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Best Rods for Soft plastics

Posted: Thu Aug 05, 2010 3:13 am
by FishBriz
Hi, After many years of only using 1 rod/reel at a time, catching things from Garfish through to 2.5m shark all on the same Rod, reel and line, I feel i want to treat myself and buy many rods and reels, so i have a specific outfit for certain species/line strength.
I havent really ever bought myself much, so for this reason i wanna treat myself and money isnt an issue.
I have recently started fishing with sp's and hope to not fish with bait any time soon, I would like opinions on what the best Rod to buy for using sp's, and what the best rods, reels, braids and leaders are for each class, for now, all the set ups i want will be for Estuary, and Bay.
Also what colour leader and braid are best, seeing as i will be fishing sp's all the time, yet dont want to scare the fish with the wrong colour.
I hope i have given enough info, i would write more but its 2am and i wanna bw up fishin by 7am :)

Any help and opinions would be highly appreciated :ll:

Tight Lines Jason

Re: Best Rods for Soft plastics

Posted: Thu Aug 05, 2010 4:03 am
by Gazzaguru
Hi Fishbriz,
I am a night owl tonight as well but I am getting paid for it. :tong: It is a good question and I am no means qualified to give you an expert answer. I will give you the basic directions I was given by a tackle shop owner when I first bought a kayak. I was told to get a rod between 6 feet 6 inches and seven feet. That is so you have the length to reach around the front and back of the kayak to play the fish when they want to run and not get your line tangled running under the yak. (Best advice I was given). I mainly fish estauries and dams so I use a shimano stradic 2500 reel spooled with 4lb braid and I use 6lb fluro leader. I have never had any problems except the odd tangle up with tree branches. For the type of fishing I do, this suits me fine. I use an allbright knot to tie the leader to the braid and a harrisons loop knot to tie HB lures or jigheads on. This is the basic set up I started with after advice from a tackle shop and this serves me well. I will leave the various techniques using soft plastics up to some of the experts as I am still learning as well. I think it is just a matter of getting out there and trying different things and techniques. Cheers Gaz

Re: Best Rods for Soft plastics

Posted: Thu Aug 05, 2010 8:24 am
by awty
X2 on Gazz's set up
Rod at around the 2-4kg range, for your usual Bream, Bass, Flathead, Squire. You might go the next size up for Snapper. Make sure it has Fuji guides, (Fuji Sic guides are good). You can spend upwards of $1000 for a rod, but you can get a half decent one for less than $150 and I wouldn't spend too much till you know exactly what you want.
The Stradic reel would be a good suggestion. These are great reels and if you look after it and get it serviced regularly it will last many years. You could buy better, but again best wait till you know exactly what you want. There are some good cheaper options to. Look for something light with good quality bearings. More bearings is not always good if there not high quality.
With line it depends what your chasing. You usually get 2 spools so spool one with some light line around the 2-3kg mark and one with something slightly heavier around the 4-5kg will handle most of the bay Snapper.

Re: Best Rods for Soft plastics

Posted: Thu Aug 05, 2010 10:22 am
by the pink panther

Thanks in regard the reason to have the rod that length. It is always interesting that someone might say DO THIS and not say why..........yes teach a person to fish...and give reasons WHY.......thanks I learnt WHEN some years ago- and rod lenght is dealing with HOW and that rod I bought that was too short - maybe use it for decoration........

6ft6in to 7 ft thanks and tight lines :tong:


Re: Best Rods for Soft plastics

Posted: Thu Aug 05, 2010 11:46 am
by the pink panther
Gazz or anyone --------

I have a shorter 6ft Ugly Stick 2-4Kg and I thought for some reasaon when I saw it for sale it would fit into my arsenal of different rods--now if I am correct it may be for trolling or for a fish slightly bigger where I need some grunt and forget it for using it as a general purpose soft plastics rod.

Any ideas please for my competition with self on supid compulsory buying sprees in tackle shops. oH I did get carried away.

well any feed back re 6ft rod and an Outback


Re: Best Rods for Soft plastics

Posted: Thu Aug 05, 2010 12:40 pm
by Bretly
Hi Gaz

I would also go to your local Tackle Shop and make friends with the owner. Talk to him about what you want and have a play with the rod and reel combo's - they have to feel good to you!!

I use a 7ft 4-8 pound Excelor with a 2500 Excelor reel and love them. You can pick up the rod for about a $100 and the reel for about $200. You can spend a lot more if you want but you have to be out there and into it to understand what you like and dont like about your gear.

Good luck and have lots of fun. :bye:

Re: Best Rods for Soft plastics

Posted: Thu Aug 05, 2010 3:55 pm
by the pink panther
Bretley thanks I just got back and landed another flattie on this short rod

pics uploaded soon on kfdu but thanks I will be after bettter gear as I am finding WHERE WHEN for bream and others

I find the shop owners are very knowledgable re BOATS but to speak about landing them whippy flick rods in under and long casts they are the same but different I find and the knowledge for yakkers is growing.....
great help oh and it is Denzo here thanks - kfdu is 5 star

YEH BRING IT ON --- WE ARE A TEAM :tong: :cool2: :tong:


Re: Best Rods for Soft plastics

Posted: Thu Aug 05, 2010 5:43 pm
by Revolution
Hi Jason,

It's a tough question and everyone has their own opinions so I will give you mine.

