Rail Rods...which one?

Texlee

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Jun 3, 2012
891
315
Vernon, Texas, USA
Name
Alben Lee
Boat
Excel
Hi guys. Need help here. I'm gearing up to do an 8 or 10 day trip in 2014. I want a variety trip under my belt
before I do a 15 dayer...but I want to have the equip with me in case the boat runs into some cows on the
10 dayer. I already have the reels I need. One Penn 30 VSX and a 50 VSX. Dont even have line on them yet.
I have read a lot of posts here. Learning LR San Diego fishing. Yawl keep telling people to go and pull on
rail rods to see which one you like. I know what pull on means...I think. Bend it over some to see how stiff it
is. Right?? Shit, what am I actually feeling for? Seeker has the 1x3, 2x4, 3x5, and the 6463 series. Calstar
has the 770 and 765 series. You guys are a dam site more knowledgeable that I ever will be at SD LR fishing.
Please give me some pointers on what I need to look for. I am 53 years young. 5'11" tall. About 170#'s. Aint
got much lead in my ass. If anyone has the time, please write down the rail rods you have and why you chose
them.
Thanks guys. Tex
 

qtrracer

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Jan 17, 2010
436
37
Simi Valley, CA
Name
Paul
Boat
none
I have 2 Rail Dawgs, a United Composites Viper and a United Composites Invictus, both built by Bill Havens of SaltyDawg Custom Rods. I understand that UC is no longer making blanks(again) but Bill has his own line of Rail Rod blanks being built. I would most definitely get in touch with Bill to discuss your wants and needs. I love my RailDawgs
 
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Gil Marlin

World Peace? Visualize Using Your Turn Indicator
Nov 27, 2003
25,514
3,021
Laguna Percebu Baja Norte
Name
Scott
Boat
19.655' Aluminum
I have a used RailDawg I bought from Bill for a Puerto Vallarta trip last year, I don't really need it now and would sell it to you for what I paid Bill...
 

bbuck

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Dec 20, 2005
567
317
On the Water
Name
Buck
Boat
sunk
General consensus among rail guy's is a 7' rod with a real seat placed well forward of the butt end, heavy duty ring guides, double wrap cord grips or shrink tubing. The 6463xxxx is a great rod, I have 3 of them, but I fish the harness not the rail. The 2X4 is a great rail rod as well as the 770xx, or the xxx if you dare. I also have a 3x5 that I love, however I am the only one I know who likes that rod. The 3x5 is a very unforgiving rod and will put more pressure on a fish than you sometimes want. Definitely not a starter rod. As for pulling on a rod in the shop, forget it. When rail fishing the weight is supported by the rail, the pulling part is done buy the rod as it recoils against the pull of the fish, at least that portion of the rod that is extending past the rail.
 

Soda Pop

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Feb 12, 2011
2,589
3,679
Fresno, CA
Name
David Rouse
Boat
Long range fishing
Call SaltyDawg rods. Bill has made me some killer rail rods. IMO he is the best and can hook you up with the right rod. I have a 2X4,United Composites Viper and a United Composites Invictus and he just made me a Seeker 4X. The rail rods have the saltydawg rail grips for rail fishing and they work very good. Here is some of the fish caught on
SaltyDawg custom rods. I am the little sh*t on the left.

 

screamingreel

Long Range Fanatic
Jan 14, 2006
2,367
2,581
Hayward CA
longrangesportfishingsandiego.com
Name
Jeff Burroughs
Boat
Long Range and Private
Hello Alben,

There are many ways to slice a cat and catch tuna. Many options and opinions. I prefer the Calstar 7465 series; 7465H for 80-100 lbs line (small bait) and 7465XH for 100-130 lbs line (medium or large bait) depending on your preferences. 765XXXH for 150 lbs line or greater (kite or big bait) The Super Seeker 6463 series is good too if you prefer a slower action. I prefer rollers, but ringed guides work too. The length of the 6.5' rods with a gimbal and tip top ends up being almost 6' 8" so the rod is usable for the rail or the harness. Set them up with a 12" butt (plus Gimbal) and an 18" foregrip and you should be set to employ either method (rail or harness) as the situation dictates. If you can rent or borrow rods before you buy, it will really help you determine what works best for you!

