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My current favorite, under 5lb fish, secret weapon rod, is a Browning Syntec, Dick Swann signature rod. Its 7ft long, IM6, extended foregrip. Kinda like a mini-noodle rod, which makes sense, because thats what Dick Swan specialized in. I believe its intended use is UL walleye finesse fishing. Here on the south shore of Erie, its all about trolling the lake with heavy tackle, so the rod was found in the sale bucket at Dick's, yrs ago. But, yesterday at Gander Mtn, saw a St Croix sc2, 7ft, UL...am still drooling, but price was 100 bucks... was one of the made in USA lines. Opinions ? steve b

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I have a Cortland 6' UL rod that I just LOVE. Fuji guides and reel seat, so very sensative :) I dont think Cortland makes them anymore though, The shop had a few left. Probably not big sellers as they also sell fenwick.

My next UL rod is going to be a Falcon. Those look SO nice :D I would like to find a stocking dealer first...Maybe when I get to cabela's next year...
I saw the 7ft UL St Croix too. When I get the cash that rod is going to be my main panfish rod from then on.Til then I get by with 3 light action rods for the pannies.
I'm currently running a 6' St.Croix Sc3 that I built 13 years ago. St. Croix makes a wonderful rod and they really back their stuff up! If you can, get the 7 footer! You will not regret it.
Am only interested in the 7ft'ers. Have UL and SUL rods from ice rods, to a 9ft noodle. Not familiar with Falcon rods here. G.Loomis makes some long trout rods, but cost too much for my budget I'm afraid. Thanks all. steve b
Have any of you gentlemen thought of making your own rods? I am new to this site, and trying hard not to become addicted to fast, but it is hard.

Anyway, I am also an avid winter Steelhead fisherman; and I enjoy spending the off season preparing for the next. Since I can't fish for them at the present moment, I at least think great thoughts until the next hook-up while building a new rod, tying some flies, or just sorting my gear box.

I just mentioned to my son yesterday while fishing that we will have some new rods for next Gill season. So I am starting to research some blanks to build a couple of new rods. It takes a little time, but well worth it. You can pick up some rod blanks at a reasonable price through different suppliers.

Just like anything else, when you get all the tools you can accumulate a bunch of stuff in no time. With that being said, after the accumulation happens you can turn a rod out anytime you get the itch.

Building rods is like digging your own worms. The self satisfaction part of doing something we love to do, and taking the pride in doing it all from start to finish...

I am sooo going to enjoy this....
My Dad-n-law has a rod wrapping bench/motor downstairs. Both of us now find it difficult to do fine motor skills work. I sometimes use a 10 1/2' St.Croix noodle rod blank, made into a 5wt flyrod for steelies. I live on the Grand River, in N.E. Oh.. What is the lowest WT, 7-8' blank you've been able to find lately ? Here, nov. to mar., its all about the steel. steve b
Hey Steve,

Lamiglas has a large selection of blanks to choose from. Also, I have picked up some off brand blanks at a supplier in Toledo(Netcraft). Sometimes the place to find special or uncommon blanks is at fishing shows in the Winter. You can mix and match as long as you get the spines together and ferrules to fit. When it comes to rod building, there is no text book "right" way to do things.

On another note; I have never fished the Grand..Been to the Rocky and Vermillion though. I also practically live on the Manistee in the Winter months here.

Tight Lines,
Jeff
I like a St. Croix Triumph series light action rod at 6'6" with a quantum reel. It can throw the little 1/32oz jigs up through 1/8oz AND can handle the occaisional bass caught while out foraging. I have even pulled in a 29 inch channel cat on 4lb line. Pulled me in circles for 15 minute before I could land the beast.

The triumph series is a little less expensive (~$80) than the Premium series (~$100) and, at least to me, is every bit as sensitive as the more expensive.
I have two St. Croix rods. 6' 6" Legend elite and 5' 9'' Legend Elite.
In my opinion these rods are second to none. I broke the tip on the 6 '6" one two years ago. Shipped it back to St. Croix in it's original tube with a note explaining what had happened. Within two weeks had a brand new rod in my hands courtesy of the manufacturer... They even paid the shipping. A big thing for me is they are made in America... not too much out there that you can say that about these days. Best Warranty in the business. They are expensive but you get what you pay for and you'll hand the rod down to your kids one day.
As for action and sensitivity they have no equal. A good rod can make all the difference when you are trying to cast really small jigs and very light baits. I use one piece rods... I've always felt you lose sensitivity when you use a two piece. If the 7 foot St. Croix is available as a one piece it's on my Christmas wish list already. The Ultimate Bluegill rig for me is the 6' 6" St. Croix fast action, matched up to a Shimano Sustain spooled with 2 lb Maxima line. That's an expensive rig for Bluegill, but, When you have that Bull Gill of a lifetime on the end of your line.... you want to have the best equipment around.... as important as a good rod is.... you also need a reel with a very sensitive Drag.... especially if you fish with light line (I use 2 lb test) could mean the difference between a happy day and a not so happy day... for me the sustain is an amazing reel and has one of the finest drags on the market.
Tight Lines
Rob




Tight Lines
Rob
Not all St. Croix's are US made. Lower priced lines are made in bleeping china. The better lines are made in USA. The 100 buck 7' UL, I looked at was amongst the made in USA model lines. steve b
Steve B... You are right...

Apparently St.Croix did have a set up in China for a while but it only entailed the Triumph/Mojo series of rods. Their premier/Avid/Legend Elite rods have always been and still are made in the Wisconsin plant. I placed a call to St. Croix because as I stated earlier I like to see those words "Made in America". The China plant is no longer in operation. Instead the lower end rods (Triumph/Mojo) are now being made in Mexico. The gentleman I spoke to told me that in order to compete with the likes of Wal-Mart (I don't think you can buy anything in that store... that isn't made in China) they had to find cheaper labor sources... hence Mexico. I guess there is a compromise when it comes to staying in business.

As for the high end St. Croix rods.... I stand by what I said. I've fished G. Loomis... Fenwick all sorts... and for my money St. Croix are simply the best out there.

I realize not everyone can pay $300.00 plus for a fishing rod (it wasn't that long ago... I couldn't either... and if my wife found out... I couldn't now)... but if you get the chance to check out the Triumph/Mojo series I feel confident that compared to what you can get from the Wal-Mart type stores... you will be getting a far superior rod... very competitively priced. Although they are made in Mexico... they are made under strict control policies from St. Croix... and St. Croix actually have quality control people at those factories.

As for the 7' Legend Elite... it is a two pice rod and is available as of October this year price $320.00. I don't usually go with a two piece but after speaking to Ken at St. Croix I may just give this one a go.
Tight Lines
Rob
Hey Steve, I've got a bad rotator cuff on my casting side, so I have found that I can't go over 6 to 6 1/2 feet on a UL rod. I just bought a good Bass Pro Shops MICROLITE IM6 in 6 foot and paired it up with a Quantum Catalyst Spinning Reel, before the Spring Season started. It's got plenty of backbone to handle up to a 3 pound bass (Which hit a 1" curl-tail grub), but also super sensitive for the light bites that happen quite a bit around my favorite fishing hole. I spool it with 4 pound test Berkley Trilene and I've had a ball with it until the Georgia heat hit us this month. I like it because I can flick a 1/32 ounce jig with my wrist with no effort or strain on my shoulder. Nick

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