Side drifting rod product review

jamisonace
jamisonace
As many of you know I do not fish expensive equipment. I've never bought a rod over $100 and my go to reels are Pfleuger Presidents in the $50 range. Until they were discontinued, my rods of choice were the Buzz Ramsey Berkley Air Rods and I never really tried much of anything else. Now that Buzz Ramsey rods are no longer and I broke one of my side drifting rods I was looking for something else. I always buy rods in pairs so when I have company in the boat we are always fishing the same set up. For some reason I've stayed away from Okuma. I have friends that fish the Celilo series, they like them and they feel light and are super inexpensive....maybe too inexpensive is why I didn't purchase them. I was at Bi-Mart the other day looking at rods and pulled down the Okuma SST 8'6" ML. This rod is a little more expensive but was on sale. It's a 6-12 lb rod which is what I like for steelhead on the Umpqua. Not only are the steelhead bigger here but I pick up spring salmon while side drifting for steelhead too. I don't like the feel of anything heavier than that. After one day on the water and two nice fish, I can say I really like these rods. They are light weight, much lighter than the Buzz Ramsey rods and they handled a 12lb springer in a heavy tailout very nicely and were perfect for an 8lb summer steelhead. The only problem with my set up is the 3500 President. I'm going to find a 3000 class reel for these rods. I've never come close to using all the line on the 3500 and they do add quite a bit of weight. For the next 3 days the SST rods are $15 off at Bi Mart so I'm going to pick up a spare and a couple new reels. I'll update on what I think of the new reels once I have them on.
 
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Irishrover
Irishrover
A few years back at Buoy 10 the Okuma SST 10.6 seemed to be a popular rod. I picked up a couple of them used from a guide who was rotating them out, (he always had new gear as a pro staff guide). 10.6 rods on the troll with big chinook was not a good idea. One broke and I did not like the noodle action of the rods. I went back to a more solid 8.6 trolling rod. Good to see you went with the 8.6 much better length for boat fishing, and the SST should work well in that application.
 
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jamisonace
jamisonace
I still like the 9'6" for bobber dogging. I've never liked the idea of 10'6" rods for anything. If they'd had the SST in a 9' I would have gone with that. Any extra length is nice for control up to a point. After that point you're just breaking tips.
 
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NKlamerus
NKlamerus
For years and years my friends and I have debated why it is that longer rods are more popular here in the PNW.

The only rods down south that are 8'+ are heavy beach fishing setups, but even in my area 8' was extremely popular. (Sandbars are close)

I flew to Portland in 2016, first time in Oregon, and a found a 9'6 st croix really cheap, even shipping it back to Florida via UPS was well worth the cost.

To everyone's surprise, I showed up to the local lakes with a 9'6 spinning setup and a topwater frog tied on, and smoked em! For years I was the only person who could bank fish ponds and lakes and cast to places no one else could. I actually just rebuilt a my ci4+ stradic 4000 for it, and plan to use it here for lake trips with friends.

I also caught my personal best snook on it, hundreds of redfish from the bank, pompano, sheepshead, and some baby tarpon.

That okuma looks nice, I have used those same Celilo rods from bimart for trout for awhile now and really like them over the basspro microlites. I shipped a few to my father who wanted to try them crappie fishing, again he can't find anything over 7' down there. (or anything okuma for that matter)

Braid to flouro, mono, or flouro on the 3000 sized reel? Good call on the weight. I think im using 3000 sized siennas.
 
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jamisonace
jamisonace
Straight hi vis mono for side drifting.
 
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NKlamerus
NKlamerus
Interesting! I got a lot to learn about salmon and trout techniques.
 
hobster
hobster
Just a little input on long rods from a bank maggot. I don’t fish anything less than 10 feet (with a bobber) and my favorite bobber/jig rod rod is 11 1/2 ft 6 to 12 pound Cabelas fish eagle 500. I bought two about five or six years ago and no broken tips yet. Long rods are essential from the bank, I was fly fishing trout long before steelhead/salmon fishing so I’m used to them. First thing I do when I hit a hole is look up for branches, but it’s usually not an issue. So easy to mend line, especially if fast water is between you and the water you want to fish. Also great at avoiding shrubbery (Monty Python) on the bank when reeling in. That being said I fully understand you need a shorter rod from a boat, I’ve learned the hard way😀
 
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jamisonace
jamisonace
Every time I've bank fished I wished for a longer rod and when I'm bobber dogging from the boat I like a longer rod....9'6" is as long as I'll go in the boat....for mending and sometimes reaching over an eddy. Even longer than 9'6" would be better but those tips just hang too far out of the boat. The only tips I've ever broken in the boat due to length and not just stupidity were 9'6". Actually, stupidity probably played a part in those broken tips too. Most recently I was dropping my boat down a 70' slide and the rope broke about 6' into the drop. As the boat careened toward the river one of the tips caught a branch. I had 4 rods sticking out the back. I'm lucky I only lost one. The other was when I was in the big eddy in Belknap on the Mckenzie and the boat drifted backwards toward the giant boulder island. I had my rods sticking out the back like usual but one of the long ones went straight into the rock and snapped immediately.
 
