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Al Goldberg

The Tog Rod

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Lots of people on the Board have asked me about what type of rod I use for blackfish. Having "cut my teeth" on the North Fork of Long Island and the areas aroung Montauk and Block Island, I have come up with several rods that I feel are ideal to fish for these leather lipped brawlers.


Before we get into the blanks, let me first say that I only fish with braided line for blackfish. The bite detection and non stretch characteristics make it ideal for this type of fishing. Because of the non stretch line I stay away from all graphite rods. They break, more like expode. Nuf said.


Now for the blanks. I build on composite blanks, which is a combination of graphite and fiberglass. This cuts down on the weight of the blank and is also very sensitive in telegraphing a bite.


For shallow water and light tides using sinkers up to eight ounces,I use the Seeker Black Steel and the Calstar Graphiter series of blanks. The first Seeker model is the CBW658, which is 6.5 feet long and rated from 12-25 lb test. The second is the CLB708 which is 7 feet, fast action and rated from 20-30 lb. The Calstar GF700ML is another excellent blank. All are ideal for fishing south Jersey on the North Star. They make also excellent deepwater sea bass rods and for drifting eels for stripers.


For deep water and sinkers up to 16 ounces there are several to choose from depending on your budget. The Seeker Black Steel CJB70, the Lami CGBT841M, and the Calstar GF700M are all excellent. I call the Lami "The Hammer". It's one tough blank.


For you guys that want the Ferrari, there is the Loomis Hybrid series in two models, the HB66H and the HB70H. One is 6.5 feet and the other is 7 Feet. Both are rated from 20-50 lb.


Once you have selected your blank then there is the rest of the components to decide on.

A #20 Fuji Deluxe reelseat, 14 inch EVA butt grip, 6-8 inch cork foregrip and Fuji BRC butt cap will complete the handle assembly. I like the cork foregrip for it's firmness and sensitivity. For you guys that know me personally, I use black flocked cork foregrips on most off my rods.


Now for the guides. It's either Fuji Hardaloy or SIC, depending on your budget. I use two models: BHNLG hardaloy or HNSG SIC.

If you are budget conscious then go for the hardaloy but use an SIC tip.


For 6.5 foot rods I use seven guides and a tip. For a seven foot rod I use eight guides and a tip. Guide sizes are as follows:


20, 16, 12, 12, 10, 10, 10 plus tip. For eight guides add another #10 guide.


For guide spacing, the tip guide should be four inches for the tip top measured from ring to ring. The stripper guide (#20) should be about 20-21 inches from the center of the reelseat. Space the remaining guides in graduating distances from tip to butt as follows: 4.5, 5, 5.5, 6.0, 6.5, etc.


Here is a tip. Get some 3/16 surgical tubing and cut 1/8 inch bands. Slide them onto the blank, two for each guide, to position and hold your guides in place. Once you have positioned your guides, mark the blank with a white china marking pencil. Then slide back the bands. Do your underwraps and reposition your guides with the bands and do your overwraps. As you wrap over the guide foot simply snip away the band and finish the guidewrap. Burnish the wraps with a knitting needle or another smooth tool.


Now all that is left is to give the wraps two coats of high-build finish. Let the finished rod rest for a week to allow the finish to completely cure and you are ready to do battle with our chisel-toothed friends.


May The Tog be with You,


Al G.


P.S. I didn't get into the real specifics of building. However, remember to spine your rod and taper and polish the guide feet for a nice smooth wrap. Tight Lines.


PPS. Seeker does not trim the tips on their blanks to spec. You need to trim 2-3 inches off. i.e. If the blank is sized for a #8 tip, it probably will be needed to be trimmed to that size.




[This message has been edited by Al Goldberg (edited 10-26-2000).]

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Thanks Al, Now I'll have something to do during the Jan-March dull drums.




"Ill catch a Bass on Staten Island one of these days"

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Hi Alberto. Yes, it's me. We are still fishing the reef outside Shinnecock Inlet. Still catching porgys and seabass. However now using green crabs for black fish so the other catches are down. 28 blacks to 7#'s yesterday. I have not gotten to Port Jeff or Huntington for blacks yet. Next week maybe. Always a pleasure..... Capt Neil

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