A question about trolling rods


cobias

Member
I was wondering why alot of the skilled boats and guides use 10 to 12 foot soft rods for trolling . I have watched several fights with fish in these boats both real time and on the tube and the fight/landing seems clumsy as all get up . I have used as light as medium heavy 8' 6" and this year in the boat my buddy landed a 25lber on a rod that was only 8' and very stiff . It was also with braid line . No problems with the take or the fight .

On some of the videos the fights were so clumsy and missed nettings due to the fish repeatedly diving , that a few of the fish became seal food .

So is it so clients can let the fish run under the boat without breaking the rod over the gunnel or what ? I have heard its so you can have a longer leaders/rig ups but if the rod has that much flex it , that kind of negates the point of a longer rod .

Not looking for advice , sticking with my setup , im just curious what is the advantage of that setup ?
 

4labs

Active member
I run two 10-6 rods and really like them but in a small boat their a real pain. Going to switch to a 7-6 one piece when someone other than the wife is along. The main reason is what a longer rod can handle in heavier weights. 10-16 oz plus flasher and the drag of a plug cut it get tough on a 8-6. On the South coast rivers a 8-6 is fine 2-5 oz but the Coos, Umpqua and Buoy 10 the big rods really work best.Also the longer rods help get your presentation away from the sound of the kicker and a extended transom it really helps when fighting a fish around the motors
 

Irishrover

Well-known member
Moderator
Most Featured
Good question. Here is my opinion, keep in mind it's most likely wrong and tainted do to being old and stubborn.

The 10' plus noodle rods are popular with a lot of folks especially at B-10. Up until two years ago I fished B-10 a lot and had a place on the Skipanon River so it was easy access. What I noticed over the years is fishing is a fad driven sport. Fishing folks want to have that edge, the newest thing that will land the fish. Fishing gear manufactures are keenly aware of this and key in on it so they can cash in.

Gear manufactures supply guides with free or discounted rods and gear to promote those items. When you see the wording Pro Staff, that doesn't mean professional , the pro is for promotional. Manufactures out of necessity need to come up with the new and improver version to keep sales going. This is not a bad thing as they do stumble onto good ideas from time to time. If they didn't we would be fishing with a worm and bobber on a cane pole. The key is to pick out the good stuff and what is good and what is bad is not always based on performance.

I bought a couple of the 10'6" noodle rods and tried them at B-10. Two broke and I replaced them only to have another crumble. I gave the other to a friend who is a guide. He no longer uses it.

The length was nice but there was no backbone. I have twins with an offshore bracket and thought the 10'6" would get me around that impediment but when the rod is loaded with a fish, it has one heck of a bend in it so the length is diminished.

I ended up going with a heavy action 9' Northwest rod. It has the length but also has the back bone need to control a fish as much as it is possible to control one.

Back to the fad issue. Fish don't generally keep up with the fads. This I learned from one of my fishing pals "Retch Sweeney". It is quite possible to catch salmon at B-10 on a 7' rod with a banana weight and a whole herring. For fun one day my fishing partner and I went out of the Skipanon cruised into the Columbia and ventured down to the Sawdust Pile just west of B-29 (not the airplane the buoy). We used a couple of 7' Diawa rods that I have had for years with Penn 209 reels. We rigged up with banana weights and whole herring and drifted the bottom. The thrill was to come soon as a chinook quickly took the bait. We ended up with two fish and headed home. I don't always fish retro but it sure is fun to try once in a while.


Now I'm not against innovative concepts when it come to fishing. A trip though my basement would be a testament to that fact. But it certainly seems that many items produced are more about the manufacture hooking the fisherman rather than the fisherman hooking a fish.

Again this is just my opinion and not to be taken too seriously. Having opinions about fishing and fishing gear is one of the great thing about the sport especially as the season winds down to a degree. ?
 
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troutdude

Well-known member
Moderator
Good ol' Retch! ROTFL!

Never thought about "Pro" meannig "Promotional". IMO what a scam!
 

cobias

Member
I kinda figured it was a trendy thing . With the amount of seals around and how many fish are lost by them, one would think youd want more control.
 

jhop111

Member
A couple points to consider:
1: longer rods at the bow and sequentially shorter towards the stern allow separation between rigs reducing tangles
2: longer rods cover more water which is more productive
3: longer rods aren't necessarily noodles. Many are capable of fishing 20oz lead plus enough backbone to bring in a salmon.
3: soft tips on all modern trolling rods allow the fish to take the bait fully before resistance is felt. Resulting in better hooked fish and less drive bys.
4: I wouldn't call any of the modern innovations fads.
5: the clientele using these longer rods often are not skilled compared to folks that fish often. It makes the battle more awkward for some.
6: pro staff is probably one of the most used and overrated words in the industry.
 

cobias

Member
1. makes sense
2. the amount covered is negligible
3. I have seen and tried them. All that are advertised and recommended as modern trolling/mooching rods are definitely noodly to me .
3. Actually , the soft tip better take is not so true as with most trolling there is some drag pushing against your gear and weight. Especially with 360 flashers . So the gear is already pre- loaded with drag if you will so when a fish takes, the gear is actually moving in his favor. This would be especially so if you were using a larger diameter heavy braid, dacron line or definately mono .
4. Any of them ? Ok, id put money on betting against that.
5. I sorta get that . And i do understand the gunnel issue as chinook love running under the boat , but in all my life i have never seen more of an awkward landing with a 12' soft rod , 10 to 12 oz weight a 3' bumper , and pro troll 360 that is released from a break away . Its like a three ringed circus. And yes i have watched guide boats with doubles on and they get it done i guess. I guess it would be like teaching a kid how to ride a penny farthing for his first time.
6. Absolutely agree .

