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Superduty

Talk me into a new gub slinging rod!

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It's not a secret that I like to swim a grub on a light jighead for smallies. I broke my favorite grub rod (7'M st. croix legend tournament) last summer and it was replaced under warranty with their newer version at 7'1". I find the new rod to be unbalanced with even the heaviest spinning reel I own. It just falls on its tip and fishes heavy because of this balance issue. Let's hear your suggestions. It has to be at least 7' and a spinning rod. Prefer full handle to split grip when making long casts but will consider all ideas!

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I just bought a 7'1" GL2 medium action for the same purpose. I chose the GL2 because of the comfortable handle design. I pitched grubs for eight hours in a tourney last year and my hand was tweaked from the design of the reel seat. I also straightened out a couple of hooks because the action was a little heavy on the rod I used that day.

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I use a custom 7'6" ML X-fast built on a Diamondback blank that sadly isn't available anymore. They're going to have to hide the sharp objects for a while when it finally breaks on me...

I really like a 7'6", and an ML has plenty of power and they're great for keeping fish hooked at long range. The way smallies hit grubs a ML just loads up right and grinds a light wire hook in on a sweep set and just keeping the line tight. Rarely miss or lose a fish. Plus they're just a blast to catch a big smallie on.

SO I kind of know exactly what I want in a grub rod, and if I were to replace it now, I'd look at basically 4 rods:

- the 7'6" ML XF Avid or Legend Elite. Similar rods, different blank material, both very good. Just depends on your budget.

- The G Loomis Pro Greenwater PGR811-2 Actually an inshore SW rod, but made for the exact same kinds of stuff and a very sweet rod.

- The G Loomis SMR 882S from their Bronzeback series. I have the 913 from this series and it's my deep water tube rod, but it also does for grubs when I need it to as well. The 882 is a little shorter and a little lighter power.

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Not a big grub swimmer, but based on rods I own, I would check out the Dobyns DX742 SF, I am guessing KrugerFarms will have one at Angler Expo to look at

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I find the new rod to be unbalanced with even the heaviest spinning reel I own. It just falls on its tip and fishes heavy because of this balance issue.

There are people that can fix this issue whistle

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Thanks for all the suggestions. Keep 'em coming!

I have tried a "balancer" on the rod but it was just too darn heavy with the extra weight. Can rod builders move the reel seat to better balance a rod? I would think it would be cost prohibitive but honestly know nothing about rod building.

I like the idea of finding the old style st croix and selling or trading my new one AND getting a new longer version as RK suggests. grin I have fished a 76mlf st croix avid in the past and loved how far I could launch a grub-especially with 8lb mono. I had a lot of trouble setting hooks and lost a lot of fish one particular day. Smallies have a tendency to hold a bait so tight in their mouth that it's hard to move a hook on the hookset at the end of a long cast. I have since moved to light braid for grub slinging and that alone might take care of my hook setting issue.

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I had a lot of trouble setting hooks and lost a lot of fish one particular day. Smallies have a tendency to hold a bait so tight in their mouth that it's hard to move a hook on the hookset at the end of a long cast. I have since moved to light braid for grub slinging and that alone might take care of my hook setting issue.

The 7'6" ML will help with hooksets and not losing fish. I use 6# mono and bomb a grub so far you can barely see it land, but I still rarely miss fish. BUT you have to change how you set the hook. Instead of a normal snap hookset, I just make a big sweep to the side and crank faster.

If you snap set it won't move the bait in their mouth much since they're clamped down on a squishy grub, but it does get them head shaking hard and will make them jump right away, and you get a grub air mailed back to you.

With a sweep set it just loads up the rod and puts pressure on them so they turn away from it, and that long loaded up rod and stretchy mono doesn't let them get any slack, and the hook just grinds in. A lot of the time they're hooked before they even realize they're in a situation. It's actually kind of funny sometimes. You get a hit and the fish just gradually figures out there's a problem. It's tug...tug...tugtug...tugtug...TUGTUGTUG and then they go bonkers.

I think it has a lot to do with how they hit grubs. They don't usually smoke them like the do a spinnerbait or crank or even a tube. Watching them over the years the vast majority of them swim up on it, maybe pace it for a second or two, then just overtake it from behind, and either keep swimming or gradually turn away or just stop. When you load up the rod and tighten the line, if they open their mouth to spit it out or chomp on it, as soon as they do the bait moves and they're toast. I think they basically hook themselves.

