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Help needed - Casting Swimbait/Musky Rod

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Hey All, Could use a little input. About to start my first casting build. Could use a little help determining guide size and spacing. The rod is 7'11" (1-4OZ H/Mod-Fast). I will be putting a 300 size Daiwa Lexa on it. The front of the reel seat will end at 19.75 (from the butt). Going to use 30 pound powerpro braid. Hard to find much online. Going by mudholes guide it says to use a 12 as the starting guide. Seems kind of small since most musky guides start with a 20 or 16. Any help would be appreciated. 

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Start with a 20 or 16.  I would go with 8 guides and do a stress distribution test.  If you feel that you do not have a good power loading curve then add another # 8 guide toward the tip.  I have a similar rod set up as follows: 20,16,12,10, 5@8 plus tip top.

 

Spacing as follows:  #20 stripper 20-22 inches from the center of the reel seat.  #8 guide 4 inches measured ring to ring from the tip top.  Working from tip increase the distance between the #8 guides by 1/4 inch, 4.25, 4.50, 4.75 etc.  When you jump to the #10 space it 5.50 inches then an additional 1 inch for the remaining guides.  You probably will need to tweak the spacing when you do the stress distribution.

 

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I took a rod you built for Roseann on the James Joseph yesterday. It handled the sea robins and one small bluefish just fine. The 40-year-old Shakespeare President II on the rod has seen better days, so I'll look around for something a bit newer (sigh).

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I started with a KW12 on my last few and it was plenty big for a 300 size baitcaster. Old way of building would call for a 16-20 but theres really no need especially with a line winder.. My last few heavy conventional were acid wrapped 1-5oz plug rods and I went with KW12, 3x KW 7 for the acid transition, then KB or KT 7s. Love em and super light! 

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MT88, may I assume your builds are casting rods and the acid wrap works well casting. I ask because I have been toying with an acid build for an 8’ casting rod. Thank you for any information in advance.

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I think Al gave you a great breakdown on spacing, I'd start with a size 16 personally. Freshwater swimbait rods are all about trimming weight since you will be throwing heavy baits for long hours. So smaller guides, split grips and thin epoxy are the go to for these specialized rods. No underwraps, double wraps or big guides. It all makes a difference. They don't need to be built up as heavy duty as say a typical surf rod would be. Even trophy largemouth are small in the relative gamefish world, the rod is built to cast big baits not fight a "big" fish. 

 

More and smaller guides will help you get better control for precise casts with big baits right against structure. And help pick up on soft *tick* bites on baits fished deeper.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

On 8/14/2020 at 4:58 PM, 197esmer said:

MT88, may I assume your builds are casting rods and the acid wrap works well casting. I ask because I have been toying with an acid build for an 8’ casting rod. Thank you for any information in advance.

Sorry for the late reply but yes, they work great for chucking plugs! I don't see a need to use a guide larger than a 12 especially if you're using a baitcaster with a levelwind, unless you need additional line clearance/height over the grip. 

Edited by mtfallon88

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I musky fish a lot.  1-2 times per week.  Caught one fish Monday and finished a rod yesterday.  The 16 for the first guide might be fine if your rod doesn't have a large diameter.  I used a 16 several weeks ago that works fine but just looks a little small.  Wish I would have used a 20.  If it is a nice blank, don't skimp on your guides.    I used 10 guides on my build yesterday on an 8 footer but my rod has some bend to it so I wanted to make sure and keep the line off of the blank when I lay down on it.  

 

I would definitely upgrade from 30 lbs braid if it is a musky rod.  They will get you on the hook-set once in a blue moon and you will break off lures every now and then with the 30.  A boatside strike on a figure 8 with a pounder and a 48 inch fish will break 30 easily. I have caught several on 30 braid but I limit it to very small lures and spinning rods with lighter action (inshore stuff).  Usually when I am trying to catch walleye and musky keep nipping me off.  50 braid is my minimum but I do like 25 mono at times.  I won't Bondy bait unless I have 65 or greater.

 

Musky are extremely addictive and can ruin your life.  Be careful and fish responsibly.  

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