TexasKayakFisherman.com est. 2000

Kayak fishing the Lone Star State...


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By JW FunGuy
#2274818
Interesting. Like you I haven’t used a glass rod for a LONG time. But your reasons make sense, kind of makes me want to start pursuing Craigslist!
I did wonder about the shorter rod though. I have been thinking going longer than the 9ft I have just so I have more clearance sitting in the kayak especially in marshes with shore grass. ???
#2274825
JW FunGuy wrote:Interesting. Like you I haven’t used a glass rod for a LONG time. But your reasons make sense, kind of makes me want to start pursuing Craigslist!
I did wonder about the shorter rod though. I have been thinking going longer than the 9ft I have just so I have more clearance sitting in the kayak especially in marshes with shore grass. ???
I have an 8ft 6wt and a 7ft 4wt it's good to have the clearance

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By karstopo
#2274826
JW FunGuy wrote:Interesting. Like you I haven’t used a glass rod for a LONG time. But your reasons make sense, kind of makes me want to start pursuing Craigslist!
I did wonder about the shorter rod though. I have been thinking going longer than the 9ft I have just so I have more clearance sitting in the kayak especially in marshes with shore grass. ???


I fly fish out of a 14' Commander and mostly use 7'6" fly rods for that. I usually carry 2 7/8 weight fiberglass CGR rods and a 7'6" G. Loomis Short Stix. What's nice about the short rods and my kayak is that the rod tips do not extend past the bow when resting between my feet. When a fish I'm fighting swings under my bow from one side of the kayak to the other and under the kayak, a 7'6" rod is long enough to let it happen without running into problems, although I might have to extend my arms towards the bow some. A nine foot rod does extend beyond the tip of the bow and would cause problems with contacting cord grass or possibly get tangled while fighting the fish on another rod.

Fiberglass is really nice for the bigger fish that dives under the kayak and out the other side. Glass bends a lot more without snapping in two, at least compare to carbon fiber. Glass is really nice for short to medium distance odd angle shots at redfish, which are the typical type I encounter out in the marsh. I really only bring along the graphite rod to tame the wind.

But I fully believe there are a bunch of ways to approach fly fishing with the gear and rods and techniques. Up and down the coast the conditions vary so what might be good one place might not be good in another. There are many ways to skin this cat. I've mostly figured out how I like to go about it and am constantly tweaking things, but understand there are alternative approaches and ideas that work for others. Know there is no one path to enjoying and connecting with fish while fly fishing. Fly fishing has a ton of opportunities for customizing techniques, flies, gear, leaders, etc. and at this point the personal touch opportunities to add in seem about infinite.
#2274876
JW FunGuy wrote:Whew! You had me going there. I was about to say “Red’s on a 4wt!?” I guess I’ve got Salt on the brain!
Actually I know a guy who uses a 4wt in the bay for reds. I tied him a bunch of flies

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By Frreed
#2274881
He makes a couple good points about durability.

I a few glass rods that I love for trout fishing. Much of that has to do with shorter length, softer action and they just look and feel cool on the stream.

For the salt, glass has never done it for me. Weight is a big factor. Spending a day casting an 8' glass rod requires ice and bourbon therapy. The same day with a graphite rod only requires bourbon. Wind is always an issue at the coast. The speed of a graphite rod punches into that wind better than glass any day. I'll take issue with him about fighting bigger fish. Most rods used for saltwater are more flexible at the tip and really stout in the butt section. You can put more pressure on the fish and get a faster CPR without tiring the fish as much. Sure if it goes under the yak, glass may have an advantage, but not (for me) a reason to fish glass in salt. As for delicate presentation, it's all in the cast. Open that loop a bit and you will get barely a ripple with even the fastest graphite. Tighten that loop up and I can cast with more accuracy at longer distances with graphite.

I've got both, fish both and love both. Different tools for different tasks. M wife has never understood this...
#2274882
Frreed wrote:He makes a couple good points about durability.

I a few glass rods that I love for trout fishing. Much of that has to do with shorter length, softer action and they just look and feel cool on the stream.

For the salt, glass has never done it for me. Weight is a big factor. Spending a day casting an 8' glass rod requires ice and bourbon therapy. The same day with a graphite rod only requires bourbon. Wind is always an issue at the coast. The speed of a graphite rod punches into that wind better than glass any day. I'll take issue with him about fighting bigger fish. Most rods used for saltwater are more flexible at the tip and really stout in the butt section. You can put more pressure on the fish and get a faster CPR without tiring the fish as much. Sure if it goes under the yak, glass may have an advantage, but not (for me) a reason to fish glass in salt. As for delicate presentation, it's all in the cast. Open that loop a bit and you will get barely a ripple with even the fastest graphite. Tighten that loop up and I can cast with more accuracy at longer distances with graphite.

