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Post 30 Dec 2020, 23:16 • #1 
Sport
Joined: 10/22/20
Posts: 53
Location: US-OR
Like to build a 4 piece glass rod for drift fishing steelhead on PNW rivers. Which seems to quickly cull typical casting/spinning blanks on one or both counts. So that leaves fly blanks to consider.

The typical drift rod is 8 to 14lbs line, 3/8oz to 1oz weight range. I've built noodles before for some guide friends from fly blanks decades ago but nothing tight and stout for bank fishing. The main requirement is bottom end enough to turn a sulking salmon (just in case) and sensitive enough to pick up the light mouthing of a steelhead vs gravel bottom.

Question is what weight rod will work? I have an old Sage 7wt glass rod that is just a wee bit to light for this chore, never used anything heavier. Reading suggests line weight divided by 16 = lead in ounces. So a 12wt would go 3/4oz which would work just fine. Never handled one but it sounds like a broom stick!?

Anyone do this and how did it turn out?

Thank you for reading

Steve


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Post 30 Dec 2020, 23:41 • #2 
Administrator
Joined: 01/10/06
Posts: 7630
Location: Holly Springs, NC
You didn't mention rod length. Can you live with 8'6" to 9 foot? Are you sure you must have 4 pieces? as that leaves out most classic glass blanks. North Fork Composites Iconoglass comes in 8, 10, and 12 weight options at 8'6" long. Epic makes one of each size also, but a smidgen shorter.

The old, big saltwater Fenwicks sometimes show up for a nice price on eBay. You would probably pay more for a new blank than a complete vintage glass rod. Except Sage glass. Sell that seven weight blank to finance your project.


Tom


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Post 31 Dec 2020, 00:54 • #3 
Sport
Joined: 10/22/20
Posts: 53
Location: US-OR
I'm afraid the B789SFL made up on the cheap in college off the 2nds and discontinued rack wouldn't fetch too much. Besides I love that rod!

I have 2 piece drift/float rods in graphite. So I'm looking for something different. NFC's 8'6" would do just fine, beggars can't be choosers. I used and broke a Fenwick 7'9" (made from the 2nds rack too) on Coho while working in SE AK. Length is important but it doesn't need to be perfect either.

How much lead could a 12wt, 10wt sling? Are they broomsticks or would there be feedback?


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Post 31 Dec 2020, 01:19 • #4 
Piscator
Joined: 08/10/05
Posts: 18445
Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
This is what they call a floatfishing rod, and they're always light-tip ML.
The 10' Fisher GT40 6-wt that ARReflections built into a spinning rod would make a great one.
I would personally go 9' or longer IM6 graphite to give you the moderate action it needs, fish turning butt, and reasonably light in hand.


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Post 31 Dec 2020, 01:58 • #5 
Sport
Joined: 10/22/20
Posts: 53
Location: US-OR
BullDog; Yes sir, you have made my thinking come full circle. The last line of this post is the answer and question all in one.

9' IM are my rod of choice for that purpose and have two rigged levelwind already. Have another on the way I'll roll up in a spiral wrap using Pac Bay Minima's just to see what if anything light weight guides and the spiral layout is all about.

The noodles I referred to for friends were longer fly rods I made and converted to casting for guide friends when noodles became a thing a while back. IIRC they were mostly 6wt Lamiglass graphite for pulling plugs or bouncing roe from a boat. The rod I want needs to be a little more stout than a 6wt. I would not build one from the 7wt Sage I have and it's fast and a heavy butt. Needs to be a little heavier for bigger or winter water and a bottom drift rig. More like the 9' graphites you mention...

So what weight of fly rod gets me anywhere close to the utility of the 9' IM rods we're talking about. THAT is the blank I want to try.


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Post 31 Dec 2020, 09:13 • #6 
Master Guide
Joined: 01/21/12
Posts: 449
Location: US-NY
Lamiglas makes steelhead spinning/casting blanks that are much better for your purpose than a fly blank. Same with NFC.

Lami:
GP10MHS
GP96JS

Those are from g1000. Equivalent from other series would work as well.

NFC:
St 964-2(IM)

Or any other 4 power blank from NFC.


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Post 31 Dec 2020, 10:56 • #7 
Piscator
Joined: 08/10/05
Posts: 18445
Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
eeyore wrote:
...
So what weight of fly rod gets me anywhere close to the utility of the 9' IM rods we're talking about. THAT is the blank I want to try.

