How big is your rod


I guess it depends. If you bought an camcorder with a mission to get the highest ranking video on youporn, then every inch in length might be huge. But we the surfcasters rarely talk inches, our rods move in a ½ a foot increments, sometimes even a foot.

I am often asked at seminars “how big of a rod should I buy  for XYZ place I fish”. And I always respond the same way….first I gave the guy (or gal) a boilerplate answer only to catch myself somewhere in midsentence, realizing I am feeding them crap.

The problem is that we have certain “rules” that have been established over the years or common practices that have been repeated so many time they have become facts…but are they?

For example, people will tell you that Montauk rod is an 11 feet. You can get away with 10 but 11 will give you more versatility. You will often hear that New Jersey beaches are best fished with a 9 or 10 foot stick,… 11 is often an overkill. People north of New York rarely carry an 11 foot stick….because then don’t need too.

But although general consensus is a  good starting point I think the better way to approach this trick question is by honestly asking yourself what are you going to be casting with your rod. If you are a bomber, mambo minnow and redfin dude, even if fish Montauk every day of your life, an 11 footer will do more harm than good. Plugs that light won’t go much further with an 11 than they will with 10 and even 9. What I am trying to say is that matching  rod to style of fishing is better suited then matching a rod to the place. After all, who cares where you are fishing if you are only going to use particular plugs?

 Having said that, you should fish whatever you want. The worst thing you can ever do it try to be something that you are not, by following what someone else is doing.

I think Lamiglas GSB blanks were a HUGE hit for Lami. We all bought a bunch, when I guided I owned 5 of them ,all 1321M. There are like mono, sloppy but very forgiving. You want to throw a 7/8 Bomber. Doable. You want to throw 3.5 ounce Surface Cruiser.? No Problem. You want to sling a 8 ounce rigged eels? Been there, done it and it works.

After owning dozen Lami rods I think I might be down to one. However I do own more than half a dozen St Croix Mojo and Legend rods. After our Surf Guru made my two St Croix Legends custom rods last week, I think Lami is not going to see the light of day.

Yes, there are some challenges of using a two piece rods. People say what about if the line wraps around the tip and during cast flies off into the water? You are up the creek with no paddle…

Hmm, it’s possible for that happen but I’ll take my chances after seeing at least five very expensive Lami Super Surf rods explode on a cast right above reel seat. At least if my rods separates it will be operator error. I’ll take my chances.

Casting St Croix Legends is like a dream. I’ve read somewhere where ¾ to 4 Legend had a sweet spot around 2 ounces. I disagree. I threw small stuff to 7 ounce rigged eels this week with it, caught some nice fish in a nasty current and I don’t think two ounce is a sweet spot at all. Not that I would encourage you to cast 7 ounce rigged eels with ¾ to 4…For that Lou built me 2-6 ounce Legend, much more better suited for the task.

Again, you should get a rod that suits your style. Lami GSB has been my go to stick for 10 years or more. It has done everything I asked and never gave me any headache. Now it’s time to consider lighter, stronger, more responsive rods with less weight, made out of newest materials. CTS, Century are just two of the companies that are being mentioned a lot these days.

Me, I am more than happy with my new Legend blanks. And I am thrilled with our Surf Guru’s Lou craftsmanship. And I love the St Croix warranty. It fits the way I fish, it makes my trips more pleasurable, it makes the whole experience more enjoyable. You should find a rod that does this for you, not blindly follow advice of net gurus who have invested significantly in their rods and now want to tell you that you should do the same.

It’s your life, live it, don’t follow it.

17 comments on “How big is your rod

  1. Brendan

    “They’re are like mono, sloppy but very forgiving. You want to throw a 7/8 Bomber. Doable. You want to throw 3.5 ounce Surface Cruiser? No Problem. You want to sling a 8 ounce rigged eels? Been there, done it and it works.”

    That’s the exact reason why it’s my next rod to wrap up! I’ll let somebody else test drive the CTS and Century sticks for a few years . . .

  2. Lou (Sgt Striper)

    I get asked the same question all the time! My answer is try a bunch of rods out and pick the one that YOU feel comfortable with! Lot’s of good stuff out there and I agree with you Z on the St Croix Legends. CTS and Century are also a great choice as are others but make it your choice!!

    “It’s your life, live it, don’t follow it.”

  3. CTMatt

    Perhaps I should point this directly towards “The Rod God” Lou but if people are grabing blanks for custom rods…who are factory rods designed exactly for? Sure one pair of pants fits a specific group of folks but what height/build/etc are most factory rods targetted for?

    Side note I love putting my 9 and 10 foot mojos through their paces…I have strongly considered selling the pair for a 10′ legend…but I really want to cast one first before I go down that route.

