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Spiral Wrap BFS UL
Posted by: Charlie Visek (---.client.mchsi.com)
Date: March 14, 2023 08:29AM

Have caught the BFS bug. Has anyone has built an ultralight/spiral wrap baitcasting rod for trout or panfish? I have a couple old Abu Garcia UL spinning rods I may scrape and attempt. Seems it would create better line flow through the guides. Use of fiberglass blanks would IMO provide a more appropriate soft action. Any comments or solid advice always welcome.


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Re: Spiral Wrap BFS UL
Posted by: roger wilson (---)
Date: March 14, 2023 09:01AM

The main advantage of a spiral wrap is to reduce rod twist while fighting a big fish on a strong rod.

For the case of an ultra light rod - this tends NOT to be either case. i.e. the rod is a very soft action low powered rod. The fish being caught on a rod of this type tend NOT to be big and strong fish with a lot of pull.

Hence, the reasons for building a rod as a spiral wrapped rod are both essentially not present.

However, if you wish to build a rod of any type of casting rod with a spiral wrap- go for it.

But, be aware, that you are not likely to see any advantage, but in fact my actually see a disadvantage.

But, build it, use it and give us all a user review. Everyone is always interested in new information.

Best wishes

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Re: Spiral Wrap BFS UL
Posted by: Charlie Visek (---.client.mchsi.com)
Date: March 14, 2023 09:08AM

Thanks Roger. That's why I belong to this forum. Research first to get professional guidance with explanation.

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Re: Spiral Wrap BFS UL
Posted by: Tim Scott (---)
Date: March 14, 2023 09:11AM

I’ve built a couple. Works great. Rod tip up, spiral, rod tip down traditional. Just one old fat dudes opinion.

Let us know how it goes!

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Re: Spiral Wrap BFS UL
Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: March 14, 2023 09:19AM

A "soft" action does not exist. Action is independent of material. Glass rods can have a fast action and graphite rods can have a slow action. Action is where the rod initially flexes. Most likely you're talking about rod "speed" where glass is almost always going to react and recover more slowly than most carbon rods.

A spiral wrap on a bait casting UL rod would be fine. It will eliminate any tendency to twist under load. Consider it a nice project to try.


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Re: Spiral Wrap BFS UL
Posted by: Charlie Visek (---.client.mchsi.com)
Date: March 14, 2023 09:36AM

Thanks Tim & Tom, yeah, that's what I meant Tom. I was just reading the post by Mo from over a year back. So it's a maybe. If I do I'll update. I think I have the handle components and microwave guides on hand to give it a go. Weather here in Iowa should be good enough in a couple weeks to try it out at some farm ponds I have permission to fish. The BFS craze has done one thing at least; put sport back into many types of fishing!

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Re: Spiral Wrap BFS UL
Posted by: El Bolinger (50.233.0.---)
Date: March 14, 2023 10:08AM

2 Things Charlie - Why has the bug bitten you so hard? I've been curious about BFS, but still haven't been sold on just not using light spinning gear.

Secondly, I would say that the spiral wrap would also pretty much eliminate the line catching around the tip like with conventional casting layouts. Maybe its just me, but every now and then my line will find its way around my tiptop and I have to spin my rod around, or I don't notice and my next cast leads to a huge pain in the neck mess.

There is also the potential that you might end up with less guides/wraps/epoxy with a spiral wrap, which would keep the blank closer to its natural IP and AA - huge differences are doubtful, but custom "I coulda optimized this better" differences are possible.

Some people say it gives a better feel when controlling a fish that's pulling to the side - related to that rod twist Tom mentioned.

IDK how much spiral wrap experience you have, but some dudes are totally sold and all their rods or with a twist and others couldn't get paid to use one... okay they'd probably accept cash to fish, but they won't build one out of pocket.

Let us know what you do, if you already have experience with typical BFS set ups it would make for a great learning experience to compare.

