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Blank recommendations
Posted by: Peyton Raburn (---)
Date: May 30, 2024 10:40PM

Hello everyone I’m new to the forum as far as posting goes. I’ve been building rods here and there for a like 7 years now. Usually I just pick some random Medium Heavy blank and a guide kit from Mudhole. I’ve made enough rods to know which guides I like to build with and same for reel seats. But I’m all over the place for blanks. I’ve built on MHX, CRB, RodGeeks, and NFC. I typically build rods for my buddy and not really myself but I haven’t built any for a while now and have decided I want to build a whole set for the boat since I’m fishing more tournaments. I’ve been trying to select a blank manufacturer to go with but Daggum is it complex. CCS data is difficult for me to follow and I was wanting to use NFC blanks but I’m seeing more and more people talk about durability issues… anyway I’ve drafted a list of what I’d like to put in the boat and MHX models to fit them. I’d just like some input and recommendations.
Heavy—Worm 7’2” NEPS86HF
Heavy—Jig 7’2” NEPS86HF
Heavy—Texas rig 7’2” NEPS86HF
Heavy—Frog 7’3” MB874
Heavy—Topwater 7’3” MB874
M—Crankbait 7’6” CB903
MH—Deep Crank 7’6” CB906
MH—Chatterbait 7’2” MB864XF
MH-Small Chatterbaits 7’2” MB863XF
MH—Spinnerbait 7’2” MB863XF

I live in East Tennessee, the worm, jig, and Texas rig stuff is main be flipping honestly. I’ve been using lighter tungsten lately too. Any input on some blank recommendations would be awesome! I’m fairly certain I’m using the XO skeleton grips from NFC. CRB nano micro size 2 for all my running guides and the LZR for stripper and reduction guides. Thanks in advance!

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Re: Blank recommendations
Posted by: Spencer Phipps (---)
Date: May 31, 2024 01:19AM

I've not had any durability issues with NFC and neither did Tom Kirkman when he did the Rod Failure article where he was trying to break them on purpose.

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Re: Blank recommendations
Posted by: Todd Jensen (---.midco.net)
Date: May 31, 2024 05:15AM

Don’t get hung up on MHX. They are good blanks, but there are lots of excellent choices out there. Watch sales and be willing to try something new. I have several MHX rods myself, but don’t shun NFC. They are impressive blanks. So are Rainshadow, point blank, and others.

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Re: Blank recommendations
Posted by: David Baylor (---.res6.spectrum.com)
Date: May 31, 2024 07:40AM

Like Spencer, I haven't had any durability issues with NFC blanks.

As far as general thoughts on blanks for certain techniques. For flipping rods, rods that will primarily be used for flipping or pitching, I really don't think you need a blank like an NFC X ray, or Rainshadow RX 10. Flipping is a short line technique, and while if pitching you can be working 30 - 40' from the boat, I still consider it a short line technique. Because you're working on a short or shorter line, you're not losing sensitivity due to line length, I think that NFC IM, or Rainshadow Immortal blanks are excellent choices. NFC MB 709 IM, or Rainshadow IMMC72MH. I've built on both of those blanks and absolutely love them for flipping and pitching. While I haven't built on an MB 739 IM blank, if you're looking for a bit longer than a 7' blank, I would think it would be worth considering

If you're going to be using your flipping rods to make long casts, say with heavy football head jigs out in open water, then I'd look to blanks in the NFC X ray, or Rainshadow RX10 line ups. Based on CCS numbers, a blank from Rainshadow in their Immortal series of blanks, are more powerful than the same blank in the RX 10 series. For that reason, I'd go with a Rainshadow RX10 ETEC74H. I haven't built on that particular blank, but the RX10s are crazy good, it would definitely be a blank to consider. I haven't built on any of the NFC X ray blanks that are in the power range of any of the blanks I've mentioned, so I can't offer a suggestion.

For a frog rod, I personally don't think you need a blank with a lighter tip, to walk a frog effectively. IMO it's more of a cadence of retrieve kind of thing. And of course because it's a topwater bait, you really don't need a super sensitive blank. I would again lean towards a blank from the NFC IM series, or the Rainshadow Immortal, or even their Revelation series. I find it way easier to walk a frog with the rod tip down, so I use a shorter rod for walking a frog versus fishing one over matted vegetation. For walking a frog I use a rod built on an NFC MB 668 IM blank. It's got more than enough power for walking a frog. Even around heavy cover. For fishing a frog over matted vegetation, i use a rod I have built on a Rainshadow Immortal IMMC72MH blank. The IMMC72MH blank has gobs of power, and will flat out move a fish on the hook set.

