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Thread: Rods for kings?

  1. #1
    Member Blackhawk .44's Avatar
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    Default Rods for kings?

    Im getting ready to go King fishing in Montana Creek soon. What would be a good rod?

  2. #2
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    Spin, Fly, baitcaster? any prefrence? i love to use baitcasters for kings, i use a Abu_Garcia 6500 with a Dawia Light and Tough Bass Rod - Trigger, with braided 30lb line.
    I Wish i could change my name to Shimano, because i recently started hating Ambassdor Abu_Garcia.

  3. #3

    Default How soon is "soon"?

    I think it's a bit early for kings up there but hey, you never know! Anyways, I use a fly rod when fishing Montana. When I'm fishing the creek itself, I use a 10wt rod but i've also caught them on my 9wt. With the 9wt, I landed a 45lb buck and the rod itself held it's ground pretty good. The mouth is a different story. That's where I need my medium/heavy spincast rod. I try to avoid that area since it crowded with a bunch of crazy drunks.

  4. #4

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    I use Ugly Stiks for everything. They are "bomb proof" and stand up for years and you can't beat the price. My favorite for saltwater kings is the 7' MH baitcasting rod with either the Ambassedeur 6600, Shimano Triton 100 or Penn 310GTi spooled up with 50 lb. braid.

  5. #5

    Default Any...

    rod manufacturer that you like. It is YOUR rod after all, and YOUR budget.

    But I would recommend the following: 8'6" Casting rod, rated for 12-25# test.

    You can fish Kings from the bank & boat with this rod, flip reds, saltwater jig, and deep troll on downriggers. Great all around rod type for AK

    my .02


    p.s. (Lamiglas Kenai Special fits the bill)

  6. #6
    Member fishNphysician's Avatar
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    Default +1

    Quote Originally Posted by Sockeye Charlie View Post

    p.s. (Lamiglas Kenai Special fits the bill)

    Good advice!
    "Let every angler who loves to fish think what it would mean to him to find the fish were gone." Zane Grey
    http://www.piscatorialpursuits.com/uploads/UP12710.jpg
    The KeenEye MD

  7. #7

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    Not being contentious, but what is it that everyone loves about the Lamiglass Kenai Specials? I'm just curious what people that have used them have to say about them because I've never used one. I've used Ugly Stiks of all different shapes and sizes for a good part of the many years I've fished in Alaska and have never had one break on me or even fall apart. And for $30 I don't think you can go wrong. I've yanked 50+ pound kings out of the Kenai and the salt with them, reds from the Russian confluence and the Kasilof and probably a few hundred silvers out of Resurrection Bay. I can't see spending $100 or more on a rod when I can catch just as many fish with a $30 rod. What makes them worth the money? Just curious.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Muttley Crew Fishing View Post
    Not being contentious, but what is it that everyone loves about the Lamiglass Kenai Specials? I'm just curious what people that have used them have to say about them because I've never used one. I've used Ugly Stiks of all different shapes and sizes for a good part of the many years I've fished in Alaska and have never had one break on me or even fall apart. And for $30 I don't think you can go wrong. I've yanked 50+ pound kings out of the Kenai and the salt with them, reds from the Russian confluence and the Kasilof and probably a few hundred silvers out of Resurrection Bay. I can't see spending $100 or more on a rod when I can catch just as many fish with a $30 rod. What makes them worth the money? Just curious.
    Ugly Stiks are heavier, shorter and less sensitive than a Lamiglas Kenai Special or any other graphite fishing rod for that matter. You're a saltwater guide and my guess is you are not casting all day with your Ugly Stiks and if you were you would definitely see the benefit of a lighter rod.

    Put it to you another way. A Ford Fusion and a Lexus 300 will both get you from point A to point B. Which one gave you a better ride?

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by tcman View Post
    Ugly Stiks are heavier, shorter and less sensitive than a Lamiglas Kenai Special or any other graphite fishing rod for that matter. You're a saltwater guide and my guess is you are not casting all day with your Ugly Stiks and if you were you would definitely see the benefit of a lighter rod.

