Shorter rods and kayak fishing

Come share your backwater or even blue water success and help others learn more about fishing from a 'yak.
Brad in Texas
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Shorter rods and kayak fishing

Postby Brad in Texas » Fri May 26, 2017 5:35 am

I am now almost a full convert to using short rods for many kayak bass fishing presentations. If I were standing and power fishing, say casting for distance covering water with a crank bait, yes, I'd want a 7'+ rod. But, I have been using a 6' spinning rod, MH, fast tip for one of my rods and I find the pick up in my accuracy to be amazing. That, and its relative shortness allows me to "pitch" easier while seated. I could go on and on.

The idea is that when kayak fish, we can often get up pretty close to our targets; we don't need to make long casts. So, accuracy trumps casting distance.

The shorter lever also aids in increasing the power over a fish so pulling them out of grass is much easier, too.

I also have a 5'6" moderate power rod. It is actually only 2" shorter than my 6 footer, so the other 4" comes off the handle end. It is even more accurate. I prefer it for working up to and under boat docks. The shortness of its handle also means it doesn't get in the way scraping across my thighs.

These have become my primary rods in my kayak. I carry along an ultra-light rod, too.

Brad

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Re: Shorter rods and kayak fishing

Postby reason162 » Sun May 28, 2017 6:45 am

Brad in Texas wrote:The shorter lever also aids in increasing the power over a fish so pulling them out of grass is much easier, too.


I went to shorter rods last season in the yak, but the problem is clearing the bow of your boat. Not sure if it applies to bass fishing, but I went back to 7' - 7'2 rods for this reason.

https://youtu.be/pwK2H2rqUgg?t=621

Brad in Texas
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Re: Shorter rods and kayak fishing

Postby Brad in Texas » Mon May 29, 2017 12:37 pm

I suppose it could be less of an issue for me fishing out of a Native Propel 10. I can reach forward and move the line across. For whatever reason, even that doesn't seem to happen to me often. And, long arms help, too.

I do agree that if for some reason your line is swing left and right across the bow, a longer rod might be best.

I just love the increased accuracy of short rods.

Brad

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Re: Shorter rods and kayak fishing

Postby Houndfish » Tue Jul 04, 2017 8:01 am

I also fish out of a Propel 10 and even a 5'6" perch rod lets me get a fish over the bow if I lean forward just a little. My kayak rods for bass range from 6' to 6'8", but what they all have in common is short butt sections. The two spinning rods are customs from Smallie Stix out of Redding PA. The owner Jim is an avid kayak fisherman and specializes in well balanced short butt rods for kayak fishing. Both of my customs are no-frills rods and each came in around $150. My casting rods are Fenwick Smallmouth Elites, which also have short butts. Sadly they are discontinued but they are still pretty common on ebay.

Brad in Texas
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Re: Shorter rods and kayak fishing

Postby Brad in Texas » Mon Jul 10, 2017 10:35 am

Mine, too, Houndfish: short rod butts on mine and it makes for a very comfortable placement without dragging the end over one's seated area.

My 5'6" St Croix has the very short #1 handle and it loses about 4" of a total of 6" compared to my 6 footer. So, from where my hand holds the rod, I only lose 2" inches in forward reach. I never have an issue reaching beyond my Propel 10 bow.

I can still see the need for a 7 footer for someone who fishes BTB or out deep on lakes and wants to make long casts. I am almost always close to the shoreline, fishing in shallow water, fishing finesse so accuracy trumps casting distance.

The fact that a short rod means a short lever and a short lever means more lifting power. It strikes many people as odd but it gives the fisherman more leverage, actually less negative leverage . . . over a fish.

Brad

P.S. I like the 5'6" spinning rod so much, I have the same one on order in a casting rod. Can't wait to give it a go, too. Should be here any day now. br

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Re: Shorter rods and kayak fishing

Postby Redfish » Tue Jul 11, 2017 5:59 am

I flipped forth back and forth and have now settled on at least 7' rods for me. The ability to get around the bow of my Propel 13 is very important to me, and after several years kayak fishing, I am just as accurate with a 7'6" rod as I am with a 6' rod. Just personal preference for me.
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Brad in Texas
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Re: Shorter rods and kayak fishing

Postby Brad in Texas » Thu Jul 13, 2017 10:38 am

Redfish wrote:I flipped forth back and forth and have now settled on at least 7' rods for me. The ability to get around the bow of my Propel 13 is very important to me, and after several years kayak fishing, I am just as accurate with a 7'6" rod as I am with a 6' rod. Just personal preference for me.


