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Old 05-02-2012, 01:42 PM   #1
Tinman
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Default Looking for a light iron blank

I'm looking to build a specialized jig stick, something designed to throw a 2 ounce metal jig 90 yards for tuna. I'm thinking a 9 footer, paired with a conventional reel (probably a Newell 332).

So far I have looked at the Calstar 900L, as well as some of the Phoenix blanks. A friend recommended the Phoenix 906L.

I would probably finish the rod with a cork tape "deckhand" style butt and simple chromed stainless guides. But I am open to different guide suggestions.

Any suggestions?

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Old 05-02-2012, 03:27 PM   #2
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Default Re: Looking for a light iron blank

I have a hard time with 9' rods especially in a small boat, the longer they get the harder it is not to high stick the rod (tip past 90 degrees to the butt is technically high sticking) and get the fish in the boat. Not to mention shipping on one piece blanks like that is expensive and I shy away from two piece rods in the ocean if I can (well except for the OTi Tuna Sniper).

I can toss a 2oz weight over 90 yards easily with a Rainshadow SWS597, 7'10" 15-30. The blank is a very good general purpose blank meaning you can use it for many other fishing activities. Keeper Sturgeon, B10 Chinook on a diver, near shore bottom fish, swimbait, bait, live bait, dead bait and light iron. About the only thing it doesn't do well is ocean Coho. It will do it but just not very well. It is a composite RX4 blank so it has plenty of durability, just don't bass master the fish in the boat and you'll be fine.

To be honest I'm not up on the longer Calstar blanks, but the 270 is also a very good blank for your application.

Phenix, I'm bringing in some of their blanks to look harder at for iron, but I'm looking in the 7' range with the PSW700ML and PSW700M. If you want some more info on the longer ones, I would PM Rooster1264 (If he see's this he may pipe up), he has more experience with their longer blanks than I do.

Deck hand special handles are good, but when used on small diameter blanks like the PSW700's you may not like the pencil feeling. If you do use the cork tape, figure out where you want your reel to go by experimentation, then add a piece of heavy heat shrink to that part of the cork tape to protect it from the reel seat and clamp.

You might also look at some of the work Rooster does on cord grips.

Guides, welds break or inserts crack there is not perfect world. On rods 40# and down I generally use Alps XN guides and anything over 40# I use American Tackle Virtus lights or heavy depending. If you are set on using wire framed boat guides I would strongly suggest that you only use Forecast wire framed guides from Batson Enterprises. They are the only ones I've found that have consistently good welds and fit and finish.

Hope that helps anyone else?
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Old 05-02-2012, 03:39 PM   #3
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Default Re: Looking for a light iron blank

rainshadow rcjb io6m or mh. nice thin blank with plenty of power. i used eva for grips and used a alps aluminum trigger reel seat. i would use any of the new recessed ringed guides before i used ss guides.
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Old 05-02-2012, 08:48 PM   #4
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Cool Re: Looking for a light iron blank

I've been using a Lamiglas GSB 108M for that purpose for many years in the Perigee finish.
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Old 05-03-2012, 10:06 AM   #5
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Default Re: Looking for a light iron blank

Ted, the 9 foot length is an experiment. I want to see if it dramatically increases casting distance. For all the reasons you mentioned, I've avoided 9 foot rods. But I'm looking for casting distance above all else.
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Old 05-03-2012, 10:56 AM   #6
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Default Re: Looking for a light iron blank

I've not really seen the need to cast a long ways with the jigs, we're mostly working them under the boat. I know Nalu talks about skipping the butterfly jigs, but I'm not sure he's talking about tossing them a 100 yards or more. I've skipped them about 25' out by mistake a few times
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Old 05-03-2012, 05:41 PM   #7
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Default Re: Looking for a light iron blank

Correct me if wrong, but I believe Nalu is talking about casting the Butterfly jig out as far as possible. Before the lure hits the water surface, put the reel into gear and start cranking fairly quickly to keep the lure on or just below surface. The trick is to "skip" it and not letting it move much. If you can "skip" the lure by the rear hook, you're done a good job!! The Butterfly usually has a shiny side (gold or chrome) which creates a frantic color change in the water.