There are many skilled rod builders out there; Randy Search, Jim Trelikes, etc... look on the rod building forum for referrals in your area.

Good luck and enjoy the process!!

- Jeff Burroughs
 

okie man

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Oct 24, 2006
3,869
633
new palestine indiana
Name
kerry way
Boat
18' javalin
I took a pair of calstar 770's,2x and 3x, plus one of bills rods. plan on getting one of bills blanks plus a calstar 775xxh or 2 when I go back. the 71/2 footer was nice for pitching baits when the birds weren't on us!
 

chef tom

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Sep 14, 2012
534
233
fresno ca. usa
Name
tom waggoner
Boat
none
I fish the 770xh and 770xxh uncut basically it is a 775 at 7.5ft. I feel the 770 XXXh is way over kill for west coast yft but that's just me!
 

jgs_sd

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Aug 6, 2007
241
0
Pt Loma
Name
John
Boat
Hobie Mirage 12'1"
For the reels you named the 770XH w/ vsx30. 100lb 770XXH w/ vsx50 130lb Would be a good match from calstar
 

feeder

I gaff sardines....
Jun 20, 2006
281
62
Too far inland
Name
Greg
Boat
Intrepid
All full length blanks....

Super Seeker 6463xxxxh with a 50 when they're biting rope and you just want to get the job done. Love the smooth recoil on this rod.
Super Seeker 2x4 and the 30 when you'll be spending a lot of time waiting at the rail, but you know you still have a gun in a gunfight. Perfect all day rod.
Super Seeker 3x5 and a 50W when you're on the kite and you want to bring a tank to a gunfight. It is unforgiving and punishes anything on the wrong end of the line. Definately not an all day rod.

Got them all, love them all.
 

Bill W

tunaholic
Jan 12, 2006
5,101
5,976
66
Chino Hills, Ca.
Name
Bill Walsh
Boat
Red Rooster
SS 6463 XXXXH for my kite rod and 200# main line, the blank is longer than the production rod. Just a little shorter than my other rail rods. Full confidence that this rod can bend and not break. I like to put 50# drag on it when my Accurate 80 is at full...

Phenix 700 4XH heavy bait, skippies and macks, 150# leader and a Accurate 50T (130# main line) My favorite stick to kill big fish quick...

770 XXXH with Makaira 50 130# main line and leader... Use night and grey light, sliding on porpoise schools, helium balloon exc... Durable... lifts big fish well...


Two 770 XXH with Makaira 20's 100# main and leader. Daytime sardine flyline...


775 XH with future Makaira 16 with 80-100 main line and 80# leader, touchy bite tuna...
 

Texlee

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Jun 3, 2012
891
315
Vernon, Texas, USA
Name
Alben Lee
Boat
Excel
Guys you got my head spinning like a bitch here. Ok. Here comes stupid questions.
It sounds like most of yawl buy the blanks and have the rod custom built. And having
anything custom built will cost more than store bought. Correct? I would rather not
invest in a custom rod at this time. If I have one built, I might not like it...and since
it was custom built, I would have a tougher time selling it as compared to a store bought
job. One of the websites out there on the west coast lists Calstar rail rods from $350-422; and Seekers rail rods from $468-486. I cant do a stand up, as i said, not enought lead in
my narrow ass. At those prices I could do 2 or 3 easy...and if I didn't like them, I would have and easier time, I think, selling them. So, you guys knowing this info, which store
bought rods would you recommend? I'm sorry I'm so stupid about this guys, but as I said
down here in Texas, your fishing is completely different than GOM. Thanks and have a good day.
 

qtrracer

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Jan 17, 2010
436
37
Simi Valley, CA
Name
Paul
Boat
none
With what you are saying I'd look into the Super Seeker's but I'd still call SaltyDawg before making that decison. You'll wish you had if you don't. Trust me on this.
 

