Bluegill - Big Bluegill

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Can anyone share some tips on casting very light lures? I've already switched to braid, downsized my line, and upgraded my reel, so I suspect all that's left is technique and practice. Any and all suggestions greatly appreciated.

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Yes, the video looks great - but you would see a similar result on video, only a little further up the rod, with a rod built with the New Concept Guide system, as the smaller guides harness the line.

HEY WALT, DO YOU REMEMBER custom rod making from 20-30 years ago? Don't know if you were doing it then or not , but I was. Oh by the way Walt, this discussion on here is one of the most enlightening and in depth ones I've seen in a while and many thanks for all your answers on these questions posed . 

  YYYYYYYYears ago someone like Fuji or one of the other top makers came out with HIgh Frame guides with small sized rings on them. They were supposed to be all the rage and were for a while till guys started banging em around and bending em a lot either by stepping on em or just plain clumsy with gear. How about the oval guides or three sided guides, you ever seen em? TO me it all just seems like HYPE and some more of the techno wizard stuff that keeps the industry going till the next great thing comes along. I'm sure that some of the stuff is ok but just fluff as far as I'm concerned and gets away from the fish and focus's on the gear . 
   I am totally amazed at some of your artful rods and must admit I wouldn't mind owning one for sure. Do you think that some of the stuff that goes on today is just Hype or does some of it actually work?  I still use Fuji Hardoloy for guides and the weight difference for say S,I,C, guides is of minimal help and an unecesarry cost. I remember when SIC guides first came out and the high frames for that matter and had a couple rods built for me , LLLLLLLLLLONG BEFORE I WAS MAKING MY OWN , and the fella kept trying to sell me on the idea after the rod was made and delivered to me. He said DAVE THIS IS THE WAVE OF THE FUTURE AND NOTHING IS EVER GONNA REPLACE THESE. Well we see now that lots has changed and who uses SIC guides anymore?
   Sorry got so long winded ............

I was making rods then, Dave, though I wasn't really following other builders like I do now (that was pre-internet, of course, so there were no online forums).  I have used the high-frame guides, and one model of guide that I and many builders use, the Pacbay Minimas, is a high-frame; I think they can make a difference, but I wouldn't bet my life on it.  As far as the SIC, they're mostly hype I would say - don't know a lot of builders who use them outside of for saltwater applications. 

Definitely a lot of stuff is hype, just as it is in anything (bass fishing tackle is a great example).  The exposed-grip reel seats, for instance, are not only hype, but in my and many builders' opinions they're just bad design: anglers typically find them very uncomfortable, and beyond that, it seems to me that they create an unnatural stress on the rod blank.  I bought a couple about a year ago but then I read a bunch of bad reviews on various sites and decided I didn't want to risk making a rod my customer would be unhappy with, just to try the latest fad.

By the way, I would be more than happy to build you a rod anytime if you like - just let me know.  

HEY WALT , HECK there were'nt even cell phones when I started building rods!!!!!!!!!! Let alone the internet !!!!!!!!!!!!! May have you do one some day just to look at!!!!! Your work is fabulous to say the least and would be proud to own one....... FFFFFFFFFFFFFFads are the nemisis of the rod builder and to bad people can read , but not read through the hype.......

I'm going to disagree with the consensus so far and say that in my experience, braids almost always cast farther than mono. A lot depends on exactly how you are comparing them, as well as what specific brands, but for the most part I've found it to be the case more often than not. The physics simply tend to support it. And as for the NanoFil recommendation, definitely the farthest casting line I've come across yet.

As for other ideas, having the right setup is definitely key. You don't want too much bend in the rod (noodle) or you'll never get out there since the transfer of energy is so poor. It's why I almost never use anything lighter than a ML fast action rod.

Another little trick is to leave a bit more line hanging off the tip when you load up and cast. Instead of having your lure 6" off the tip, try throwing it with 2'-3' of line away from the tip. More mass outside of the tip means you can load the rod a greater amount. Also make your forward cast fast and sharp as opposed to slow and lobbing. Again, it's all about efficient transfer of energy.