    Put it to you another way. A Ford Fusion and a Lexus 300 will both get you from point A to point B. Which one gave you a better ride?
    I'd say the Fusion vs. Lexus debate would depend on what you plan on doing. You could also say, "Which would you rather go four wheeling in---a Lexus 300 or a jacked up Jeep?" Guess it kind of depends on what you plan on doing. So the question would really be what rod is most appropriate for king fishing in Montana Creek as "Blackhawk" said. I don't know about other people, but the times I've fished for kings up at Montana (it's been a few years, so things might have changed) it was pretty much a "hook 'em and get em out of the water" sort of fishery. Not much fiinesse to it. I could be wrong, but that's just my opinion.

    I may be a saltwater guide, but I also fish freshwater for kings, reds, silvers and rainbows and I've never had any trouble catching any of them with my Ugly Stiks. And I never have over the 19 years I've fished up here. I've never noticed any problem with weight issues, though I could see possibly a sensitivity issue. But when I want sensitivity I use my Sage fly rod, so I'd say it would be even a better choice than either an Ugly Stik or a Kenai Special. Personally if I was going to go up and fish Montana I'd prefer the "jacked up Jeep" to get me my fish.

    I will say that I once developed a nice case of "tennis elbow" (tendonitis) in my casting arm doing the "Kenai flip" for reds just below the Russian. Maybe because I was using the heavier Ugly Stik.

    But thank you for the feedback. I'd love to fish with them both someday and see if there's really any noticeable difference.

  10. #10
    Member slimm's Avatar
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    Well said tcman....The only thing i can add is Lamiglas has a great guarantee.
    I went cheap with an ugly stik the first time i went to Alaska, i broke my ugly stik the fourth day of the trip,a friend had an extra Kenai special he loaned me, the difference in the two poles was day and nite. When i got to Anchorage i bought the Lamiglas and have never looked back..
    A person spends alot of money to get up to Alaska, cheap tackle can sure turn a dream trip into a nitemare purty quick.
    Always get the best you can afford....

  11. #11
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    how well would an 8wt hold up?

  12. #12

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    I'd really love to have the opportunity to try a Kenai Special and an Ugly Stik side by side sometime. Be an interesting experiment.

    And I certainly wouldn't call Ugly Stiks "cheap". Sure they are inexpensive, but "cheap" they are not. Though not as good as Lamiglass' lifetime warranty, they have a great guarantee (7 years on the ones I use). I've never had to send one back on warranty issues and have never had one break on me after the warranty period. And you could buy a bunch of them for what one Kenai Special would cost you.

    Grouse---I know people that use an 8wt for kings, but it's kind of on the edge for someone if they don't have a lot of experience with kings. I'm not an AVID flyfisherman and use a 9 wt. But for more help on that you might want to ask on the flyfishing forum as I'm sure you'd get a lot of help there.

  13. #13

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    Just my opinion but....

    For boat rods when casting, trolling, backtrolling or drifting, the ugly sticks work great. They are a sheer nightmare to use when bottom bouncing, jigging, or flipping due to their slower action (entire rod flexes instead of just the tip).

    You expend too much energy while the rod bends and nothing happens on the hook end. A slow action rod will wear you out compared to a similar weight faster action rod if you try it in any application where you are physically moving the rod tip in my experience.

    8 wt fly rod for kings is okay on rivers like the Kasilof and Ninilchik but with the crowds, you are probably better off using a 9wt or 10wt. If you are fishing places like the confluence of any of the Northern Streams and Susitna River (Montana Creek), if the King gets into the main part of the Susitna river with a 8wt fly rod, you will be playing the fish with the reel and not the rod...unless you can run really fast down the river.

    I use primarily G Loomis Rods. Yeah, they cost a LOT more initially but when you can get a replacement rod for $50 to $65 (includes expedited delivery both ways) it's an amazing deal. I have two G Loomis rods which are the second one after breaking them on fish. The weight and sensitivity are far superior to an ugly stick. I think Lamiglass has a similar guarantee.

