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Thread: Downrigger rods

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    Member AKCAPT's Avatar
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    Default Downrigger rods

    Just wondering what down rigger rods you are using for kings in the salt. I am looking for a new set but I want the real deal 8'6" - 10' parabolic bend, purpose built down rigger rods. Any suggestions??

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    Member DRIFTER_016's Avatar
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    Capt
    I swear by my old Fenwick Fenglass rigger rods.
    Been using them since the early 90's.
    Don't know what today's equivalent is though.

    They were also some of the first levelwind rods built with acid wrapped guides.
    Helps a lot to keep the rod upright when fighting big fish.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKCAPT View Post
    Just wondering what down rigger rods you are using for kings in the salt. I am looking for a new set but I want the real deal 8'6" - 10' parabolic bend, purpose built down rigger rods. Any suggestions??
    I have a Fetha Styx Chrome Downrigger rod that I really like. It's a little long at 10'6" so I will probably look at the 9'6" for my next one.

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    Member AKCAPT's Avatar
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    Talked to the Bruce the Seeker guy today and he said they make a down rigger rod that seems to be what I am looking for. I ordered a set of them for this summer. I'll report back how they work.

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    Charterboat Operator Abel's Avatar
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    Lamiglass CD90DR. They were built to take the gap when Fenwick quit making their glass rigger rod that everyone loved. So far I'm happy with them. Soft action, but still lots of power.
    Life's to short for an ugly boat

    Blaze N Abel Charters
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    Would that be their CG90DR? Can't find a CD series.

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    Charterboat Operator Abel's Avatar
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    Ya, that's it. CG, Classic Glass.
    Life's to short for an ugly boat

    Blaze N Abel Charters
    Kodiak, AK
    www.alaska-fish.com
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    Quote Originally Posted by Abel View Post
    Lamiglass CD90DR. They were built to take the gap when Fenwick quit making their glass rigger rod that everyone loved. So far I'm happy with them. Soft action, but still lots of power.
    That's what I use-there's nothing better that I've found.

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    Member Dan in Alaska's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKCAPT View Post
    Talked to the Bruce the Seeker guy today and he said they make a down rigger rod that seems to be what I am looking for. I ordered a set of them for this summer. I'll report back how they work.
    Which rod did you order?

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    Member AKCAPT's Avatar
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    I am not sure, but I should have them in a couple of days, I will post the info then.

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    Member ocnfish's Avatar
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    Probably too late, but the G Loomis GL-3's we have do double duty as a downrigger rod and a jigging rod .... have had them for about three years now one has a broken cermaic insert down low, stepped on, but other than that perfect .... you have to mark the rods so that the ferrels seat properly because they are individually fitted, end up with different length rods otherwise, all should be 8'6".

  12. #12

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    Yeah, we're real fond of Loomis, but the 10'6" SAMR 1265 for kings. We do a lot of shallow trolling with weights, as well as mooching, and the extra length brings bonus points. Sure Loomis is more expensive, but till now we've felt we got what we paid for.

    Might be changing our minds real soon. Temple Fork has come out with their Alaska Series, and the 10'6" GTS SC 1066-2 looks really good on paper and comes at half the price. Gonna put 4 on the boat and give them a thorough workout.

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    Charterboat Operator kodiakcombo's Avatar
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    I've tried most of the rods and they are all great, loomis 1084c for trolling jigging, berkley Buuzz Ramsey, St Croix, Diawa. My seeker Eglass has lasted the longest. I troll year round and the graphite rods were snapping in the winter. I had a guy couple weeks ago snap a seeker rod that we been using for 3-4 years, he was new to fishing and I didnt teach proper fish landing techique. I didnt correct the way they were landing rockfish, he lifted the fish out of the water then grabbed the line to remove the hook and the rod is bent almost bent in half!
    Providing trips for multilpe species for over 20 yrs
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    Member AKCAPT's Avatar
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    I have used loomis rods and others as "double duty" rods but I think you really want a full sized, fiberglass "down rigger" rod to insure you get the right hook set. The Seekers I just got have a true parabolic bend and when you load one up in a down rigger they are bent in a U shape and when you get a bite it is a proper hook set. I haven't fished them yet but I bet my hook up rate is going to be way higher using a rod that was built for the purpose of down rigging.

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    Member redleader's Avatar
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    Good choice Captain, I carry a lot of rods on my boat and like using the right one for every different situation, pia carrying so many rods especially the long downrigger rods, but I think it's worth doing. I like to jig and can't stand using a flexible rod for a jigging rod that you can't feel a bite on.

