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I got a rod building kit for christmas and I am going to build a frog rod, and was wondering what blanks you would recommend for fishing fairly thick pads. The two blanks I have been looking at are both MHX: MB874 mag taper 7'3''  12-20lb 5/16-1oz  and the MB875 7'3''  15-30lb 1/2-1 1/4oz. Which one would you prefer? Thanks so much for your advice.

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Personally, I would probably opt for the 874, especially since you spend your time up north, but I'm the type that typically uses the lightest power rod I can get away with.  Either should result in a nice build for the technique.

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Would you consider a rainshadow blank over MHX, and if so which ones? I am also worried that the 874 wouldn't have enough power to get 5+ pounders out of the pads and weeds. Do you think this is a problem?

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Getting 5+ pounders out of the weeds is going to be more about getting them going in the right direction quickly than anything else.  I can typically get 2 and 3 pounders out with regular success with my drop shot rod when I toss a fluke back in the nasty stuff.  If I can't get them to come out I try to pin them down and then go to them.

 

If you are routinely catching 4's and 5's, then the 875 might be the better choice.

 

You won't go wrong with an option either from the MHX line or the Batson lines.  Batson does have a frog rod in the current Immortal lineup, but personally, I would shy away from the XF action for this technique, because in order to get the fish going in the right direction, you will be high sticking the rod from time to time, and the faster the action, the more at risk you will be of a failure due to the lighter more limber tip compared to the power in the mid and butt sections of the rod.

 

The benefit of an XF rod to frogging is that you will get a tip that loads a little easier for casting, and will help work the frog a bit better.  However, a bit slower action is better at keeping fish buttoned up and a bit less prone to failure as it will load deeper where there is more material to handle a small amount of abusive behavior.

 

Most of my personal rods are built on Batson blanks, but I would probably give the nod to the MHX for this build.

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What a fun hobby that must be, to build your own rods!

 

Arguably the best kayak tournament angler here in Texas builds his own saying that he can then get exactly what he wants without having to accept any compromises. Not that manufacturers don't build really specialized rods but there are the other issues, the personal preferences that come into play.

 

Another point or two adding to what grub_man has mentioned regarding the trade-offs between an XF rod and slower actions. This is good "intelligence" he is sharing on his part, I think. Not only does a rod that loads up better keep the fish pinned, but a slower and more parabolic action means the lifting point of the rod is closer to your lifting hand and creates a shorter lever. Now, I started to say "creates better leverage" but the truth is it creates less "bad leverage." The fish is on the winning end of the "wrench" if leverage is really the only issue. To reverse this and give the leverage to the angler, a rod would look like a  . . . yep! a shovel.

 

So, regarding a frog rod's ability to over-power a large bass in thick vegetation, it'd actually be a more parabolic rod and, too, a shorter rod that gives you this.  The downsides? Casting distance, for sure, and at least some altering of hook setting (you will have a shorter sweep).

 

In the end, it'll depend on how you frog fish. If you are making relatively modest casts to pin-point targets, a 6'6" (or shorter!) rod with a slower action will have tons more pulling power than a 7 plus footer with an XF or F tip. I'd even recommend dropping rod power a notch . . . you won't need as much.  It just won't cast as far.

 

Once built, whatever you build, post a pic!

 

Brad

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Brad,

 

Spot on about the leverage, and about the slower action effectively reducing the lever arm.  If Castaway still offered blanks to rod builders, I'd recommend taking a look at the Grass Master blank with its moderate or moderate fast action.  I always wanted to build one, but the lakes I spend my time on do not have the vegetation to warrant one.

 

Joe

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15 hours ago, grub_man said:

Getting 5+ pounders out of the weeds is going to be more about getting them going in the right direction quickly than anything else.  I can typically get 2 and 3 pounders out with regular success with my drop shot rod when I toss a fluke back in the nasty stuff.  If I can't get them to come out I try to pin them down and then go to them.

 

If you are routinely catching 4's and 5's, then the 875 might be the better choice.

 

You won't go wrong with an option either from the MHX line or the Batson lines.  Batson does have a frog rod in the current Immortal lineup, but personally, I would shy away from the XF action for this technique, because in order to get the fish going in the right direction, you will be high sticking the rod from time to time, and the faster the action, the more at risk you will be of a failure due to the lighter more limber tip compared to the power in the mid and butt sections of the rod.

 

The benefit of an XF rod to frogging is that you will get a tip that loads a little easier for casting, and will help work the frog a bit better.  However, a bit slower action is better at keeping fish buttoned up and a bit less prone to failure as it will load deeper where there is more material to handle a small amount of abusive behavior.

 

Most of my personal rods are built on Batson blanks, but I would probably give the nod to the MHX for this build.

 

5 hours ago, Brad in Texas said:

What a fun hobby that must be, to build your own rods!