    At Montana Creek, if you are the type to go shoulder to shoulder, i wouldn't go too much longer than a 8'6" rod. If you are the type to give up the "hot" hole and move off to the edge a bit, a longer rod will make flipping for the kings easier and give you a longer range on each flip...or if your mean, it tends to give you a little more space since your rod takes up a little more room as you swing it around. A 9ft flyrod for flipping is great. You get longer flips than a similar length spinning or casting rod due to the reels position, and the balance lets you flip all day , plus there is less "stuff" the line can tangle in as you are flipping like the handles.

    It sounds obvious but it all depends on how you plan to fish. One rod can't do it all....or at least that's my excuse for having a closet full of different rods!

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kardinal_84 View Post
    Just my opinion but....

    For boat rods when casting, trolling, backtrolling or drifting, the ugly sticks work great. They are a sheer nightmare to use when bottom bouncing, jigging, or flipping due to their slower action (entire rod flexes instead of just the tip).

    You expend too much energy while the rod bends and nothing happens on the hook end. A slow action rod will wear you out compared to a similar weight faster action rod if you try it in any application where you are physically moving the rod tip in my experience.
    Actually they make a number of different "actions" for different lengths of rod and they make everything form ultralight models up to "tuna sticks" so you can choose the proper model for the proper condition. Saying that they have a "slower action" is like saying all Lamiglass, or G. Loomis or any other rods have a singular action. Take a look at their website and you'll see what a wide variety of rods they make. And I'm not a rep for them or associated with them in any way other than the fact that I use them exclusively for salmon and think you can't beat the value you get from them---I can buy about 5 of my favorite Ugly Stiks for what I'd pay for one Lamiglass Kenai Special. I've never had any problems using them for "bottom bouncing, jigging, or flipping" on the Kenai, Kasilof and up in the Russian area and I had a great time fighting 3 kings out in the salt with them just a few days ago.

    I guess the upshot of it is, if you've got the money to spend on a really nice rod, go for broke. I've got a nice Sage flyrod and I'm quite happy with it that would probably cost about $300 to replace these days. But if you like to be a bit more "frugal" and want a rod that will last for many, many years and catch plenty of fish in ALL different situations give the Ugly Stiks a thought. I stake my guiding reputation on them every day I take people out with me.

  15. #15

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    Interesting about all the different styles of ugly sticks. I guess my info must be outdated. I always thought that the trademark ugly stick construction was based on a fiberglass type with the trademark sales picture of a guy just bending the rod in two. I see they actually make a graphite ugly stick now. Can't say I have ever used a fast action ugly stick or felt on in a store. I think heavy action and fast action are two completely different things but once again, I may be thinking about the old style ugly sticks.

    I still have a few of the old uglysticks and they are reserved strictly for trolling or backtrolling. But they got some really hard use for over a decade and are still going strong. I have only seen one ugly stick broken with a fish on, and it just exploded like a gunshot. They are definitely one tough rod.

    I agree that if you are on budget and you also have to make the rod last, then its a choice to consider. I'll look at new ones next time I am in a store. I would be floored if they can fish anywhere near as comfortably as a G Loomis or similar style Lamiglass rods when they are in your hands all day but that's what makes these forums great is getting the different opinions.

  16. #16
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    There is no doubt that Ugly Stick rods are a good quality product that have there share of followers out there in the salmon fishing world. They are a good rod to use when money is an issue but to even suggest that they are the equal of top of the line king salmon rods (Loomis or Lamiglas) is extremely iffy to say the least.

    A little food for thought is that I am willing to bet that less than 1% of all Kenai River Guides use Ugly Sticks and to take it one step farther I would even state that in this ultra intense competitive market that over 90% KR guides use either Loomis or Lamiglas with another 5% using Wright McGill. I realize that when fishing Cook Inlet for Kings that what rod one wishes to use in a downrigger comes into play so there is a difference in the two fisheries but the point is that there is a reason that such a large percentage of the KR guides are spending the extra money to purchase the best rod that they possibly can.

