EdwardJ23

Surf cast rod length

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I am new to surf casting, and I understand that generally longer rods generate more distance.  I see people like John skinner using 8’ or under 10’ rods.  I assume these rods give good distance.  Could someone explain rod length in considering optimal use?

 

thanks.

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Just because John Skinner likes a certain product, doesn’t mean that it will work for you. Don’t force yourself to use something because someone on YouTube uses it. And if you watch, he uses like 50 rods ranging from 6’6 to 11’.

 

If you’re fishing light surf or a bay, 9’ is all you need.

 

If you’re fishing heavier surf and bigger waves, look in to a 10-11 footer.

 

To me personally, 8 footers are useless from the surf. It’s that awkward length that it might as well be built like an inshore rod.

 

If distance is a concern, then use a reel that matches whatever rod and 30 or 40lb braid.

Edited by ASrod

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Good question, but the answer can't be short.

 

As a matter of physics, the longer the lever, the greater the result. As a more immediate matter, longer rod=greater distance only matters in specialized casting, with tackle that isn't always good for fishing, and in the hands of muscular anglers who spend a lot of time on practice fields. The long range casts we all admore are achieved with rods of 12' and longer. They set records with sinkers, and little else. Adding even a small bait increases aerodynamic drag and cuts distance sharply.

 

And then there's the matter of lure design. Even the heaviest lures discussed here (and we have a couple of posters who make and cast lures of five or six ounces) don't approach the density of a lead sinker. Most lures are far, far lighter than that. Getting a nice swimming action in the water requires a low density lure body, and adding a lip and hooks further reduces distance potential. Even Roger Clemens couldn't throw a plastic cup more than a few yards. The cup's low density, and very un-aerodynamic.

 

You mention John Skinner, so you've seen some of his videos. When he's chasing fluke from shore,he's usually doing it with a bucktail jig of under an ounce. His striped bass lures might go to two ounces, but usually don't. Extra length would do no good.

 

Give us some details on what you want to do, and where you want to do it, and you'll get more specific comment.

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90% of the time, if the fish are there you do not need a long rod. In fact my longest rod is a St Croix 10'6........but I could of caught and landed 90% of my fish with my 8' Tsunami Airwave. Another consideration is how you fish. If you fish long hours,walk the beach and cast alot.........length is not necessarily your friend.......just an opinion.

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Thank you all for the helpful replies.  I fish mainly in the Cape Cod Bay, but would like to try out the Canal this spring.  I have trouble getting an SP Minnow more than like 40 yards, so I thought there was an issue with my setup.  Maybe it is lure type and air resistance.

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4 mins ago, EdwardJ23 said:

Thank you all for the helpful replies.  I fish mainly in the Cape Cod Bay, but would like to try out the Canal this spring.  I have trouble getting an SP Minnow more than like 40 yards, so I thought there was an issue with my setup.  Maybe it is lure type and air resistance.

The canal is another animal all together. 
 

You need a much heavier rod there than a beach. 2-6oz is pretty common on the low end. 3-8oz and heavier is no unusual. My canal rods are just that, canal rods.  
 

Longer isn’t always better on the canal. You will have riprap behind you and a long rod could hurt your casting distance. I prefer 10’6” or 10” rods myself. 
 

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For most open beach surf fishing, 9 to 11 are most common. For  back bays and jettys style fishing 8 is the number, 7 for back bays.  Of course there are no rules written in stone just thoughts on how things line up.

 

I prefer a 9 stick to all others for most of my open beach fishing, sometimes i like to drop to a 7 footer when fish are small and in tight to th beach. As light and easy to carry todays 10 and 11 footers are, unless distance is that much a factor, the effort over a 9 footer is substantial.

 

If you want one rod, a 9' spinner is the selection. 

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In addition to my freshwater rods I have 4 surf rods 8' - 11' which cover all my bases but I honestly even think that is overkill. Have a read of Doc Muller's book 'Surfcaster' which I thought had excellent insight for selecting gear. Basically 2 rods will probably do it for you, especially when starting out. One 9' and another 11'er for the heavier stuff but it all comes down to personal preference. 

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If I had to buy one rod to do it all, I would go with a 10’. Not too long. Not too short. Can get the distance an 11’ can with the leverage/power of a 9’. But that’s just my experience. To each their own. 

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On 1/17/2021 at 4:33 PM, EdwardJ23 said:

I am new to surf casting, and I understand that generally longer rods generate more distance.  I see people like John skinner using 8’ or under 10’ rods.  I assume these rods give good distance.  Could someone explain rod length in considering optimal use?

 

thanks.

Where one would typically fish has alot to do with picking a rod length. You should be looking to cover the most amount of productive water in a given spot with an outfit that can handle a good fish. Rod reel line all go hand in hand. Don’t get purely hung up on rod length.

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Thanks again for the excellent advice.  This forum is really amazing for practical and useful content.  When I shore fish, I have been productive inside an area short of a set of sandbars.  It’s almost like a trough.  I think I can cover that distance well, although sometimes surface action breaks just beyond my reach.  Why I ask about the distance and rod length is adding sufficient distance to cast over the bar.  Water is deep blue there snd I believe it drops off.  Also, in getting max distance, would increase confidence when wind is in my face or when I try the canal.  Lure aerodynamics and density are important and I thank previous posters for those considerations.

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