Hey guys…this is Darin…the 310Rodworks guy. I don’t post here much so when I heard this thread was going on, I thought I better take a look.
There are a few things that need to be cleared up. I am not saying anyone was wrong here. I just think there are parts to this whole scenario that if discussed, others will benefit from. In this bluefin game, there are a lot of new innovative ideas. We’re all sorting it out. When it comes to issues like what we’re dealing with here, innovation doesn’t always equal better. I hope you agree. In nearly every case, railrods and trolling rods don’t mix. Not saying it can’t be done. I just believe that if you are starting with a fresh canvas and building a trolling rod from scratch, you would want the best possible blank for the application.
I don’t believe DerekDaKid was trying to directly discredit the advice I was giving him. Nor do I think he was directly calling me out. I think he was given advice from two people who he probably thought were going to be in lock step with one another…and they weren’t. In fact they were totally opposite! That would be confusing. I’m sorry for the confusion. What I always try to do for my customers is to ensure that when that custom, very expensive rod gets wet for the first time, it is exactly what it is intended to be. I ask a lot of questions. I want to know that the person handling the rod is going to be able to effectively use it.
Here’s the second thing. We discussed this build at length. He didn’t mention that he had already purchased the blank. He said he wanted to use the GPX Viper blank in a UniButt for trolling MadMacs for bluefin. In my head that meant he wants a 7’6” blank glued into a UniButt making the overall rod roughly 9’ long. Not only is the rod way too fast at 7’6” for trolling, but then you want it extended by almost another 2’? That would be an amazingly difficult rod to fish with. Forget the action of the blank for a minute. If the rod was 9’ long and the fish was coming to gaff…how would you stick the fish? Would the person on the rod have to go to mid-ship and angle the rod back to the stern to get the fish close enough to stick it? Now…add in the very fast (dare I say too fast) action of the blank where it literally is keeping the fish 7’6” away from the boat (in a UniButt, the butt of the blank is positioned above the reel), do you reach out to gaff the fish? Pretty dangerous.
Now this response is getting pretty long but I believe the BDOutdoors readers like to get the full story so please indulge me.
So here is the conundrum. DerekDaKid wants this rod built. I believe 100% that it is the wrong blank for what he wants to do. Even if it were to be cut down it wouldn’t be quite right. He still wants it built even though he would be chopping up an otherwise perfect railrod blank. There are other UC blanks that are better suited for less money than the GPX Viper. He was told by the owner of the company (Randy) and the creator of the blank that it would be a good choice. In talking with Randy about this, he said the customer never said he wanted a UniButt rod. Every online fisherman says the blank is the best thing to ever happen to fishing. And then I come along and say it would be a horrible choice. Most keyboard fishermen can’t tell you why…they just insist it is. Well, frankly that’s just not good enough for me.
I want you all to understand that Randy from UC and I are really really good friends. We have spent years together doing this stuff. My guess is that if we were given the whole scenario from the start, we would probably come up with the same advice nearly every time. When we’re given half the story and have to ask enough questions to get some of the other tidbits of info we’ll probably never come up with the same recommendation. That’s just how it is. In this case, my suggestion was based on the fact that the angler was going to be on a private boat trolling a giant plug a thousand feet behind the boat traveling 15mph trying to get 100lb+ tuna to bite while the rod is in a rod holder screwed into a fiberglass gunwale. A super fast action blank has the potential to tear that rod holder out of the boat when the plug gets tangled in floating kelp, let alone swallowed by a high-speed tuna missle! If you take some of the action/power out of the blank and make it more moderate, at least you begin to add a factor of shock absorption. That’s what you need in this situation. It has never been a question about the blank. It has always been whether it was the right one for the job.
I chose not to be involved with that build for the simple reason that it just isn’t right. I have actually watched bad things happen to people fishing the wrong gear. I hope that DerekDaKid will agree that we had discussed many of these points. Honestly we may not have discussed all of this but those were the opportunities for him to ask questions of me. As much as I want my business to be successful, I refuse to take someone’s money just because. Money that I know is being spent inappropriately. There are others who will simply build what they’re being TOLD to build. To them I say go for it. Make your money. For me it’s about the principle of it. But that’s not for everyone.