Back Trolling Rod for Kings?
As I salivate over my KwikFish during break up out here in Dillingham, I am looking to upgrade my baitcasting rod for backtrolling kings on the Nushagak. I currently have an 8 foot spinning rod that works rather well, but my baitcaster is a musky rod from a former life and I think it's a little stiff (although it works ok) for backtrolling k-15's and k-16's, which is my preferred method out here. This is my number one A priority for this spring's purchases and I won't say that money is no object but I'm not afraid to drop some cash for this. SO, this goes to you backtrollers out there...what length, action, brand, pieces (two would be ideal), model do you like to use, AND why do you prefer it over other models available. Also, where to get said rod...as I'm out in the toolies and don't get into town more than a few times a year.
Thanks in Advance.
G. Loomis 10 1/2' SAR 1265, matched with a baitcaster of your choice (Tekota 500lc for me) with braided 65# line. Let the rod bury when the fish hits, when the drag starts screeming pick it up and fishon!
Here is the rod:
Last edited by yukon; 04-03-2008 at 11:05.
Reason: added link
In my opinion, 10'6" is too long to plug effectively... seems that the additional elevation from the water surface would need more line, and when plugging, more line=less control.
hsr932c with about 5 inches cut off the butt (7' 4") before you build the rod is about perfect as far as length, power, sensitivity and stowability goes.
Drawbacks? yup...one piece.
Loomis and lamiglas both make great hotshot and backtroll rods, check them out.
A lot of the guides on the Kenai are running the 10 1/2' rods. The soft tip of the rod really tells you what the plug is doing and allows the plug to really work. If guys are running them off the back rods they are running them at a low angle. IMO, this method does not allow the rod to fully work, I run mine off the sides of my boat, the rod is gunnel high parallel to the water, it is really fun to see the rod load-up on a strike!
For a great do all rod, check out the Lamiglas Kenai Special. We mostly use these on the Kasilof, but have tied into a couple 60# fish on the Kenai and they worked quite well. I think it'd work great out on the Nush.
Yukon....I know what you mean about watching the rod load up with a fish. I love watching it, even when it's not in the boat I'm on. It's tough to sit there and not grab the rod too soon though. Had a king on the kasilof (using glo w/eggs & planer) give a pretty good tug, let go, came back a second or so later and SLAMMED the rod down gave a couple yanks, let go, then my buddy asked if I was going to check my bait, I said I'd wait a bit just in case it did come back for a third time eventhough I figured it was long gone...sat there for a good twenty or thirty seconds and, whammo, fish on! Hook ended up pulling during the fight, but that sure taught me a good lesson in not going for the rod too quick.
Some of the bites on eggs are pretty amazing, how many times they will slam the rod down only to have it bounce back up then go down a couple more times before it stays down. Lots of fish are lost to "quick hands".
I think I'm about to report a hijacking to the Homeland Security folks
Originally Posted by Catch It
I thought were were helping. I gave you brand, action, lenght, peices and model, all of it is in my post and the link.
We were discussing why we liked the rod over other rods, because of how the lures work, how the fish bite and the rods reaction to the bite. The senarios being discussed will help people catch more fish. Trust me, I see it everyday in the summer.
Only trying to help, no hijack intended.
For me the best part is the take and so I usually have the rod in my right hand and the tiller in the left. This allows for me to always feel the plug working and when the vibration stops I usually know one of two things....either I have hit bottom and got stuff wrapped around the plug, or a big o king has got it in it's mouth and is about to turn on that sucker and give me the thrill I've been waiting all winter for. I hear you guys on the softer tip and waiting for the second or third take...as I have the rod in hand to know when it gets swiped again after a miss.
So, where can I check out the Lamiglas rods, are those featured on their website?
Also, I'm not sure if there is a difference between egg rods and plug rods, but I'm not interested at all in fishing with eggs, not an ethics thing...just a preference based on having non pink waders, hands, face, beer bottle, tackle boxes, boat seats etc etc. And I enjoy the take on a big o plug much more than the rat a tat tat on eggs.
So, what are some more ideas on plug backtrolling rods
I have wondered if the soft tip lets the plug work, or maybe takes some of the action out of the plug and transfers it to the rod. Any insights?
Most of the fishing on the Kenai the rods are in the holders, so that is our point of reference.
I use the SAR for eggs and plugs, it is pretty much my main rod anymore. Anohter Loomis rod to check out is the HSR series, the 1021, 1023, and 1025 are great rods. They are 8 1/2' two peice rods, it is the workhorse Loomis salmon rod. I would think the 1023 or 1021 would be great for your area and tactics.
One thing to look at being out of town is the return policy. Loomis has an expedited service for broken rods, anywhere, anytime. They will actually send you a rod before receiving your rod. Check the website for details.
One note: I am not paid by Loomis nor a pro-staffer, I have rods from Loomis, Lamiglass, and Rogue in my arsenal.
The longer rod definately lets the fish grab and turn with the plug before it feels the line tension. A shorter stiffer rod probably not a good choice. I have the Loomis GL3 HSR1021 (8'6" 10 -20lb) that I use for drift fishing Kings. It's a fast action rod with a sensitve tip and lots of back bone
Last edited by Steelieguy; 04-03-2008 at 14:47.