Building rods in MA, daydreaming of fishing in CA

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Re: Spiral Wrap BFS UL
Posted by: Michael Danek (192.183.62.---)
Date: March 14, 2023 10:25AM

If you are considering rebuilding old spinning rods it's easy to put (tape if necessary) a baitcasting reel onto them to see how you like their power and action as baitcasters. I think most don't really understand how low powered a rod has to be to be a good BFS rod that casts well. It's sort of a tight spot because for casting I think you would really like an ERN less than 10, but for handling fish you don't want to go much lower than about 10.

I was surprised recently when I did this with a new Daiwa SV103 and found I could cast a ned much better than I ever expected to be able to do. I have a couple fishing friends who just plain like baitcasters better than spin, and they like the idea of baitcasting very light lures.

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Re: Spiral Wrap BFS UL
Posted by: Charlie Visek (---.client.mchsi.com)
Date: March 14, 2023 12:56PM

I agree with this; "just plain like baitcasters better than spin",
I grew up using Pflueger Akron, Nobby and Shakespeare Service 1944 reels for catfish and flathead fishing. I used a baitcaster when wading. Actually was invited onto my first bass boat while fishing on a dock at Lake Roosevelt (AZ). The guy was getting ready to launch and said "can you cast a baitcast reel?" I said, "a level wind"? He laughed and handed me a Abu Garcia 4600 in told me to cast it a few times. I did without backlash, Made several trips with the Florida guy, who gave me a lot of tough love about bass fishing while we were at the same campground. My mentor, everyone should have one! I remember stopping to see the big bass a couple guys from Field & Stream caught. Right then I realized I needed to throw bigger bait!
But now BFS. As a bank fisherman, you might get a hit from a fish you didn't expect. I've been fortunate to catch many large freshwater fish. The 12 1/4" green sunfish and #5 smallie catches I enjoyed the most due to the challenge of light or cheap or both tackle and concerned about my chances to land it. I fish less an less with spinning combos. Since I usually catch-n-release and have always wanted a bait caster that could throw a 1.8g - 3.5g bait, having BFS may put my spinning combos in a box. I like put a bait where I want it (easy now), and much prefer the feel of the fight on a baitcast combo. There's my reasons, sorry, well not sorry, for the rambling. I fact, I had to take break to purchase a throw-back! Ambassadeur 4600-C3 after thinking about my AZ trip. Oh, the memories.
Now I'm done.

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Re: Spiral Wrap BFS UL
Posted by: Lance Schreckenbach (---.lightspeed.hstntx.sbcglobal.net)
Date: March 14, 2023 03:54PM

What size line in mono will you be using and what baitcaster reel? I think its a great idea. The spiral setups I do work in exactly the range you are using them for except mine go up to larger heavier top water lures. Don't be discouraged, I like the direction you are going in. I cast a little 1/16 oz jig head with my baitcaster spiral wrapped using a Shimano Curado DC 150, Core 50, or a 13 Fishing Concept C with ceramic bearings. It is a 7' NFC P703-1 cut down to 6'9" from the butt using 9 guides (Fuji RV6, KB5, KB4,4,4,4 & KT4,4,4 and 4.5 tip top). I used to do 7'6" G Loomis P9000 blank and it cast the small lures really well. I would look at the NFC Salmon / Steelhead blanks lf you want something longer; HS7600-1 or HS7400-1. For even lighter look at the St741-1 this may be the ticket for all light. I am using mine for 10lbs mono and catching speckled trout, redfish, flounder and snook with them.

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Re: Spiral Wrap BFS UL
Posted by: Spencer Phipps (---)
Date: March 14, 2023 04:08PM

Are you still having to glue the ST741-1 together into a one piece, or are they sending them out as a one piece now?