Rods to me are the most important part of the equation. The rod is the thing that has to cast the lure accurately and then help you play and land the fish. So my advice would be to focus more on getting a good rod and then spend whatever is left of your budget on the reel, line and leader.

As stated you can pay anything from under $100 to over $1,000 for a rod, but in general I think between $150 - $300 is a good mark. For brands I like Daiwa and Shimano, I personally don't rate Berkley rods, but others on here do and its hard to argue with the success that other members have had using these rods. I also personally steer away from G. Loomis rods because I find them to be overpriced and their warrant is in my opinion offensive. I personally use and love Samaki and Sakana rods, if you can find a tackle store that stocks them check them out. Beautiful blanks and quality fittings.

Higher modulus graphite rods have an advantage over lower modulus models in most (but not all) situations. The higher modulus graphite tends to return to its natural state faster, they are stiffer, which results in crisper, more accurate and longer casts, better control over the lure and higher sensitivity. Once upon a time you could tell the denser graphite by the IM rating of the rod. IM8 graphite rods having a higher modulus rating than an IM7 or IM6. But nowadays manufacturers tend to use different codes and terminology, making it harder to tell one from the other, but that's where a good tackle store can advise you.

If you're use to using fiberglass rods then keep in mind that graphite is very brittle. It's super strong when used correctly, but you don't want to bend the rod tip past 90 degrees or it will snap. Also keep an eye out for 'tip wraps' where the line gets wrapped around the rod tip. Casting a reasonably heavy lure vigorously when the line is wrapped around the tip can easily snap the tip off. Also be careful to not let the rod blank bang against hard surfaces as this can dent the graphite and where it dents it snaps.

For reels I prefer Daiwa to Shimano in light spinning reels. I think they are lighter and more refined and certainly I find them better to cast with. The Daiwa Tierra range of spinning reels are a good entry point, but I would personally look at spending a bit more and going for the Sol. If you wanted to spend more again the DA Luvias is sensational and the Certates are better again.

In terms of reel sizes I would personally recommend anything in the 2000 size range for estuaries. You could go up to a 2500 size, but I find that the 2000 size handle pretty much everything I fish for with hard body lures and soft plastics. I doubt you would need more line capacity in most instances. If fishing for snapper or tuna etc I use a 3000 or 4000 size reel. I personally don't like 1000 size reels as I have found them to be more problematic with airknots, but that's simply my experience with them, others may have not had that problem.

I personally don't worry about line colour as I use a long leader. I always use a fluorocarbon leader, because it has similar light refractive qualities to water and is therefore virtually invisible under water. Make sure you use a reasonable quality braided line for soft plastics and hard body lures. Some people use mono, but I prefer the no-stretch qualities of braid for better sensitivity, allowing me to detected more subtle bites. For braid I like Berkley Fireline in lighter (4lb - 10lb) breaking strains, I find it reliable and relatively inexpensive. For fluorocarbon I like Sunline Siglon FC or Sunline System FC.

I am sure others will have their own thoughts or input to give. As mentioned these are my opinions only based on my experience.

Good luck with your choice.

Re: Best Rods for Soft plastics

Posted: Thu Aug 05, 2010 10:38 pm
by the pink panther
Revoluton - what a revelation - thanks - I caught a fish on trilene sensation (mono) 4lb today against all probability. I am fully aware of not going for flathead with 4lb mono but then I did swim the fish and not allow it to fight. In fact this trilene sensation I believe the 'bites and nibbles' are felt just as easy. I have braid and use it when - like today- close to snags and racks and behind objects where I expected Bream to be hiding. The casts were more accurate but then I was using a shimano 6ft6in rod with the Braid and silly me was using a 6ft stiff Ugly Stick but that was the one with the 4lb mono Sensation. Interesting and with the other info - what a revelation, The Braid was allowing me to put the crank exactly behind or alongside and I believe the mono might but I would shudder if I got a hook up with the mono. I was not at all perturbed having mono 4lb Sensation on with a 46cm flattie - straight through with no leader.

thanks RODS yes No.1 makes sense :tong:

ps Years ago I bought a spool of Fireline melded 6lb which has a 2lb test diameter. I was told to buy it but now told it is too thin. I want to use it with a Shimano 2500 Sienna reel I have spare with a new rod to be purchased or one my son is giving me (if it suits). I use mono and braid and will go for this as well but realise the rod is now more important.....interesting how times and thoughts change - I was young when Cotton Braid was replaced by Mono.....


Re: Best Rods for Soft plastics

Posted: Thu Aug 05, 2010 10:58 pm
by FishBriz
WOW thanks everyone, I really appreciate all of your opinions :smi: Best lot of replys I have had :ll:
And Revolution, I dont think I have ever received such an informative response.

