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sstout

Upgraded downrigger rod ideas?

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Hi guys. I'm looking to upgrade my downrigger rods. I currently have a couple of the okuma classic downrigger rods in 8'6 medium light. I like them, and think a medium light would work well. This rod would be primarily for teolling cayuga lake, so doesnt have to be king salmon heavy. It will be paired with a shimano tekota.

 

I've come across the okuma white diamond rod. Anyone use those? Not looking to break the bank but want a better quality rod to go with the new reel

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You could always try upgrading your existing 2-piece rods by turning them into spiral wrapped rods. I’ve outlined the steps:

 

1) Remove the second and third guide up from the rod’s butt.

2) Reinstall the second guide rotated approximately 60 degrees away from its original orientation toward the reel handle side of the rod.

3) Reinstall the third guide rotated approximately 120 degrees away from its original orientation toward the reel handle side of the rod.

4) Apply epoxy rod finish to seal and protect thread wraps.

5) Assemble the rod with the tip section’s guides facing downward.

 

Spiral wrapped rods are more stable in the hand than conventional guide layouts because the fishing line is taking a more natural path along the underside of the rod blank. As the line passes through each guide along the underside of the rod, the guide acts as a lever arm to counteract the force the angler needs to apply to the rod’s grips to hold the reel in an upright position. The bigger the fish and the harder it pulls, the greater the lever arm effect and the more stable the rod becomes. Here’s a product video I found online that explains the concepts:

If you don’t know how to remove and reinstall rod guides, YouTube has lots of videos on the subject.

 

All you need is a hair drier, single-edge razor blade, masking tape, nylon rodbuilding thread in the color(s) to match your rod, a book and something of medium to heavy weight (placed on book to apply tension to thread, run through pages of book, while you wrap your guides on), epoxy rod finish, aluminum foil, and a small disposable craft brush.

 

You can buy rodbuilding thread and epoxy rod finish from online rodbuilding sources like Mudhole, Get Bit Outdoors, or Jann’s Netcraft.

 

 

John E Powell

John’s Custom Rods

Winner, 2016 International Custom Rod Building Challenge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Or you could just buy a $20 Diawa Wilderness. Ha!


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Or you could just buy a $20 Diawa Wilderness. Ha!

 

 

The op asked about upgrading his rods. I suggested something most people wouldn’t consider, improving what they already have instead of buying new. If you don’t like my suggestion, fine, but don’t be snarky about it.

 

 

John E Powell

John’s Custom Rods

Winner, 2016 International Custom Rod Building Challenge.

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Taking a stab in the dark here, but I don’t think the OP was looking for you term paper on rod building.

Congratulations on your 2016 win!


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The spiral eye idea is intersting. I had to look up what that was. I might try playing with that this winter. It would be intersting to see a rod like that loaded up and bent over would be like

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... It would be intersting to see a rod like that loaded up and bent over would be like

The rod’s action and power will remain unchanged.  

I’ve converted more than 50 factory downrigger, diver, and copper/core rods to spiral wrapped rods for people over the years. Most everyone likes the improved fish fighting experience once they get past the unconventional appearance, especially with the diver and weighted line rods where the pull the angler experiences is more than with rigger rods.

 

If you spiral a diver rod and tend to orient the reel’s position up so you can read the line counters, it’s best to make a port and starboard rod where the guide spiral direction is rearward towards the transom when trolled in the side mounted rod holders. All other freshwater trolling rods should spiral to the handle side of the rod no matter where fished on the boat.

 

A down side is that some people may need to adjust their rigging habits - basically, if it’s your habit to set the rod butt on the deck and allow the weight of the reel to turn the rod upside down so you can run your hand up the blank and over the tip to grab the line, the guides along the tip section will be in the way.

 

If you’d like to see what your rods would look like when loaded, just assemble them with the tip upside down and pull on the line, you won’t hurt the rod with the line switching from above to under the rod between just two guides.

 

If you would like to see one of my spiral rod’s loaded, message me and I’ll send you a short video.

 

John E Powell

John’s Custom Rods

Winner, 2016 International Custom Rod Building Challenge.

 

 

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Why do you always spiral to the handle side?  i started building last year and have done a couple full builds and also done several repairs.  for the repairs i did a few with the spiral wrap to test it out and found i very much like it.  it was also easier on the wrist of one of my fishing buddys who has some issues with old injuries.  Its to the point where i did a full down rigger rod build spiral wrapped. i will be building dipseys at some point in the future but they are some of my newer rods and least in need of upgrade.   I did my wrap going counter clockwise from handle to tip. and this is away from the handles.  I did it this way because most of my research showed it going that way but never really called out a definitive direction.  I'm curious because i have some more repair work to do on old rods that i want to use for lead core and am always up for tinkering a little bit to dial things in more.

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There are no spiral direction rules, just recommended guidelines based on how the rod is used. Generally, spiraling towards the reel’s handle will provide more line clearance for the hand holding the front grip.

 

However, with divers, if your habit is to have the reel oriented upwards then you’re loading the rod sideways hour after hour, and the line path of least resistance would be a rearward oriented spiral (port side away from reel handle, starboard side towards reel handle). Again this is a guideline, not a must. I’ve wrapped port side rods both ways for different people. If you keep your diver reels oriented to directly oppose the pull, then it makes more sense to wrap on the handle side.

 

Bass guys, and anyone who lays their rods on a boat deck should also wrap handle side to keep the guides upwards through the spiral and off the boat deck as the reel’s handle will orient the other side of the rod down to the deck.

 

Heavier rods using conventional reels (without levelwind mechanisms) should be built considering the preference of how the angler prefers to manually manage line lay on the reel. Without a levelwind, line will naturally stack on the side the line spirals to. This has to be controlled. Some people find it easier to reach up with their thumb and push the line than to hook and pull the line, other anglers have the opposite preference. The guideline here is to spiral towards whichever the angler finds more difficult to do so the natural stacking to one side effect will help them with the direction they find more difficult.

 

Lastly, some of the cheaper levelwind reels have a tendency to stack line to one side of the reel. If you have a reel that does this it’s probably best to spiral away from that so as to not exacerbate the stacking problem. This is more of an unusual situation, but as trollers we might hook a huge fish and have it strip the reel down to the spool and then rewind it all back on and find that our neatly hand filled reel is now stacking line at or above the reel spool lip. If you find this happens after you build a rod, you can reposition the butt guide angle a few degrees to center the line above the blank’s central axis and it will compensate for the problem caused by the poor levelwind function.

 

John E Powell

John’s Custom Rods

Winner, 2016 International Custom Rod Building Challenge.

 

 

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