Diehard
Diehard
Okuma makes good rods been fishing the 6-12 float rods for along time for there price point I dont think you can beat them imo I really never drift fish anymore buy if I did I would probably spring for a high end setup but for a float rod the okuma is my favorite 👍
 
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Artwo
Artwo
I only fish Okuma rods (and reels), have for a very long time. I started with Celilo rods many years ago (tight budget) but switched up to the SST line when they came out. I've since stepped up to the Guide Select Pro series (a little more expensive) and I will say that they are my favorite line of their rods so far. Big step up from the SST line...........
 
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jamisonace
jamisonace
Artwo said:
I only fish Okuma rods (and reels), have for a very long time. I started with Celilo rods many years ago (tight budget) but switched up to the SST line when they came out. I've since stepped up to the Guide Select Pro series (a little more expensive) and I will say that they are my favorite line of their rods so far. Big step up from the SST line...........
Good to know. Didn't see the gsp at bi mart. Where do you get them?
 
Artwo
Artwo
jamisonace said:
Good to know. Didn't see the gsp at bi mart. Where do you get them?
I buy my rods at Fisherman's.......occasionally they go on sale if you watch their adds.

They are currently on sale as part of their 47th Anniversary Sale for $124.99 through the 24th in fact.....
 
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Diehard
Diehard
You can get the guide select pro on amazon also I spent my Christmas gift cards on a guide select float rod nice looking and quality build very happy with mine
 
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H
hookturn
jamisonace said:
As many of you know I do not fish expensive equipment. I've never bought a rod over $100 and my go to reels are Pfleuger Presidents in the $50 range. Until they were discontinued, my rods of choice were the Buzz Ramsey Berkley Air Rods and I never really tried much of anything else. Now that Buzz Ramsey rods are no longer and I broke one of my side drifting rods I was looking for something else. I always buy rods in pairs so when I have company in the boat we are always fishing the same set up. For some reason I've stayed away from Okuma. I have friends that fish the Celilo series, they like them and they feel light and are super inexpensive....maybe too inexpensive is why I didn't purchase them. I was at Bi-Mart the other day looking at rods and pulled down the Okuma SST 8'6" ML. This rod is a little more expensive but was on sale. It's a 6-12 lb rod which is what I like for steelhead on the Umpqua. Not only are the steelhead bigger here but I pick up spring salmon while side drifting for steelhead too. I don't like the feel of anything heavier than that. After one day on the water and two nice fish, I can say I really like these rods. They are light weight, much lighter than the Buzz Ramsey rods and they handled a 12lb springer in a heavy tailout very nicely and were perfect for an 8lb summer steelhead. The only problem with my set up is the 3500 President. I'm going to find a 3000 class reel for these rods. I've never come close to using all the line on the 3500 and they do add quite a bit of weight. For the next 3 days the SST rods are $15 off at Bi Mart so I'm going to pick up a spare and a couple new reels. I'll update on what I think of the new reels once I have them on.
I've had my Berkley air buzz Ramsey for 10 yrs. All I've had to do is put a new guide on it. I love it
 
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jamisonace
jamisonace
hookturn said:
I've had my Berkley air buzz Ramsey for 10 yrs. All I've had to do is put a new guide on it. I love it
They are good rods for sure. I currently have 5. I've broken at least that many and given away a few that I didn't need anymore. I used to buy them exclusively for Salmon and steelhead. I loved the 7'9" heavy one piece for plugging and the 8'6 for back bouncing and running bait divers.
I used the medium action rods for steelhead. They had a rod for everything. Now I mix and match brands. It's really too bad they're discontinued although I am pretty happy with my selection of rods now.
 
S
Slo
Artwo said:
I buy my rods at Fisherman's.......occasionally they go on sale if you watch their adds.

They are currently on sale as part of their 47th Anniversary Sale for $124.99 through the 24th in fact.....
Another local outfit you might try is Fish Field....Okuma Guide Select Pro rods on sale for $109.99 https://fishfield.com/categories/new-category.html
 
Artwo
Artwo
That is an excellent buy through Fish Field. I paid $99 for mine some years back through a friend of mine that used his employee discount. I might have to grab a couple myself........

Edit........I went in and took a look at the rod I use and noticed that only select rods are at the $109 price. The rod I use, the GSP-S-992M, is priced at $124.99. Pretty much what I see them for on sale regularly. So not as good of deal as originally thought.......
 

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