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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK guys, wind is blowing 60 MPH gusts, temperature is dropping like 5 degrees an hour and I start thinking about fishing tackle. So I send off an email to Steve F about putting together a couple of rods strictly to fish off the boards. Now I have no shortage of suitable rods but they are kind of a mix. So I thought it would be kinda cool to come up with the ultimate rod strictly for boards. Who better to put it together than Steve since I hear he's got a nose problem :helpsmilie: and some spare time on his hands. Here's what I've come up with so far:

Length - 5 1/2 - 6 foot
High quality guides to handle braid
Med action tip with some backbone down low
Roller tip ???
Decent size fore grip but not as long as on a stand up rod
Smooth butt with a gimbal
One piece (of course)
High quality reel seat

None of this is carved in stone so I'm throwing it out there for suggestions. Now I don't know this for a fact, but I've been hearing that Steve is kinda leaning toward the "Dark Side" a little :cool2: and I know for a fact he builds a fine trolling rod :thumbup: Any suggestions/comments you guys come up with are greatly appreciated.

Sam
 

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For planer boards I would go with a less expensive rod that can get beat up.

The reason is because sensitivity isn't super important as you won't be observing the bend to determine speed or anything and it will be baltently obvious when a fish hits it. Also you will likely be buying several of these as most run 4-12 planer board rods. These rods also get a lot of abuse as they get moved a lot when clipping on lines and moving them down.

Also, you can get away with a lighter whippier rod tip becase the clip or the band takes a lot of the play as you troll along. A whippier tip will allow you to detect a strike that didn't break the band or clip as well. I would also personally go with a 6.5' rod just to get a longer tip with a little more play.

You have to determine what reels you will be putting on your rods as well. A balanced outfit will aid greatly in playing fish back to the boat. Also, what baits do you want to pull behind your boards? You can get away with a lighter rod if you only want to pull single and tandem chutes instead of umbies.

For an off the shelf rod, I really like ugly sticks. They are cheaper than most and very durable.
 

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The utlmate ches bay trolling rod is a Shakespeare Tidewater 3/0 6'6" 20-40lb. It is cheap, med action, roller striper and tip. Downside is that it doesnt have a stiff butt. At less thaan $40 at boaters world it is my go to rod.
 

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I use 7 foot rods designed for King Mackeral with Penn 320's on one side.These carry single parachutes.Light tip but plenty of backbone.

The other side carries tandems on 5 1/2 ' stand up rods with Penn 345's.I like the heavier rod in case two Rock get hooked at one time.

I also like a 6'6'' Shimano Tallus rod.

It is tough to find a perfect rod for planers - unless you also rig them the exact same way.

Best to have the same length rods on one side though.Mixing short and tall rods can cause trouble.

Gimbal butt is a must - it will keep the rod pointed back towards the stern.
 

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Sounds like you have a good parts list. I would consider 6'-6.5' length with turbo guides. Be sure to check out Steve's new marbled finish, I hear it's getting two thumbs up.....
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The main reason I'm considering this is so I can have all the same length rods out on the boards. I think I'm going with the shorter rod only because most are fished from a rocket launcher mounted on the hardtop of a 38 Bertram. Steve told me he found a 5'10" rod blank that he likes. The rods I've been using are not all the same length and since they get all shifted around while fishing it would easier not to have to worry about that. I only fish single and tandem baits off the boards so a lighter, faster tip is fine since they aren't going to be pulling umbrellas or any heavy lead. All my reels are Penn 340 or 345s and I usually alternate braid and mono to start and run 4-5 rods off each board. Thanks for all your input/comments. :clapping2: Marbled finish ??? Hmmmmmmmm.
 

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I don't like roller tips--If all goes well and the rod always stays pointed the right way, there is no problem, but of the rod is turned around in the holder and the line is coming out across the top of the frame, it is rubbing over a pretty rough (comparatively speaking anyway) surface--
I know this isn't a problem for experts, but how often do you look up and find that one of your buddies has put the rod in the holder backwards?

Maybe I just fish with knuckleheads, but I find that I have to idiot proof the operation--no roller guides and levelwinds (is it really that hard to put the line back on the reel right?)

Hans
 

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The utlmate ches bay trolling rod is a Shakespeare Tidewater 3/0 6'6" 20-40lb. It is cheap, med action, roller striper and tip. Downside is that it doesnt have a stiff butt. At less thaan $40 at boaters world it is my go to rod.
I work at west marine and with my associate discount i get them for 25 dollars and i put a shakspeare tidewater reel. I love that combo it is cheep and they never break
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I would bag the roller tip...and consider acid wrapped guides
Definitely re-thinking the roller tip, you either love em or hate em. Thanks,

Sam
 

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I agree...eliminate the chance that braided line will get caught between the roller and the guide causing a cut off or breakage...
I do not like braid sawing at a ceramic tip on a trolling rod no matter what ring material you use. Especially if you are like me and drag 32 oz. mojo / umbrella rigs combos around now and then. Use quality roller components and #50 and heavier braid and you don't have to worry about it.

FWIW: My favorite rod blank for use off the boards is a #20 IGFA action. The X2RT20, RT20, BT20 and the T6120 all make nice board rods and will not break the bank.
 
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