I've got both, fish both and love both. Different tools for different tasks. M wife has never understood this...
Noted

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I think hes addressing the type of fishing he does in his short kayak.
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By don.owen
#2276901
Any of you guys ever try double hand overhead casting in the surf. It's popular up in New England in the surf for Stripers and Blues. I'm headed down to Riviera Beach in a few days to get out of our cold Idaho winter. I'll be bringing my 11' 6wt switch rod with me to give it a try. I suspect it wouldn't work to well sitting in a kayak but this double-handed casting (Not Spey Casting) has been a godsend to my 70 year old shoulder.

Check it out on YouTube.

Tight Lines!
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By Ron Mc
#2277204
My two salty glass rods are a para-taper 8-1/2' 6/7 Japanese S-glass, Izch (Issac). This is my go-to distance rod and will do everything my Sage RPLX7 (graphite III) will do up to about an 18-kt wind. It also doesn't shock my elbow when shooting long line, so less fatigue over and over blind-fishing a Teeny line in tide passes.
Only have it photographed with a rat red and slime line on LHL (the hole by the 1st duck blind)
Image

Recently picked up a 1960 8' Harnell 652 e-glass 7-wt.
Imagebtw, there's no rhyme or reason to the Harnell numbering system - the 652 is an 8' 7-wt, and the 654 is an 8' 5-wt. But check out the grade of the cork, Harnell was the best rod made in 1960.
Image losing the foot and gaining a soft progressive tip makes it easier to fish in close from the boat in tight sloughs.
You know that feeling with graphite when you have just a few feet of line out and you're casting like a one-armed paper hanger to keep the leader off the water?
Glass doesn't do that. The soft progressive tip casts the leader alone at about the same timing as when you have more line out and you're loading deeper into the faster part of the taper.
You really don't give up distance on glass, but do give up the ability to cast into strong wind.
Basically the modulus of graphite is too great to get a progressive taper as you go shorter (and have any tip strength). Attempts to make short graphite rods end up as para-taper tomato stakes.
(though some of those fish really well with haul, 6'9" 3-pc Fisher Combo).

The modulus hierarchy is E-glass, S-glass and cane are equivalent, graphite I, II, III, IV, etc. You can't beat graphite for a 9' rod or longer.

Last weekend, we didn't find reds feeding in the sloughs, so I didn't get to break in the rod where I intended, but it was a blast catching resident tourist trout in the canal green lights at night.
Image Image
Last edited by Ron Mc on Wed Oct 17, 2018 7:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
By Kayak Kid
#2277238
My first fly rod was a bamboo given to me when I was fourteen. Had plans to fish a large lake in the middle of a large pasture my grandfather leased for cattle raising. Broke that rod while mounting my horse to get there.

My second, third and fourth were fiberglass. Dirt cheep varieties I got on sale at Oshman's.

I don't think I ever used a fiberglass rod after the first time I used a borrowed graphite. It's strictly personal, but I believe that my using a glass rod now, would constitute a move backward. I admit to having grown particular about my rod's weight, section alignment, and balance, so I now build most of them my self.

Since retirement, over 15 years ago, and having taken up fly fishing as a full time replacement to working, most of my fishing has been on the Texas, Louisiana Gulf Coast. I have also spent a great deal of time fishing in the Caribbean for bone fish and snook, my favorite species. Fishing both of these areas includes doing so, in the company of high winds. Thus my preference being graphite.

For trout fishing in the high country streams of Colorado, New Mexico, and Montana, I use a 4 wt custom made graphite that I won in a poker game. The only fly rod I ever broke was that old bamboo rod my horse stepped on.
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By Ron Mc
#2277240
There's a whole world out there you're missing, like making under-hand casts beneath 2' overhanging cypress covering most of the river channel, to 5-lb bass in the last quarter-mile of the Sabinal, with your back against the south Texas scrub. Casting to fish that have never been presented to before. Impossible to conceive with a graphite rod, made possible only by a 6' or 6-1/4' glass rod.
It's a move way forward.
The MOC of the rod means only that. A lot of cheap crap has been squeezed out in all of it. But where some passionate individual has done the math, either empirically, through trial and error, or both, incredible tools have been forged over the past 100 years.
Dry fly rods, short powerful paras, distance casting rods, wind rods, made out of all MOCs.
My buddy Floyd Burkett's 7'10" Guadalupe 5-wt, parabolic rocket ship, derived from a Wayne Cattanach taper.
Image
8' FE Thomas Light Special, 4/5-wt super-progressive dry fly rod, will accurately cast the leader alone, is instantly crisp past the leader - as fast as any functional graphite rod - and has the uncanny feeling of casting itself out to 50'.
The man who designed this rod passed in 1936, though this rod was built 10 years ago by Dennis Stone.
Image
The only thing these two rods have in common is the MOC.
My Japanese S-glass rod that will do everything my Sage RPLX7 graphite III will do up to 18 kt winds, but with less fatigue, was hand-rolled from scratch on order. I have stood in awe watching line shoot through the guides and wondering if it was ever going to stop.
(these are not an off-the-shelf blank that someone has decorated with thread wraps.)

