Any experience with United Composites Sidewinder Popping blanks?

Discussion in 'Rod Building' started by Floral Labs, Jul 5, 2017.

  1. Floral Labs

    Floral Labs New Member

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    I ran across a great deal on UC Sidewinder blanks so I ordered one of each of the ones below:

    SW 710L-2J, 7’10”, FAST Action, PE 2-4, 2 piece, 40g-120g lure wt, 12lb drag
    SW 710M-2J 7’10” FAST Action, PE 3-5, 2 piece, 60g-150g lure wt., 17lb drag

    These will be built up as spinners ( Cabo 80 & Saragosa 10K) for targeting inshore Panamanian species (Rooster, Cubera, Jack, Small tuna, Grouper, Snapper etc) casting light to medium surface lures (small 40 g Skitter Pops up to 100g+ poppers).

    I'm just curious if anyone has experience with these blanks and how they fish? Most of the posts around the 'net were in praise of the UC blanks in general, but I really didn't come across many user experiences with the Sidewinder series.

    TIA - Bob
     
  2. slowpicth

    slowpicth Active Member

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  3. Floral Labs

    Floral Labs New Member

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    I had some concerns about their action when I couldn't find many reviews on them compared to other company's popping rods. I'll post my findings when I get the 710L built up and can do some test casting with the spec'd range of lures. Worst case, I'll have a couple of back up rods or loner rods if these aren't to my liking.
     
    Kim likes this.
  4. slowpicth

    slowpicth Active Member

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    Or use then for live bait
     
  5. Floral Labs

    Floral Labs New Member

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    Great point. Also, I'll be doing some kayak fishing so they may end up rigged as slow trolling rods using some lipped lures. Luckily, I won't be out much money if they don't perform well for surface popping.
     
  6. RevPDP

    RevPDP Active Member

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    In for the review of the 710L. :)
     
  7. Floral Labs

    Floral Labs New Member

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    I received the 2 piece Sidewinder blanks today. I'm not really impressed. It appears they cut off the butt end (I'm assuming) & reverse the butt (so the taper narrows toward the bottom) and then sand the top rod section to create the male ferrule to mate into the reversed butt. The 710L ferrule is loose when seated, so it wouldn't hold (IMO) for more than a couple of casts before separating. The 710M is super stiff and I bought it in case the 710L was too light. That's certainly not the case, so I'll be taking them back for a refund. No sense in spending the man hours to build these up when there are probably better quality options, IMO, for my needs.

    A reference for any future searches (710L = ~ 8.8 oz & 701M = ~9.5 oz) kind of heavy when compared to "supposedly" similar class blanks like BH Magic Eye 804S (6.5 oz) & the JW Ghost Hunter 100 or 150's (5.4/6.2 oz)
     
  8. John Cassius

    John Cassius Member

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    Yep. I agree , I had the same issue with the handle part been upside down with those UC sidewinder .
    Btw , the BH Magic Eye is a totally different rod compared to the JW Ghost Hunter .
     
  9. Floral Labs

    Floral Labs New Member

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    Thanks for input John. Can you elaborate a little more on the differences of the Magic Eye & the Ghost Hunter? I have a BH Magic Eye 804S blank that I'll be building up, along with a a BH Challenger Bank 76MH, so I have those as comparisons. I've never held a Ghost Hunter so your insight would be great. The GH 100 would be my 1st pick given the lure ratings for my application for another reasonably priced blank to try.
     
  10. 1fish2fish

    1fish2fish Junior member

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    I'm in the process of building a 710L. My goal was a light overall setup. I've got the grips and reel seat glued and the guides taped. This is my first build since making some fly rods about 20 years ago. I'm hoping to do some test casting and static load testing today. In advance I want to thank all the members of this forum. I've spent hours reading various posts, especially related to guide spacing and rod stresses. I'll start a new post for the details of the build and testing.
     
  11. 1fish2fish

    1fish2fish Junior member

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    Did load testing on the 710 L. Seems pretty stiff. See details on the other Sidewinder thread.
     
  12. cchris

    cchris Senior Member

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    Should be stiff, they were specifically designed as popping rods. Was talking to another member in 2013-2014 who participated in developing the blanks. I believe for a short while they were also used by spinal rods to built popping rods
     
  13. paul708

    paul708 Site Sponsor

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    I use them, they are nice they have the GT. Stiffness, good power and cast really good, we have been using them since they came out...
     
  14. 1fish2fish

    1fish2fish Junior member

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    By stiff, I meant the stiffness under a heavy load, not just the tip stiffness.
     
  15. John Cassius

    John Cassius Member

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    it's a GT popping blank or feels that way , stiff overall.
     
  16. blig

    blig Member

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    has a different stiff feel to it than most blanks
     
  17. flea

    flea Junior member

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    I wish i seen this post before...I cant chime in on the XL, L, and M but I own 3 UC Sidewinder Blanks(H, XH, and XXH) and built a handful more. Just want to add some info for anyone down the road. These are true GT popping rods. Really really stiff for working very large poppers with ease and almost too much power for stopping very large fish at 30lb+ drag. The tapers are consistent throughout the models, just scaled casting weights and drag ratings. If youre looking for something light and easy on the back, these are not for you. Im lazy to write any more. If someone needs more info, PM me! haha
     
    semipro likes this.