Part of the whole system too is the right jighead. Sharp light wire hooks are a must. Have used Owner ball heads for years, but last season started using Shur Set biscuit heads too. They have a light wire Matzuo sickle hook that is just scary sharp and the right size for 4" and 5" grubs.

I have used braid some, but keep going back to mono. I think with a fairly heavy jighead way out on a long cast it's easier to keep the line tight with stretchy mono than no-stretch braid. Just found I lost fewer fish on mono.

Anyhow, random thoughts on grub chucking...

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It's good to know I'm not alone in my obsession for a better mousetrap RK. I will have to check out the sure set biscuit hooks. I've been using the owner light wire ball heads most of the time with a few darter heads in the mix. Now if Berkley would only bring back some of the discontiued power grub colors...

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Right jig is a big part of it. A lot of jigheads have either bronze hooks that are about as sharp as a tent peg, or the lighter sizes don't have a big enough hook, or the larger sizes have a heavy wire hook.

The Shur Sets rock. That Matzuo sickle hook is just a scary piece of hardware, and even the 3/32 oz size has a 4/0 - big enough to handle 5" grubs no problem. Also just the right size for a Swimg Impact or Northland swimbait.

I also swim jigworms (if you haven't tried that you're missing out - they'll outfish grubs badly sometimes) and the Northland Mimic Minnow and Jigworm heads are great for that. The Shur Set hook is a little too big for a skinny 4 or 5" worm. As I burn through my supply of Owners I'll be replacing them with the Shur Sets tho. A bag of 25 is about $13 at Thorne Bros, so price is nice besides.

As far as the Power Grubs go...I hit the panic button when I didn't see Smoke on their color chart. I have a bunch but they won't last long. 8 days out of 10 it's the only color I need. Thank God for Kalin's. Was bad enough when they quit making the school bus yellow one. Burning that when the water is warm was a killer. But SMOKE? WTH?

Another one that really hurt was Kalin's discontinuing "True Grit." There's no magic colors, but that one was close...

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RK, I won't knock it till I try it. But in my mind I feel like a 7'6'' ML would be WAY to whippy and light for my liking. Ive been using a 7' M/F St. Croix Premier and love it. I could see how the extra length would be nice in making longer casts however

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Craigums -

I know an ML seems too light, but it's the combination of length and x-f action that makes it work. With a long rod loaded up you can put an incredible amount of pressure on a fish and they never get a break.

Plus have to consider where this is getting used - out in space away from anything fish can wrap around. Fish can kind of go wherever they want. If I'm pitching to docks or something it's a whole different deal.

It does take some getting used to, and you kind of have to buy into the whole system - rod, light mono and light wire hooks - for it to be effective. I had to play around for a while until I got it dialed. But I gotta tell ya... If the grub bite is on in clear water and I have my 7'6" with 6# mono and you have a 7-footer with 8 or 10, I will wax you to a high, luminous sheen smile If Cjac sees this he'll verify it - he was on the receiving end of it one day last fall, although not badly so. It's part covering water (if I cast 15% farther I'm covering 15% more water per cast which really adds up over the course of a day) and part spooky smallies in clear water. I think if you get within 80 feet of a smallie in clear water, they know you're there, and it gets harder to get them to bite overall. Yeah, you get some right by the boat, but it's just easier when you can sneak up on them with a long cast.

I actually know someone who frequently uses and 8 foot light power and 4# mono to fish grubs, but that's a bit much even for me. wink

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Well, it was a pretty good waxing on trip #1. I had brought along a 6'10" all-purpose spinning rod with a pretty light braid on one spool and an 8lb mono on the other and just got waxed by the 7'6" combo. So much that I gave up and used the swim jig combo to try and cover the same flats. Other presentations like the jig 'n' pig or cranks and stuff I held my own with RK but when it was a grub I got smoked.

Trip #2 I brought my 7' Avid ML XF with 6lb mono and made a decent showing, but still was coming up shorter on the casts than Rob was able to reach. A great upgrade but it really shows how specific of a set up can help. The pressure does keep them buttoned too, we had a real nice double at one point where we each just held the rod in the air and let the smallies cruise around in front of us. So cool to see.

That sweep set too.....it took me a few times to get that in my head too.

Good times for sure!

