Factory or Custom Seeker and Calstar Heavy Rods

Discussion in 'San Diego Long Range fishing Reports' started by Illkeepfishing, Nov 13, 2011.

  1. AnglersCenter

    AnglersCenter Advertiser Advertiser

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    Hello Mr. King,

    I have been building custom rods for over 35 years in Southern California, beginning as a young man for myself, then for Mike Gilmour at Anglers Tackle Box in Seal Beach, and for the past 29 years at Anglers Center in Newport Beach.

    Over that time period I have seen the quality of factory rods improve to a point that they are constructed better than some "custom" builders. I would not hesitate taking a factory Seeker or Calstar on your trip and tackling a cow tuna. Tuna fishing and tackle, have evolved from when resting the rod on the rail was taboo, to now, when the rail is your friend.

    Having custom rods built allow you to select components, modify grip lengths, modify blank lengths, and allow you to choose cosmetics. Modifying grips and blanks was more important before using the rail became popular. Quality rod builders, like Yo, took into account your occupation, size and physical condition when designing the proper stand up tuna rod. A man that is 6'2" and swings a hammer for a living would require a different rod than a 5'6" man that sits behind a desk all day.

    When selecting a rod builder you definitely want referrals from people who have FISHED their rods. There are plenty of guys that will build you a pretty looking fishing rod. When it comes down to it you want a rod that not only looks good, but will stay together and look good for years.

    How are the grips, reelseat and gimbal bonded to the blank?

    Were the guides wrapped on under the proper tension?

    What type of finish is used on the wrappings?

    In addition to the blank manufacturers warranty, what warranty is provided for the builders workmanship?

    Of course I would like you to purchase your rods from me, but there are some other good shops in California.

    Don't want to ramble on here, feel free to PM me with any questions.

    Dean Plant
    Anglers Center
     
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  2. ifish42na

    ifish42na No Bad Days

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    Nice to see you here Dean...
     
  3. Illkeepfishing

    Illkeepfishing Long Range Sportfishing Enthusiast

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    Mr. Plant,
    Thanks for your response. How best to contact you off this forum? Thanks. Charles.
     
  4. bad caster

    bad caster Newbie

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    I wrapped 6 or 7 Calstars over the years and to me the only advantage is having all your gear matching and looking just how you like. I buy only factory wrap now. When I change up a setup factory rods are easy to list and sell, nobody wants your custom rod.
    You want to spend all the money, go look at the Phenix Hybrid line. Full wrap graphite / Kevlar , thinner , lighter , higher grade reel seat and guides.
    If you have not checked them out you should take a look.
     
  5. Illkeepfishing

    Illkeepfishing Long Range Sportfishing Enthusiast

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    Thanks for the great information. I'm going to talk to some custom builders.

    But let me ask you this, because it will influence what kind of rod I want built. I'm not sure whether I want a rail rod or a belt rod. I'm 6'2", 200 lbs., 54 yers old, and in pretty good shape. I lift weights and ride a bike. I never measured the drag on my 50# Wahoo rig, but one of the deckhands on the RP, a big football playing young man, said that I had a lot of drag on, for whatever that's worth in the world of huge fish. My knees, however, are shot after years of basketball, running, etc. So I wonder if I want to spend an hour or more on my knees with the rod on the rail fighting a big fish. But I don't think I want to put on a harness either. It seems to me that it would be too slow to get in and out of the harness as I manueuver my way over and under other anglers. I guess I want a rod that does it all, if that's possible, sometimes on the rail, and sometimes standing up using my legs and body to lift.

    Kepp in mind that although I've been fishing since I was a kid, on party boats, on my own boats on Long Island, NY (before marriage and kids), and 3X on the Royal Polaris (on shorter summer trips), I've never caught a fish over 50 pounds. All of that to say, I have not yet developed a "style" for fighting big tuna.

    So, what should I tell the rod builder I'm looking for? Thanks again for your comments and advice. Charles.
     
  6. AnglersCenter

    AnglersCenter Advertiser Advertiser

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    Last edited: Nov 15, 2011
  7. dan1

    dan1 Well-Known "Member"

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    So true, custom rods are harder to sell because 1) the color scheme you thought was cool is not cool to someone else and 2) they have someone's else name on it.
     
  8. JohnTFT

    JohnTFT Insomniac

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    I think when fishing the rail shorter people have an advantage over taller.
    Taller individuals seem to be hunched over or on one knee while rail fishing especially in the stern. In the bow with the free board being higher and the rail much wider, height is less of an issue. I am short at 5'5". The rails on the Excel are perfect for me. I can stand straight up in the bow and just angle my body right or left in the stern and still can get a real nice bend in the rod with a slight bend in my knees.

    I dont know if there is a way to get a good rail/harness rod combination. Maybe build a Seeker CTSF60XX or XXXH series rod. At 6' it is a decent combination of both styles? I have used a 5'5" rod on the rail and not had any issues just feel the leverage is missing on the rail. The length of the rod and the foregrip placement on the rail rod can give you a big advantage in lift and continual pressure on the rod.