A 6' Phillipson will roll-cast with aplomb across a tight river - try that with a short graphite rod - not even cane or S-glass rods in 6' lengths will roll-cast well, and honestly, very few other 6' glass rods roll-cast well (e.g. Fenwick 605).
Bill Phillipson, Joe Fisher, Jim Green (Harnell and Fenwick), Paul Young, Wes Jordan, Fred Thomas, Hiram Leonard - they had a target and worked in the MOC to achieve it.

Fishing my prewar Heddon wind rod in a 20-knot wind gusting higher ( on tv). Happens to be a bottom-grade rod from the Folsom Arms catalog, but handles the job extremely well.
Image
When it comes to good fishing tackle, only the advertising is obsolete. But that's the only way they know how to sell, because their market is repeat buyers, so must convince them what they bought last year doesn't work any more.
Last edited by Ron Mc on Tue Oct 16, 2018 7:46 am, edited 9 times in total.
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By Ron Mc
#2277244
Beginning fly fishermen get hung up on casting and that's all they do - and they put fish down doing it.
The fishing is more important than the casting. Most fish are caught at your feet.
Stealthy fly rod wizards spare their casts, and catch a fish every 3rd cast.
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By karstopo
#2277248
I would agree watching the water for fish, Fish sign and Fish holding structure and understanding the situation and how to make the presentation is the most important factor to fishing rather than making a bunch of casts hoping for the best. I’ve mostly rejected 9’ graphite rods for the fly fishing I do here around and near where I live. In my experience, the cons have outweighed the pros, but like everything else in fishing, there’s more than one way to skin a cat.

Tim Rajeff in the video talks about how fiberglass has better feedback on the cast so the fisherman can have enhanced feel to make a more quality cast and presentation. He states he fishes fiberglass most of the time. I fish both Glass and graphite. I like the shorter glass unless it’s windy, then it’s graphite for me, but I like my ultra fast 7’6” graphite Short stix for windy work. It is a broom handle of sorts, but they do have a following with the east coast striper folks among others. I had a TFO minimag before the Short Stix. The 8’ minimag was a composite of graphite and glass, but the Short Stix swings so much lighter than the minimag and is just casts and fishes a lot better than the minimag did. I find the Short Stix has enough feel to cast accurately and plenty of power to punch through difficult winds.
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By Ron Mc
#2277249
yes, all these things are true - and of course when you're sight-fishing, you should be catching a fish every cast. The every 3rd cast thing is fishing to water.
When you want the line-speed/distance rod is when you get out of the boat and you're wading. Because of your sight advantage standing, you usually have more time to set up your cast, and will make longer casts to fish than when you're sitting in a boat.
Image Fisher graphite II/III blend, and a progressive magic wand that will drop on a quarter at 70'Image

Last weekend, sight-fishing the green lights, I caught a fish every 2nd cast, but these were fish expecting to be lied to.
I spent more time watching than fishing, allowing the fish to crowd up, and to regroup between the catch excitement.
Even the little trout were taking drag - they were a hoot to fish.
With the 1960 glass rod, I was also shooting line into the wind to present to the green lights, and counting down up to 7 seconds to let the slime line sink.
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By Ron Mc
#2277283
I explained why I wanted a mid-length salty glass rod above - better control and quicker presentation with less movement for in-close fishing while seated in a kayak than with a longer graphite rod, or than my S-glass distance rod.
The other 2 reasons I hunted down the Harnell rod - btw, good hunting, it was a $110 ebay find, and my snipe win was the 2nd bid.
First, several years ago, I sold my Phillipson EF80S (S for salt) - 8' 8-wt built from blank.
KK, this fits in with custom - a friend contacted me he had the blank, I had him forward it to a another friend who used modern titanium-nitride salty hardware to finish out the rod, and some al dente wraps (reminiscent of Fisher)
ImageImage Image I wasn't using it between my Issac, Sage and Fisher, and sold it to a friend in Alaska who's getting a lot of use from it - of course, now I miss it.
I also had a Fisher-built Scientific Anglers System 7 glass along the way, and sold that to another Alaska friend for the same reason. I had even fitted that rod with removable Struble butt, which Struble doesn't make anymore.
Image

