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#11896365 - 10/23/16 11:05 PM Kayak Rods
AlexG Offline

Registered: 01/13/14
Posts: 54
Hey Guys and Gals,

I'm going to build some kayak specific rods this winter and was wondering what your thoughts are on ideas for the ideal rod. Some thoughts would be handle length as i have started making my split handles a little shorter for close in use for my SOT yak. Fast action so I can throw lures with a shorter release. I'm also using a drop shot hook keeper on all my rods to make it easier for storing and releasing my hooks. Also I'm wrapping a measure marker from the top of the handle for different type rods - 10" - 12" for ultra light ( crappie/perch ) 16"/18"/24" for bass and striper rods. Length is a strong consideration, I've used 6'6", 6', and 7'. Your thoughts and ideas are much appreciated.

#11896572 - 10/24/16 07:47 AM Re: Kayak Rods [Re: AlexG]
Brad R Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 03/09/15
Posts: 1838
Loc: Texas
Alex, all good considerations. I look forward to you posting some photos.

There are several conflicts regarding rod length: Kayakers need a rod long enough so that a fish that makes a run and swings across the bow from starboard to port or vice versa, that the line will not drag over the yak and possibly break.

But, a shorter rod will give someone seated (or standing for that matter) as we often are in kayaks much more lifting power.

And, if you go with a shorter handle design so the rod can be held down lower in one's lap, a shorter overall length will offset the loss of leverage.

I'd design and build away from issues related to casting distance. In a kayak, we can slide in pretty close to our targets and we usually are more aligned with finesse presentations more so than power sorts.

Hmm? 7' for T-Rigs (med to med hvy), Drop shots (medium), etc.

And, a 6' MH with a more parabolic bend (say moderate action) for pulling up and punching grass, heavy jigs . . . anywhere you need to rip the fish out of grass/cover.


#11900809 - 10/26/16 10:36 AM Re: Kayak Rods [Re: AlexG]
Mark Ray Offline
TFF Guru

Registered: 05/06/10
Posts: 14421
Loc: Arlington, TX
Lots of backbone but with a sensitive tip. Our yaks move in the water easy which can make setting the hook even harder if you have a real whippy rod.

#11902486 - 10/27/16 04:26 AM Re: Kayak Rods [Re: AlexG]
kickingback Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 08/13/13
Posts: 898
Loc: Texas
I like a rod with a long butt to be able to throw a heavy lure or bait farther. I also like the MH as it holds for both big and small fish. The more eyes I have on my rods the more accurate the casting for me. 7' for casting and trolling and 6' 1/2 for jgging or flipping. Get a few rods to test and carry at least 2 rods all the time in the yak and you will be set.
USAF Retired and Fishing!

#11902492 - 10/27/16 04:50 AM Re: Kayak Rods [Re: AlexG]
christian myrick Offline
TFF Team Angler

Registered: 08/03/11
Posts: 3167
Loc: little elm
If i had a perfect rod for a kayak it would be as follows,
7.5 ft
12" butt grip
Spiral wrapped guides
As for weight etc mine would be big game rods but the things listed above are good for any species.

#11903855 - 10/27/16 06:29 PM Re: Kayak Rods [Re: AlexG]
YAKnIT Offline

Registered: 08/26/12
Posts: 196
I think you've got some good ideas already. If you shorten the handle, I recommend you check the balance before gluing and wrapping everything. I did that on one rod and it worked out well. I added a bit of weight to the butt end. I tried it on another rod and it didn't work out. Handle feels too short and the balance isn't right.
As for length, I think 6' 6" is a good compromise. Longer rods are tougher to transport, and more likely to get in the way on your yak. Shorter rods don't cast as far and more challenging to get a good hook set.
I also agree with the fast action / stiff backbone comment.
I'm building a rod right now actually. St. Croix SCIII blank, 6' 6", 2 pc, 1/8 - 3/8 oz lure weights. Probably won't get to fish it for about 3 weeks.

#11904182 - 10/27/16 09:02 PM Re: Kayak Rods [Re: AlexG]
Leviathan Rods Offline

Registered: 05/23/16
Posts: 27
Loc: TX
All depends on where you're fishing. Fishing rivers? Branches and bank fishing would lead you to shorter and faster rod for accuracy. Bay fishing? Longer and moderate action for distance and live bait presentations. Either way, if you love it, leash it! Here's our paddlesports rod:



As you can see, for multi-purpose rods, we like lighter, shorter and faster . . . and leashed.

