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BrianBM

Short rods for boat use; Capt. Horsley?

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SWS has an interesting piece in a recent issue about the use of rods shorter than 9' for boat angling. (Some computer decided to send me a few issues. I haven't subscribed since they went decided to pursue a richer demographic than surfcasters, probably 25 years ago.) Steve Rajeff is quoted as recommending short rods in boats generally.

 

The factual discussion pertains largely to sniping at snook in mangrove alleys. That said, the article struck a chord with me because of a particular experience I had a few years ago, chasing little tunny off Montauk on a very, very lumpy day. I got beat silly by wave action in a small boat. I had chosen the guide - never mind who - because he was running a Jones Brothers hull, 17' I think, and I wanted to try that hull; but I could not keep my feet under me for a false cast with the GI-issue standard 9' rod. A short rod would've loaded faster, and perhaps saved me from the ignominy of using spinning tackle while seated.

 

Capt. Horsley, I assume most of your fares are lousy casters, like me. Have you had any occasion to arm them with shorter rods? Little tunny are either a hundred yards away or close enough to poke in the eye. What are your thoughts on this? Admittedly I'm an extreme case, but I understand that the Outer Banks tend not to be dead calm in little tunny season, too.

 

There are probably others out here who have used short rods and I'd like to hear from them, too.

 

 

 

P.S. After that trip I stopped by Paulie's, for some reason, and met another fly guide. He'd cancelled his charter because he considered it too rough that day for fly casting. Won't be using my guide of the day a second time.

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hmmm To me unless someone is use to throwing a short rod --as it changes the stroke or speed of stroke --no. I have one client who on uses the Sage LMB , PMP, for almost all of his albie and rooster fishing and he is deadly. But for quicker cast with more load and less false cast --Rio OBS works wonders for most of my less experienced caster.

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Brian -FWIW - Have used short rods for many years, mostly the TFO Mini Mags at 8 feet for albies because of their great lifting power and also for inshore around docks and bridges for striped bass up north, snook down south. Am a big fan of short rods because I fish primarily out of a small boat and kayak, also wading at night. The shorter rods are much handier to use when boating a fish - in fact superior. I fished a prototype ShortStix 9/10 this past summer, but now have a an 8/9 which I like better for my types of fishing. One key factor seems to be the use of aggressive short tapers such as the Wulff Bermuda Shorts or Ambush lines, or RIO's Outbound Shorts. I wrote a column on the Loomis ShortStix rods for the October issue of On The Water mag, NJ/NY edition that has a lot of info about how SOL'ers Ian Devlin and Mark Sedotti designed the rods and how to fish them. Here's a copy of the column, please delete if this isn't appropriate to post. I guess SOL'ers can Google the mag for more info or a copy. 1825527

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I was very interested in the GLoomis ShortStix as soon as I heard of them because I usually fish alone out of a small 17' CC--and it is not a big, beamy skiff type hull. Handling the boat, wearing a stripping basket and trying to handle a 9' rod while moving to breaking fish is a pain. I thought a 7'6" rod would just be a lot handier, especially in Albie season. In Sept I was going through CT on 95 so I stopped in Norwalk at Fisherman's World because I heard the ShortStix had arrived there. They only had the 11/12, but Ian Devlin was there and I wound up talking to him for over an hour about the rods and ordered a 9/10 ShortStix with Albies in mind.

 

The next weekend I was home on the Cape and went up to Bear's Den in Taunton for tying supplies and they had the ShortStix in 8/9 and 9/10. I could not resist test casting the 8/9 with a Rio OBS 8 wt line--I loved it. The ShortStix is just so light and handy. And I am not a good caster, but I got 70 to 80' of line out, no problem. I bought the 8/9 on the spot, paired it with a Lamson Litespeed 3 and a Rio OBS 8 wt intermediate and had it out albie fishing two days later. The set up is just too much fun. I lucked into albies willing to eat close to home and got three on the ShortStix that day. The rod loads quickly with short head lines, is very light and handy and had plenty of backbone for the 7 to 8 lb albies I caught that day. And fighting and landing fish in my small boat with a 7'6" rod was so much nicer that dealing with a 9' rod. After that day I became a big ShortStix fan, at least for me in my boat.

 

The 9/10 arrived from CT a couple days later and got it out the next week. I fished it with a Rio OBS 10 wt intermediate line and I liked the feeling of casting the rod with a line at the upper end of its range. I only got one albie with it, but I was out at Wasque off the Vineyard and, again the rod was very handy to use while my boat was bobbing around like a cork drifting through the rip.