I think i may check out this 8pick braid from Sunline Cast Away, for my larger fish, as they apparently dont come lighter than 10lb, and only come in 1 colour which wont make seeing the line when flicking sp's easy.

By the way, just my experience, the other week when i 1st bought and started using SP's, i was imediatly getting hits from larger fish, and i kept being snapped off, I think one was a Jewie at Tingalpa Creek, and one was a big Bream at Wellington Point Jetty and I was using 10lb braid and 10lb Berkly Vanish leader, so having lost these (best fish i would have caught) I went and bought 10lb Black Magic leader, have not had any breaks since. Then today I read somewhere on the net that many people reckon Berkly Vanish are very weak at the knots, which is where my Vanish was also failing. Since then I got hit by something hard at Eprapah Creek, flicking for bream then wack something just hit it and ran like there was tomorrow, but it spat the hook, but in saying that, i believe i would of been snapped off if I were still using the Vanish leader.

For those that are wondering where these locations are I'm from Brisbane, fishing at Thorneside, Wellington Point and Victoria Pt

Also the set up I have been using for the past few years has been a 2.5-5kg UglyStik Platinum (something a bit shy of 6ft), dunno what diff the platinum is but anyways, and I i forget what reel exactly but its a 2500 Shimano of some sort, plus the lines i mentioned.
Obviously the Rod wasnt overly sensitive, but some of the things I caught on it, that rod was unbreakable, Sharks and everything.

Tight Lines

Re: Best Rods for Soft plastics

Posted: Fri Aug 06, 2010 10:02 am
by the pink panther
Jason - I nearly jumped off my seat here reading your latest post - I did this also when I nearly jumped off the Outback in skinny water when I had a hit (did not net) a Loch Ness Monster which straightened and detroyed a snap swivel and the rod I was using was a Shimano Catana 6ft 6in (blank 702 -2 piece) which has a flexible top and solid bottom blank - the excitement --but discussing this with some top yakkers in person --I suggest you not look at the rod to blame so much as the knots - I have been advised - Slim Beauty for line/leader and Uni Knot for lure/SP (tie the Uni Knot as a Loop Knot and do not close the knot too much) advice was from some of the best--then decide on line and leader -- I will be looking for a good 7ft blank now but the setup I have means I will be searching for a 'perfect 6ft rod' to be used in the rod holder for the way I troll........I do things a little differently...always have .....the excitment is the addiction....


Re: Best Rods for Soft plastics

Posted: Fri Aug 06, 2010 6:12 pm
by Revolution
Years ago I bought a spool of Fireline melded 6lb which has a 2lb test diameter. I was told to buy it but now told it is too thin
Too thin? That's interesting, I didn't know you could get braid too thin. That's part of the point of it. I typically only use 4lb - 8lb so I would have thought your 6lb would have been ideal for most estuary applications.

I do sometimes use a reel spooled with Platypus Lo-Stretch. I quite like it, similar to braid in terms of sensitivity, but I personally don't find it casts as well. But I would be more inclined to suggest using your mono spooled reel around rough structure and braid for other applications unless using a fluorocarbon or mono leader, as braid has very poor abrasion resistance.

Re: Best Rods for Soft plastics

Posted: Fri Aug 06, 2010 6:56 pm
by the pink panther
Thanks for understanding Rev It is a fact of life Mono has advantages and so does Braid. Oh and the sensation is very resistant-

and I will see what happens as the urge to purge my pockets of money continues :mad1:


Re: Best Rods for Soft plastics

Posted: Sat Aug 07, 2010 12:11 am
by FishBriz
--I suggest you not look at the rod to blame so much as the knots -

Thanks for the tips on the knots, i wasnt blaming my rod, although i admit i was blaming the Vanish learder.
I dont exactly the name of the knots i use, but line to leader im doing something similar to a bloodknot, whih probably aint too good, but my knots were undoing with the "Vansih" sometimes at the braid to leader, sometimes at the lure, but since using black magic i have only i 1 line snap, and it didnt undo like the vanish, this clearly snapped at the join of the braid, (snag) my snags that come free using my new leader are returning with L shaped hooks and im using Nitro Jighead, haven't bent any of my TTjighead/Gamakatsu hooks yet.

As for my rod, i wasnt blaming it, i just think one for sp's would be better than what im using now, a 5ft something 2.5kg-5kg ugly stik platinum which i've been flicking plastics with a weight as light as 1/60th , and also having troubles trying to retrieve a 4g 3.5cm popper properly on that rod.
Caught a small 30cm Estuary Cod tonight on the 75mm Squidgy Flick Bait (Evil Minnow) in Tingalpa Creek. Never thought those things work in the dark with no lights.


Re: Best Rods for Soft plastics

Posted: Sat Aug 07, 2010 12:27 am
by the pink panther
Jason you are into more of a variety of fish than me. I sent you a PM (Private Message) look at the top left of your screen to access it.