Monday, July 19, 2010


I was at a very cool sporting goods store in the Pacific Northwest recently, and they had some ultra small super ultra light spinning rods and reels for sale. I've got a couple of "micro" spinning reels already, with light rods to match, but these rods were only about 2' long, including the handle.

I've long seen the need for some short rods for Texas river and creek fishing. And even for farm pond and lake fishing. It seems like I always get access to some great fishing spots on the bank. Billy Ray and I have had many fishing camps on all kinds of waters. Many of the spots we get access (public or private) to have undergrowth and trees all around, making the use of long rods impractical and sometimes, impossible.

One of several good five foot long ultra light rods is often used in these circumstances, but particularly when I'm fishing in Hill Country rivers and creeks, I've thought that having a two or three foot fishing rod would be great.

Likewise, I've thought that having a three or four foot fly rod would be great.

Seems like if you could find the right length upper section of a ultra light rod that you could figure out a way to attack a spinning reel or fly casting handle to the bottom part of the rod, thus making a new rod out of the upper half of another rod.

The rods they had at the sporting goods store were not ice fishing rods, as sometimes are sold on ebay or the internets as "short or micro ultra light" fishing rods". Nor do I want a short rod with a reel the size of a half dollar. The rods at the store looked to be cheap asian imports with sloppy guide positioning and crappy parts.

I've got several rod tips that would make excellent short fly and spinning rods, or even casting rods. I'm gonna have to do some thinking about how to affix a grip of my choice to a much thinner blank in order to adapt some of the upper sections of 2 piece rods to a micro fishing rod, but seems like there would be a way. I know I can buy grips from a variety of sources, and I have several from old rods in my parts box right now.

The question is, how to make that much thinner upper rod section seat securely in a handle designed for a blank that is much thicker? I'd welcome any suggestions...

Years ago, K-Mart and Gibson's used to sell these three and four foot casting rods. They were cheap japanese stuff, made of fiberglass often with cheap guides. I actually have two of these left, and both are pretty good rods for the type of brushy undergrowth and overhanging trees that prohibit using even five foot long rods for most fishing. One is a medium heavy action and the other is an ultra light and both are casting rods.

I've used the K-Mart rod a lot in creek and river fishing. I used to spend quite a bit of time fishing on the Medina River both from the bank and from canoes, as well as in a lot of the clear and beautiful creeks that can be found all over that part of the Hill Country.

The K-Mart rod is a seventies green fiberglass number with a cheap handle. I didn't like the cork that was on it, so decades ago I covered it with a tennis rod grip wrap. When I've taken it out in canoes, I've taped a small three foot long rope to it that has a caribiner on the other end so that I could attach it to the canoe in case of a capsize, which has been known to occur.

I wish I had several of those rods like the one I got at K-Mart for like $2.99 in the seventies. It has a good action for fighting fish and the line stays within the contour of the rod if a decent size fish gets on, in other words, the line doesn't skew off the side of the rod between guides.

I plan to have some new guides put on this rod soon by Island Tackle down in Port A.

I have the top part of a seven foot ultra light spinning rod that I'd like to modify to have a cork handle with sliding reel rings on it.

I also have a Berkley Bounty Hunter 6 wt. fly rod whose upper section is about four and a half feet long. It would be a perfect rod for a 3 or 4 wt line with a good handle on the bottom of it. I've actually used the top part of this rod and some line from the reel to fish for small perch in a Hill Country river, under a huge cypress tree, using a 12 or 14 sized green rubber spider or Dave's Hopper to nail the multitude of fish lurking within roots of the cypress trees lining the banks.

For me and the kind of fishing I've done and plan to do, a three and a half to four foot rod would work best for me. But I could see having one really micro rod for those times when tiny bass, panfish or rainbow trout are available for the catching.

I've looked around and not many folks make short rods for freshwater fishing. I do have one four foot super ultra light fishing rod. It's a dandy, and needs a guide fix as well. I've looked around quite a bit and have yet to find anything with near the great action this rod has. It's an H&H 4 foot spinning rod and it rocks.

1 comment:

  1. Ice fishing rods between 24 - 30 inches in length, paired up with a reduced size fixed spool reel make absolutely brilliant UL spinning combo's for small and narrow bodies of water. I use a 24 inch ice fishing rod to spin for pike and perch on UK canals and on narrow bodies of water such as canals where accuracy of cast is very important, I find ice fishing rods just the job and they are also incredibly strong considering their size.