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Mark

Fishing tools...rods/blanks...

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Al,

 

Your articles on rod building are great. Thanks.

 

The first article on selecting the blank got me thinking a bit. Rare, but it happens. As I build more and more rods, and select more and more blanks, I've become more serious about selecting the right blank for the job.

 

I agree with your statement that rods/blanks should be thought of as tools. So what's the right tool for the job and why is the right tool for the job. What do you want the rod to do for you? How does the rod address the requirements: delivering the bait, presenting the bait, detecting a strike, setting the hook, fighting and landing the fish, fatigue factor, etc.

 

In striper fishing, like freshwater bass fishing, there are many types of baits and techniques to fool our striped friends. In the world of largemouth fishing, you have rods designed and marketed to meet the demands of a highly specialized techniques, such as jigging, flipping, pitching, worming, spinnerbaiting, topwater, cranking, finesse fishing, carolina rigging, senkoing, jerkbaiting, etc., etc.

 

It seems that the big blank/rod manufacturers are beginning to apply some of the same design and marketing principles to saltwater tackle: braided line series, pelagic series, inshore series, etc. but these are still pretty generic classifications.

 

We often talk about bucktail rods, jetty rods, pencil popping rods, bomber rods, heavy wood and metal rods, light plugging rods, heavers, light surf rods, bait rods, long distance rods, backbay rods, trout rods, flounder rods, tog rods, etc...I'm not saying that everyone needs a huge aresenal of rods if they want to do various types of fishing.

 

I'm merely suggesting the obvious...spending extra time and money to select the proper blank/rod for the type and style of fishing you do can make a big difference in how effective the tool will be in getting the job done.

 

There's a lot of personal preference involved in selecting rods/blanks and insetting up the rod. There's also regional preferences and fishing traditions to take into account.

 

I guess my reason for posting this is that I often find the manufacturers' numbering and rating systems of blanks and rods to be very confusing. If we move away from the confusing numbers and rating systems and move to a more descriptive way of discussing how and why certain rods/blanks are the right tools for certain jobs, we'd be better off.

 

Build a better mousetrap? maybe...maybe not. But it sure is fun trying.

 

Regards, Mark

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Mark,

 

Where you are today is where I was twenty years ago. The manufacturers rod specs are just a starting point in the selection process. This forum as well as the network of rodbuilder friends I have all over the country serve as a resource for selecting the proper blank. This network has saved my butt many times over the years, so please feel free to tap into it through me.

 

Also, working with people like Todd Vivian at Lamiglas really help us in designing the "ultimate mousetrap".

 

Al

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Mark, you couldn't be more correct. There are certain blanks that are perfect for any number of jobs...it's how they are turned into rods that ultimately decides which specific task they will be most perfectly suited for. The blank is just the groundwork...the backbone even. The thought involved into turning that blank into the perfect tool, the process of making the tool..that's where we can fine tune a blank to be the tool we need.

 

Even though I just started this great adventure of rod wrapping in March, I'm head over heels heart.gif I've finished no less than a dozen rods since then, all manner of blanks from s-glass, e-glass, super fast graphite, composites, and even a 9'6" IM700 7wt fly rod that is threatening to render my previous 7wt and previous 8wt rods to rod storage wink.gif I've learned loads in this short time...whenever I learn something new, I devour informationsmile.gif

 

I agree with Al 100%, Todd is a most useful resource and is certainly eager to help me find "the perfect surf blanks" from among the piles and piles of blanks Lamiglas makes. He's even gone so far to make available to the folks here blanks they couldn't previously get. Right now (hopefully) there's the latest batch of potential "perfect 8'6" 1 piece surf spinning blanks for 1/2-2 1/2oz with lots of backbone". After speaking with Todd on the phone, I'm confident the winner is among these contenders smile.gif Thanks Todd, your help is much appreciated!

 

TimS

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Tim,

 

That rod building stuff is amazingly addicting, no? You hit the nail on the head -- the process of making the tool and thinking through the hows and whys is what it's all about. I build rods to fish them, so the ornamental aspects of rod building are of little interest to me. Taking a carefully selected blank and dressing it out so that it delivers the goods -- now that's pretty neat.

 

How do you like the IM700 graphite? I picked up a couple IM700 casting blanks to make into bucktail/assassin/jigging rods. While I believe they'll be plenty sensitive; I'm a bit concerned about durability. The sensitivity vs. durability trade-off considerations always seem to plague me. I guess we'll just have to find out.

 

I met Todd in Allentown and immediatley liked him. He's been very helpful when I needed info on various blanks. I'm not sure if Todd's all that familiar with east coast surf fishing which is why having resources like Al, Ditch, Bill, Neil, Saltheart, you and others on this board really helps and serves to compliment Todd's blank manufacturing knowledge.

 

Happy wrapping. Mark

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