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