 

-BW

  

As far as rod action goes, most factory rods these days are much faster (stiffer) in action than the average rod even just twenty years ago; and those rods are fine if all you fish for is largemouth with lures 3/8 oz. or larger.  If, however, you're fishing for bluegill, and therefore possibly using small lures or bait with little to no weight, a fast-action rod is two strikes against you before you ever tie on the lure.  Lures 1/32 oz. or less are going to cast poorly with a stiff rod because they're simply not heavy enough to load the rod on the backcast; and if you like to fish with live bait, using a stiff rod is masochism because you're going to be constantly re-baiting because the fast tip threw your bait off.  

Nearly every guy who has me build him a custom rod for bluegill starts out by mentioning he doesn't want a slow-action rod - because that's what he's been told by the factory rod companies.  The easiest way to explain it is with a comment I read on a fly rodding forum recently, in which one of the experts was explaining to a novice that fast-action fly rods often require a line a size or even two sizes heavier than what they're rated for to cast properly, because that extra stiffness keeps them from loading with the line they're rated for - in effect, the stiffness makes them a heavier rod.  

An entire angling system, one of the deadliest in the history of freshwater fishing, was conceived by Bill Binkleman, the founder of the original Fishing Facts magazine, around the concept of fishing whole, very lively and large nightcrawlers with no added weight or terminal tackle other than a light-wire hook, on light line (four- or six-pound-test), with limber (slow-action) rods that would still cast a weightless 'crawler well because of their slow action, and would do so without flinging it off the hook.

Fast-action rods absolutely will cast a heavy lure farther; but as far as light lures go, I'd happily take the money of anyone who'd like to engage me in a casting contest for 1/64 oz. lures, with me using one of my slower-action super-UL rods and the other guy using a fast-action rod:)  

OOOOOOOOOOOOUTSTANDING WALT!!!!!!! THAT'S WHAT I'VE BEEN ADVOCATING ALL ALONG about the merits of more limber rod action, PARTICULLARLY OOOOOOOOOOOOLD FIBERGLASS RODS!! THEY were legendary for soft to medium actions and all I use today.!!!!!!!!!!!

Yep, I'm a fan of fiberglass myself - my main bluegill rod is an 8' light-action spinning rod made on a Lamiglas 5-weight fly rod blank.  Graphite certainly has its place, and I build a lot of rods on graphite blanks; they're definitely more sensitive; but they are also significantly more fragile as you note, especially the high-modulus stuff which is just begging for a broken rod.

Thank you Walt and the stuff about graphite is true and there is no substitute for a softer action rod.

 I make an ultralight spinning rod using ooooooooooooooold solid glass rods, that are generally no longer than 52" and can cast em a loooooooong ways when needed as long as I use 4lb. line and a small bobber either weighted or unweighted.......

hey walt; there is the slighest possiblity i may be out of touch with todays language. by a fast tip; in my earlier days meant it set a hook fast! it was as limber a rod as you could get; sorry for the mix up.  my favorite rod is a real old one; over 30 years old. and if i could find any more of them id buy a 100 of them. its a fenwick black hawk bs60ml  graphite; 7 foot; 1/8 to 3/8 lure in line preference 4 to 8 pound test.  but there is a few tricks also; thhat can help thro a line the distance.  one is to use reel magic on the reel and line as well;; it DOES help. another one is ; i use armour all on my guide lines. i slick it up big time! and i keep a watchful eye  on those guides! no drag areas of wear!  one more thing buddy;; a good work out in the gym dont hurt;; lolol

I switched over to Kevin VanDam line conditioner years ago. I also used the Reel Magic but I find the KVD......which is not oil based....works much better for me. I use tons of the stuff.

                                                                                     Regards

You are getting some good ideas here. I just wanted to add that to me casting distance is the Holy Grail when fishing micro jigs...1/64 and less. I will do anything to get more. That is why I decided to give a custom made rod a try. It will most assuredly be very pleasing to the eye...and I will enjoy how it looks. But I want it to sling the fire out of an un-wieghted Trout Magnet. I will give a true and complete review of the rod. When it was presented to me the way it was it only made sense....as long as the theory holds up. I fish with 200 dollar reels....a spool of line that costs 18 bucks...so why not have a rod that matches up to that and is made for the way "I" fish.    

                                                                                             Regards

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