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Need Help with Bent-Butt Standup Rod

8215 Views 14 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  BretABaker
Now that I have filled the jigging rod gap in my tackle collection with an OTI 300 gram and (when it arrives), an OTI 600 gram, I think I have only one gap to fill, after which I hereby swear and affirm, I will never, ever, so long as I live, from the beginning of time until the end of the earth, again buy any offhore rod. :)

A long time ago, TJ told me he had such a rod on sale, and I replied I wasn't ready for a bent-butt rod yet. However, having seen what a yellowfin--even the small ones--can do to bend MY butt, and having talked to several people who have used one, I am reconsidering. I would appreciate folks checking out my reasoning on this and critiquing my thinking:

I have been thinking that I could take a short (say 4 1/2 to 5 foot) bent-butt rod, rated for 130 pound, plop my ATD50W with 130 pound JB hollow on it, at 50 -60 pounds of drag, put that sucker in the rod holder, so it describes about a 45 degree angle to the water, and either deep drop it or use it for chunking. Then, when a fish hits, I could push the lever to strike (or even to full) and just fish the rig in the rod-holder until such time as the fish takes off horizontal to the rail. Then, I could reduce the drag to a manageable amount and pick the rod up and put it in the belt to follow the fish down the rail. This would be, in effect, "using the rail" to the max.

Question 1: Can anyone find a flaw in this thinking?

Question 2: Am I correct in thinking that a very short, stiff rod like that, with a bent butt, would allow me to fish higher drag with less pain than say, my 6 foot 760H? (Keep in mind I am a bit older than Gman or MrBill or Gunsmoke and, although I am fairly strong for my age, I am not built like a tracked tank-retrieval vehicle.
Question 3: Any recommendations on such a rod? TJ, I think drifter (Louis) told me that you use a rig like that????? I have looked at a "Deep Drop" rod Melton sells--6 feet, and another 4 1/2 footer in their catalog, both for standup. I want to keep it in the 400-600 dollar range.


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1. Well, there are a few potential flaws here. A true unlimited (or 130) blank is absurdly stiff. If you want to use it both in and out of the rod holder, as you suggest, it will be tough to properly load the rod with drag you can handle (when out of the holder). Now, that said, fighting fish from the rod holder can work great. Swordfishermen and rod/reel commercial Bluefin fishermen both use the technique to great effect. A couple of years ago, there was an article in Big Game Fishing Journal describing the BFT guys' technique (I'll look it up for you when I get home). The downside is that you will need a shallow 90deg swivel pin rod holder for this to work, and frankly, not many rec boats around here set their holders up this way. When you say deep dropping, do you mean regular bottom fishing, or 400ft + deep drops? If you intend to do the latter, an electric reel is a much better tool than a conventional reel.

2. Technically, the shorter the rod and the MORE it bends, the easier it is on you. Basically, if it bends like a trevala and is all of 4.5ft long, the fulcrum point will be damn near at the foregrip, which minimizes the leverage the fish has. This does not come cost free of course. You now have a rod w/ no recovery and very little lifting power. If you want to get the appropriate trade off between the two, you'll need a custom rod builder to show you several blanks and configurations (along with your harness).

3. For fishing purely from a rod holder, any custom rod builder can cut down an xxxh tree stump blank and pop it in a UBSC2 for a reasonable price. However, if you plan to fish very heavy drags (30lbs+) while standing up, it pays to try as many rods as possible.

Cliff Notes Version: You're asking for a rod to do several wildly different things (how many times to you chunk for tuna w/ a leader that can handle 50lbs of drag?). If you succeed in getting something that can do all these things, you may find it does none of them well. The rod holder technique will also be limited by each boat's rodholder configuration.
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Uncle Russ,

I need to radically revise my response. I had no idea this was intended to be used on party boats.

IMO, you're asking for tangles, bent guide frames and maybe a broken rod trying to fish from a rod holder on the Big E. The folks I mentioned who fish from a rod holder are all on small (relatively) manuverable boats and focus their efforts on one fish at a time.

If you really want a stump puller and are tall enough to comfortably fish a bent butt over the rails of the Big E, I'd go w/ a narrow high drag reel like an Accurate 50 (not the wide you have) and a rod less than 5.5ft in length. I'd make sure and find a combo of rod, reel, plate and harness that together give you the most leverage. A wide plate like Smittys xxh and a good bucket harness will let you put the hammer to the fish and still have room to move around. To make the most out of this, though, I can't recommend enough that you have a custom rod maker knowledgable about stand up fit you to your gear.
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