    My simple Tica 9′ UEHA 1/2-3 does a superb job for what I use it for as my “old girl” and I think having a 10 or 10-6 Legend would complete the circle lol…

  4. DZ

    Good points Z. A caster should not just consider a rod based on what they throw but combined with what they hope to catch. See many guys under gunned for the task at hand when they hook the bass of their dreams. The big 11 foot lami’s (GSB 1321M) have the well deserved reputation of putting big fish on the beach in snotty environments. I’ve always said “there is a fine line between you having the bass and the bass having their way with you”. A big stick may not be much fun to cast all night long but you’ll be glad you have it when the big girl tries to take you into her favorite boulder field. Put the odds in your favor and fish heavy.


  5. John

    I’ve used them both and for my money St. Croix, while good, can’t compare to Lami.
    Just my 2 cents.

  6. woodwker99

    I’d still like to know why the 2 piece rods? I myself have used 2 piece rods for years (and yes have had the line wrap the tip and take the upper half seaward. but unless the line snaps you always get a water filled half back.) I just have always been called a “googan” for not using a 1 piece rod. Just asking… Is there REALLY that big a difference?

  7. woodwker99

    P.S. I have a 34# landlocked notch on my belt taken on 15# bass gear on Lake Lanier, with a low profile baitcaster and 5 1/2′ rod. so bigger isn’t always better or needed to get a big one. But I can see where you could need one. (my best off the beach is a 40# on a 10′ 2 piece).

  8. rob

    the whole rod length thing is overrated nonsense, in both the short the long runs (pun intended). what matters most is the rod’s prime intended purpose and use venue, what line/weight/lures it’s realistically best rated at, and perhaps what size reel will fit/balance well. all the rest is silly rhetoric. let’s go fishin’.

  9. CTMatt

    People who trash 30/70 split 2 pieces clearly never tried one and are too stubborn to realize there is rod performance beyond one piece rods. I check my alignment every few dozen casts. Ain’t that hard to do. I agree the size of your rod has little to do with what you are catching. Structure/conditions over all.

    John you gotta try a mojo/legend. I stay away from Lami because I only hear about snaps around the larger guides and tough warranty claims. Heck even the older Doerr rods still hold their own today.

  10. Dave W.

    To each their own. 9 & 10’s fit me well. One rod will not fit all casters and all aplications.
    I never had a problem with 2 piece rods that I have and they are not high end blanks (Pac Bay). In the fall they see more action than my Lami’s
    I still like my GSB’s, they are tough as nails. Only ones I’ve broke are 1081L.

  11. TRisser

    It is not the size of your rod that counts. It is how you use it. Okay, I just had to say that, but in fishing rods that statement is accurate. Matching a persons physical stature and casting style to a blank, with the correct lure wieght, and fishing conditions is more critical than just total length. Often I downsize to my 9.5″ All Star with lighter but balanced plugs to outcast my Lami 132. The one piece two piece question is a little silly. If Lami and St. Croix can build 4 piece fly rods that withstand tarpons and shoot fly line 120′ they can build a 2 piece surf stick that casts a 3oz plug eaqual to a 1 piece rod. We are in the 21st century now.

  12. Chris A

    Factory rod our good and will do the job but they never fit me right. Which in return make me fatgue faster. Try casting that 100 doller rod in some wind then you will see a differants. We our fisherman not rod builders. Speak to one and yes you will catch more fish because you will be able to fish longer and in more sitiutions. This is my feel on rods. Lou spent as much time as I need to see which blanks felt good and listended to the type of fishing I do. The biggest problem with rods is haveing one rod that does all.
    How about a two peice rod that 2 or 3 differant tops for differant stiutions. But again I am not a rod builder just a fisherman.

  13. Mike

    I have purchased too many off the rack rods. It wasn’t till I had Lou modify a few of them for me that I got to really understand that my casting style and limitations have changed over the years. You can’t power cast all day/night like you did when you’re a young man. For me a lighter and slower action rod keeps me on the beach longer. Over the last couple of seasons Lou has built me a Lami one piece and a couple of CTX rods that fit me well.
    I would have saved a lot of money if I had met Lou earlier.

  14. John Martines

    Todays rods in 50/50 60/40 or 70/30 you really can’t tell the difference between them and 1pc. The whole 1pc is the best argument is mostly ignorance. The thing is.. If your so stuck on a one pc have your builder glue the new 2pc rod together! Done deal!! All your doing sticking with only 1pc rods is limiting your options and there are so many great blanks out there your missing out on.

    That said i’m not so sure i want to high stick a Century or CTS landing a fish on the rocks at Block or on the jetty in Jersey but the Lami GSB.. While i won’t condone high sticking the GSB can take a lot of shit!!


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