Bluegill - Big Bluegill

Do you love big bluegill?

seeking input again.  does anyone have experience with these rods.  more specifically, the 7 foot, light power, xf rod?  if so, are they worth the money?   would you buy another?  anything else?   thanks for any input.

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Yes. I highly recommend.

thanks, bill

...hey Rich... what specifically are you going to be using this rod for?

when i go out on a trip i'll take a bundle of rods with me fine tuned specifically for a purpose. slip floating, Long-Cast jigging and sometimes drop-shotting maybe taking 4-6 rods out with me at a time.

like slip sinker said, depends on the style of fishing in which you are buying it.  i looked at that rod a while back and it looks and feels sensitive.  it should make a good for those applications where you need casting or possibly jigging over deeper water offshore.  the only thing i dont like about the rod is the reel seat pocket too far forward on the handle.  wih the wrong reel it could tend to make it forward heavy and have problems with arm fatigue.

for an example of what Slip was talking about, here are a list of the rods on my boat for panfish and what they are used for:

lews mr crappie dock shooter:  7’ med light xf.  used for shooting docks and casting offshore drop shot and spoons in deeper water.

bnm sam heaton super sensitive:  7’ light action with a slower tip.  used as my main shallow water casting rod where i need to back off of shellcrackers and black crappie to keep from spooking them.

bnm uncle bucks lite jig pole 11’:  for dipping lilly pads, log jams, etc for bluegill and crappie.

shakespeare 6’6” trout combo:  another casting rod that is real sensitive for closer casting.  also has a short handle.  was only 45 bucks for the combo but is one of my favorites.

berkley cherrywood hd in 7’ med for trolling jigs and float fishing.  a 5’6” light xf for vertical jigging.(this is the only rod that i have an UL reel on).

2 10’ bnm telescoping widow makers for 2 hand jigging stake beds.

just bought a flyrod for the june mayfly hatch.  we will see how that goes lol.

i dont care for UL rods or reels because of where i fish and my style of fishing.  a bluegill can tire out when fighting one on an UL setup and can lead to higher mortality rates if released, and i release all bluegills over 9”.  its not any less fun on a light action rod as those 9-10” bluegill can bend one double, not to mention an 11” shellcracker.

I have 2 St. Croix PF rods, love both of them.

I use the short, 5'4" most of the time when fishing from my canoe or kayak. I can float/drift up to a dock/boathouse and flick a lure back well into the shadows, seem to catch bigger bluegills this way. My 6'9" UL is much better at casting longer distances so I use it in other circumstances.

Anyway, a short rod is a godsend if you are fishing low to the water, making short presentations, don't want an unwieldy long rod knocking around getting hung up on overhead branches, you need a compact swing zone, and don't want a longer butt section colliding with your lap.

Well, actually, the little 5'4" has such a short lifting point, so close back to the hands, I should add that it fights bluegills with relative ease. A longer rod, like my 6'9" UL rod, will have a lifting point farther away from one's hands so the same fish would feel heavier.

My UL spinning reels are always spooled with 2 lbs. Sufix Nanobraid. If you like braid, this is one to consider. It is likely about the same strength as many braids in the 4 or 6 lbs. test range. Tiny diameter at 1/1000th of an inch, converts to a little larger reading using Sufix's metric measure. 


...ive been wanting to try suffix nanobraid for awhile now... i heard some positive reviews including yours on the product... found a good deal on Amazon... going to give it a try... thanks. i'll let ya know how it works out.

IMO UL outfits stop at 6.0' in length once past that point they become too heavy for UL classification once they require 200 series reels to balance. Ul action still but at a heavier total weight... needs a whole new classification... same thing with UL setups under 5.0'... maybe Microlites?

Looking forward to your results. I put some 14 lbs. on a 2500 reel and, so far, I really like it as it is the same size as 832 but even stronger. Not that the extra strength is any big deal for spinning gear most of the time.


Most people are sold on the look and feel of st croix rods in their hands… I too find they have a desirable feel in the hand. A while ago i read somewhere of advertising for a newer line of rods by Shakespeare called the Wild Series that upon reading some reviews of the particular line of rods is that there were a few mentions on look and feel of st croix at 1/3rd of the cost.

Remembering those reviews Earl and I headed to the local outfitter to assemble a couple UL set-ups. Earl immediately fell in love with the line and bought 3 rods. The entire next season I watched Earl fish these setups with amazing results… he even hoisted a 4.5# LMB in the boat solely on the strength of the 5.5 footer.

Later on that season I purchased the 5.5 and the 6.0 ft rods. I believe I used the 6.0’er once or twice before my son completely took it over and called it his… LOL.

They are worth the look especially when budget shopping.

Hey Tracey, That 7’ medium light xf that you use for cast has the same specs as the rod I am planning to drop shot for gills for my first time. Its good to know my thinking was correct.

Mark, yes it does very well for drop shotting where you need the extra sensitivity especially in late fall, winter and very early spring where bluegills can be 25-30 ft deep typically in creek mouths.  it also has enough backbone to tie into a 5lb largemouth on the ledges where the bluegill are in the summer.  i paired that particular rod with a shimano sahara 2500fe.  i like the mid sized 20-30 series(depending on the brand, pfleuger 30 size reels are the same size as some other brands 20 or 25 sizes).  the wider spool makes wind knots and other problems on UL reels almost non existent and like Slip said, those sizes balance the rod perfectly at the grip.  this particular reel has a 6.2:1 ratio which helps on vertical presentations to keep the slack out of the line if the fish tries to run to the surface.  i just have to remember to slow the retrieve down on cast and drag presentations because all of my other pfleuger spinning reels for casting are 5.0 or 5.2:1.

for line ive changed from 6lb suffix 832 to gliss 24lb(4lb diameter) tied to a 3ft flouro leader.  in colder water temps i will use a p-line flouro coated mono, about 8” dropper off the flouro leader.  for weights i use 1/4oz to 3/8oz dropshot weight, depending on presentation and current.  these have a swivel built in to keep the line from twisting.

those shakespeare wild series rods Slip mentioned are probably excellent rods for the price.  i know their 7’ micro series rods are hard to beat for $20 and if you break it, just throw it away and buy another one.

Are the panfish model better than the triumph? I have a triumph and it’s not very sensitive

Chuck, I do think the newer panfish models are likely improved over the Triumphs but I've never owned the latter. The St. Croix website used to have, likely still does, a description of some of the new features, improvements. It seems they were looking for more back-bone without sacrificing sensitivity. This'd give the rods a bit more range to tackle smaller panfish and still be practical for larger species like crappie, the occasional bass that wanders by.

St. Croix lists the material used in each of its rod series and that'd be the "tell," whether it is of a higher quality or not I suppose.



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