 

Arguably the best kayak tournament angler here in Texas builds his own saying that he can then get exactly what he wants without having to accept any compromises. Not that manufacturers don't build really specialized rods but there are the other issues, the personal preferences that come into play.

 

Another point or two adding to what grub_man has mentioned regarding the trade-offs between an XF rod and slower actions. This is good "intelligence" he is sharing on his part, I think. Not only does a rod that loads up better keep the fish pinned, but a slower and more parabolic action means the lifting point of the rod is closer to your lifting hand and creates a shorter lever. Now, I started to say "creates better leverage" but the truth is it creates less "bad leverage." The fish is on the winning end of the "wrench" if leverage is really the only issue. To reverse this and give the leverage to the angler, a rod would look like a  . . . yep! a shovel.

 

So, regarding a frog rod's ability to over-power a large bass in thick vegetation, it'd actually be a more parabolic rod and, too, a shorter rod that gives you this.  The downsides? Casting distance, for sure, and at least some altering of hook setting (you will have a shorter sweep).

 

In the end, it'll depend on how you frog fish. If you are making relatively modest casts to pin-point targets, a 6'6" (or shorter!) rod with a slower action will have tons more pulling power than a 7 plus footer with an XF or F tip. I'd even recommend dropping rod power a notch . . . you won't need as much.  It just won't cast as far.

 

Once built, whatever you build, post a pic!

 

Brad

Which would you guys personally prefer? Going off what Brad said I will be fishing frogs over pads that I will be casting long to moderate casts. I will also find myself in parts along the bank were I will only be casting 10 to 15 feet.

6 hours ago, Brad in Texas said:

What a fun hobby that must be, to build your own rods!

 

Arguably the best kayak tournament angler here in Texas builds his own saying that he can then get exactly what he wants without having to accept any compromises. Not that manufacturers don't build really specialized rods but there are the other issues, the personal preferences that come into play.

 

Another point or two adding to what grub_man has mentioned regarding the trade-offs between an XF rod and slower actions. This is good "intelligence" he is sharing on his part, I think. Not only does a rod that loads up better keep the fish pinned, but a slower and more parabolic action means the lifting point of the rod is closer to your lifting hand and creates a shorter lever. Now, I started to say "creates better leverage" but the truth is it creates less "bad leverage." The fish is on the winning end of the "wrench" if leverage is really the only issue. To reverse this and give the leverage to the angler, a rod would look like a  . . . yep! a shovel.

 

So, regarding a frog rod's ability to over-power a large bass in thick vegetation, it'd actually be a more parabolic rod and, too, a shorter rod that gives you this.  The downsides? Casting distance, for sure, and at least some altering of hook setting (you will have a shorter sweep).

 

In the end, it'll depend on how you frog fish. If you are making relatively modest casts to pin-point targets, a 6'6" (or shorter!) rod with a slower action will have tons more pulling power than a 7 plus footer with an XF or F tip. I'd even recommend dropping rod power a notch . . . you won't need as much.  It just won't cast as far.

 

Once built, whatever you build, post a pic!

 

Brad

I sure will thanks for the help.

  • Thanks 1

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After reading what you said about tip actions and powers I found a mhx flipping and pitching blank. It is the FS905 7'6" mod/fast heavy power 10-25lb and is rated 1/4-1 1/2oz. What do you think about this blank compared to the others I am looking at. I would cut 3 or 4 inches off the butt if I get it.

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That sounds like a winner!  If it were my rod, that is the route I would go.  The mention of trimming a blank sends some people into convulsions, but as long as it's only a few inches from the butt it won't ruin a rod.  If you ever feel the need to take anything from the tip, that is when it is time to sweat bullets.  Too much there will kill a rod in a heartbeat.

 

Just so you are aware of the tradeoffs associated with the trim, making the trim from either end results in a rod with a slower action.  With the butt trim, the rod flexes the same way it did, but now that the rod is shorter, the area that flexes represents a larger percentage of the rod's length.  With a tip trim, you are taking off the most flexible part of the rod, and it will take a greater force to flex the blank sending the flex slightly deeper into the blank.

 

A butt trim will reduce the overall power of the blank.  Your are taking away a portion of the least flexible part of the blank.  Once you get past trimming 3"-4" on that flipping blank you'll want to be careful, but I doubt you will notice much with your intended trim.  Grab and hold the rod where the reel seat would be with and without the trim.  Lay the tip along the floor and flex the rod to see what it feels like before you make the trim.  Too much of a butt trim will begin to decrease the upper limit for lure weight on the rod, as well as the upper limit on the line rating.

 

A tip trim won't alter the power of the rod much, but it will increase the lower limit of the lure weight range a bit, but it also drastically alters the way a rod responds.  If you've ever broken the tip top off of a rod, you know exactly what too much of a tip trim does to a rod.

 

 

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