Two Lamiglas rods that I would recommend for backtrolling are:
1) 10'6" MHC Certified Pron series rated for 10 - 20 pound line or
2) X90H Certified Pro Series rated for 15 - 25 pound test line
The X90H is my go to rod and I use it for about every application that one can think of when fishing for king salmon in Alaska. Trolling salt, light back bouncing, drifting, and backtrolling. I have backtrolled mag warts, Hot shots, cheaters, eggs, Kwikfish ranging from 13 - 16 with a diver and without depending on water flow, herring, T-spoons, and whatever else I might be leaving out. Rod performed like it should without a single complaint in the years that I have been using it.
10'6" rod is the latest greatest tool being used by the guide fleet on the Kenai River. The longer softer rods seem to lead to more bites as the rod is allowing the plug to perform better but with the soft rod comes a couple of problems. First is that mono line is not a good combination with these long rods as there is to much strecth when the two are added together so a lot of fish do not get hooked up when the rod goes off. So, to combat this most are running some type of no stretch line. This is a lethal combination as when the rod goes down with the no stretch in the line then when it snaps back the king is hooked solid. The second drawback is the length of the rod. This is not for everyone as it does make it difficult to net a king with this extra couple of feet in rod length. It is easier in a bigger boat type of situation and harder in say a boat that you need to stay seated in order to stay afloat. Make sense?
Lamiglas has a website that is easy to locate if you are looking to order or even to browse thru some other models that they have available.
The soft tips of the "hot-shot" style rods really let you know what the plug is up to at all times, and their shorter length makes boat-landing a breeze.
There really must be something to the longer rod...maybe it lets the fish hold the plug, do their "crush-crunch" thingy a bit longer, resulting in more hookups. I will say that about the short rods...on the takedown, you gotta be right on that thing to hit the hell out of the fish, 2-3 times.
You learn somethin new every day.
No stretch line
The stuff I've been using on my current bait caster is 80 pound braided Cortland musky line that I couldn't bear to throw out considering the expense. So far it has worked really well but as said, the rod is a 7 foot St. Croix Avid medium heavy musky rod with a very very fast action, so when I set the hook with that puppy I just about tear my own arm off if the fish is of any size. That said, I like having the heavy line on as it allows me to handle the fish faster so I can release them before they are completely whooped.
Any glass rod fishermen out there...I want to hear alllllll options.
I've checked out all rods mentioned so far and both look like potential winners, thanks for the help thus far.
Iceblue gave a great description of the benefits and things to look for in a rod. I havee fished the 10 1/2' Lamiglass rod and was very happy, I have two in my line-up of rods. It has a very nice tip section and loads up nice in the butt section. It would be a great (and fun) choice for the Nush.
That's a beeg one Yukon!
My only trepidation with the 10.5 footer is landing fish. If fish out of a 18 foot lund with a tiller jet and I often fish alone so that could be challenging (although I' sure entertaining for those angling around me ) I think I'm leaning closer to the 8.5 footers due to that limitation.
NOW, seeing as the Nush is known for lots of kings but not with many above 30 pounds...how much backbone do I really need. Running the kwik fish, I generally land much larger fish than my egg running brethren (on average...jacks don't dig k-15's it seems) and my largest taped at 42 inches (and this is WAY larger than most, and probably ran high 30's to low 40's poundage, I released it so not sure exactly) and my average runs from 12 to 30 pounds, which of the 8.5 foot rods would suit me best.
Another vote for the Loomis SAR1265C.... rod of choice in the siderigger postion, fished straight out toward the bank, rodtip low and parallel to the water.
For me, the Lamiglass 10.5 ft graphite stick runs out of butt for any decent fish over 30#. I prefer the stouter butt of the Loomis stick, esp for the BIG Kenai kings. Like yukon said, if you will be fishing smaller fish on the Nush, the Lami stick should suffice.
There are a couple other mfrs that have entered the 10.5 ft slow-mod action graphite salmon rod market as well. Not only are they great for pulling big plugs like K16 Kwiks, but they are also excellent sticks for trolling herring. As others have said, the key is letting the fish eat until the rod loads up completely and line strips from the reel... either forward trolling herring in the salt, or backtrolling big plugs and/or divers in the river.
W&M makes what they refer to as the AK Magnum Plug Rod... very similar action to the Loomis SAR1265C but with Kevlar added to the butt section. Lower price point, but still with a lifetime warranty. Shimano also has a similar 10.5' stick in the CENNAN line of salmon rods.... got one coming as a gift. Berkley has also added a 10.5' stick to it's line-up of IM7-Air (Buzz Ramsey series) for this application. Have not seen this rod first hand, but it will probably have the lowest price point.
So many choices. For me a HUGE selling point is the Expeditor service plan... and yes, I've had occasion to use it. Nothing beats the security of knowing you will be in back in business 2nd day air!
"Let every angler who loves to fish think what it would mean to him to find the fish were gone."
The KeenEye MD
Keep an eye on Trustworthy Hardware website (in Soldotna). I picked up three of Lamiglas's cheaper models (Northwest Specials) three years ago figuring if one broke I had a back up. Haven't broke one yet and have had kings in the 45-50lb range put in the box. The price for each rod was $50! If they have a deal like this again, and you want to get a couple, pm me and we'll work out something to get them to you. Or call the store and talk to Scott. They might ship direct. Great people to deal with and some of the best prices around on fishing gear.