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Schollmeier

Sturgeon blank?

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I'm trying to find a blank to use for a sturgeon rod. I suspect the rod will mostly be used on the St Croix but I might head up to the Rainy one of these days. The other issue is that it will probably be used from shore some of the time (on the St Croix) so castibility is something of an issue.

I've been looking mostly at the Batson line and have found the Rainshadow RDR86MH 8’6” as an option. This is a downrigger blank so it should fit the bill as a light tip/powerful butt. The problem is that, being a trolling rod, it has no lure weight specs.

Anybody have any experience with this blank? Or any suggestions on others?

Thanks

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If you are leaning towards a RainShadow blank and looking for specs, I would suggest giving Kerry Batson a call, or give LakeLady Rods a call both are very helpful.

LakeLady Rods

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I use that same blank as my Sturgeon rod and it works great. Maybe a tad bit undersized, but it makes up for it how nice and light it is so you can hold it all day long.

You can see it in action here at about 2:30

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I agree with Dtro. I also have that blank and have caught sturg, flats and channels on the rod. In my book, it may be a bit lite for both a larger sturgeon and a bigger flathead. I have caught both species over 45#'s with this rod.

I would check and see if you can get a rod just one step up that has a little more backbone with losing any of the action on the tip.

Then I believe you may have the perfect rod for both.

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The only reason I’m sort of alright with it for Sturgeon is that you don’t necessarily need the immense lifter or turning power that you would typically need or find in a Flathead rod. I tend to side on heavy, to keep from making the fight too long with any fish.

If you see in the video those fish were pushing 50-70lbs and our fight probably lasted roughly 8-10 minutes using that rod and 80lb braided line. You won’t muscle the big girls in with this blank, but on the other hand will be a very comfortable and durable rod for you.

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The blank you refer to is a 2 piece blend of E-Glass and graphite designed as a trolling blank. It is rated for 12-25# line, has a rather large tip at 7.5 for this light of a rod (although it is glass in the tip) and at 4.4 oz blank weight.

My experience fishing sturgeon on the Rainy, is to use heavier powered muskie blanks. The technique is anchoring, and soaking a gob of worms on the bottom of the river, using circle hooks. The fish take the bait, hook themselves, and the battle is on. The power of the fish in the river require a beefier rod than is described above. Sure it will work, even a walleye spin rod works but how much fun can that be?

Take a look at St. Croix's new 2M86XHF muskie blank. Yes a great deal more expensive, but a much better rod for the technique. Then you have a muskie rod to go after those toothy critters as well. Certainly the longer rods are the ticket for this application.

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I don't disagree with you Kris but IMO you really need a compromise between a rod you can hold all day long and one that will handle these fish. I am unfamiliar with the weight of a heavy action high end musky rod so maybe they are light enough. This is just me though, most guys use rod holders for sturgeon and in that case, any heavy action rod will work. I like to hold my rod when sturgeon fishing though.

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dtro, everything is a compromise. This is even more true with individual fishing preference. Rod holders vs. hand held will certainly make a difference in a blank recommendation.

Then the weight of the blank is really a small part of the finished weight of the outfit. Say you build on a 6 oz 2M 86 MHF blank, add guides, seat,handle, finish etc and now the rod weights 10 oz. or more. Then you add a reel that could weigh upwards of 12 oz (for big fish), plus line and now you are nearing 1-1/2#. I would not like to hold on to that outfit all day fishing sturgeon, even if it were perfectly balanced. There is no finesse in sturgeon fishing, either you are hooked up or soaking bait.

Bottom line for the technique at hand here.... use the best equipment one can afford and then put the rod in a holder and wait for the moment. The largest freshwater fish of a lifetime could be on the other end.

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There is no finesse in sturgeon fishing,

I agree with everything you said, except that laugh

While there are days when you could catch them with a pool cue, bite detection is a surprisingly large part of Sturgeon fishing. Learn to detect the bites better and you will without a doubt boat more fish. Especially those St Croix Sturgeon where you are dealing with big waves from passing Cruisers. A rod in the holder gets you a big skunk a lot of times.

Sorry bout the semi-hijack, I am in no way qualified to debate the fine details of rod construction and application with the expertise of Kris and other rod builders. I just know what I’ve experienced in the several years of Sturgeon fishing, and this particular blank works very well for me.

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Originally Posted By: Kris Kristufek
There is no finesse in sturgeon fishing,

I agree with everything you said, except that laugh

While there are days when you could catch them with a pool cue, bite detection is a surprisingly large part of Sturgeon fishing. Learn to detect the bites better and you will without a doubt boat more fish. Especially those St Croix Sturgeon where you are dealing with big waves from passing Cruisers. A rod in the holder gets you a big skunk a lot of times.

I have to agree with Dtro with his finesse comment.

Bite detection is key with sturgeon fishing. Muskie rods have the power for big fish but lack the soft tip to detect bites in the rod holder. I have found that even the softer Muskie swim bait rods (Rainshadow SW967) lack the soft tip to detect the bite.

I have 4 RDR86MHs, my wife has one also and she used it to land a 41” 45” and a 49” on the rainy this spring with no problem (she is 5’1” and 100#). I on the other hand had a heck of a time landing my PB 60” 60#er on one as you can see in the video.

What I have learned is the composites work well for rod holder fishing. They have the soft action needed for dead sticking. The RDR86MH is a great Sturgeon as well as a circle hook rod for channels. I am on the other hand upping the power for next spring and switching to a RDR100H, The same great action ) a little heaver ) 1’6” longer and more power.

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