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Old 09-08-2010, 07:39 PM
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Default Winter project: short or shortened rod

I want to build a short rod for bluegill. When I say short, I mean 4 feet or less. I'm moving back to Oklahoma (home) after retirement. In that part of the country I do lots of up close fishing with lots of overhanging limbs, so I'm looking for something 3 to 4 feet long, 3 WT or less. I'm going to pair it up with a tiny little reel and seat (that I just happen to have sitting around collecting dust) and a 10 meter DT3F line.

Here's my issue. I don't know of any blanks that are that short. Can I take a longer blank and cut it down, calling it "good enough" for my purpose?

I was thinking a fast taper rod would work out by cutting it down... or am I out to lunch here?
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Old 09-08-2010, 08:25 PM
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Default Re: Winter project: short or shortened rod

Care to take a guess as to why they don't make fly rod blanks that short. Or even spinning blanks?
Yes you're out to lunch.
If you have a 2 piece 7', 8' or 9' fly rod, just take the tip section off and put some line through the guides and try to cast it. You should have your answer there.
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Old 09-08-2010, 08:52 PM
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Default Re: Winter project: short or shortened rod

Well, I do have my daughter's old Tweety pole. It's a little shorter than I'd like, but it does cast for some pretty good distance. And she landed lots of bluegill with that rod. Maybe I should stick to that.

I had considered that a rod that short would pose several problems, and I wouldn't expect it to get much distance. That in itself is a secondary problem because I wouldn't be able to pay out enough line to really load a rod anyway.

I had considered going to the other extreme. Perhaps something really long, like a dapping rod to reach out, with a short line and leader to get the fly under the overhanging limbs. That's really the kind of distance I'm talking about.
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Old 09-08-2010, 09:39 PM
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Default Re: Winter project: short or shortened rod

Obi Wan says TENKARA!
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Old 09-08-2010, 10:49 PM
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Default Re: Winter project: short or shortened rod

Funny you should mention tenkara. I was going to suggest that possibility but realized that I might have to modify the line and leader to be a bit shorter.

A tenkara setup might be cheaper than a build anyway...
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Old 09-09-2010, 05:49 PM
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Default Re: Winter project: short or shortened rod

What about a ice fishing blank? Or maybe a 9" 3wt rod and only use the upper third?
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Old 09-09-2010, 07:58 PM
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Default Re: Winter project: short or shortened rod

It's like you people read my mind. Scary, even.

Here is what I did as an experiment today, using mostly spare goodies I had laying around.

I took my miniature reel and seat, drove a long wood screw through the seat, and screwed it into the butt of a 36" ice rod. That puts the real in the proper position. So far, so good. It's far from permanent, and not particularly secure, but it did suffice for the experiment.

I loaded my mini reel with about 30 feet of WF1F line that I had collecting dust. Attached a 6 foot tapered leader with maybe a foot of 6X tippet. Tied on a randomly selected size 20 fly, then gave it a shot.

I did a few practice casts in the yard. Absolutely perfect for my purposes. Granted, there was almost no wind, but it did work at the distances I was intending to hit, like around the 15 to 20 foot mark. I may be onto something here...
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Old 09-24-2010, 10:54 PM
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Default Re: Winter project: short or shortened rod

Guinea pig project update. I tied on a tiny dry fly and took my modified ice rod to the pond to play with it. Granted, there was very little wind to contend with, but the rod met my expectations, and then some. I was able to accurately and consistently get out to well over 20 feet, with tight loops to get under the overhanging limbs. The real down side, as predicted is that a roll cast is practically impossible.

Aside from that, I found a 5 foot, 3 piece, 3 WT rod online, so that might put an end to my little experiment. Buy versus build...
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