Rodless_Jim

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Apr 3, 2008
2,798
1,975
Mexico, DF, Mexico
Name
Jim
Boat
Strictly a Rider
When I read this thread, I started counting, and then I started to feel a little sheepish...

My Rail Rods are as follows:

80-100# United Composites Viper (Makaira 16 SEa)
80-100# Super Seeker 2x4 (Makaira 20 SEa)
100-130# Grafighter 770XXH (Makaira 20 SEa)
130-150# United Composites Invictus (Avet Pro 30W)
130-150# Grafighter 770XXXH (Makaira 50)
130-150# Grafighter 770XXXH (Makaira 50)
200-300# Kite United Composites Gladiator (Accurate ATD 50W)

Now how did all THAT happen?

:rolleyes:
 

shajcl

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Oct 16, 2005
1,246
178
Alameda
Name
JL
Boat
n/a
When I read this thread, I started counting, and then I started to feel a little sheepish...

My Rail Rods are as follows:

80-100# United Composites Viper (Makaira 16 SEa)
80-100# Super Seeker 2x4 (Makaira 20 SEa)
100-130# Grafighter 770XXH (Makaira 20 SEa)
130-150# United Composites Invictus (Avet Pro 30W)
130-150# Grafighter 770XXXH (Makaira 50)
130-150# Grafighter 770XXXH (Makaira 50)
200-300# Kite United Composites Gladiator (Accurate ATD 50W)

Now how did all THAT happen?

:rolleyes:
Jim:

You will now need to change your handle to Rod-O-Plenty!
 

tpeach

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Feb 4, 2007
191
39
Stanley, NC
Name
Thad Peach
Boat
RR III
Guys you got my head spinning like a bitch here. Ok. Here comes stupid questions.
It sounds like most of yawl buy the blanks and have the rod custom built. And having
anything custom built will cost more than store bought. Correct? I would rather not
invest in a custom rod at this time. If I have one built, I might not like it...and since
it was custom built, I would have a tougher time selling it as compared to a store bought
job. One of the websites out there on the west coast lists Calstar rail rods from $350-422; and Seekers rail rods from $468-486. I cant do a stand up, as i said, not enought lead in
my narrow ass. At those prices I could do 2 or 3 easy...and if I didn't like them, I would have and easier time, I think, selling them. So, you guys knowing this info, which store
bought rods would you recommend? I'm sorry I'm so stupid about this guys, but as I said
down here in Texas, your fishing is completely different than GOM. Thanks and have a good day.
With that said you might look into a loaner rod from the boat and use your reels so you don't have the investment if you are planning on selling after you are using it. I would bet there would be plenty of gear onboard that you could get a feel for before making the investment of buying rods. Yes most railrods are custom there are some factory rail rods made. My favorite is my custom Super Seeker 6463 3xh for 100# and the 4xh for 130# I have the 2x4s which is to me a 80# to 100# stick and will bottom out on a cow with the drags I like to fish. I just don't seem to be able to move a fish like I can with the 6463 3x and I have had 52# of drag on that one a year ago playing around with the Okuma 30SEaII fighting with it in full drag strike at 34#s.. 1x3 is not a cow stick I fish wahoo with it. The 3x5 is a great kite rod for me. The Calstar 770xxh is a good match to the 2x4 to fish 100# on but I like the GF770xxxh better for 130. Just my 3 cents..(inflation)
 

reelconcerned

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Jun 12, 2011
437
82
Santa Rosa, CA
Name
Paul
Boat
n/a
the seeker rail boss, 80lb to what ever pound line weight is a good choice if your not looking for a custom rod, a bit more weight but your using the rail and alot less money...Paul
 

Steve K

Hey, I'm gettin' bit...
Jan 2, 2005
11,214
6,606
Bishop
Name
Steve
Boat
18' Bayrunner, but I like the American Angler and the Red Rooster III
Please, seriously consider using loaner gear from the boat for your "variety trip." If you find you're hooked after as you say, "foaming at the mouth to get on a LR boat" and decide to take that longer trip targeting bigger tuna, then consider getting started putting together your quiver of big guns.

