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Old 10-31-2013, 01:53 PM   #1
shadslinger

 
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sheepshead Cat fish rods needed

Hello rod builders, I am a guide on Lake Livingston and I fish for a wide variety of species of freshwater fish.
White bass and stripers are my bread and butter fish, but drifting for big trophy blue cats( over 20lbs) with rod and reel has a big place in my seasonal pursuits.

I have yet to find an off the shelf rod that works well for the drifting I do for these big cats.
I supply the tackle on my trips and would like to get four rods made for drift fishing.

I put the rods in Bee Ready rod holders which hold them parallel to the water as the boat drifts.
I am currently using Shakespeare Cat Fish Special Ugly sticks 7' medium heavy action and they work well, but they have too hard of a tip.

This makes the big cats drop the bait when conditions are not optimal.
When conditions are good the big cats will just swat the bait and hook themselves with the 9/0 to 12/0 circle hooks I use.
The reels will be either shimmano 200 GTs or 5500 Abu.
I use 20# on the reels and 30# leaders.
I use 2 OZ weights and up to 8 OZ of bait.
Casting is not a consideration for these rods as I just lob the bait out a ways and then let the drift peel off the amount of line needed for good drifting.

The rod I would like to use would be 7.5' to 8' one piece, have a strong backbone, but a soft tip, so that when the fish are being sensitive to the line/tackle, etc... they will hang on and commit once they pick up the bait.

The 7' ugly sticks have the right backbone, but too hard of a tip, I think that is due to being only 7' in length, as the 8' Ugly Sticks with the same rated action(medium heavy) have the right action to the tip, but have other problems.
The 8' two piece Cat Fish Specials have better hook ups on days the fish bite lightly, but have problems with the guides coming apart and I have had big cats break/crack them at the ferrule.
When the fish are biting lightly they often don't commit on the 7' Cat Fish Specials, but will take the bait on my white bass jigging rods which have much lighter action, but they do not handle big fish well.

I would like handles as long as those on the Ugly Sticks and preferably cork.
Line guides, I don't know for sure what I need in the way of guides.
So far guides have been the weak point on all of my rods.
Customers I take out often have little experience, and seem to want to crank the weights on the Carolina rigs I use to drift right up into the tip guide.
So I need durable guides that the insert does not get knocked out, handle braided line without cutting into them, or better yet have no insert on the guides, like the new flex ones.

If you have an interest in taking this on please PM me.
I would like four rods and will be willing to either pay cash or trade out trips, or some of both.
I would like for them to look good of course, but nothing fancy, as I will be cat fishing with them .
Thanks.
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Old 11-10-2013, 04:55 PM   #2
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Teamfirstcast and I worked out a deal.
As it stands the rods will be 8' long, a fast tip , a basic live bait rod, with 12" foam handles ( to better handle the abuse of rod holders) double footed guides appropriate for braided line and one tuff tip top.
Of course a fancy wrap and they will be handsome rods to boot.
My customers will fall out after having to use the stuff I have bought at basement price/close outs/samples/etc...lol!
So I got a deal done, thanks.

I am looking forward to having a set of fine custom rods to put out while drifting for big blue cats.

I am buying a set of four 5500 Abu C 4s to set em up with. That should make them matched to the task, which is what makes it fun.


I like to catch these big fish on rod and reel, especially with customers, take their picture and let them go.
Everybody gets jazzed up when a big blue comes to the boat.
They are very cool fish that have lived a long time and spawn more than ten fold more when compared to a ten pound fish.

Big blue cat fish 36" and over are considered trophy fish by TPWD. One 36" is over 20 pounds in Lake Livingston.
Some lakes in the metro area are now being managed to enhance the chance of catching a big blue.
Drift fishing for them gets to be the best in late December to late January.
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Old 11-10-2013, 06:07 PM   #3
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Sounds good and glad someone could get you taken care of!
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Old 11-10-2013, 09:26 PM   #4
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Cool. I was hoping someone could help you with your request.
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Old 12-30-2013, 10:34 PM   #5
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Fishy Heavy duty Pro Guide rod - updates

Here's an update to Shadslinger's rods: Batson RCLB79ML blank, Alps black 316SS guides, tip top very strong P-top H-flanged, size 17 seat, black EVA grips. He decided on new ABU 7000i reels. Threads are Pac Bay stay true Midnight Black, metallic red and chrome inlay/trims. Hard to take pics of a 7'9" long rod, but here's a few iPhone pics (can see the dining room light fixture in reflection, LOL)...

BTW, come see this rod and many others at the Laguna Custom Rod booth at the Houston Boat Show - starts this Friday! Ask for Rick - thanks!
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Old 12-31-2013, 03:42 PM   #6
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Sweet! Good luck with em SS!
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Old 01-04-2014, 09:07 AM   #7
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Wow, I was knocked by the rod when I went last night to check it out so Rick get going on the rest of the series.
We had a pretty good meeting of the minds when we first got started on this deal.

After talking to Rick and understanding that he was a fisherman first with a wide variety of experiences fishing for different species and in different settings, that sure makes a difference keeping fishing first, that way the tail doesn't wag the dog, I knew he could tune in on what I was looking for.
So I told him what I had had some luck with in on the shelf rods, and where they broke down in function and other wise.
Then he came back with some suggestions and questions and quickly steered/educated me towards where he was going in his rod building thinking to solve the problem.
He got it spot on, I am jazzed to go catch a big blue with the new set up.
He is going to personalize the rods with "Shadslinger Special HFBC #1 thru #4".
Making them a numbered set with the HFBC standing for high fin blue catfish.

Topped off with a 7000i and backed with 30 pound mono and a 230 yard cap of 30 braid, I am locked and loaded to drift with customers for trophy blues in style!
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Old 01-06-2014, 03:28 PM   #8
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Catfish rods

I have calstar graphiter rods with all aftco lightweight roller guides and have Avet reels I'm looking to get rid of. I moved to Onalaska last year from California and I have used these rods to land big tuna and I have also usedthem on lake Livingston for catfish
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Old 02-13-2014, 06:16 PM   #9
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Okay, today was bust the cherry day for the matched set of four, shadslinger special HFBC (high fin blue cat) rods made by teamfirstcast.

First fish came on number three at 9:00 am a 23# 3 once blue cat fish.
Wow, was that cool or what?
These rods are fine as frog hair. The fight, and that is what it's all about, is just right for a 20 pound blue cat fish, which is the bottom rung of the trophy fish I fish for.
It let it fight well, but you are in control at all times.
We also caught two other five pound blue cat fish and the rods went three for three on bites today.
Don't get any better.

If you need a rod built that will live up to your expectations, give the job to teamfirstcast!
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Old 02-13-2014, 06:57 PM   #10
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Yeah buddy!

That's a nice fish and good to see the rods getting put to work. WTG guys!
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