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dbhbass

Help with Shaky head/drop shot rod

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I am trying to build a perfect shaky head/drop shot combo.  I fish mostly southern lakes and use a shaky head for nearly every tournament and a drop shot from time to time.  I recently started shaky head fishing and need a GOOD setup for this.  I usually fish it 20ft or less with 10 lb fluorocarbon.  I am pretty set on the Shimano Saros 2500 reel but need help with the rod.  I am trying to decide between the Shimano Crucial and the e21.  I have selected the drop shot rods from each with an extra fast tip, medium action, 6'8" (Shimano) and 7'2" (e21).  If anyone has experience with these two rods please give me advice on the differences between these two.  Im looking to stay around $150 for the rod but want to get the best for my combo.  I have used Shimano rods and really like them but was curious about the e21s and how they compare.  Thanks for your help.

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I've found that a really good dropshot rod doesn't make a really good shakey head rod.  The Crucial DS rod is a fantastic rod for that technique, but I found the tip too soft for even 1/8oz. shakey heads.  It just didn't feel right to me.  If you shakey head more often than you DS, I'd look for a rod that excels at that technique but will work for the DS from time to time.  The Shimano Crucial 7' Medium is a fine shakey head rod that "could" be used as a DS rod from time to time.  The Powell 683 MEF would also fall into that category.  Good luck on your search!

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Bronzefly - would you be so kind as to describe what makes a good shakey head rod vs what makes a good drop shot rod and how these differ from one another? This would be very helpful for those with little experience with these techniques like myself.

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Everyone has their own preferences, of course, but I'll explain mine.

I've used a few finesse dropshot rods - the DSR 820 GLX is phenomonal and the Crucial CRSDX68M is fantastic as well for less money.  These rods share the most important attribute of a good finesse drop shot rod in my opinion - the ability to easily twitch or jiggle the bait with little effort while not lifting the weight off the bottom.  Finesse drop shotting is a vertical technique where I like to maintain constant bottom contact most often - these rods offer a blank that facilitates this process.  With rods like this, a shakey head just doesn't feel right in my hands.

  For me, a good shakey head rod has a stiffer tip than a DS rod - but still relatively soft - partly due to the fact that when working the bait down a sloping bank, across a flat, on a rock pile, etc... it has been my experience that it more easily frees briefly snagged lures from crevices, branches, or the like.  Further, a good shakey head rod tends to have more backbone than a finesse drop shot rod since the technique is more often fished around cover whereas finesse drop shotting is generally an open water technique. 

  There are a few other differences as well, but I thought I'd highlight what I see as a couple that are pretty important.  I hope this helps out. :)   

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I just started used a custom rod made with an MHX blank from Mudhole. I had the same budget of $150 for the rod and found a custom builder near me who built it for a lot less than that and with better components than most of the rods I was looking at. I ended up using alconite guides and the same real seat as the carrot stiks and I love it. The blank from Mudhole was around $60 or so and it was definitely worth getting a custom rod. I has the right amount of tip for drop shotting, but still enough backbone for shakey heads and senkos. Check out mudhole.com, I used the MHX SJ842 blank for the rod and will definitely using these exclusively. I think most would agree who have gone the custom rod route, but I will never get a production rod from a major brand ever again.

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MBR842C/ Core 50MG7

Soft enough for drop shots, firm enough for shaky

heads. The balance is perfect, creating an illusion

of near weightlessness. The rod loads well with

light weights and casting is a breeze.

I use this combination for a number of other

applications, specifically, most moving soft

plastics. It is fast becoming my favorite

baitcasting rig.

Back on topic, addressing spinning rod options:

Take a look at the St. Croix Avid AVS68MXF.

http://www.tackledirect.com/st-croix-avid-avs-series-spinning-rod-avs68mxf.html

8-)

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MBR842C/ Core 50MG7

Soft enough for drop shots, firm enough for shaky

heads.

8-)

The MBR842C GLX is a "super" rod that can be used for many techniques, IMHO probably one of the best rods ever made.  Ive used it for shaky heads, never thought about drop shot but your right it should work well.

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This might just be me, but I am very likely to use a finesse dropshot approach in areas similar to where I might throw a shaky head.  Unless you absolutely, positively do not have the space for it, I'd carry one rod for each technique.

