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About FatTailWagging

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  1. What are the blank weights?
  2. Yes, that is my understanding too.
  3. To be more clear, the 4000 is bigger and more heavy duty than you think. It also holds about 280 yards of 30# Suffix 832. If you need that ok, but if I were choosing again, I would get the 3500.
  4. Can you share with me the actual lure weight ratings and blank weights of these two blanks in the 9’~9.5’ range? I can’t find them on the interwebs. Are you confident these will snatch a gag grouper out of a rockpile with a locked down drag without failing (assuming I don’t high stick it)? I appreciate that this sounds a little crazy, but it is the nature of this particular spot I am building the rod for. The technique is to literally sprint backward five or ten feet when a fish hits to snatch them away from the rocks quickly and then reel like hell to get them to the pier before the dolphin get them, all against a moderate (3~4 knot current).
  5. I have a BG 4000 on a 9’ rod with 30 lb braid that I use to fling plugs and jigs. If I had to do it over again I would get the 3500. The BG4000 is bigger, and heavier than you think. I understand they are both on the same frame with different spools. I believe the 4500 is the next frame size up and it has a pawl based anti-reverse in addition to a one way bearing making it a real brute. More for offshore fishing I would think.
  6. ZMan makes a very nice artificial shrimp. I like the action.
  7. Looking for a 2-piece blank that will cast plugs well and have enough backbone to be a good pier rod. The ODM Frontier X 9’6” is what I am thinking but I would like some similar length alternatives to consider please (less expensive would be nice too). We fish for grouper by floating lipped, floating, diving plugs (like a Rapala XRap Magnum 20, 1.5 ounces) out with the tide about 50 to 100 yards out to piles of rubble. The grouper go up to about 35” max but fight like hell and dive into the rocks if you aren’t on top of your game. You have to horse them in as fast as possible. Otherwise, it’s tug of war till you get them out or break off (60# braid and 100# flouro leader). I am currently using an old school 8’ glass boat rod, extended at the butt to 9’ with a 3/0 Senator or a magged Squidder with upgraded drag and shaft for this. It works well but casts like a broom stick. By casting well, I could save a lot of time getting my lure out to the rock piles (as opposed to just floating with the current) and effectively use soft plastics too. 9’ so I can have my line clear the bridge structure when fish run underneath. My plan is to build a rod that will cast well and still make a good pier rod and maybe get used for snook and tarpon fishing from time to time. Tops on my list is a conventional ODM Frontier X 9’6” with an Akios 656. What other blanks am I overlooking? Shipping costs mandate a two piece blank (I’m in Florida). Thanks in advance for sharing your wisdom.
  8. I have a custom Suzuki 9’6” with a BG 4000 and I am very happy with the combo. The BG is big for its size. I could go a size smaller, but not bigger. A Stradic 5000 would be a good fit too. the BG 4000 is a lot of bang for the buck and I really like the handle. If I lost it, I would buy the same combo again.
  9. Does anyone have any experience using traditional darters or mag darters for snook on the gulf coast? It seems like they should work great, but I haven’t had any luck. Any thoughts, comments, or suggestions are welcome.
  10. I have a Star Stellar Light 8 ft, rated 1/4 oz ~ 5/8 oz, that throws unweighted plastics very well. It will also pull in a big snook or red, if you have some room to let them run. It is one of my favorite rods for inshore fishing the Tampa Bay area.