Many times this is done by casting light surface iron, about 2-5 ounces, but can be done with heavy. Just takes more cranking to keep it skipping......

Personally, I cannot catch an albie by "skipping" but the just below the surface is like "game on"!!!!!

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Old 05-03-2012, 07:40 PM   #8
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Default Re: Looking for a light iron blank

Casting Butterfly jigs is deadly, especially when fish are spooky.

I'm not bad with a casting reel, but I'm money casting a 140g or 168g Butterfly jig into the wind with a spinning reel.

When I talk about skipping Butterfly jigs I am literally talking about casting the jig out with a flat trajectory and letting it hit the water and then having the jig go in, then skip back out. The flat sided jigs are tail weighted which aids in accuracy casting.

While I still utilize swim baits casting, my go-to for casting distance is always a Butterfly jig. I can stop well short of a pod of spooky jumpers and cast 150 yards or more and land in the middle of them. No way can I do that with a 2oz swimbait. In fact, I never will even bother casting a 2oz swimbait as it is too big in my opinion. 1.5 oz is the max I usually will cast, with 1.25 or 1 being more productive for actually hooking up fish.

Once landed, my technique is either an instantaneous hookup, or withing 2-5 cranks. If no fish hits within 5 cranks, then I open the bail and let the jig fall 5-10 seconds then proceed to jig horizontally back to the boat. I don't try to skip them back to the boat as they tumble more than skip. Other surface iron would be better suited for that.

While I use a 6'3" F Series Trevela rod or 6"6" regular Trevala rod for vertical jigging, for casting iron I use a G Loomis Pro Blue 963S 8' rod. While the short , slow action, parabolic rod is what I like best for vertical jigging, the 8' fast action rod is better for distance casting and for horizontal jigging.

I've been horizontal jigging for a few years and it can be deadly effective. There are still days that a swim bait will outfish an Butterfly jig, but on windy days with spooky jumpers, a 168g jig cast out can make a huge difference. You won't seen other places talking about horizontal jigging, but for what we get here with boils of albies, it can be money.
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Last edited by Nalu; 05-03-2012 at 07:56 PM.
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Old 05-03-2012, 08:05 PM   #9
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Default Re: Looking for a light iron blank

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Originally Posted by Nalu View Post

While I still utilize swim baits casting, my go-to for casting distance is always a Butterfly jig. I can stop well short of a pod of spooky jumpers and cast 150 yards or more and land in the middle of them.
Mike, I really have little idea how far I cast with a jig stick. I've always thought it is around 90 or 100 yards, but I have never measured. A 150 yard cast is truly exceptional, especially with a 6 foot rod. How sure are you that you are casting that far? If you are, that is a major revelation for me.

I thought you needed a surf rod and specialty reel to get 150 yards under real fishing conditions.

There must be an easy way for us to check our casting distance.
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Old 05-03-2012, 08:41 PM   #10
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Default Re: Looking for a light iron blank

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Mike, I really have little idea how far I cast with a jig stick. I've always thought it is around 90 or 100 yards, but I have never measured. A 150 yard cast is truly exceptional, especially with a 6 foot rod. How sure are you that you are casting that far? If you are, that is a major revelation for me.

I thought you needed a surf rod and specialty reel to get 150 yards under real fishing conditions.

There must be an easy way for us to check our casting distance.
Charles- I think you might have missed what rod I use, it is an 8' Loomis PBR 963S, not 6' rod, and very fast action for casting and horizontal jigging. I also have two Shimano Tiralejo rods that I will use that are very similar- and guess what? The Tiralejo is a surf rod, but I can cast further with the Loomis Pro Blue 963S. I combine this with a Shimano Saragosa 8000 spinning reel that has a titanium spool lip and Propulsion Line Management spool that directs the line off the spool cleanly for longer casts. The Saragosa is used extensively as a surf reel. Matched with 50# braid, not mono, and you have very little weight of the actual line, and it comes off the reel easily. 5oz or 6 oz jigs wing pretty good.