Good point and it may be circumstantial where in my case, I have a short length of kayak in front of me to fish around.

For me, my accuracy with a shorter rod is much higher, casts of course are much shorter in potential. But, I'm like many freshwater kayakers in that I tend to fish shallow and pretty close to my targets so long distance casting isn't real frequent for me. If it were, say I was going to throw crankbaits, I'd carry along a 7 footer.

One analogy I might make in terms of accuracy, for most of us, would be to golf clubs: Drivers have longer lengths and are meant to cover long distances but with less control over placement than a shorter iron, like a 7 iron, where one's distance is limited but used with the expectation of dropping a golf ball into a tighter expected and desired landing area.

*** My 5'6" casting rod came in and I matched it with a Shimano Casitas. Now, I need to go out and experiment, see how and where it fits in. It has sort of a pistol grip so it'll be easy to handle in a kayak for sure.

Brad

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Re: Shorter rods and kayak fishing

Postby nikbrewer » Thu Jul 13, 2017 10:42 am

what rod are you using? I am using some cheap 5'6" 2 piece rods for my kayak and love them. I have several kayaks, bt i use a 9' inflatable i fit in the back of my van when fishing the creek by my house. the shorter length and being 2 parts makes fitting them in the car easier, and transporting them from the road, down the bank to the water a lot easier

Brad in Texas
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Re: Shorter rods and kayak fishing

Postby Brad in Texas » Tue Jul 18, 2017 3:23 pm

I have a 5 footer from St. Croix, ultralight. I can pedal right up to a boat house and sling it back deep into the shadows. I catch a surprising number of bass, up to 4 lbs. so far, on this rod with a Shimano Ci4+ 1000 series reel.

My other short rods are one each (spinning and casting) of a 5'6" St. Croix Moderate Power, fast tip. These have such a short lifting point that they give an angler greater leverage and control over larger fish. No, they are not optimal for long casts but they are extremely accurate.

I also have a 6 footer, MH, for fishing heavier situations.

The 5'6" models are only 2" shorter, from grip to tip, I think I have mentioned this before, compared to my 6 footer. The 4" comes out of the butt section of the rods making them fit well for someone seated in a kayak.

My latest acquisition via a trade with a friend is a 6'6" G-Rods International spinning rod made from the new graphene. I have taken it out just to bank fish with it. I can't describe the difference from traditional graphite rods but it feels . . . different. It is a two-piece rod and I'll use it on the road to target various species from panfish up to some bass.

Brad

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Re: Shorter rods and kayak fishing

Postby LowRange » Sun Sep 10, 2017 3:42 pm

3 foot long ice fishing rod. LOL. I was in bps and it caught my eye. Only $21 and rated 1/8 to 1/2 oz. I sat in yard in a pretend kayak and made a few casts with it and the mb3 bfs. I was able to fire off some super accurate short casts with it. It's fairly stiff and the 1/16 head and plastic were a little too light for it. Should be fun with an 1/8 head and plastic.

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Re: Shorter rods and kayak fishing

Postby Houndfish » Sun Sep 10, 2017 5:57 pm

What plastic is that, it looks incredible!

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Re: Shorter rods and kayak fishing

Postby LowRange » Sun Sep 10, 2017 9:52 pm

Houndfish wrote:What plastic is that, it looks incredible!


BPS Hellgrammite. One of my favorite UL baits when on a 1/16 slider type head. Everything wants to eat it.

http://www.basspro.com/shop/en/bass-pro ... llgrammite

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Re: Shorter rods and kayak fishing

Postby Houndfish » Mon Sep 11, 2017 7:08 am

Thanks! I have some hellgrammite plastics from Cabin Creek (i think) and they work great wacky rigged but are too thin to say t-rigged for long.

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Re: Shorter rods and kayak fishing

Postby LowRange » Mon Sep 11, 2017 12:11 pm

Houndfish wrote:Thanks! I have some hellgrammite plastics from Cabin Creek (i think) and they work great wacky rigged but are too thin to say t-rigged for long.


The bps soft plastic should hold a worm hook well. The jighead I'm using is more or less a t rig jighead and it stays on and resists being torn. It's a good bait.


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