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coldasice

Best Rod Handle Type

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I look at all the different brands of ice rods and it can be overwhelming. My question is, what is your preferred handle type. Do you prefer to have a plain cork handle and tape your reel on? Or do you prefer the sliding plastic clips or the traditional screw type reel holders. I have some of each and the screw type seem the most secure, but are they the most sensitive? Also, what is the best way to tape/attach your spinning reels to the plain cork or rubber rod handles. It is sometimes hard to line up the reel with the eyelets/guides. Thanks for the input!

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I prefer the screw type, but also own the zip tied ones too. With the zip tie style, I wrapped them in tape, comfort and extra security.

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Hands down the best is a Tennessee(plain cork) and silicon tape. The best sensativity and grip there is. I think Backwater Eddy or somebody on this site suggested it last year and it works great. Cut off the zip ties and just tape it directly to the handle. You can feel a sunfish breathe on this set-up. It is the tape that is not that sticky unless it is stretched. I bought one roll at Walmart and one at Mills Fleet. Now my Dad, uncle, and fishing buddies all have the same tape. Highly recommend it.

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I have found the same thing as bushwacker. I have used the type were you have the actually reel set and they will work well for a bobber line but for my jigging lines I prefer to tape it directly to the rod. You can then feel the rod that is the cork handle twich. I used electric tape but I know that several used that silicone tape and it works well. All of the rods that I use now I have the reel taped to the rod. Might not seem as secure but they aren't going anywhere. I know several people though that used rods with reel seats and the catch just as many as me so really it is personal preference. I just know what I have found in 20 years of ice fishing.

------------------
Grip it and Rip it

IFFWalleyes
I Fish For Walleyes
[email protected]

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Tennesse by far!!! Tape the reel on. Your hands are that much closer to the blank...the cork transfers the info to your hand much, much better than a reel seat.

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I also love the Tennessee handle. Ive gone to it on a lot of my rods. I also like the handles that the St.Croix Avid ice rods have. Kind of a wrap over the cork. A bit more transfer of feel into handle. I mostly keep my finger on the line and I feel much more and quicker that way.
Tennessee handle allows you to use different reals and still get a well balanced outfit.

[This message has been edited by Northlander (edited 01-20-2004).]

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I just bought a nice graphite spinning rod with the slide-type reel holders. They just don't seem to secure my reel very well. Do you recommend cutting these off and taping the reel to the cork instead? Where does Wal-Mart have the silicone tape stuff?

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Coldasice,
Just last week I cut off my last metal slide things off of two rods. Some of that metal is pretty tough. When I bought the tape at Walmart it was about a row away from the paint in the hardware department. Right across from the sporting goods in most of them. I think it is a plumbing product for sealing pipes but I'm not 100% sure.

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I used to think that the kind with the screw on reel seat were the best. That was up to the point where I tried the St. Croix Avid with the handle wrapped in woven graphite. Awesome sensitivity. I attached my reel with the silicon tape previously mentioned. I highly recommend trying this.

At first I thought I was wasting my money on this rod because it didn't have a reel seat. Tape seemed messy to me and like it could come un-done at a bad time. So far so good. This is my number one go to rod.

This makes me re-think my opinion on the Frabill amplifer rods. I'll probably wait until the end of the season clearance to get one of those if I get one at all. They seem to be staying on store shelves.

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I totally agree with say_der and Northlander- the woven graphite handles with a taped reel is the ticket. The woven graphite is lighter than anything else available and strong as heck- I pounded on a 3" strip with a hammer with my dad to test it's strength- it took all we had to break the stuff- and that's without caps on either end.
I can't imagine an ice rod more sensitive than the one my dad made me with woven graphite and a longer St. Croix solid carbon blank. Use that with a superline and you've got one primo unit that will let you feel if a fish even farts near your lure.
Scoot

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Some years ago I started out open-water fishing with St. Croix ultralight spinning & fly rods with slim, (3/4") flexible cork handles. These rods actually bend into the handle with heavier fish. Two advantages of the thin, flexible grip are more sensitivity - and - it helps prevent rod breakage. The first ICE rods I built had 7" EVA foam grips which don’t draw the warmth from my (bare) hands like the hardwood handles did. I tapered them from 1" at the butt to about 1/2" at the front. These shallow-water rods were outfitted with small fly reels. I slid one reel foot into a rubber butt cap at the bottom of the rod with a cable tie at the front. Not only do these thin EVA grips flex with the rod but I am able to hold the rod with the index finger on the top of the blank - I feel this allows increased bite detection. (For the same reason, I notch the top of the grip on purchased rods using a curved rasp or a Dremel.)

I’ve just built a rod with the woven graphite handle but haven’t tested it yet.

On some of the rods I’ve used a 1” piece of rubber “tubing”, cut from a flexible bicycle handlebar grip, to hold the reels in place. This is the longer, flexible, grip - rubber, not foam - sold to slip on the older style “racing” handlebars. It works well. Some of the shorter, straight, flexible, rubber/plastic handlebar grips could give you enough “rings” for two rods. I purchased some “RodWrap” tape (on closeout) at Fleet Farm to hold the reel on the woven handles. This looks like the tape also used on bicycle handlebars but it is tacky like the electrical tapes.

I’m glad to hear of the various techniques and the equipment other FMers use. Now, who knows of a place for good prices on rod components?

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