I've taken this setup to a football field and tossed from back of the end zone onto the track past the other end zone onto the track.. I guess that is only about 125 or 130, but that wasn't all out. The 150 yard on the water is an estimate, so like any true sailor, might be an over estimate. I can say that 125 is not an issue without doubt.

I got tired of spooky jumpers. I find it much easier to stop the boat or move the boat parallel to the fish and cast into them with a jig than to try and sneak on them and get one shot. By casting longer distance, you often can pull multiple fish out of sets of jumpers than if you try to coast up on them and get the one and done cast with a swim bait. I know you are a conventional reel guy, and we have had the discussion of an "educated" thumb with regard to coffee grinders in the past. This distance casting to tuna that we started doing a few years ago is one of the key reasons I moved to spinning reels. Casting 60 yards into the wind is no issue. Casting 100 yards from a stopped boat to jumpers that haven't sounded is no problem. This is why I carry so many rods. These rods are dedicated casting to jumpers at long distance. If I want to vertical jig, that is a different setup.
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Last edited by Nalu; 05-03-2012 at 08:58 PM.
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Old 05-03-2012, 10:39 PM   #11
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Default Re: Looking for a light iron blank

Thanks Mike, it makes sense now knowing you have put together specialized gear for distance casting. I'm with you on the reasons for the long cast, having had much success long-casting heavy iron into breaking schools.

What I am after now is a stick to throw 2 ounces 100 yards. A hundred yards is pretty doable with the 4 to 6 ounce jigs you mentioned, but I'm after those late-season jumpers that are eating the little red baby rockfish. Hence I'm willing to go to an unwieldy 9 foot rod. But you've got me thinking that maybe a spinning reel is the better match for this application. Do you think spinning would throw farther than conventional in this case?
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Old 05-04-2012, 05:24 AM   #12
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Default Re: Looking for a light iron blank

Tinman,

Being a former L.A. partyboat gent, there are 2 rods I would recommend for your needs.:

A Calstar 540: 10' , 20-50# line, straight glass, colors in black or gold, OR

a Seeker Ulua Light. If you can get the seeker in a composite, it would be much lighter in wieght and have a tad more "crispness in bending in a fish.

MY recommendation is this: since they come in 10' and 9'3" models, cut the blank as such:

If 10': cut 6" off the top the rest off the bottom to finish at 8 1/2'.
If the 9'3" model: DO NOT cut any off the tip, and cut off the bottom.

Believe me I'm sure you'll enjoy it with the 332 style Newell.

Sorry it's kinda old school, but distance casting is better with more parabolic style rods.

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Old 05-04-2012, 06:07 AM   #13
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Default Re: Looking for a light iron blank

I'm not sure a spinning reel would throw farther, it probably wouldn't, just that it would be my preference for other reasons. I know that I can throw it into the wind, or in a hurry without a backlash. Even though I am reasonably good with a conventional reel, in rushed situations, and more adverse conditions I know for a fact that I will mess up and then end up being down a rod and possibly down at least one hook up, which might have been the start of a stop. If you want pure distance, I believe conventional is better, isn't it? I just know that I haven't picked a backlash out of a reel in at least 4 years, even with customers casting (and me in a hurry).
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Old 05-04-2012, 09:03 AM   #14
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Default Re: Looking for a light iron blank

A few of us rod builders have talked about casting distance difference between a bait casting reel and a spinning reel. In the perfect cast the bait caster will cast further, but how many of us are perfect at that type of reel. If you are not perfect at it, you will get better distance with a spinner.