Perhaps starting with a Seeker Rail Boss rod for 100 lb would be the way to go. I have three Super Seekers, 6463XXXH and XXXXH as well as a 2 X 4.
150 lb, 130 lb and 100 lb. I like the heavier side on the Calstar 770 series and like the XXXH rod for both 100 lb and 130 lb. I just like it because it has plenty of lift with a bigger fish. Had one hanging with the 770XXH and felt I could have used something a little stiffer. Rail for me. Pick a boat and a trip, time of year is everything for a 10 day.
 

shajcl

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Oct 16, 2005
1,246
178
Alameda
Name
JL
Boat
n/a
Bottom line is you will get used to what you have. All those rods mentioned are all good. They will all get the job done.
 

spinner

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Dec 2, 2007
919
490
irvine
Name
mikegooing
Boat
none
one variable to keep in ind is , how long of a top shot do you like to fish. the longer the topshot the heavier the rod tip and action without pulling the hook a or breaking off the fish. shorter topshots,flouro top shots, the 2x4 or all glass rods for more forgiveness. rough weather,short topshot, you need a lot of forgiveness in your rod with the ability to stil use the rail .goooooooing
 

Longshot_Scott

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Feb 25, 2013
441
16
Snohomish, WA, USA
Name
Scott
Boat
Intrepid
The only thing I'll add, as a new guy myself and rod wrapper, is that I'm spending a lot of time these days comparing my 6463XXXH, 6463XXXXH, 2x4, CalStar GF770XXH, GF770XXXH, GF700XH, Phenix PHD7004XH (2 of them) and even a Phenix PHD760XH (Wahoo rod only btw.) Here are my observations for what it's worth:

I was markedly surprised by how little difference there was in the action or recoil of a GF770XXH vs. a GF770XXXH. At times I had to check the label. Perhaps it was luck of the draw for me on these 2 specific blanks I have. But I'd have no problem at all (in fact I plan to) fish 130# with the GF770XXXH and not feel that I'm being overly aggressive on the line/reel... unless we were in really bad whether. In that case though I'd grab a Super Seeker 6463XXX or XXXXH instead of the CalStar 770XXH or XXXH anyway, as both of those 6463s to me feel more forgiving and have a smoother shut off point than even the XXH CalStar (much less the XXXH.)

It's just my 2 cents. And perhaps the factory wrap version cuts the raw blank for the GF770XXH and XXXH differently (tip one, back other, etc.) - or makes the factory guide wraps longer, or eyes larger, aka w/longer feet (both of which can effect the action of the rod.) But bare blank, full length, these 2 CalStar rods are very close to one another - at least the 2 I have are. Frankly I expected from what I'd heard that the XXXH would be a quite notably heavier action stick than it is. That's not a bad thing, I'm just saying their actions are not that different from one another from what I've seen; less difference in my book than say the SS6463XXXH vs. the SS6463XXXXH - both of which I like a great deal btw. Fair to state up front that the two 6463s that I and other mentioned don't seem to have the recoil that the CalStar 770s do, so you may be working a bit harder to gain ground on the fish, or at least may do so a bit slower, as the 6463s with lower recoil efficiency may be doing a little bit less of the work for you, but they are butter smooth on the flex and rebound and I'm very impressed by them.

My thought though, for the same reasons as fishing in bad weather or with straight flouro (no mono) topshots/leaders is this. If you, like me, are new to this game you may find that the less aggressive/slower action of the Super Seekers will make up for a bit of experience as far as being more forgiving. You may find you have a touch more time to react and correct mistakes during the fight. And in rough water with a lot of rise/fall, I think the Super Seekers would win my personal choice hands down. That being said I don't think you'd have quite the control of the fish you might with a CalStar, or even more aggressive, the Phenix PHD7004XH. Some food for thought anyway...

Or you can do as I did and pick up 1 of just about all the rods you're thinking of and then at the end of the trip just sell the ones you don't want. But that's pricey and unless you wrap your own will add up fast. Which is what got me into this rod wrapping addiction :)