    As a guide you will find that the first impression that your clients have of your operation is "huge" muttley. I cannot even guess how many times that I have had my clients get excited when they saw the gear that we were fishing with that day and how that first impression saved the day for me on those times that the catching was on the slow side. Keep in mind that clients notice everything!

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Muttley Crew
    But if you like to be a bit more "frugal" and want a rod that will last for many, many years and catch plenty of fish in ALL different situations give the Ugly Stiks a thought. I stake my guiding reputation on them every day I take people out with me.
    When I hire a guide a big part of who I choose has to do with their equipment. Ugly Stik does not scream "quality" and it makes me think about what my overall experience will be. I don't know you Muttley Crew and I'm sure you do a great job with your clients but I think you are missing out marketing to a more sophisticated angler. Besides, it seems a guide/captain would want to take advantage of the programs offered to guides by Lamiglas, Gloomis and St. Croix(up to 50% off of list). Overall not a heck of a lot more than the retail cost of an Ugly Stik.

    Sorry to hijack.

  18. #18

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    I've NEVER had a problem with an Ugly Stick. When I first started fishing here in 1990 it was the first rod I ever bought. I still have it to this day. As a matter of fact, my biggest king ever landed was a 65lbs buck at the mouth of Willow on that rod in the "combat zone". I made the switch to fly fishing about 12 years back but occasionally will use this rod when casting hardware. Lamiglas KS rods are excellent rods too but Ugly Sticks get my approval as well!

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by tcman View Post
    When I hire a guide a big part of who I choose has to do with their equipment. Ugly Stik does not scream "quality" and it makes me think about what my overall experience will be. I don't know you Muttley Crew and I'm sure you do a great job with your clients but I think you are missing out marketing to a more sophisticated angler. Besides, it seems a guide/captain would want to take advantage of the programs offered to guides by Lamiglas, Gloomis and St. Croix(up to 50% off of list). Overall not a heck of a lot more than the retail cost of an Ugly Stik.

    Sorry to hijack.
    I'm sorry for being argumentative, but I've never had a single person that wanted to book a trip with me ask me what kind of equipment I use. And I'm not really interested in taking "the more sophisticated angler" out with me. My job is to get people into fish and I stake my reputation on getting people those fish and I would hope that the people that want to utilize my services would trust in me to use what I think will be the best products to get them some fish. That's my "job". I believe in a "friendly" fishing experience with my clients and if they want to start getting into the merits of utilizing a $200 fishing rod vs. a $30 fishing rod to catch the fish that they just happen to be catching at the time we're catching them, I'll be happy to discuss it as we're catching those fish!

    For example, I don't recall that guy a week ago that caught two winter kings (or any of my clients so far) saying to me that he sure wishes I'd been using Kenai Specials or G. Loomis rods instead of Ugly Stiks when I netted those kings for him. My job is production, not putting up a nice "front" for people to make them think I know what I'm doing. That's not my way of doing things. I'll very happily forsake that aspect of my business that won't go fishing with me because I don't utilize "expensive" fishing equipment. I am not fond of "fishing snobs" and much prefer taking out the average guy that is only interested in catching fish and couldn't care less how much the rods and reels I use cost.

    It's sad to me that people are so quick to put down Ugly Stiks as being "low quality" or "inferior" fishing rods. They seem to have a reputation as being "cheap" fishing rods and that there only is one type of Ugly Stik. That's why I have been so adamant in my support for them. Just take a look at the fish I've caught with my Ugly Stiks and ask yourself whether or not you'd be happy catching those fish with me or not. I'm sorry that so many people have such a bias against them, but the fact is I catch some very nice fish with them and I catch them consistently.

    Sure there are rods for every different occasion. As I said, I have a very nice Sage fly rod that I love to use, but I'll still take my 5 brand new Ugly Stiks over the one single Lamiglass or Loomis I'd pay the same amount for.