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I use to have a 7'6" ML fig rig that broke and really preferred that over the 7'0" M I have today. The ML just loaded really nice and seemed like they caught themselves. I've used the owner jigs in the past and have been using the Jeff Kriet squirrel jigs in 1/8 oz paired with a keitech or grub.

RK - What size shur sets do you use and are you chucking those over rock flats typically or.....

BK

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I use to have a 7'6" ML fig rig that broke ...

RK - What size shur sets do you use and are you chucking those over rock flats typically or.....

BK

A Fig Rig that didn't break was a novelty for a while there. Had some of their muskie rods. We called them 'the exploding muskie rods.'

Anyhow...

I use every size from 3/32 up to 5/16 at one time or another, and I really wish they made a 1/2 oz. Weight choice is a matter of controlling speed and depth. In cold water I might use a 3/32 oz and keep the rod tip up so a grub almost hovers in shallow water. In summer it's 5/16 and almost as fast as I can turn the reel handle or slow roll it 10 feet down.

Oh - and definitely be sure to get the *biscuit* heads, not the ball or dart heads. They have a different hook entirely that's much heavier wire. Tried them, and had a terrible time hooking fish. Good for other things I'm sure but much too heavy gauge for the grub deal. But the biscuit head is perfect.

I use grubs anywhere I'm covering a lot of space, so shallow to mid-depth flats or rock reefs/points, mixed rock/grass flats, and sometimes over open water. Any time they're looking up feeding on baitfish it can work. It's great around rocks though because you're fishing over them and not getting snagged up or coming back with a jig covered in rock snot all the time.

Main thing is the best action on the retrieve is none at all. Don't jig it, hop it, twitch it...just cast it out and reel it in.

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Are we talking strictly smallies here? When I raised my concern about the ML being to wimpy I was thinking all around grub fishing. I use grubs a ton for largies (often over-looked technique) and I need the extra power my 7' M/F provides to 'snap' the grub off the occasional weed. The fast action allows the rod to load a little better than a XF, at least IMO. The biggest thing I'm losing compared to your set-up would be casting distance...

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Yeah, this is pretty specific to smallies away from or above cover like weeds, although I catch largemouths doing it. You're right about the ML not being able to snap off weeds. If I'm fishing grubs for LMB (you're right - very underrated) I use basically the same as you do - a 7' M, with 8# fluoro, or a 7' ML with fused superline like Sufix Fuse with a fluoro leader. The Fuse razors through weeds really well and the no stretch kind of makes up for the lighter power ML.

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I have tried a "balancer" on the rod but it was just too darn heavy with the extra weight. Can rod builders move the reel seat to better balance a rod? I would think it would be cost prohibitive but honestly know nothing about rod building.

Yes you could move to reel seat, I would only do this if the rear handle was to short for the user. Reel seats are placed with the rear grip dimension.

As far as balance is concerned this rod sounds tip heave. Productions rods use standard guide layout and the "cone of flight" concept. I see that the St Croix you are using has the Fuji Tangle Free guides. These are typically layed out with 3 to 4 choker guides and then running guides out to the tip-top and so are standard "cone of flight" guide setups. Some of these rods have 6 of 7 different guide ring sizes.

This is done so that any reel can fit the rod but it adds weight to the tip that has drastic consequences to the action and balance.

If you needed to add that much weight to the rear of the handle that it felt heave, you are fighting a loosing battle.

I use a static tested "new Concept" guide placement in the spinning rods I build. This type of layout only has 3 sizes of guides, reduces line friction, reduces tip weight and increases casting distance.

The reason you will not find this in a commercially available rod is that this guide layout is matched specifically to the reel you are using. It takes in consideration the rake or angle of the reel as well as spool size and height off blank.

If you are looking for the lightest, farthest casting set up. It needs to be matched.

And with a price point the same as what you spent on the St Croix I don't see a reason not to look into it.

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Have you considered the Fenwick Elite tech smallmouth? I have the 6'9" and 7'4". Personally prefer the 7'4". Has the length and backbone. I use it for tubes, but that'll whip a mister twister further up a dock than anything I've ever thrown with.

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That Elite Tech is a rod I want to check out - just haven't had one in my hands yet. They seem to get rave reviews from people that have them.

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That Elite Tech is a rod I want to check out - just haven't had one in my hands yet. They seem to get rave reviews from people that have them.

been looking at them for a while its hard to find them though

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