I picked on Fisher, X-long and 6-wt for combined reasons. Fisher rod butts are UPS-truck-stopping.
The progressive fly rod taper gives you the tip you need, including the ability to cast both lighter and heavier lures than the purpose-built fast graphite spin blanks.

If you want that light-tip, going up in line weight will probably sacrifice it, though if you can find an X-long 7-wt or even 8-wt Fisher, you're probably still in the ballpark you want to throw.
You can calculate the max lure weight by converting fly line grain weight to ounces. The light end is all about the tip, and Fisher's progressive tapers are famous for close-in control (light tip - light lures).

You might pm ARReflections - Eric, and ask his observations on his custom rod.


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Post 31 Dec 2020, 11:36 • #8 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 02/27/16
Posts: 2194
Location: US-IL
I would go with graphite also.Way more sensitive but you still want a soft rod..I gave away 2 8'6 noodle rods built on Fenwick brown flyrod blanks,I don't know how you do it in the PNW,Here in the Lake Michigan tribs they want that full flexing long rod for light line presentations vs big powerful fish in small water.The rod acting as a shock absorber as well long length to guide the bottom bouncing perfect drift.Very popular winter fishing here and definitely it's own artform.


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Post 31 Dec 2020, 13:35 • #9 
Sport
Joined: 10/22/20
Posts: 53
Location: US-OR
the hersh; Thanks, noodles are a kick aren't they! Generally around here tributaries are closed so we have to fish the big water.

bulldog1935; OK, sounds like a good prospect. Ebay has a 9' 7/8 blank, hmmm... Thanks

novisor12; Yes I agree, graphite is a better solution isn't it. Thanks.


Last edited by eeyore on 31 Dec 2020, 14:41, edited 1 time in total.

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Post 31 Dec 2020, 13:48 • #10 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 02/27/16
Posts: 2194
Location: US-IL
You see the amount of people who trudge thru deep snow and freezing temps to fish basically ditches.I used to fish for them in the harbors along Chicago's lakefront in the winter.Not that hardy anymore.Your west coast salmonids have been a great gift to the great lakes .Lots of natural reproduction in some tribs.They have had only positive effects on the booming comeback of native species as well.


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Post 31 Dec 2020, 15:54 • #11 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 07/11/14
Posts: 1655
Location: urban Colorado
for that weight range I'd say a 10wt at least.
I built a 4-piece graphite Lamiglass 10wt 9' as a spin/fly combo, removable butt for the spin configuration which gets it to 10'.
This works well to throw 1/4oz to 1oz, have thrown 1.5oz but that's a stretch. Caught barramundi to 25lb, queenfish (Scomberoides), and big carp on it..



It will be tough to find a glass rod in 4pc 10wt though..


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Post 31 Dec 2020, 17:33 • #12 
Sport
Joined: 10/22/20
Posts: 53
Location: US-OR
doug in co;

Not 9' but 10wt and 4 pieces; https://northforkcomposites.com/product ... s-86-10wt/

1/4oz to 1oz is right in the zone.


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Post 01 Jan 2021, 08:48 • #13 
Piscator
Joined: 08/10/05
Posts: 18445
Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
That may fit your bill just right


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Post 02 Jan 2021, 02:10 • #14 
New Member
Joined: 11/06/18
Posts: 23
Location: US-OR
I have a fenwick sf110 that is a fly spin combo it’s 9’ rated at 10-11wt and 3/8-3/4 oz and I have had no problems using it as a spinning rod for Steelhead but have not hooked any salmon with it. It’s a 2 pc so not what you are looking for but I figured it may be a good reference as a place to start. For what you are looking at maybe a 9’ 12wt blank or vintage rod that could use a rebuild and then cut it to a four piece. Most of my 10-12 wt glass fenwicks would be stout enough for a spinning rod, I’m not sure how they would do with a casting reel as they tend to have some tip bounce but that may just be my casting stroke needing more work.


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Post 02 Jan 2021, 14:52 • #15 
Sport
Joined: 10/22/20
Posts: 53
Location: US-OR
Ugly Loops, thank you.

Looked at couple youtube videos of heavy fly rods. They obviously take a little grunt to load but aren't broomsticks like I thought.

60' of 10wt line is 1-1/4oz while 60' of 12wt is 1-3/4oz. No idea where the goldilocks rod would be but in glass think I'd default to the heavy endas you suggest. Graphite probably to the 10wt as doug in co uses.

While I'd rather have a 9', NFC's 12wt 4 piece at 8'6" would work. Looks like NFC's half price sale is over for now...


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