If you wonder over to tuna360 all the long distance casting guys are gaga over the OTI Tuna Sniper. It is typically used for poppers, but it will toss iron just fine.
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Old 05-04-2012, 09:44 AM   #15
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Default Re: Looking for a light iron blank

I'd love to get my hands on one of those Tuna Snipers to try out for iron. Seems a lot of people REALLY like them.
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Old 05-04-2012, 02:32 PM   #16
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Default Re: Looking for a light iron blank

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I'd love to get my hands on one of those Tuna Snipers to try out for iron. Seems a lot of people REALLY like them.
I have one of the older style blanks, just havn't gotten around to build it yet. The new ones use that new Nano material and are supposed to be even better. They are a lot of rod for Albacore and they make short work of them. I think the light one is rated 40-60#.
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Old 05-05-2012, 07:27 AM   #17
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Default Re: Looking for a light iron blank

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Thanks Mike, it makes sense now knowing you have put together specialized gear for distance casting. I'm with you on the reasons for the long cast, having had much success long-casting heavy iron into breaking schools.

What I am after now is a stick to throw 2 ounces 100 yards. A hundred yards is pretty doable with the 4 to 6 ounce jigs you mentioned, but I'm after those late-season jumpers that are eating the little red baby rockfish. Hence I'm willing to go to an unwieldy 9 foot rod. But you've got me thinking that maybe a spinning reel is the better match for this application. Do you think spinning would throw farther than conventional in this case?
the rainshadow is your huckleberry. way lighter and better balanced than the bigger diameter blanks.
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Old 05-06-2012, 11:00 AM   #18
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Default Re: Looking for a light iron blank

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the rainshadow is your huckleberry. way lighter and better balanced than the bigger diameter blanks.

Can you recommend some blank numbers for the Rainshadows?
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Old 05-06-2012, 12:21 PM   #19
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Default Re: Looking for a light iron blank

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Can you recommend some blank numbers for the Rainshadows?
look at the rcjb series. the 106mh is a well known west coast light iron style blank. rclb is another good one. just pick the line weight and lure size that fits you best.
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Old 05-06-2012, 05:37 PM   #20
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Default Re: Looking for a light iron blank

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look at the rcjb series. the 106mh is a well known west coast light iron style blank. rclb is another good one. just pick the line weight and lure size that fits you best.
If Oakie has the RCJB's, I'd check it out to see what you think because we are all a little different in what we think is ideal for a 20-30# fish. The RCLB70L is a great choice as is the SWS597. I have the SWS597, Seeker Hercules Inshore Lite and OTI Tuna Sniper here as samples and my Phenix order should be going in soon for the 700m and 700ml.

You've gotten a lot of feedback, now you need to go to bendo school and decide for yourself
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Old 05-07-2012, 06:01 PM   #21
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Default Re: Looking for a light iron blank

i built a sws597 and liked it too. the difference between it and the rcjb is the the rcjb feels more like a old school glass rod . for tossing jigs it felt better and wasn't as delicate,ie tougher. the sws felt more like a heavy rubber tosser than jig stick. i like the rclb's but not my first choice for throwing jigs. the phenix abyss blanks have received good reviews but i have no first hand knowledge of them. lots of good choices but only you can decide what feels best.
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Old 05-07-2012, 06:48 PM   #22
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Default Re: Looking for a light iron blank

Here's my worthless 2 cents. This is coming from "my" experiance.

You want a 9 footer...there's only 2 in my book that are head and shoulders above the rest.....Super Seeker CJB90F and CJB90M.........
I have and have fished these rods for at least 4 years and everything else comes in second. You name it I caught it. Every trip I go on I take them both and in my opinion these two will outcast anything in it's class.

Calstar makes a few good ones. the 900l and 900m are both good and load up well when casting but don't have the pulling power of the Seekers. If you want something shorter you can try the 850l, 800xlh, 800l and the 800ml.

As for Phenix, the 906l, 907ml, 908mh and the 909h work very well. Also look at the same numbers in the 800 series.