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Re: Spiral Wrap BFS UL
Posted by: Mark Talmo (---)
Date: March 14, 2023 07:51PM

While it may be well accepted and understood that the non-torque / stability benefit of a spiral wrapped bait casting rod is more noticeable and appreciated as the size and power of the fish rises, there isn’t really any reason it wouldn’t work on an UL baitcaster, except for possibly one. Unless you are extremely good with a baitcasting reel, it may be difficult to cast very small (<1/8oz) lures as well (far) as with a spinning reel. I’m not that good = my ULs are spinning. Nonetheless, (admittedly more as a novelty) I may have built the world’s smallest spiral wrapped rod just because I could. It’s fun seeing the reactions of crew and clients of tuna charter boats when they notice it in the racks next to serious 100 lb rods. rods![www.rodbuilding.org]

Mark Talmo

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Re: Spiral Wrap BFS UL
Posted by: Lance Schreckenbach (---.lightspeed.hstntx.sbcglobal.net)
Date: March 14, 2023 07:55PM

Spencer Phipps Wrote:
> Lance,
> Are you still having to glue the ST741-1 together
> into a one piece, or are they sending them out as
> a one piece now?

I have not actually purchased that blank. Just looking at the specs for his application it looked like it would be suited for his purpose. On their site it is supposed to be a 1 piece. I was looking at stuff that was similar to what I got from G Loomis back in the 90s that was in the 7'2" to 7'6" range that worked good for light plastics on a baitcaster with the lightest being 1/16 oz. Now I use a shorter blank the P703-1 cut down to 6'9". This works good on a little bit of everything that I throw at them. If he wants or needs a little more distance then the longer light rod will cast really light lures the best.

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Re: Spiral Wrap BFS UL
Posted by: Charlie Visek (---.client.mchsi.com)
Date: March 14, 2023 11:09PM

Mark, guys; appreciate all the love. I'm very good with a baitcaster. I rarely use brakes and leave the spool just short of having side-to-side play. On an 36 degree afternoon last week, without wind (enemy of BFS) I was outside getting a Curado BFS XG spooled with #8 braid(thread) tuned in. Shimano spool clearance pretty close. The #8 thread didn't seem to fit in between. A bit tougher thumbing in the cold temps, but managed several casts of near 60 feet with a 2.2g jig/twister tail (1.75g jig,+ 0.7g). The rod, a 2016 Daiwa Presso PSO702ULFS scraped, spline checked, shortened butt of blank by 2" and wrapped conventional with some PacBay near micro guides purchased at Utmost. It bend tested out in the range of mod-fast L power rod.

In 2017, with a Bantam 10 and #12 braid attached, I was casting a 3/16oz jig/Keitech and hooked a wiper which scaled at #4.32, (yes, I log my fish). It took me over 4 minutes to get it to the net. The boat owner seemed to get impatient because it was taking so long or a bit jealous once I got it in the boat. Took a photo and released. But I also hooked myself. Since 2021, many manufacturers are producing BFS baitcasters. UL spools w/micro spool bearings and a drag clicker that has a similar sound of a spinning reel! Seems the Aldebaran BFS 2016 is still the king but many others catching up fast. Think about the fun throwing drop shot with a #4 octopus hook and a 6" roboworm. Bam! Could make for some excitement. Remember when we fished for bass with #6 - #10 Stren? I think the braid line strengths commonly used in bass fishing is way overkill, but understand the line has to resist break-off of heavy lures, allow dragging in vegetation and thicker braid is easier for casting. But come on #30-#50 braid for frog fishing? Have you ever tried pulling something even 10 pounds with a MH combo? I tried pulling a coaster wagon that per an attached scale took 3 pounds of force to move with a MH combo with #20 braid. The rod bent to the first guide and the wagon was barely rolling. Basically, like a 20 lb. snapping turtle (been there done that!). Do you plan to catch a bass to the size which would equal that?

Back on the subject, the right blank essential. I need a blank with a slower/longer bend to get best casting results. Instead of purchasing a $150+ XUL 5' trout rod I want to make my own. I'm thinking maybe using a butt shortened 2pc. fly rod blank that equals the same characteristics. Any suggestions? Want to keep the blank expense below $60, so with components, it would be a $100 build.

