Kayak Rods – por Dave Pickering


Key to a good kayak rod…..a short handle, 7 feet
in length and some backbone to the rod to fight 
the fish.
At a recent seminar that I did in Boxboro, MA, I was asked a question about kayak rods, and what I use from my yak when fishing for stripers. I can tell you that no one makes a specific kayaking rod for saltwater.  St. Croix has one for freshwater, and I guess it could be used for light saltwater applications.

Think about this.  When fishing from a kayak, you are sitting in a seat while casting, reeling and fighting a fish while the rod’s butt end rests on your stomach. The key here is that the butt of the rod can not be very long otherwise the set-up feels awkward with the reel up in your face.  In fact, I would say that distance from the butt cap to the reel seat should be from 12 to no more than 17 inches long.  The handle on most surf rods are too long and even most boat rod handles tend to be long. I also like to use a rod that is stiff that has a medium to heavy action when fishing from the kayak. These rods, ideally are from 7 to 7 1/2 feet.  For my Old Town PDL 10 1/2 foot kayak, a 7 foot rod is ideal.  Like any other type of fishing, you will need to carry different rods depending on the type of fishing you are doing. Below is my line-up of rods that I use:

Light Applications- schoolies, slots, small blues- St Croix Triumph, 7 foot, medium heavy matched with a Daiwa BG 3000 and 20 lb. test braid.  This rod is great for trolling or casting light plugs and jigs.

Light to medium applications- schoolies, slots, blues- St. Croix Triumph (older version), medium matched with Daiwa BG 4000 and 30 lb. test braid.  This is the outfit I use mainly for plugging for blues and stripers. The 30 lb. line gives me a little more beef.

Heavy- St. Croix Mojo Salt 7 foot medium matched with Daiwa BG 5000 and 50 lb. test braid. This is new this year and I plan to use this for big stripers and big blues. I can snag menhaden with this outfit and I can use big plugs. The rod has a lot of backbone to deal with big fish. 

Heavy- Homemade 7 1/2 foot fiberglass boat rod matched with Daiwa BG 5000. I used this last year for heavy applications and it worked well live lining menhaden. It also worked well for casting big plugs and jigs. I landed many over slot stripers up to 45 inches with this outfit and blues up to 15 lbs. last year.

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