781 has handled smallies in current up to 20" for me.

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Re: Favorite Smallmouth Bass builds
Posted by: Ed Rose (---)
Date: November 27, 2022 10:34PM

Matt Ruggie Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>
>
> im actually surprised to hear ya say its too stiff
> from what ive read on that blank between here and
> other forums. heard some guys like it as finesse
> casting rods too. even read its similar to the
> xray SJ703 which ill be building shortly and
> flexing that blank it should make a really nice
> 1/16-1/8oz ned rod as well as throwing small
> swimbaits on similar weight heads.
> what type lures/weights are ya throwing with it.
> what size smallies are ya targeting.
>
> IDK anything about that FW blank but they strike
> me more in line with blanks labeled as "spinning"
> from loomis, MHX, and others, which tend to be
> less powerful than say SJ, MB,SB for the same lure
> ratings. i.e. mhx SJ781 vs mhx S782 both rated
> 1/16-5/16 but the SJ has way more power. The S782
> never comes smallie fishing with me unless its a
> small creek (small fish) trip. Its a trout/panfish
> blank IMO. The SJ781 has handled smallies in
> current up to 20" for me.

Matt - my usual lure is a 1/8 oz ball head jig hook with a twister - type / grub body or a paddletail minnow body. Also use roostertails and small rebel crawdads of similar weight - 1/16 - 1/4 oz.
I cast the SB722 side by side with an old Berkley rod of same specs, 7' ML, 1/8 - 3/8 oz. The old Berkley was a $30 rod and has 5 large guides and the SB 722 has 9 KL-H set of guides positioned as per the Fuji / AR calculator. Same reel and line was used on both rods. The old Berkley consistently outcast the SB722 by 5-10 feet with same lures (range 1/16 - 1/4 oz). Accuracy was equal.. Also had a friend cast both rods at the same time with the same results. Also the Berkley had more flex/feel when casting. the SB 722 had very little flex when casting and little feel/feedback from the rod when casting. I imagine it will have greater sensitivity when actually fishing tho.
Maybe the guides are the wrong size on the SB722? (Fuji alconite, 20, 10, 5.5, #5 running guides) ? This is my first time using a high end spinning rod and it seems my cheap rods launch the lures better.
As a long time fly fisherman it is like comparing the flex/feel of an old winston IM6 fly rod to a new sage ignitor, for lack of a better analogy.

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Re: Favorite Smallmouth Bass builds
Posted by: Spencer Phipps (---)
Date: November 27, 2022 10:35PM

Depending on how much lighter you may want to go, there is the SJ 732-1 Xray.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/29/2022 01:44AM by Spencer Phipps.

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Re: Favorite Smallmouth Bass builds
Posted by: Patrick Noll (---)
Date: November 28, 2022 10:34AM

I’ve never used the FW line seems like the mhx s or spinning line. Agree with Matt 100% those are panfish/trout rods. I’ve caught bass on them but you have zero control over the fish once hooked.

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Re: Favorite Smallmouth Bass builds
Posted by: Norman Miller (---.lightspeed.jcsnms.sbcglobal.net)
Date: November 28, 2022 11:25AM

For you information on CCS blank comparisons.
NFC FW702, IP=213 gm; AA=73
NFC SJ732 X-ray, IP=422 gm; AA=78
NFC SJ703 X-ray, IP=343 gm; AA=73
Don’t have any thing on the NFC SB722, but the NFC SB724 X-ray, IP=463 gm; AA=74.5
Norm

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Re: Favorite Smallmouth Bass builds
Posted by: Tim Scott (---.source.akaquill.net)
Date: November 28, 2022 12:30PM

Norm would you have data on the P703, P704 to compare with those others?

Also curious how the faster tip on SJ732 is on lighter lures vs SJ703.

Thanks

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