In winters past I've let myself believe that I needed to build yet another rod for a "niche" fishing location/situation I encountered the previous season. The following season I'd look forward to using my new set-up in its intended environment...and then be disappointed by its limitations.
Despite the variety of surf outfits I have (or had), I invariably find myself reaching for the same one or two, no matter what.
My all-time, do-it-all surf rod is the GSB 1321M. It CASTS jigs under 1/2 ounce to metal over 4 ounces very well. It effectively LOBS big eels, the (old) 9" Storm shad, and herring chunks with 4oz pyramids. I've cast one over 160 yards with a VS275. I wade with it and swim with it. It's like my right arm.
Closely following is a set-up I use often due to it's versatility and exceptionally light weight: The old 11.5' Rainshadow 1386. Built with titanium lowriders and plate seat, and paired with a VS150, the outfit is insanely light and comfortable to use for extended periods. It has all the power it needs to get decent fish to hand quickly, though the 1321M is a better tool in really fast or rough water.
I've built two 1321Ms; one with six SS lowriders and one with 11 titanium guides (HV/MN/Ys) laid out via New Guide Concept (NGC).
The titanium guide layout allowed the rod to be lighter and faster, which helped with distance (160+ yds with a VS275), but the SS lowriders allowed for a more versatile rod, as it slowed it down enough to use 3/8 oz jig heads and allowed for easier pencil-working.
I sold the lowrider build a few years back, and I broke my titanium build this past October, so I'm in need of another. Most likely I will build another one with stainless steel lowriders. That was my favorite. Posted from my iPhone/Mobile device
my go to set up is an 11ft custom lami, the blank i used is the ISU 1322MH, its rated 3 to 8 but throws loaded redfins to big plugs like GRS and large rigged eels all day. Sensitive tip and lots of backbone. Its wrapped with lowriders and shrink grip like the legends. I had two, snapped one last year and still have the other one.
The reel is a zeebaas 27, the only reel i own and use except for some bottom fishing set ups.
This year Im building the 10ft century stealth rated 1 to 4, and then the century 1327 11ft rod. Doing k frames on the 10ft, dont know what the big deal is with these guides will be cool to see what all the hype is about.
Might do the 11ft with lowriders depending on how i like the k frames.
I would go with a one piece rod but dont have the room in the house and i work in providence downtown and dont feel comfortable leaving it on the roof during the day.
10 years ago I wrote a series of posts about the 4 rods you need to fish for stripers in the Northeast. I think that still holds true.
1) Schoolie rod ...Lami GSH 108-2MH..steelhead rod for very light jigs. For this I use a very small ABU Spinner.
2) All around rod for eels , plugs etc along the general shore line. Have used a Loomis 1266 for 15 years now with either a Calcutta 400 , 6500CS Mag Elite or BG6500CL (all these reels are spoolled with 35 LB Cortland Spectron but I have a spool of 50 LB PP I want to try) but will be replacing the 1266 with a Century Stealth1 (10 footer) now. It is better at the lower end for smimmers like redfins , mombo minnows , bombers , etc. It will not handle the very high end like the 1266 that will actually cast 4 OZ. For that I will use my now most versatile rod...rod 3 which I did not have for the first 7 or 8 years I had the Loomis 1266. I have not decided If I want the Stealth1 to be a spinner with a high end reel or a concentional using the same reels I use on the 1266.
3) Lami XRA 1205. A great rod for the canal , anything over 2 to as much as 5 OZ but used by me primarily for 3 and 4 or in current like the canal and breachways. I use an original black made in Sweden BG7000CL with 50 LB Cortland Spectron.
4) Rocket Launchers...I like my All Star 1418. It casts very easily and smoothly and far. I also have a Century Tip Tornado light that will cast a mile but is a lot more work to load but it will send them out of site. On the Allstar I generally would use a BG6500CL or the 6500CS Mag Elite with 35 Lb Cortland Spectron. On the Century TTL I use a BG7000CL with 50 LB Spectron. Either of these rods will crush up to 6 OZ easily and more in a pinch.
With these 4 rods I can cast 3/8th to 6+ OZ. I can fish for spring rats or moby Dick , I can fish the most waveless beach or the most violent storm or the fastest current. I can flip stuff out there with the flick of a wrtist or I can put all my might into casts depending on my mood or need. You'll also notice that there is a little overlap between the rods capabilities and applications.
If I could have just 1 rod it would be the XRA 1205 but who knows , tomorrow a new model comes out and todays favorite becomes yesterdays has been.
Lami SSU 11' one piece with a VS 200, or same reel with a 1201 L minus 4" off the top. Going to be building a century at the Saltheart class, maybe it will replace the gsb...
Conventional, RS 1208, maybe its a 1209 im confused now with a 7000c3 abu. Love the thing, had it for about 5 years now, and after last year im not sure what blank it is. If i flipping smaller eels i use the same reel with a 10' lami triflex, super light weight rod but lacks in the power department.
This is an interesting read,I'm learning what most of you use,and why you change it up or move on.On the other hand I'am to cheap or just too frugal,call it what you will but I have only four set ups and have had them some for 13yrs. and one for 11 yrs.
My goto is a telephone pole and my Buddy's rouse me on it,but I don't mind,cause to me it get's the job done,but the funny thing is it's rated for 2-8.oz. but I can throw anything from lite jigs,plugs,bait and monstah eels.This stick has plenty of back bone & I've landed many decent fish on it.
So my cheesy line up is
Croix Avid Surf S100 Med A
Croix Avid Surf C100 Fast
Croix Avid Surf S900 Fast
I'am sure I could step up and buy a better stick for myself and cast a bit further but,I'am cool with where I'am at.
The L is the perfect Rod for anything 2 ounces or under- redfins darters danny's bombers mag darters - so light fish all night and great
pencil popping blank.
I use a 108m on Jettys and rivers.
Am having a rod built for 3 ounces and up tins pikies big riggies . Took a test cast with guides taped on with a 3 ounce sinker and I was almost to the backing. Can't wait Posted from my iPhone/Mobile device
During the last year I've played a lot with the century blanks. being a rod builder I have more high end rods than you can shake a stick at.I started playing with the Century 9ft 6 in slingshot. It is a sweet rod with a stradic 5000 and 20lb test powerpro on it. i throw a lot of 2 oz plugs an 3 oz ones plus like using bommers and similar swimmers. i can fish all night an not get tired. I have pulled 20lb plus fish our of the rocks an it cast a rigged sluggo an med eels very nicely.Cost isn't all that bad and it's taken all the beating I can give it. with the tangle free K frames on it it cast sweet in any conditions.I have it right up there with an old Loomis 8ft 6 in and my lami 1081ms.Ligth,powerfull and so far rugged. Beat the H--- out of it and still going. I've built 9 so far and all love them.Nice to not beat myself an fish all night .LOL Lot better than my old 136 fenwick that I used for yrs. LOL With an old mitchell 496 and Ande 20lb on it.
The set up I use the most is a 1201M and a VS250 I have 2 of these set ups and love them and will probably fish um for a long time
I got a MoJo 10'6" 2-6 oz and used a ZB27 seems to cast well and the reel has a real nice drag, but I got took to school at the canal with it when a Large Striper had it's way with me and wrapped it's self around a rock, but handles smaller fish fine
I also have a 1321M and I am going to be trying that out this year in place of the MoJo at the Canal
Blanks hanging in my rafters include the two 10' models of the SSU line, a Breakaway Omega, the old 11.5' Rainshadow 1327 and others...I might pass on buying a 1321M blank and just build something I have. I can't see spending the money when I have so much unused inventory. Posted from my iPhone/Mobile device