Fishing rods have a price on them.  Fishing time is priceless.  Don't waste time tying knots unless you have to.  JMO

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I use the same rod for both techniques with no trouble at all.  I use a 7'M-XF Damiki Dark Angel with a 2500 Stradic CI4.

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This might just be me, but I am very likely to use a finesse dropshot approach in areas similar to where I might throw a shaky head. Unless you absolutely, positively do not have the space for it, I'd carry one rod for each technique.

Fishing rods have a price on them. Fishing time is priceless. Don't waste time tying knots unless you have to. JMO

I highly agree with this.  I drop shot and shakyhead alot and having to tie up a dropshot rig is a pain.  Therefore, these two rod are usually the first two in the boat.  If you fish one technique more than another, then I would get a rod that handles that techniques really well and could, if needed, perform the other technique to some degree.  If you find you are using both techniques equally as much (as I have found), then I would invest in another rod and have those two lock and loaded on your boat. 

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I just started used a custom rod made with an MHX blank from Mudhole. I had the same budget of $150 for the rod and found a custom builder near me who built it for a lot less than that and with better components than most of the rods I was looking at. I ended up using alconite guides and the same real seat as the carrot stiks and I love it. The blank from Mudhole was around $60 or so and it was definitely worth getting a custom rod. I has the right amount of tip for drop shotting, but still enough backbone for shakey heads and senkos. Check out mudhole.com, I used the MHX SJ842 blank for the rod and will definitely using these exclusively. I think most would agree who have gone the custom rod route, but I will never get a production rod from a major brand ever again.

I've had great success building on MHX blanks. IMO they are by far one of the best values in blanks. They are sensitive and available with super fast actions.

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I just started used a custom rod made with an MHX blank from Mudhole. I had the same budget of $150 for the rod and found a custom builder near me who built it for a lot less than that and with better components than most of the rods I was looking at. I ended up using alconite guides and the same real seat as the carrot stiks and I love it. The blank from Mudhole was around $60 or so and it was definitely worth getting a custom rod. I has the right amount of tip for drop shotting, but still enough backbone for shakey heads and senkos. Check out mudhole.com, I used the MHX SJ842 blank for the rod and will definitely using these exclusively. I think most would agree who have gone the custom rod route, but I will never get a production rod from a major brand ever again.

I've had great success building on MHX blanks. IMO they are by far one of the best values in blanks. They are sensitive and available with super fast actions.

I agree completely. I am honestly amazed they are as cheap as they are for the quality of the blank. I have a BPS Pro Finesse rod that has been replaced by this MHX rod. I will be replacing all of my rods with MHX rods, from finesse to flipping.

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It is fast becoming my favorite

baitcasting rig.

Back on topic, addressing spinning rod options:

Take a look at the St. Croix Avid AVS68MXF.

a 2 power becoming roadwarrior's favorite??? what's going on here? :)

if the avs68mxf has a similar feel to the LE version, id get that. i wouldnt go light on the drop shot weight, however. you should be able to get one for $150 if you take your time.

i usually use the avs69mlxf when fishing a drop shot.

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Thanks for all the input.  I was trying to decide on fast vs x-fast tip.  I was thinking that a x-fast 6'8'' would have a slightly stiffer tip than a 7'2" rod and would be closer in action to a 7'2" fast tip.  Is this statement correct?  If so I think a 6'8" x-fast would suite me a little better for shaky head.  I am going to explore custom rods with MHX to see if that would be more in line with what I need.

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Shimano Crucial CRSDX72MH gets my vote.

I've used my nephews', it works well for shakey heads. It is designed for drop shotting, so I'm thinking it's a safe bet that it does the job there as well.

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Does anyone know of a GOOD custom rod maker near Birmingham, AL?

Post this in the "Tacklemaking" section, too.

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I was thinking that a x-fast 6'8'' would have a slightly stiffer tip than a 7'2" rod and would be closer in action to a 7'2" fast tip. .

i started using XF rods last year and i think their can be a big difference in tip stiffness between brands and even between different lengths of the same model.

i would narrow it down to a few specific rods (or blanks) and  post questions about the feel of each indivdual rod...

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