    You are coming from NY. Leave the harness home! Buy a couple of 2x4's and a 1x3 and save on shipping an extra box holding the harness. Just kidding!
    Good question curious to see what some of the other responses are.
     
  9. Sactotuna

    Sactotuna Well-Known "Member"

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    Perhaps you've never seen an experienced cow fisherman working in a harness?
    Over/under/back/forth never once taking the pressure off a fish because he's not dependent on the rail for leverage, it's a thing of beauty. Yes, it's something you have to learn, like golf, or tennis, or any real sport. But you can pick it up pretty fast.
    Tell your wife you want to take a couple ballroom dance lessons, really, that'll teach you how to move sideways up and down the rail.
    If you do need to get out of the harness and have bought one with hooks for the reel and not snaps (gosh I hate those) a couple minutes practice and you'll be out faster than you could ever get up off the deck. JMO

    Yes! Tell your rod builder, that's like being honest with your accountant, mandatory.
     
  10. The Right Kind

    The Right Kind Slave

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    Charles,
    The rods you have listed in your original post are all rail rods and factory made to use the rail with longer fore grips etc. I would recommend you get a factory made 2x4 for 100# and a Calstar 770xxxh for 130# both with ring guides (not roller) and call it good.
    Good luck
     
  11. Scold

    Scold Yes, that's my back.

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    Another person I'd look at is Jim Trelikes. He's on this forum as JTrelikes and is one of the most talented builders I have ever seen. He lives in socal, not sure what city though.
     
  12. OmanGT

    OmanGT Newbie

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    Capt Richie's wraps are awesome from the photos posted here...you may want to get a collaboration going with Saltydawg (to get the long range knowledge) and Capt Richie (to get your custom fit...go to his shop and size the grip lengths for your person)...there's plenty of good help on this forum. As your gonna travel all the way from NY having some custom built sticks will make the trip all that much better. You won't have to worry about traveling all that way with the wrong rods. Be cool to see these two awesome rods builders get together to build you some great rods.
     
  13. Pangamaster

    Pangamaster Cow Town Here I come!

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    I have Monty from M&M do all my rods. So far so good! I live in Northern California and he ships the rods up to me or leaves them at the office of the boat I am fishing on. Give him a call. Good clean, honest work. They just moved into a shop right across the street from the landings.

    http://www.mmrods.com/
     
  14. Iron Rod

    Iron Rod Im your Huckleberry!

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  15. ZZZZZ

    ZZZZZ natural born jig slingers

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    Never had a cow rod built for me. Must be cool. All loaners that have all worked just fine. But other rods while being measured and fitted. I move the reel seat up atleast 2 inches. Regardless of the builders suggestions for the reel seat.

    Salty dawg has pride in his workmanship.

    Surprised tft isn't building rods
     
  16. locvetter

    locvetter Well-Known "Member"

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    I was in your same position, not long ago. Making decisions as I gear up for a big trip for cows. I went with UC's, two Vipers and two Invictus. I am thrilled with the final product of Timmy Doyle in Temecula.
     
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  17. Squid Sammich

    Squid Sammich Well-Known "Member"

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    7 year old thread. Nice work to our archaeologist. Always interesting reading this type of throwback and comparing to the latest trends.
     
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  18. locvetter

    locvetter Well-Known "Member"

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    Maybe I belong back in the newbie category. I did not even notice the start date of the thread. That explains my confusion with Dean's beautiful post, before he was at The Longfin.

    Intriguingly, had I responded then to Illkeepfishing in 2011, when the thread started, it would have still to endorse the custom, but with exactly the blanks he is eyeing, as those were two of the rods I sold when i disarmed about three years ago.

    Fun to watch things evolve.
     
  19. JohnTFT

    JohnTFT Insomniac

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    There is one interesting aspect that goes unnoticed about Rail Rods and their development.

    The person who first designed a purpose built rail rod is still going at it strong and even more innovative.

    Randy Penny was at Seeker designing all of the heavy lumber at the time 1x3, 2x4, 3x5. Then came the Wahoodad longer different taper rods with the same lumber and some other nice ones like the 3x and 4x.

    Randy is now the mad scientist at United Composites. Pushing the limits of what is possible from a business stand point (always important) and what is physically possible in designing a blank.

    Randy has changed over the years as well. He is much more approachable now when it comes to trying something out of his comfort zone.

    The 76 Viper comes to mind. Stretching that rod 6" was what the market wanted and the new Randy got it done quickly and perfectly on the first shot.

    So the more things change the more they stay the same.

    In this instance its one person who is the same but what he is building is decidedly different.
     
  20. Squid Sammich

    Squid Sammich Well-Known "Member"

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    Great post Professor Wu, but I wouldn’t say Randy’s contributions and innovation have gone unnoticed... under appreciated maybe?

    We definitely owe him a lot.
     
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