Hello I just stumbled onto this board a couple of days ago. This seemed like to perfect place to help me sort out my dilemma. Thanks for having me. I am planning a trip down to Venice, LA on June 9th. I am looking for a rod to throw poppers to blackfin maybe yellowfin. I am probably going to fish 50-60 pound test and either will put a saltist or a LX-2sp or a Hoo-x. Mostly depending on my budget. I have a 40/2 with a 80lb. roller rod. I am very pleased with it and love the two speed. I caught a hundred pound yellowfin last summer in about 20 mins. But it is way to heavy for 80% of my saltwater fishing. I want to lighten up, and have an all around rig. I need a rig I can go snapper / grouper fishing with and have fun on 10-15 pound fish. Plus put a 60 pound yellow in the boat if I can get one to grab the popper. I don't mind a little abuse; I only get the opportunity a few hours a year and sort of enjoy it. I also want a rod that will cast a 2-3oz popper well. I fish in hatteras, NC and surf cast with a 12'-6" rod and 8oz sinker plus bait. I really enjoy loading a rod. But I don't have allot of money to spend. I am 26 putting myself though college and about to graduate in three weeks. The good thing is I also build rods. The bad thing is that I have allot of different options in mind, but I live in atlanta and have no real access to pull on saltwater blanks or rods. A bass pro shops is close though. Will someone take the time to guide me through these blanks. 1) A calstar graphiter 700h for about $88 bucks is about the most I am willing to spend on a blank. gf700m is about $85. That means the rod will probably cost me about $150-160. 2) Rainshadow makes a 700m knock-off that is $63 and weights about 10ozs. RCLB70M Clear Gloss 7'0" 1 20-50 LB n/a 0.910 7.5 Extra-Fast Medium 10.01 oz. $63.26 I could make the rod for about $130. 3) Most people say the 700m is a 30-40 pound rod, Rainshadow also makes a 800m knockoff. What do you think would happen if I got the RCLB80M - 8'rod and trimmed about 3" off the tip and about 5" off the butt. That would leave me with a 7'4” blank, which could be light enough to cast a lure a mile but still have the backbone to turn fish? Or would this rod snap with 20-25 pounds of drag? 4) Budget options - I still might re-wrap it bumper spiral style. Offshore Angler® Offshore Extreme™ Freestyle Jigging Trigger Rods $99.99 38-154-456-00 //30-80 LBS // 2-1/2-7 OZ 6'6" M OE66MT $99.99 38-154-458-00 //50-100 LBS // 5-8-1/2 OZ 6'6" MH OE66MHT Has anyone pulled on these rods? http://www.basspro.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product_10151_-1_10001_89460_151002003_151000000_151002000_151-2-3 5) Or just pick up a Ugly stick custom for 75 bucks and and see if I can bust it. I appreciate any opinions. Thanks everyone.