Phenix Abyss......All I can say is they are awsome. I've fished 6 or 7 different models and all have preformed flawlessly. Old school design made with stronger s-glass. 4 models in the 9 foot range..psx- 906b, 907b,908b and the 909b. These will all cast 2 oz just fine and if you're one of the privledged few that can actually cast 100 yards (most say they can but really can't) you'll do just fine with these blanks.

So in my opinion go with the Super Seekers first and the Phenix Abyss' second.

if you have any questions just ask and i'll do my best to answer you in a timely fashion

Oh yeah....what kerry said about the rainshadow....never used one but built a few.

Disclaimer......I've fished with every rod i mentioned above, so I know nothing!
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Old 05-08-2012, 02:00 PM   #23
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i wouldn't listen to steve. he sleeps through the bite when the big ones come through!
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Old 05-08-2012, 02:02 PM   #24
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i wouldn't listen to steve. he sleeps through the bite when the big ones come through!
HAHAHAHAHa...friends wake friends up!
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Old 05-08-2012, 05:13 PM   #25
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Default Re: Looking for a light iron blank

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HAHAHAHAHa...friends wake friends up!
I did............when the 50# mossback it the deck..........
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Old 05-08-2012, 06:22 PM   #26
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Default Re: Looking for a light iron blank

Great information gentlemen, thank you. Rooster, I sent you a PM.
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Old 05-08-2012, 06:39 PM   #27
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I did............when the 50# mossback it the deck..........
Your fish did it's job. I was referring to the guy that was drunk on redbull and vodka when the bite went off at 3:15 in the morning.
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Old 05-08-2012, 06:50 PM   #28
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that's funny! kurt even out fished ya!
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Old 05-08-2012, 09:17 PM   #29
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Default Re: Looking for a light iron blank

Back to the OP's question. I am fishing 8' rods for the lighter stuff, 9' rods on the smaller boats with short gaffs are a challenge. Rainshadow SWB80M, Super Seeker CJB80F, Super Seeker D8 and Rogue GPIS8M or MH. Being able to cast a 1.5 oz Megabait at least 75 yds can prove deadly.
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Old 05-09-2012, 08:18 AM   #30
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try the rcjb kurt. you'll like it!
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Old 05-09-2012, 03:46 PM   #31
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Default Re: Looking for a light iron blank

Grew up in San Diego and have been throwing iron with the long rod all my life. The 900L is an excellent choice, the 850L would also work well and might be a little easier on the body. That extra distance comes in really handy when you are chasing schools of boat shy, breaking fish. The CJBF90M SuperSeeker is nice, but might be more than you need for a 2 oz. jig. Don't high stick the Calstars....they do break.
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Old 05-09-2012, 05:01 PM   #32
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Default Re: Looking for a light iron blank

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Grew up in San Diego and have been throwing iron with the long rod all my life. The 900L is an excellent choice, the 850L would also work well and might be a little easier on the body. That extra distance comes in really handy when you are chasing schools of boat shy, breaking fish. The CJBF90M SuperSeeker is nice, but might be more than you need for a 2 oz. jig. Don't high stick the Calstars....they do break.

Thanks, the Calstar 900L is on my list. Right now my goto jig stick is an 800M for heavier Iron. My light iron stick is an ancient Kennedy-Fisher that has gone soft with age.

I know a 9 footer will beat me up, but I'm looking for a tool to put a jig way out there in the boat-shy jumpers we have late in the season.
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14 foot rowing wherry "Evensong"
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Old 05-11-2012, 04:19 PM   #33
CRD4Liberty
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Milwaukie, OR
Posts: 645
Default Re: Looking for a light iron blank

Many if not most surf blanks in the 9 ft range were designed to throw plugs in the surf good long distances and still have the tip to work the plug correctly, 1 to 3 oz ratings is what you usually see, just about perfect for throwing the jigs your talking about.
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