    As I said, if anyone would like to share a fishing experience with me where I fish my Ugly Stik and you fish your "high priced" rod, I'd be more than happy to cooperate. I'd love to see if there really is any difference when it comes right down to a side by side comparison. I'd be willing to bet there isn't a person out there that without looking up the actual numbers what the difference in weight is between an "Ugly Stik" is to a comparable Lamiglass. Everyone seems to think Lamiglass or Loomis is just so much "lighter" and easier to "flip" with, but where are the numbers? Have any of you that are saying that ever taken both along with you and given it a try? I haven't, and I'd love to give it a try sometime, but in the time that I have used my Ugly Stiks for jigging, flipping, or any of the other activities mentioned, I've never had any problems with them. You just have to match the rod to the activity. And for Montana Creek as this thread was originally intended, I'd personally prefer a rod such as an Ugly Stik that I can power a big king in with as quickly as possible. If I'm fishing the upper Kenai for 'bows then I'd probably use my Sage.

    Come on down and fish with my Ugly Stiks and maybe I can convince you that they are great rods!

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by tcman View Post
    When I hire a guide a big part of who I choose has to do with their equipment. Ugly Stik does not scream "quality" and it makes me think about what my overall experience will be. I don't know you Muttley Crew and I'm sure you do a great job with your clients but I think you are missing out marketing to a more sophisticated angler. Besides, it seems a guide/captain would want to take advantage of the programs offered to guides by Lamiglas, Gloomis and St. Croix(up to 50% off of list). Overall not a heck of a lot more than the retail cost of an Ugly Stik.

    Sorry to hijack.
    I'm sorry for being argumentative, but I've never had a single person that wanted to book a trip with me ask me what kind of equipment I use. And I'm not really interested in taking "the more sophisticated angler" out with me. My job is to get people into fish and I stake my reputation on getting people those fish and I would hope that the people that want to utilize my services would trust in me to use what I think will be the best products to get them some fish. That's my "job". I believe in a "friendly" fishing experience with my clients and if they want to start getting into the merits of utilizing a $200 fishing rod vs. a $30 fishing rod to catch the fish that they just happen to be catching at the time we're catching them, I'll be happy to discuss it as we're catching those fish!

    For example, I don't recall that guy a week ago that caught two winter kings (or any of my clients so far) saying to me that he sure wishes I'd been using Kenai Specials or G. Loomis rods instead of Ugly Stiks when I netted those kings for him. My job is production, not putting up a nice "front" for people to make them think I know what I'm doing. That's not my way of doing things. I'll very happily forsake that aspect of my business that won't go fishing with me because I don't utilize "expensive" fishing equipment. I am not fond of "fishing snobs" and much prefer taking out the average guy that is only interested in catching fish and couldn't care less how much the rods and reels I use cost.

    It's sad to me that people are so quick to put down Ugly Stiks as being "low quality" or "inferior" fishing rods. They seem to have a reputation as being "cheap" fishing rods and that there only is one type of Ugly Stik. That's why I have been so adamant in my support for them. Just take a look at the fish I've caught with my Ugly Stiks and ask yourself whether or not you'd be happy catching those fish with me or not. I'm sorry that so many people have such a bias against them, but the fact is I catch some very nice fish with them and I catch them consistently.

    Sure there are rods for every different occasion. As I said, I have a very nice Sage fly rod that I love to use, but I'll still take my 5 brand new Ugly Stiks over the one single Lamiglass or Loomis I'd pay the same amount for.

    As I said, if anyone would like to share a fishing experience with me where I fish my Ugly Stik and you fish your "high priced" rod, I'd be more than happy to cooperate. I'd love to see if there really is any difference when it comes right down to a side by side comparison. I'd be willing to bet there isn't a person out there that without looking up the actual numbers what the difference in weight is between an "Ugly Stik" is to a comparable Lamiglass. Everyone seems to think Lamiglass or Loomis is just so much "lighter" and easier to "flip" with, but where are the numbers?

    Come on down and fish with my Ugly Stiks and maybe I can convince you that they are great rods!

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