Chatterbaits are interesting from a blank choice standpoint. Some love really powerful blanks for chatterbaits, some not so much. My main chatterbait rod is built on an NFC MB 666 IM blank, and I absolutely love it. But I'm also not making extremely long casts with it. 60 - 70' casts max. I also predominantly throw 3/8 oz baits with it. For a longer rod and heavier chatterbaits, I just finished building a rod for smaller glide baits on an NFC SW764 Delta blank. I am certain it would be an awesome chatterbait rod from a power and action standpoint, but it may be a little heavier in weight than you might like. For me, I don't really worry about overall rod weight for cast and retrieve baits, but if you do, I am sure there are better choices somewhere in the NFC line up.

I rarely throw crankbaits, so no suggestions to share there.

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Re: Blank recommendations
Posted by: Peyton Raburn (---)
Date: May 31, 2024 12:04PM

I’ve seen several people on this forum and Reddit remark on durability issues with NFC blanks. Also complaining about the majority of their blanks having ridges and being unsanded. Id probably lean more toward rainshadow, phenix, or point blank right now, however I don’t really want to spend so much on the blanks. I am not making any long casts with my flipping rods, in fact I almost never throw a football head.

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Re: Blank recommendations
Posted by: David Baylor (---.res.spectrum.com)
Date: May 31, 2024 03:38PM

The majority of NFC blanks don't have ridges, Only the Deltas, X rays, and C6O2's Their SM, IM, and HM blanks have a smooth finish. And you can buy the X ray (not the C6O2's) in what they call a mirror black finish, which is smooth. I don't know how they compare to the finish of the NFC Delta's, X ray's or C6O2 X ray's, but Point Blank blanks all have ridges, as do some of the Phenix blanks.

From the sounds of it, NFC IM blanks would be what you're looking for. Very good sensitivity and very durable. And when they're on sale, you won't even come close to beating their performance. Figure you're getting a blank that IMO is just a touch below a Rainshadow Immortal ...... but at half or even less than half the price.

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Re: Blank recommendations
Posted by: Peyton Raburn (---)
Date: May 31, 2024 10:41PM

Do you think I’d be a lot better off ordering NFC over MHX. Honestly the MHX blanks I’ve built on feel pretty nice but I’ve not built anything heavier than a MH. Other than a tarpon rod.

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Re: Blank recommendations
Posted by: Denham Bruce (---)
Date: June 01, 2024 12:25AM

Build MHX. Keep it simple.

For the money they are great and you'll get far better customer service from them should anything go wrong.

However, since you're building a stable of rods, consider throwing some other brands in there to get a better perspective. Perhaps one NFC, AmTak and Rainshadow, etc.

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Re: Blank recommendations
Posted by: David Baylor (---.res6.spectrum.com)
Date: June 01, 2024 12:37AM

That's a question I can't answer. I've only built on one MHX blank, and it was the very first rod I built about 10 years ago. It was the standard SJ 783 blank, and from what I remember, it was a nice enough blank. I built a jerkbait casting rod on it, and just wasn't what I was hoping for. It had more power than I wanted out of that particular rod. I ended up giving the rod to a friend of mine.

One thing Mudhole has over NFC, is that you know if the blank you want is in stock, based on the experience I've had with Mud Hole, it's not going to take long to ship. When you buy from NFC, you're buying direct from the factory. If a blank isn't in stock, it may be some time before they run up a new batch. NFC says allow 2 - 3 weeks for delivery. I've ordered blanks from them that were in stock and received them in less than a week. They're in Washington state, I'm in Ohio. But normally blanks I've ordered have shipped and arrived at my house, within the 2 - 3 week time period.

Shipping from NFC can be a flat rate $35, or it can be free. It just depends on how much you spend. I don't know what Mud Hole charges for shipping when a blank is involved. You'll see a $10 excise tax charge when you buy a blank from NFC, that you won't see when buy one from Mud Hole. That doesn't mean you aren't paying the fee at Mud Hole though. It's built into the price of the blank.

NFC has a wide selection of blanks. More than I think what MHX has. At times they run insanely good sales where the more blanks you buy, the higher the percentage of discount you get on each blank. And if you buy enough blanks from them over the years, you'll occasionally get e mails from them with discount codes for existing customers only. And while they don't always have certain blanks on sale, you will never find a blank that performs as well as their X ray series of blanks, for the kind of price it's on sale for. Not long ago they came out with what they call C6O2 X ray blanks in some models. When they're on sale for $150, IMO you'd be extremely hard pressed to find a higher performing blank.

Anyhow ...... I'm a fan of NFC blanks because of what you get, for the price you pay. You may have occasional problems with the straightness of some blanks, but I've had those same issues with the one MHX blank I've built on, NFC has always treated me more than extremely fair when I've had an issue. In fact they have gone above and beyond in solving an issue I've had in the past. Customer service response can some times be not as fast as you might hope, but if you e mail Kelsey (she manages blank production) or Kim, (she manages warranty) they will get back to you quite fast. They may not ship as quickly as other suppliers, but I'm willing to wait.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/01/2024 12:40AM by David Baylor.