Edited by Leviathan Rods (10/27/16 09:03 PM)
Eric Gomez
CEO, Leviathan Outdoors
Austin, TX

#11904215 - 10/27/16 09:15 PM Re: Kayak Rods [Re: AlexG]
Brad R Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 03/09/15
Posts: 1838
Loc: Texas
Well, I know I can never win this argument, but a relatively shorter rod has more power than a longer rod, that is, it gives the fisherman more leverage over a fish. If you are deep sea fishing off the bottom and pulling straight up, the preferred rod will be . . . short and stout with a parabolic bend. Long rods would be used for fishing for species fighting nearer the surface.

And, since the actual distance line is pulled to set a hook in a fish's mouth is, what, maybe 2" or thereabouts, a long rod with a big arc is of little extra value.

By analogy: You have a young daughter and she has a tooth that needs to be pulled. Would it be easier for you, and more pleasant for her, if:

1) you secured say a piece of braid around her loose tooth, then wrapped it around your hand and pulled;

2) or, you secured the piece of braid around her tooth that was attached to a 7 ft. rod and you yanked on the rod to pull the tooth out?

Short levers work.

One other aspect of a really long rod is when you pull up on it and it swings up through a longer arc path than a shorter rod, it does, it creates more line that has to be reeled in very fast to keep tension on the line and thus on the fish. If your reel can't take up the line created by these long swings, the fish has a better chance to jump off. A 7:1 or greater helps offset this disadvantage. Anyway, a very long rod can overwhelm the pick up rate of some reels.

Last, a moderate action instead of a fast tip means you are less likely to rip the hook out of the fish's mouth. The rod loads up slower with a moderate action. But, once the hook is set and the rod just a fraction of a second longer is flexed, the fact that its lifting point is closer to the hands . . . means more power, not less.

I concede that all of these matters are of tiny consequence, but "tiny" adds up.


#11904323 - 10/27/16 10:12 PM Re: Kayak Rods [Re: AlexG]
karstopo Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 05/22/16
Posts: 516
Loc: Brazoria County
I like shorter rods. Fly, baitcasting, spinning. Your mileage might vary.

#12036129 - 01/12/17 02:03 PM Re: Kayak Rods [Re: AlexG]
trout yakin Offline

Registered: 05/29/10
Posts: 71
Loc: Cypress Tx
I fish 6'2" to 6'6" ml and light lagunas. 95% of the time I'm paddling out and getting off my yak to wade.
Mirrolure Pro Staff

#12037920 - 01/13/17 02:24 PM Re: Kayak Rods [Re: AlexG]
Brad R Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 03/09/15
Posts: 1838
Loc: Texas

I placed an order today for a St. Croix 6', MH, Fast spinning rod. It has a lure weight range of 3/8s ozs. to 3/4s ozs. as I recall. I am going to pair it up with one of the new One3 Creed GT 4000 sized reels, a tad cheaper than what I normally have been buying but it came recommended by Gene (Flukemaster). Yes, he is a sponsor; but, I watched him fiddle with the thing and it looked very smooth.

So, for me, I plan to use this from my kayak with some heavy braid and flip it, pitch it, skip it, etc.

If I haven't already pointed to this article, here is a man who uses 4000 series spinning tackle with big braid to do well in competitions. His theory on why he uses what he does over bait casters motivated me to set up something similar.

See below.


Going Big with Spinning Rods

#12038032 - 01/13/17 03:57 PM Re: Kayak Rods [Re: AlexG]
Searsay Offline

Registered: 07/26/12
Posts: 269
Loc: Lewisville TX
Alex - I won a rod with a manley adjustable butt in one of the working man's tourneys'... I have to say that it rocks for kayak fishing. it solves the problem of wanting different butt lengths by giving you one to rule them all! They sell the setup for use by rod builders if your interested.

I personally like either a 6-7' with a decent backbone. I'll use my longer rods for trolling or more open water and the shorter/lighter ones for creek/river fishing.

#12039255 - 01/14/17 12:54 PM Re: Kayak Rods [Re: AlexG]
Jimbo Offline
TFF Guru

Registered: 01/18/03
Posts: 16030
Loc: South Texas
I like a rod that is from 6' to 7' for kayak fishing. Also a straight grip so that it fits my rod holders.
When you have a big fish on close to the boat and it decides to go from port to starboard you probably have a pretty good arch in the rod so it becomes shorter and thus the need for a longer rod in that situation.
It needs to have enough backbone to control the fish, plus a quick tip for feel and distance casting.
I've used short rods and long rods and have found that the longer rod is an all around better choice, but it's really just about personal preference.
Just one more cast!


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