Not questioning people that get it done consistently . I respect that greatly . But some things have a way of working their way into being when maybe its not necessary or for everyone . Sometimes recommendations are made to all ( especially to pimp high end gear ) when its probably not the best for every situation. Not everyone has a 20' ,wide floor open bow boat .
 
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jhop111

Member
1. makes sense
2. the amount covered is negligible
3. I have seen and tried them. All that are advertised and recommended as modern trolling/mooching rods are definitely noodly to me .
3. Actually , the soft tip better take is not so true as with most trolling there is some drag pushing against your gear and weight. Especially with 360 flashers . So the gear is already preloaded with drag if you will so when a fish takes, the gear is actually moving in his favor. This would be especially so if you were using a larger diameter heavy braid, dacron line or definately mono .
4. Any of them ? Ok, id put money on betting against that.
5. I sorta get that . And i do understand the gunnel issue as chinook love running under the boat , but in all my life i have never seen more of an awkward landing with a 12' soft rod , 10 to 12 oz weight a 3' bumper , and pro troll 360 that is released from a break away . Its like a three ringed circus. And yes i have watched guide boats with doubles on and they get it done i guess. I guess it would be like teaching a kid how to ride a penny farthing for his first time.
6. Absolutely agree .

Not questioning people that get it done consistently . I respect that greatly . But some things have a way of working their way into being when maybe its not necessary or for everyone . Sometimes recommendations are made to all ( especially to pimp high end gear ) when its probably not the best for every situation. Not everyone has a 20' ,wide floor open bow boat .
1: Glad to hear it
2: Do the math, a small 6 ft wide boat fishing 9ft rods off the bow theoretically covers 24 ft of water side to side. A larger guide style boat with 12ft bow rods and 9 feet at the gunnel theoretically covers 33 feet. Add the sequentially staggered rods staged a couple feet apart both width and depth, the amount of water covered is not what I nor any guide would call negligible. I call it a wall of death.
3: Softer tip rods allow the gear to work and generate more action in addition to loading up in the middle after the fish has committed to the take. A salmon typically grabs a herring, chews, then turns to the side. You can see these actions on the rod from the initial bite (bouncing rod) to the rod burying into the water (unless you get the grab and swim or a slackline bite witch is always interesting watching it play out). We all know that with herring it's a wait...wait...wait...ok grab the rod the lines peeling scenario. Hardware generally turns into a more immediate or aggressive slam. I will say I prefer a 9ft rod for 3.5s and I run a tight drag. I can get the flasher thumping with adjusting bumper lengths so a longer more limber rod isn't important. I also run a tight drag and kicker set the once the reel is peeling. That is something I've taken from most the guides that are very good at what they do.
If you watch some underwater videos with kokanee and chinook, you'll better see what I am trying to explain in regards to their behavior, the gear and how the rods are designed to increase those odds of not eating chicken for dinner. I don't follow you exactly on how the gear is already preloaded with drag, are you referring to rod/reel drag above or the friction drag of water resistance? My feeling is anything under the water is "negligible" in that regard. You could be trolling a brick or a flasher, that fish isn't going to feel the extra drag created by the brick under water until its hooked. That drag creates kick back and a shallower line angle.
4) The longer rods are here to stay. They have a place on the larger boats that accomodate the cumbersomeness. The drawbacks are control of the fish at the net for sure. You asked these things to be explained in the initial post. I am trying to do that. Keep in mind these rods and "fads" are created by the guys on the water. Not a marketing agency. I help some of these companies design, test and sell these fads and manage the guides that use them. So I hope my grain of salt is enough to answer your questions, not generate an argument.
 

cobias

Member
Not taking at as an argument at all. Great stuff . I think its all in the experience . Meaning , what you are willing to spend , maintain, deal with , to catch a fish . To me , as i get older , i want stuff simpler and easier . Both while fishing, the fight and at the end of the day . I have put a fair amount of salmon and steelhead in the boat in my years , but im no fish slayer or guide . Mainly due to time and finances constraints . But i have learned a few things along the way . I know that doing x,y , z doesn't guarantee fish in the boat . Being on fish during a bite is about 80% of the game . I have had people in my boat that wailed on fish not really having the right rig up. I mean in the ballpark but barely . A beat up 6' pole , reel with a broken bail trip, too heavy of line , too much weight, huge spin glow, crappy eggs - nailed two bright winters and i didnt buy a bite with my spot on gear all day . Learned alot right there .

Same this year . Guy puts on a herring , too lazy to change it out . We drug that thing from Rhododendron drive to the wall. It was blown out but still kinda rolling and BAM ! Fish on . 25lb chromer . Go figure . I can see it now " well , thats what we call the custom roll cut. Do your 45/45 then smash it into your cutting board real good . Hooks go anywhere"

Its all good . Ill still do what i do . Basic rigup , 40lb mono mainline , affordable replaceable ugly stick 9' casting rod , and my Okuma coldwater reel . It will get er done . Herring behind a fish flash .
 

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