  11. I spent a lot of time fishing for grouper in a rock field with an outgoing current from a bridge far enough away so that it is horizontal fishing. 30” grouper are not uncommon and they head for the rock pile immediately upon hook-up and we are cranking them in directly against the current. A technique lots of guys use is the quickly shuffle/run backward about 4~5 steps to immediately pull the grouper away from the rocks faster than you can reel like hell and crank them in as fast as possible. In a lot of places it may be asking for a fall if you sprint backward quickly. I use an 8.5’ 15-40lb conventional rod with 65 lb braid ( J-Braid or Power Pro or 832), then about 6-8’ of 80# mono or flouro tied with an FG, then another 6-8’ of 100# fluorocarbon, tied on with a triple surgeons knot. Some guys use up to 120# leader. I have been using a 3/0 senator with an upgraded drag ( We cast the plugs out and then let drift way out with the current). With this setup I can usually get the fish in, or if he goes in the rocks, I can drag him out our wait till he comes out of the rocks and still have my leader intact (I end up cutting back the leader a couple feet or more after each fish because the rocks tear it all up)
  12. Where I fish, there are often a lot of birds, especially pelicans. In my experience, they can see the yellow and bright green much, much better than the darker colors, especially dark green. When they see the yellow line, they change course and miss it altogether. It really minimizes the tangles with birds. This is especially so when jetty and pier fishing. If you add a little shake to the rod and wiggle the yellow line they miss it every time. I won’t fish the dark colors any more for this reason alone. Nothing ruins my day more than a pelican tangled in my braid.
  13. Are you primarily planning to fish with bait or lures? I am in St. Pete and most of the inshore fishing here is done with a 7’ to 8’ medium or medium-light rod. My go-to lure is a 1/4 ounce jig head with a brown 4” paddletail (mimics a mud minnow which is a year round bait fish here), second choice is a bone Spook jr. My personal preference is a 7.5’ Star medium rod with a Stradic 40 and 20 lb braid. A two piece in the space size would be easier for traveling. This set up alone is really all you need to catch most of what swims here, especially from shore. If it were me it would be all I would bring. The same rod works great for fishing shrimp (commonly avaible bait in bait shops) or pinfish (can be had with a 1/4” mesh cast net or a sabiki rig. I have a black hole suzuki 9.5’ with a BG 4000 that I only use for targeting snook in the passes and on the beach during the summer months (catch and release only). Mostly throwing 1-2 oz bucktails and rubber shads. I love this rod. The hardcore pier fishermen often use heavier rods depending on what they are doing, particularly if targeting king fish (very seasonal). I have an 8’ old school fenwick glass rod (probably 15 lb - 40 lb) wrapped conventional with a penn senator 3/0 (and sometimes a 4/0) spooled with 65 lb braid that I use for freelining pinfish off the local pier, normally targeting grouper in the nearby rock piles. It’s perfect for that niche, but is total overkill for day to day fishing. Hopefully some real, experienced, pier fishermen will jump in here to give you more insight on that game. I know they do things differently in the panhandle area. We have a lot of good mom and pop tackle shops around the gulf. Maybe give them a call about any unique fisheries where you are headed. Due to the massive red tide we recently had, snook and redfish remain catch and release only for the foreseeable future. Speckled sea trout and sheepshead are the popular targets here in the winter. Both are good eating.
  14. I used them for a while last summer fishing for snook in the passes here on Florida’s west coast. The large size is about $21 compared to my normal go-to lure, a Tsunami 6” Rubber shad which is $2.50. The benefit of a spooltek is is that you can use a lighter leader when snook fishing (snook lips are very rough and will chafe through a leader very quickly). So with a spooltek you can use a 20# or 30# leader and with a jig you need 40# to 60#. in super clear water, this might make a difference. After breaking off three spoolteks, I went back to rubber shads, mostly because of the cost difference. The rubber shads work just as well in my opinion. The hooks on the spooltek rust quickly and the wire tends to fray with use so you have to retire the wire occasionally (it is a multi-strand wire that you can tie a knot in). The hooks they use are hard to find so I was not able to replace those. Spoolteks tend to hang up in the rocks easily. Much more so than rubber shads. And when then are hung in the rocks they don’t let go (I tried everything, twanging the line and pulling at different angles which often get shads and bucktails free). On the the plus side, when you get a big snook on, it is a solid hook up and you don’t have to worry about chafing through the leader. In use you don’t really notice the lure’s leader deploying. I use a little more sweep in my hookset, but often the snook thump it hard enough so it self sets.
  15. Thanks for the tip.