  16. #16

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    I am starting to conclude that the parabolic deep bend downrigger rods are a myth...at least for me. Not quite there yet.

    The rod is only going to "snap" up three or four feet once released. At anything more than 30ft down, between the blowback and the stretch in the mono to get the big bend, that's about all it's covering.

    It'd probably be horrifying to run multiple spectra lines trolling...especially with clients. But I've found my jigging rod loaded with spectra with minimal bend gets full pressure to the fish faster because there is less stretch and thinner line means less blowback. Hook sets are achieved through speeding up after the strike. Even then, I'm tugging to release the clip on cohos and kings over half of the time. So I did clip them in pretty solidly.

    I guess after I typed this my point is only remotely relevant for folks fishing two lines max or like me single lines.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Kardinal_84 View Post
    I am starting to conclude that the parabolic deep bend downrigger rods are a myth...at least for me. Not quite there yet.
    I haven't tried every rod out there, so can't quite go so far. But I'm close on your heels in any case. And I sure seem to have a better hookup rate with braid- probably for the small diameter and no stretch you cite. One reason I like those long rods is for taking up slack quickly. Between reeling fast and lifting that long rod, I'm onto the fish noticeably faster than with shorter rods and mono. Heck I've even considered going to the 12' models.

    I can sure see a difference in hookups with different releases and how much effort it takes to pop the line free. Like you, I'm on the throttle with a hit, and if they pull hard enough to pop free from a good release they're almost always hooked solidly.

  18. #18

    Default Downrigger rods

    Very similar experience. I prefer longer rods as well but mainly for the reason you cite about line pick up and from a kayak because I can more easily get around to bow and stern when a fish changes direction. I'm not quite seeing the benefit at "the strike" it's more for "after the strike". I guess simply put a longer stiffer rod is better for me than a longer softer rod simply to get the classic parabolic U. I have too hard of a time controlling fish around the kayak when the rod has too much "give" to it. And to me, the ability to control the fish right at the side of the boat/kayak is much more important to successfully landing a fish than the couple feet of automatic line pick up at the moment of release softer rods may give you.


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  19. #19
    Charterboat Operator kodiakcombo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kardinal_84 View Post
    Very similar experience. I prefer longer rods as well but mainly for the reason you cite about line pick up and from a kayak because I can more easily get around to bow and stern when a fish changes direction. I'm not quite seeing the benefit at "the strike" it's more for "after the strike". I guess simply put a longer stiffer rod is better for me than a longer softer rod simply to get the classic parabolic U. I have too hard of a time controlling fish around the kayak when the rod has too much "give" to it. And to me, the ability to control the fish right at the side of the boat/kayak is much more important to successfully landing a fish than the couple feet of automatic line pick up at the moment of release softer rods may give you.


    AlaskaKayakFisher.com
    Guidesak.blogspot.com
    My personal pages...I'm not a guide.
    From watching footage of kings taking herrring trolled, I believe that sticking your line in as far as it goes into the release is the best for "hooking" a biter, not so much as a rod taking up slack. Your rod will bounce several times before giving that scary slack pose before you hope it bends back over as your grabbing it from the rod holder. Kings will bite the bait several times before getting hooked, if the release set was lite it would be a hit and miss as the bait is trolled up away from the zone. Longer and a bit firmer rod for me is best when landing a fish around downriggers and others on deck.
    Providing trips for multilpe species for over 20 yrs
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  20. #20
    Member AKCAPT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kodiakcombo View Post
    From watching footage of kings taking herrring trolled, I believe that sticking your line in as far as it goes into the release is the best for "hooking" a biter, not so much as a rod taking up slack. Your rod will bounce several times before giving that scary slack pose before you hope it bends back over as your grabbing it from the rod holder. Kings will bite the bait several times before getting hooked, if the release set was lite it would be a hit and miss as the bait is trolled up away from the zone. Longer and a bit firmer rod for me is best when landing a fish around downriggers and others on deck.
    i am with you on a tight release and I think the big bend serves not only to stick the hook in tighter but to quickly take up the slack from the blow back. I have been using 65 pound hollow core with a 20 foot x 50 pound mono top shot on my king rigs. This allows my down rigger clip to pinch mono but the spectra to not stretch while being trolled. To Each their own but this seems to give me the best of both worlds. The splicing takes a little while but the winters are long in Seward and I have become much quicker at it. The 50 only goes to a swivel and then if I need to lighten up the gear on the business end I can drop down to 20 or 30 pound leader. The 50 is tough enough to survive a bit of a tangle with the spectra or a brush with another down rigger wire….

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