Vandevort

CTS, CPS, or Ballistic?

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Hi everyone!  Been trying to read as much as I can.  I grew up on spinning reels, but decided to give a conventional setup a try about a year ago (Penn Squall 15 and Batallion 12' 6-12).  Needless to say, I am hooked on conventional setups on big rods now.  I feel like the rod I have is best with 6 or 7 and good bait.  I have the magnet on the squall down to about 1/4 or a click less. 

 

I am looking for a good heaver that can throw 8 to 10 ounces and a chunk or head.  This would end up being my main drum rod and also serve double duty for sharks.  I would probably not throw less than 8 on it very often.  From what I'm reading have been looking at the CTS 1305/1306, Daiwa Ballistic 35-405/40-405, or the Carolina Cast Pro 6-10/8-12.

 

I am an okay caster and my skill/range is improving.  I don't attempt pendulum casts but do try to do a Hatteras or variation of the unitech for better distance over an overhead thump.  

 

I think my first question is, each of the above rods have two weight ratings that appear to work (1305/1306, 35-405/40-405, etc).  For 8 to 10 ounces and bait, would I likely get better distance out of the lower or higher rating?  I am also thinking of going the custom route over a factory rod.

 

Any recommendations of one rod over the other and why?

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I own 2 CTS 1305’s.  They are an excellent beach drum rod.  The sweet spot is 7-8 oz and bait.  I have thrown not lobbed 10 oz and bait and they handle it no problem.  It is a fast action blank.  I have mine built with titanium torzite guides and is the lightest true heaver I have used.  The 1306 is what a lot of the guys here on the obx use for their pier rods.  It is a heavier version of the 1305.  8-10 oz and bait no problem, can throw 12 oz.  I have thrown the ccp rods and they are a much softer blank.  Totally capable in the right hands, they just require a different approach to casting than the CTS rods.  I have never fished a ballistic rod but I have seen it cast/fished and in the right hands it can throw with the best of them.  You really should get up with a custom builder and try all the rods. If you like the cts you will not like the CCP rods and vice a versa.  

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Thanks, savfish.  Would you say the CCP rods are more sensitive to timing and technique to get a good cast?  My spinning heaver that I have used for years is a 12' Ocean Master heavy, so that is what I am use to (that and a Penn Batallion conventional).

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Also, depending on where you are located sometimes they have casting get-togethers in the Virginia/North Carolina area. I have never attended but it is your best option to try out a number of different rods. They are usually held in the winter time. You probably have 4 to 6 weeks of big drum fishing left here in North Carolina so chances are you are not going to get a rod built in that time frame anyway.  Casting distance is the number one factor in drum fishing success so you really want to find a rod that you can throw far.

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Yes.  While I do a lot of drum fishing I really cannot talk too much about casting technique. What I found with the CCP rods Is that you really have to slow your cast down and let the rod load.  Definitely put that question out for Tommy Farmer in the Distance casting forum. 

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I just got back from OBX Sunday and probably won't make it back down again until April, so I have some time to decide and get a rod.  I'm in MD and will look into a casting get together if I can find one close. 

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I have a 1305 and a 1306.. 
 

From the beach, 1305 is the nicest rod I have thrown. Really light and it kind of does the work for you. Nice to fight fish with. I don’t think it even blinks throwing 10s. I tossed a 12 with it last weekend, made me nervous. If you rarely throw 12s, you would probably be fine with an 05, but if you throw them often enough you are eventually going to mess up and break one. They also have a 1205 that is really nice if you want a little less rod. 
 

1306 is fine off the beach but the 05 is noticeably nicer to fish from the sand. I throw 12s with mine but it’s sweet spot is 8-10. Seems like there is more power in the 06. That doesn’t translate to more distance with 8 and a cob head under most conditions but if you have to throw 10 into the wind, you want a 06.
 

Got rid of the CCP 8-12 I had, but it was a nice rod. Just like the faster rods more. Never threw one of the lighter models

 

I have never thrown a Ballistic. Not really excited about a 3 piece rod. You see quite a few on the beach and they catch some fish.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

I have to agree with Savfish and CJS on every point, as I own a 1305 and a 1306, AND just built a Gen 2 CPS 8-12oz.  CTS is still my go-to.  The CPS Gen 2 is noticeably lighter than the Gen 1, and the action is a little softer/slower then the CTS rods.   It's a fine rod and will launch 10oz and bait, I just have to slow down with the cast.  CPS is also a 50/50 split if that factors in at all.  The Ballistics throw well, I just don't like the 3-piece design.  I've built a few for a friend of mine and he thinks they're awesome. 

 

The 1305 is a fine beach rod as previously stated, but the 06 works well also, especially on rough days and you need more lead.  Conversely the 05 is a great pier rod on days when 6-8oz holds.   Good luck!

Edited by Drumfish420

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Thanks for the input so far. While I want to try  out the rods that I’m interested in, the CTS 1305 sounds like what I’m looking for.  Based on rods I already have, I like the unequal split better than a 50/50 split. Rods are always transported in my truck and never fly anywhere with them, so length isn’t a concern other than fitting them in my garage.  90% of the time I’d throw 8, occasionally throw 10, and so far, I’ve never thrown 12 and bait. Seems like picking the rod for the greatest use is the way to go, which would

knock out a 1306...for now. 

Edited by Vandevort

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I've owned several Ballistics, including a couple 40-405s....owned several 1306s....and one CPS (gen 1).

Got rid of all but the 1306s......love the action  and it's ability to handle a wide range of weights. ...also my best distance was with the 1306s.

Have the 1306s built both spinning and conventional....with braided line and long stroke spinning reel (Shimano Aero Technium 10000 MGS) I'm able to achieve by best distances. I use both a  braided casting leader (some call it a shock leader) and braided running line.

Both conventional and spinning are built with Torzite guides. FYI...I do not buy the painted CTS blanks...because of the additional weight..a lot of folks may not know this or may not care...but I do.....I compared weights with some painted blanks to the P2000 (sanded finish) and consistently the painted blanks weighed a couple oz more.

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Thanks dcast - I didn’t think about the painted blanks weighing more. If you don’t go with a painted blank I guess you are limited to the grayish graphite color (which is fine by me anyway)?

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Posted (edited) · Report post

I am glad someone asked these questions before I went and spent a bunch of money on a rod I haven't thrown. One thing to throw out there, I was listening to a podcast * but Bryan Lester of Hatteras style custom rods did an interview about surf drum fishing and talked a good bit about the rods,  I called to ask him some questions about one or the other and he told me he has some demo rods he will let people take, throw, and fish with for the day to see which one you like. I am sure there's some sort of deposit or something but he seemed like he was more interested in getting you setup with a rod that will fit you well than selling you a rod. 

Edited by TimS
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After fishing last week, my CCP Gen 2 is now up for sale, and I officially have two CTS 1305s in my possession.  The CCP is an awesome rod, it just doesn't suit my casting style. 

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