Second, Cabela's CGR 7-1/2' 7/8-wt is all sold out - I should have grabbed one in the spring, but let it slip.
Anyone on the forum who was smart enough to purchase one of these rods has reported how they love them for salt kayak fishing.
If you google Cabela's CGR 7/8, you'll find they have a cult following on every coast. Also proof you don't have to spend a lot of money to get a great fishing tool.
And if anyone has a CGR 7/8 for sale, please contact me.

As far as the casting stroke idea goes, please keep in mind that 30 years ago, I was making vertical back-casts with my back against a grotto and cliff at Mansfield County Park, to shoot out 80' casts and catch jumping stripers from the bank of Lake Travis (it was part of our Sunday-afternoon picnic ritual, and the stripers always jumped on the same structure there on summer afternoons). At some point, you need to throw away everybody else's ideas on casting and find yours that will adjust to any rod and any situation. The feedback a glass rod gives will help you throw away mechanical timing and find the feel - it will also make you cast better with your graphite rod.
That was also about the same time I threw away other people's fly patterns and worked out my own.
Image
Last edited by Ron Mc on Wed Oct 17, 2018 7:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
#2277294
Ron Mc wrote:I explained why I wanted a mid-length salty glass rod above - better control and quicker presentation with less movement for in-close fishing while seated in a kayak than with a longer graphite rod, or than my S-glass distance rod.
The other 2 reasons I hunted down the Harnell rod - btw, good hunting, it was a $110 ebay find.
First, several years ago, I sold my Phillipson EF80S (S for salt) - 8' 8-wt built from blank.
KK, this fits in with custom - a friend contacted me he had the blank, I had him forward it to a another friend who used modern titanium-nitride salty hardware to finish out the rod, and some al dente wraps (reminiscent of Fisher)
ImageImage Image I wasn't using it between my Issac, Sage and Fisher, and sold it to a friend in Alaska who's getting a lot of use from it - of course, now I miss it.
I also had a Fisher-built Scientific Anglers System 7 glass along the way, and sold that to another Alaska friend for the same reason. I had even fitted that rod with removable Struble butt, which Struble doesn't make anymore.
Image

Second, Cabela's CGR 7-1/2' 7/8-wt is all sold out - I should have grabbed one in the spring, but let it slip.
Anyone on the forum who was smart enough to purchase one of these rods has reported how they love them for salt kayak fishing.
If you google Cabela's CGR 7/8, you'll find they have a cult following on every coast. Also proof you don't have to spend a lot of money to get a great fishing tool.
And if anyone has a CGR 7/8 for sale, please contact me.

As far as the casting stroke idea goes, please keep in mind that 30 years ago, I was making vertical back-casts with my back against a grotto and cliff at Mansfield County Park, to shoot out 80' casts and catch jumping stripers from the bank of Lake Travis (it was part of our Sunday-afternoon picnic ritual, and the stripers always jumped on the same structure there on summer afternoons). At some point, you need to throw away everybody else's ideas on casting and find yours that will adjust to any rod and any situation. The feedback a glass rod gives will help you throw away mechanical timing and find the feel - it will also make you cast better with your graphite rod.
That was also about the same time I threw away other people's fly patterns and worked out my own.
Image
I thought about get a glass salt rod, I think a good glass rod has the ability to cast to red fish with a quiet presentation

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By Ron Mc
#2277295
Mostly it's having more control in the first few feet of line, and getting it out of the rod with fewer motions.
No question for any in-close fishing you also have more control in your presentation.
The trick is getting the right combination of line weight, hardware and length, making the out-of-stock-and-hopefully-not-discontinued CGR 7/8 the perfect rod.
A problem, most people aiming new glass at salt will be offering longer-length distance-casting rods. While those rods are great, they're not necessarily the best choice for sitting in a kayak.
By Kayak Kid
#2277314
Ronmc,
That's the ugliest, silliest fly I've seen in a long time. Probably going to net you lots of fish.

My parachute Adam ties are my go to favorites on the small streams I fish in Montana. As a result of my inept tying skills when it comes to parachutes, they are uuuugggglllllly. However, the rainbows evidently don't think so, because they seldom turn away from my presentations.

By the way, I was not demeaning glass rods in any way. Your penchant for owning and using the different equipment that's available, was just never my priority. I'm just glad that your expertise is available to guide me in the direction of proper line selection.
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