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playitsafe

Help with Surf Rod Decision - What to Do?

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Here is my situation: I am a former hammerhead who fished for 2 years occasionally. This year I have stepped it up, I estimate I have gone over 70 times since Oct 1, I go in the morning, at lunch and after work. I fish mostly from the beach, often from Jetties, never from a boat. Usually in 1 hour increments, only occasionally do I do over 2 hours.

 

Tim has set me up with a Shimano 4000FG, braided line, flouro leader. I always use teasers, predominately bombers, megabaits, etc. nothing over 1.5 oz. I don't have a preference over 1 or 2 piece.

 

I need to step up with my rod, been shopping, all the surf shops are pointing me to G-loomis (SUR965S - $190), Lamiglas (xs81ms-$170), and St. Croix. I'm in the $150 to $200 range, I'll be using it a lot.

 

Any suggestions? I don't know enough about a good rod to decide, Tim handled mine yesterday and the look on his face scared me! I build golf clubs and know the feeling of picking up a poorly made club... Thick handle, thin handle.

 

Do you have any suggestions?

 

Thanks for any help.

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Play,

 

You are putting me in a difficult spot. Being a custom rod builder it is hard to comment on production rods, particularly for casting.

 

Production rods by their design are meant to meet the needs of the general fishing public, both in design and in price and as a result are a compromise. Handle length, rod spine, guide placement and the proper number of guides are all critical factors in rod design that typically are not really considered in a production rod. I can only comment on each manufacturer from a blank standpoint.

 

Loomis traditionally has stressed performance employing cutting edge graphite technology in their designs and are casting machines.

 

Lamiglas has been the standard in surf rods for a long time and probably has the largest selection of surf blanks of any US manufacturer. The have excellent performance and durability.

 

I cannot comment on St. Croix since I have never built on one of their blanks. I am sure other members of the Board can comment on St. Croix.

 

Al G.

 

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If you're interested in a good winter project rather than finding a production rod, I would suggest buying the materials and building your own. It's really not that difficult to build a nice rod (I'm not referring to the works of art built by Al and other custom builders but referring to home mades that are as good or better than production rods. Since you build golf clubs and understand how to build for performance, rod building show come easily) and will not cost you any more than buying something off the shelf. In fact, if you only buy the essentials and can make some things at home (rod dryer, v blocks, simple wrapping device), you can actually make yourself a nice rod for considerably less than a rod sold at retail. An added benefit is that you get to learn alot about rod building and have excellent sources of info and advice right here on Al's board.

 

Based on using a Shimano 4000 series reel, I'm guessing that you'll be looking for something in the 8'-8'6" range rated for 1/2-2 oz.

 

The blanks I have experience with and really like are as follows:

 

1) St. Croix SCIII 8'3" blank rated for up to 2 oz. This is used in their Ben Doerr Elite Series and makes an excellent light plugging rod. The blank can be found on-line for about $70, not including shipping.

 

2) Loomis 114-16. Nice blank for beach or light jetty work. For a 4000 shimano, I'd probably take 12" off the butt end. Blank can be found for a bit over $100.

 

3) Lamiglas has an 8' Certified Pro surf blank rated for up to 2 oz. I haven't used this blank but I have rods built on their certified pro blanks of 7' and 7'6". They are sweet blanks. The 8' blank will set you back about $135. Lami has other blanks in the G1000 graphite series that would be good also.

 

4) St. Croix SCII 8' blank used in their Tidemaster series. I used to own a 8' Tidemaster production rod and thought it was a nice rod that offered very good value. That blank can be purchased on line for a little over $40.

 

I'm sure others have their own favorite light plugging blanks that they could comment on.

 

Count on under $40 for cork or cork tape handle, fuji reel seat, hardloy guides with sic tip, thread, epoxies (finish and seat, handle expoxy). Add $20 for home made stuff like drying motor (e.g. modified rotisserie motor), v-blocks and you've just about covered it. Time, well, that's another big factor and up to you to put a value on. Rod building is now a hobby for me, so the pleasure in building is time well spent. And, again, the advice on this board has been a tremendous help to me.

 

Just some ideas. Good luck. Mark

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Mark make a very good point that you can make yourself a better rod for the same amount of money than a production rod.

 

Another blank for you to consider is the Lami

GLB1081M. It fits into your lure weight range and is a real sweet blank.

 

Another blank that I really like is the Calstar GX8, which is an 8 foot composite.

This blank is more suitable for jetty work since it is a composite.

 

Al G.

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Hey Mr Goldberg,

 

Just curious what is the approximate cost range for the GLB1081M? And do you know of a good blank mail order catalog or shop in the north jersey area? With Midland tackle now closed I am at a loss for a place to find factory seconds or "play" with blanks in the showroom. frown.gif any suggestions?

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I bought a lami GLB 108m from brielle tackle last year and it made a fine surf rod for nj purposes 4 1/2" - 7" plugs etc. it ran about $ 110.00 for the blank. This year I

made a loomis 9" rod from cape code tackle and i believe the model was sur-1082. That is also a very nice rod, that one goes for

$ 125.00.

 

------------------

 

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Brian,

 

Midland is still opened but with minimal stock as he his winding down the business.

 

A good source in North Jersey is www.fishinfin-addict.com

 

Al G.

 

P.S. Since you live just across the river you should plan on coming over and play for a few hours in my shop. Lots of goodies.

 

 

 

[This message has been edited by Al Goldberg (edited 12-05-2000).]

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playitsafe, I have the Loomis SUR965. It's a big rod in a small package, a very stiff rod with a moderate/fast taper. From the beach, it'll handle any fish you're likely to hook. Except weakfish--with braid, treble hooked lures and that rod, you'll tear their mouths apart. Loomis is coming out with a slightly lighter 8' rod, the SUR962, for the 2001 model year, it should be in shops right now. Might be a better all-around rod for your needs. It runs $10 more, for some reason, than the heavier brother.

 

My son uses the 8' Tiderunner, TS80H I think is the model number. Also a very good rod and a steal at the price. The butt is too short for me, it's too tip heavy as a result, but it works great for my son. If you can get that blank for $40 and have it built, you'll still come in under either Loomis.

 

 

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Ditch and Al,

 

Do either of you have experience with Loomis' HS981 blank? I picked one up from a guy in Florida after he closed down his rod building shop. Haven't built it yet, but the blank feels like it will make a good light plugging and inshore rod. The blank action is rated as extra fast and it has a pretty fast taper. I'm hoping it will be more forgiving on the fishes mouths when plugging with braid.

 

Thanks, Mark

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Mark,

 

This is another sleeper blank. I have several of them and I trimmed a little of the tip to handle heavier stuff.

 

The blank has an extremely fast taper with a very powerful butt. Your thought of using this with braid makes alot of sense since the soft tip should limit tearing out the hooks from soft-mouthed fish.

 

Al G.

 

 

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Mark,

 

Mine are all conventional, however I am sure they would make excellent spinning rods.

 

I made one up as a conventional for casting one ounce leadheads for weakfish and sold it to a friend. He took it down to Cabo and landed numerous roosterfish, dorado and a sailfish. Like I said, it is a sleeper.

 

Al

 

[This message has been edited by Al Goldberg (edited 12-06-2000).]

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