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Re: Blank recommendations
Posted by: Ken Delbridge (192.55.55.---)
Date: June 01, 2024 01:12PM

Generally speaking if you are hard on your bass gear then the higher modulus blanks will likely not last as long, regardless of the brand, custom or retail. High sticking fish in the boat is for the pros, they get free replacements. If you are understandably rough on your your bass rods, go with an Ugly Stik or other lower end retail - life will be cheaper.

That said I like to support American made blank makers and there are some amazing options on that front from NFC, Rainshadow, Rod Geeks (St Croix), Taipan, Hydra, and I'm sure I'm leaving some others out. If someone forced me to build on any one of those company's products, I'm certain I could make them work as they all have great options for bass applications.

It's hard to recommend a specific blank for your list due to everyone having a personal preference on how they bend. I recommend reading the CCS literature to become more familiar with the data, and then use the log to find blanks of interest compared to the cataloged blanks you already know from prior builds or retail purchases (if they are logged).

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Re: Blank recommendations
Posted by: Spencer Phipps (---)
Date: June 01, 2024 01:52PM

I haven't had a problem wrapping the NFC ridged blanks but being a military lifer maybe I have different expectations in the things I do and how I go about it. I have wrapped many ridged blanks long before NFC came out with ridged blanks and don't remember one insurmountable issue or even one worth mentioning, you should do just fine, though like mentioned above your first rod being on a smoother blank would be an advantage from a confidence standpoint. My first rod was on, at the time, G Loomis' top high-end blank, an IMX, I then and now see no reason why I should have built my first rod on something I didn't want or need; it just would have been wasted time and money in my opinion. Go slow, worry more about fit and finish than anything else and you should be fine.

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Re: Blank recommendations
Posted by: Peyton Raburn (---)
Date: June 01, 2024 03:45PM

The CCS data is difficult for me to understand. For example the ERN# I can see for NFC blanks ranges from like 4-52. How does one select a rod for throwing a walking frog from that data haha.

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Re: Blank recommendations
Posted by: David Baylor (---.res.spectrum.com)
Date: June 01, 2024 07:13PM

In order to be able to apply CCS data, other than this rods more powerful, and this rod has a faster action, which ...... I will catch heck for saying this ..... but knowing if one rod or blank is more powerful than another, or has a faster action than another, really isn't game changing. I can take two different blanks and put a deep flex in them and tell if one is more powerful than the other. Determining which blank has a faster action can be a little tricky at times, but you can judge it, if you know what you're looking for.

CCS will tell you how much more powerful on rod is compared to another rod, and how much faster or slower the rods action is compared to another rod, but if you can't relate those numbers to anything, then they really are of little help in choosing a blank.

To get familiar with CCS and to allow you to use the numbers its' testing generates effectively, you must develop a data base of your own. Meaning you need to do CCS testing on current rods that you have. If you have a rod with a power and action that you like for a specific fishing technique, once you know the CCS numbers for that rod, or multiple rods that you own, you'll be able to compare your numbers, to the numbers for other blanks. You can either select a blank with the same or close numbers if you want to duplicate a rod. Or if you would like a blank with a more power or less power, a faster action, or a slower action etc ....... you'll have numbers from the rods you've tested, to go by.

Like you, ERN is something that makes no sense to me. It's a power number in the CCS only. It's derived from the amount of weight it takes to fully load the blank, and that number called IP (intrinsic power) is converted to ERN. There is a chart that lets you see what ERN is in grams. The number of grams it takes to deflect the blank the required distance in order to take an IP number.

When I contribute CCS numbers for the blanks I've built on, I list it as IP in grams, and then AA, which is action angle, and it determines the blanks action, extra fast, fast, mod fast, etc......

Close to the top of the column on the left, you'll see a link "Common Cents Info" go there and read how to do the testing, It's not hard to do. Test some or all of the rods you currently own and record their numbers. You'll be able to see how much more powerful one of your rods is than another, which will give you an idea of what differences in IP (ERN) feels and fishes like. Same with the action of the rod or blank.

A lot of people can't be bothered when it comes to learning CCS. They look for a blank that's rated say 1/8 - 3/8 oz, and a fast action, and that's more than enough for them. Nothing at all wrong with that. But I can tell you that there can be a vast difference in power in two different blanks that are rated for 1/8 - 3/8. Learn how to do CCS testing, and you'll see for yourself

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Re: Blank recommendations
Posted by: Peyton Raburn (---)
Date: June 08, 2024 09:46PM

I can feel the difference in rodgeeks blanks over MHX and NFC being some fish like a medium even though listed as medium heavy. I get pretty caught up in what the website says before I buy a blank. Just want to make sure I’m not wasting money just so I can say “here, I made this”. I’ll definitely have to start comparing my rods to the data to get some kind of baseline for CCS data. It’s unfortunate someone hasn’t found a way to incorporate more common sense terms into the data to help dummies like me relate the data to what we see described on the website for the blanks.

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