Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Rod evaluation

The sun shone and I got motivated to have a few chucks with the heavier of the two 8ft 6in two-piece American Tackle Bushido rods. I took the usual box of lures plus a regular Bull Dawg and a Mag Dawg. The regular was clipped on and I made my first cast with the heavy rod. It flew out smooth and easy. A rod length out a greedy little jack grabbed the Dawg! I'd not bothered taking a camera as I was only going to stop in one swim to get a feel of the rod and compare it with the lighter one, so I used my phone. 

A few more chucks and the rod could obviously handle more. It is rated as 150g after all. Sure enough it had no trouble casting the Mag Dawg (211g on the scales at home). Other lures tried on the rod were a Manta, a Giant Jackpot, a Squirrelly Burt (obvs...), and a fibreglass Dolphin. Not only did it cast them well the tip was stiff enough to work them.

The lighter rod (rated as 130g) was up to casting the regular Dawg, but the tip is too soft for working jerkbaits in my estimation. A rod beest used for lures that are fished on a straight retrieve, and smaller twitchbaits and soft plastics on jig heads. If I'd had a rod like this 20 years ago I'm sure I'd have spent more time fishing creatures, slugs, reapers and so forth.

The two rods I've been using were experimental builds. The handles an inch longer than I fit to my Axioms etc., and this made a bit f a difference when casting the heavier baits so has made the final spec. The lighter rod has a cork handle, but I tried an abbreviated Duplon handle on the heavier rod. I'm not a fan of Duplon on lure rods but it felt OK in the hand.

Where I slipped up was not working out a Rover Ringing pattern for the rods. D'oh! I left that until I built one of the lighter rods for a customer. Handle will be cork in my usual style but with a short foregrip and a gunsmoke collar. Rings (pattern to be decided) will be 20mm butt down to an 8mm tip. Thread colour dark grey with a pale grey tip to the hook keeper.

Prices to be confirmed once I've settle on ring pattern.

Thursday, January 04, 2024

New Year, new rods

The winter break saw me  working as usual. In among the standard builds were some odd jobs. First up a Sledge-Hammer 60H that I was asked to build as a sea boat rod. Neither I nor the customer are sure if it will work, but at least the handle, including gimbal type butt cap, are right!

Another odd job was rebuilding a pair of old, as in over 25 years, Harrison Baby Ballistas that had been chopped down to 10ft 6in. One needed a complete rebuild, one needed the tip replacing, and a third new one was to be built to match. Full Duplon handles with short flare foregrips. Now looking as good as new.
Last up in the 'something different' category is a rod which I'll be adding to my list shortly. I had one on show at the PAC Convention and it met with approval. The blank is an American Tackle two piece, fast taper, 'Bushido'. There are two models, the one shown here is the lighter.

The blanks are woven for the most part, with the weave ending part way up the tip section as per a Harrison Chimera, joints are overfits. 8ft 6in long, rated to cast 130g, I've found this model to be best with lures that are cranked straight back. The tip is much softer than my Axioms and Sledge-Hammers, and indeed softer than the heavier Bushido. As soon as I can get motivated I'll be taking the heavier rod out for a play. It should be good for big swimbaits, and even for working jerkbaits as the tip is stiffer. This one is the same length but rated to 150g.