I plan to target panfish and bass. Lures I want to cast: #0, #1 and #2 Mepps and also the tiny wee Rebel Crawdad which I added live rubber antennae (great for catching big crappie), plus soft nymph baits like small hellgrammites (<3.5g or 1/8oz.) I've been busy making proportionately sized lures like spinnerbaits and a Mepps-like buzz bait with a tied squirrel tail that will fit within a limit of 3/16oz(full bait weight, not just the head weight). I also found some knock-off Realis Pencil 60mm 3.2g walking and a 3/16oz whopper plopper that I'll throw with my current Daiwa mod. Yup, may be looking for trouble. Why braid? Smaller diameter equals more line on the small spool and much lighter for casting. Line is so thin, I use cheaters to string the guides. I doubt fluoro is of any advantage. Probably going to lose some good sized fish, but we all know what happens if that occurs. We get more intent on conquering the challenge.

Not trying to sell anything, just getting the word out about BFS. There are some Asian anglers on YouTube casting 1/20oz trout magnets to 30' so accurate and below shoreline overgrowth, it's amazing. The Japanese are credited with BFS who fish tight quarter trout streams.
Here's link to the most complete information about BFS. [fishingdiscoveries.com] I receive no monetary benefit.

Again, thanks for the attention and being a great sounding board for my projects.


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Re: Spiral Wrap BFS UL
Posted by: El Bolinger (---.bstnma.fios.verizon.net)
Date: March 15, 2023 12:51AM

@Charlie - I'll tell ya man I'm almost sold, I've seen some of those videos before, and I think somebody with an attention to detail as you seem to have will appreciate your bfs spiral wrap to the max.

The biggest thing for me is the upfront investment in something I might not like, needs a rather particular type of reel and rod and there is nobody I know who does anything with bfs for me to at least get a feel for for it. I think more so the reel as I'm sure I could find/build a well enough rod.

I just decided to start logging my catches (the end of last season) with a screen shot of my weather app so I can see the pressure and if it's rising/dropping, wind, I'll add location and lure if it's not in the pics of the fish. I overlay the weather screen shot and add text to the fish pic so that I can have it all consolidated. Before I started logging one of my most heart thumping catches was a bass around 5.35 pounds on a Ned rig using a 7 ft light cheapo shakespeare rod (mightve been UL). Was near a sunken dock and I was absolutely terrified she was gonna run me into the wood and break me off... but I pulled her and swallowed my heart back down my throat haha.

If you wouldn't mind talking about all this and your lure building more hit me with an email, thanks for binging this all up man.

Building rods in MA, daydreaming of fishing in CA

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Re: Spiral Wrap BFS UL
Posted by: roger wilson (---)
Date: March 15, 2023 01:33AM

An informative article on BFS>


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Re: Spiral Wrap BFS UL
Posted by: Derick Jahnke (---)
Date: March 15, 2023 06:06PM

I just recently built a stream trout casting rod on thr 5 ft 3 in Ameriglass. It's quite nice, has a fairly fast but progressive action. Mine is spiral wrapped as it allows me to use 1 or so fewer guides and keeps the line off the blank when loaded deeply. With a Shimano SLX BFS, Kattobie Air Ceramic bearings and a Roro cb26 spool I can cast down to a 1/32nd ounce trout jig with a small 1.5 inch zman to fishablw distances. Though I intend to use this for 2.5-5 gram lures.....

Oh and 1/8th ounce is no issue with a modern baitcaster and appropriate reel. My cheap Bass Pro Shops reel with 8 pound mono on Spencer's fav uc66lxf can launch 1/16th ounce ned jigs with Zman finesse TRD. (5.6 grams). My APFG 1 power will throw the jighead alone (1.7ish grams) with the bone stock SLX BFS and 6 pound mono like a dream.

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