Thursday, September 17, 2015

Revelations on the type of rod needed for Texas rivers

We had a great time this last weekend!  Caught many fish and made some wonderful memories.

Even more so I am convinced that I need to build light spinning rods for catching river bass.  My ultra light rod was the best tool for the trip.  I was catching largemouth and smallmouth on the rod using the same small buzzbait.  The ability to fight a fish without the rod letting up on the fish was paramount to me catching fish after fish even in the weeds.

This appeared to be a 15.75in 1.75lb Guad with
very faint markings on the back. Gave me a huge fight!
So why do fisherman say you need a heavier rod to fight largemouth in weeds?  I always thought that this was because you could muscle the fish through the weeds without losing the fish.  What I found though is that this is not always the case.  The fact is, I was much more likely to have the fish throw the lure than I was to have the fish hook me on a weed.  Of all the many fish I caught over the weekend, I only lost a fish to weeds twice - one was obvious, the other wasn't so obvious.  The ultra light rod performed so well that I hardly picked up my other rods unless I wanted to fish a larger lure (Check out my GeeksFishToo blog).

My goal now is to work harder on getting a rod setup that will perform similarly to my ultra light in a longer rod.  The ultra light is only 5'9" and it's very flexible.  By going to a longer rod, I could go up a step in stiffness without sacrificing the ability to keep pressure on a fish.

Why am I going this route?  Ask a fly fisherman.  The way a fly rod works is what I'm looking for in a spinning rod. The ability of a fly rod to keep tension on a fish is how they keep from losing a hard fighting fish. This brings me to the type of fish you find in Texas rivers:  Hard fighting fish.  Particularly the Guadeloupe bass.  I call these fish "Texas Hot Water Trout" because they fight all the way to the boat and then some. Since they prefer smaller lures, you need a rod that can keep tension when the bass does a double-helix-back-flip. And yes, I had one do something insanely similar this trip. 

Most of the bass you'll find in Texas rivers generally fight very hard.  And I found that when using my super flexible ultra light rod that I didn't lose one of those super hard fighters.  The only fish I lost were largmouth bass which were less picky about where they went when fighting you.  Apparently Guadeloupe and smallmouth were more likely to head to open areas where largemouth would head for the bottom.

The problem with the smaller rod is that the reel I had was too light for the fish I was catching.  I completely tore up the drag on my Pfluger President reel. I had to lock it down to keep the drag from sliding.  This of course is risky when you have the possibility of catching a bass bigger than when the rod can take. So the solution to the problem is a longer rod that will handle a slightly bigger reel so the drag wont disintegrate. 

The Concept:
I've got a 9ft rod blank that I have a microwave guide set for but I need to put a different handle on it. It would seem that a conventional handle is too limiting in options so I am going to do a Tennessee handle with slip rings.  This is what my current ultra light has on it and I like it quite well.  The only change is that I intend to install a handle that is 16in long.  This has a two-fold purpose: 1. To provide built-in buoyancy to keep the rod a-float when dropped overboard. 2. To allow the possibility of using the rod as a fly rod. 

With a handle that allows unusual placement of guides, this should allow me to put either a fly reel or spinning reel on the rod.  And with the microwave guide system, it will keep a very small profile on the blank meaning less interference for the heavier fly line.  I'm afraid that the blank itself may not be flexible enough for a fly rod, but the concept would be sound over all and by building it this way, it will give me a way to try out the concept.

I'll keep you posted on my progress.  I'm going to attempt to order the handle tomorrow. I've got everything else ready to go.

Until then...

Tight Lines Y'all!


Friday, September 11, 2015

Reminder and latest news - Mason Texas here we come!

Just a note to remind the readers of this site that I am now posting fishing related articles on If you are missing those more fishing-centric articles, then head over there to find them.

Additionally,  HCFR is going Mason, TX this weekend to the Dos Rios RV campground.  If you're in the area look for our white truck in the campground. The signs will be on the truck.

Stop and talk with us!  We'd love to hear you!

For more info on the trip, head over to GeeksFishToo.  I'll be posting something over there shortly.

Tight Lines Y'all!


Monday, September 7, 2015

Finally... it happened

Yes, just a quick post to say that we finally got 3 rods done and delivered to Highlander Outfitters in Burnet Texas.  We finished up two casting rods and an ultralight spinning rod.

I realized too late that I didn't have too many pictures of the rods.  But I did find this one of me when I was working on the ultralight spinning rod.  I was showing the flexibility of the rod.

Well, hopefully the rods will sell and we'll have plenty to rods to take pictures of later.  The important thing is that we do have rods on the shelf and they are for sale!

If you're in central Texas, stop by Highlander Outfitters in Burnet Texas to see the selection!

Thanks for all the support!

Tight Lines Y'all!