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rod sizes for kings?


codybuehler

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I have a bunch of Okuma downrigger rods, Eagle claw downrigger rods and Shimano TDR rods.  They seem to be overkill.  I was thinking of switching out a few with Ugly Stik GX2 rods, 7' or 7'6", medium and medium light actions.  They are rated for 10-20lb line.  Would these be adequate?  I assume you can reel anything in with any rod, it's just a drag and time game to a point.  I wouldn't fish kings with an ultralight stream rod, but the huge downrigger rods seem to be taking away a bit of the fun. 

 

Thanks!

 

Cody :yes:

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Depends on where and when you are fishing for them. Rods are not just for fighting the fish but a tool for proper presentation. River fishing tends to lend itself to longer rods for better presentation so you can control your drifts and mend your line. Piers lend themselves to a greater variety of rods and trolling you have some play too. Also consider crowds and fight times. Bringing a noodle rod and 4 lbs test may not make you many friends on a river during a salmon run when everybody is waiting for you to fight the fish out for before they can get there next cast in. Plus going to light and exhausting the fish in a long fight decrease the chance of a successful release if that's you thing. But having said that I have seen salmon landed on some pretty varied tackle including bass rods with bait casting reels.

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I guess I never really mentioned how I would be using them. I am going to be trolling with them. Your info helps, though. I assume I'll have plenty of space to be able to play the fish a bit.

Sent from my iPhone using Lake Ontario United mobile app

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People are finally starting to give the 7-8' rods a try over the longer rods mfg have been promoting for the past 30+ years. For most boat layouts a good 7' rod is ideal. Remember, a fishing rod is a lever. The fisherman is on the short end of that lever and the fish is on the long end. The longer the fish's side of that lever equation is, the more effort you have to put into landing the fish which just tires you out. 

 

I did some experimenting a few years back comparing two rigger rods, a 9' rod and 7' rod. Both rods were moderate action with similar power capacity and had the same length grips. Using one reel with the drag set to slip at 3.5lb of dead weight transferred from one rod to the other I measured the amount of lift the left forearm wrist and hand the angler would have to apply to hold the rod at about a 45 degree upward angle. The longer rod required about 13lb of upward lift force from the left forearm, wrist and hand while the shorter rod only required about 9.5lb. This means the longer rod required the fisherman to use about 40% more strength to apply the same pressure to the fish as the shorter rod. That's a significant difference especially for children, women, the elderly, or people with physical limitations like arthritis.

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People are finally starting to give the 7-8' rods a try over the longer rods mfg have been promoting for the past 30+ years. For most boat layouts a good 7' rod is ideal. Remember, a fishing rod is a lever. The fisherman is on the short end of that lever and the fish is on the long end. The longer the fish's side of that lever equation is, the more effort you have to put into landing the fish which just tires you out.

I did some experimenting a few years back comparing two rigger rods, a 9' rod and 7' rod. Both rods were moderate action with similar power capacity and had the same length grips. Using one reel with the drag set to slip at 3.5lb of dead weight transferred from one rod to the other I measured the amount of lift the left forearm wrist and hand the angler would have to apply to hold the rod at about a 45 degree upward angle. The longer rod required about 13lb of upward lift force from the left forearm, wrist and hand while the shorter rod only required about 9.5lb. This means the longer rod required the fisherman to use about 40% more strength to apply the same pressure to the fish as the shorter rod. That's a significant difference especially for children, women, the elderly, or people with physical limitations like arthritis.

Are you an engineer? Haha! You can't argue with physics. I am going to mix some 6'6" and 7' rods and see how they do compared to my bigger poles.

Thanks!

Sent from my iPhone using Lake Ontario United mobile app

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm a short rod guy too.  I have 8' talora wire diver rods and 7' talora one piece planner board rods for the riggers.  I think what's important for fighting kings on any rod is that they have some back bone.  there's nothing worse than trying to muscle in a big fish on a noodly rod.

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If your having a difficult time believing a short rod can land big salmon easier than a long rod, watch how easily this guy lands a 250lb tuna on a rod that is just 5'5" in length. Note where he's holding the rod with his hands, it's in the middle of the rod! That means he's fighting and landing that fish with about 33" of rod in front of the handle...

We have more trouble landing a 30lb king on a 10' dipsy rod than that guy landing a 250lb tuna on a 5'5" rod.

It's simple physics, a fishing rod is a lever. The point which we hold that lever in our hand is the axis upon which the lever rotates. Reducing the length of the fish's end of the lever and lengthening the fisherman's end of the lever puts the fisherman in control over the fish. It's that simple.

All you need is a rod long enough to clear your gear, anything longer is counterproductive. For most boats rigged for Great Lakes trolling that's about 7'.

Edited by John E Powell
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Awesome video John!

 

There's two things - clearing your gear and also being able to bring the fish in close enough to net it.  A longer rod allows us to use longer leaders on our dipsey SD fly setups, and get the fish close enough that we don't have to hand line the fish.  It doesn't look like in that video the line had anything but a spoon on it, so they could reel the fish in as close as the wanted.

 

And in tournaments, we can't spear our salmon to get them in the boat. That would disqualify the fish! LOL. That one was for fun.

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Nice video John. A lot of good things happening in it.One thing really worth noting is the use of spinning rods and reels for tuna. They are easier to cast and use in a variety of ways in that situation (e.g. fast deployment jigging too ), but when have you seen folks using them on Lake O for trout/salmon lately from boats even as downrigger rods? (excluding pier fishing) I used to use them on my outriggers exclusively in the old days with 12 lb test  and Spring fishing because you can cast them way out and snap them in the release much faster than letting line out from a casting type reel) You do need reels with good smooth drags for the kings though. The other thing is the emphasis on using the strength of the backbone of the rod and the transfer of power to it by gripping it in that manner rather than using the tip of the rod or the whole arc of it....very interesting video. Thanks.

Edited by Sk8man
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Mark,

For most guys 7' on riggers, coppers, planers, and even inside divers on some boats is all you need. There will always be boat layouts where you can make the case for 8' inside divers, chute rods, thumper rods. But I've yet to fish from a boat where you honestly need more than 7' on a rigger. My own boat is pretty challenging to net fish compared to most boats, the front of my twin outboards hang on a bracket 32" behind the transom, and I can bring fish to a long handle net with 7' rods with no real extra effort. It's different, but not difficult.

Shorter diver rods will require a change in habit to run longer leaders pulling attractors. But you know, having built and fished diver rods of all actions, powers, and lengths, I'll take a shorter rod and rig the diver to trip and slide or if on a friend's boat, I'll hand line the last couple feet vs the 10-10'6" rods any day.

Sent from my iPad using Lake Ontario United mobile app

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