 

Since then I have not fished much, but I did get back over to the Vineyard to see a friend and we fished some the last week of Oct. He is a better caster than me (by far) and with the 9/10 ShortStix and a 10wt Rio OBS he back-casted the whole line after a couple "test" casts. He has used the TFO 8' rods and said the GLoomis is a better caster, in his opinion.

 

So that's my story--I'm a big fan of the ShortStix and can't wait to fish them next season. I already have a Wulff Ambush 9 wt line to try on the 8/9. Lawn casting with it, I like how it feels better than the 8 wt line, but that's just me.

 

My 8/9 ShortStix with the first Albie I caught with it--

1825818

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Snookfly, cgg, thank you. That issue of OTW is doubtless floating in my basement, I'll have to dig it up. I have a foggy memory that St. Croix has a few short rods for LMB, and I will have to check that out.

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Brian,

This sounds trite, but the best feature of short rods in a boat is the very fact that they are short. They are easier to store, handle, fight fish and to manage fish when near the boat ready for gaff, net or leader grab.

Besides the G. Loomis Shortstix, the list of 8-foot and under rods is growing and there some exceptional examples from Scott (S4s 6-, 8- and 10-weight), the Sage Bass Tournament rods (a friend uses a 10-weight for his surf fishing and loves it), the Temple Fork Mini Mags rated for 200-300 grains and 300-400 grains (nicknamed stump pullers, they are also good casting rods) and other rods from Redington and Ross. There are no doubt others that I'm not familiar.

The Shortstix are the most "radical" and interesting because of their tapers, but all of the short rods cast easily with the right grain-weight aggressive short taper fly lines from Wulff, RIO or Sci Anglers.

CCG's experiences are similar to what I've encountered and the more time I spend with short rods the better I like them.

I hope you're fishing one soon.

Pete

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What SnookFly said :th::D At the risk of sounding sacrilegious, the first time I used my ShortStix I felt like I was "cheating" and fly fishing with a spinning rod. Fighting and landing fish was so much easier--none of that high-sticking and screwing around trying to get hold of the leader.....

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Quote:

Originally Posted by cgg View Post

What SnookFly said icon14.gifbiggrin.gif At the risk of sounding sacrilegious, the first time I used my ShortStix I felt like I was "cheating" and fly fishing with a spinning rod. Fighting and landing fish was so much easier--none of that high-sticking and screwing around trying to get hold of the leader.....



You know it's funny, felt the same way, I fish a lot from a Bay CC and the shorter rods do make a difference. It was initially awkward to me, did feel like a had a baitcaster or a spinning outfit in my hands.


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8'4 and 8'6 rods are fine and in some circumstances great, but for some reason I just can't liking them 8' and under rods. The Mini Mag is pretty much the worst rod I have ever used:D . Maybe I just need some casting lessons.

 

The Echo Edge84 series are nice rods for me and a rare exception as they don't need a lot of weight on the fly line to get them working sweetly.

 

Would love to try out the Shortstix's though. It's always refreshing to step out side your comfort zone.

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Went to a meeting last night where Ian Devlin was giving a talk, ended up getting to cast the Shortstix. It was my first experience with a sub 9' rod and I was extremly impressed. With a short head line it was an effortless single shot cast, 60-70 feet first try. Cant say it would cast farther than my bvk with rio OBS when wading but it would sure give it a run for its money and with so much less effort requited. Needles to say I have a Shortstix in my sight for the spring run. Hats off to Ian Mark and Tim.

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I designed the Shortstix, along wiith Ian and Steve.

 

What Ian and I wanted was to make a fly rod that almost everybody would cast better and easier, and we got it.

 

Almost everyone (whose hand we put one of these rods in) from "just past" the beginner stage (now I must say this for beginners too) to a ways past the "novice" stage, - this describes MOST fly rodders when it comes to casting ability - cast the Shortix significantly better. They casted farther, easier, more accurately, with fewer or no false casts, and with better loops. They were more relaxed casting and were not fighting the rod (as is TOO common, especially with rods in "saltwater" line sizes.)

 

With a light reel such as a Waterworks Litespeed, or Speedster, the 9/10 rod outfit feels like a 7 wt. Some fly anglers picking it up for the first time expressed spontaneously that it "feels like a 5 wt! It's LIGHT.

 

I had a sales person out at Whitewater Marine in Hampton Bays, Long Island NY, who didn't consider himself a good caster making 90 ft. casts with a 9/10 Shortstix just last week.

 

What I'm saying is that these are NOT just short fly rods like other short fly rods, or like other fly rods of any length either. They are tools that make fly casting immediately and significantly easier for the average angler and the beginner. They shorten that "learning curve" greatly so that you can get much more enjoyment out of the sport sooner with much less expenditure of time and effort.

 

 

Mark

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