Part 2 – Putting the Right Bend in Your Rod!
Pelagic species love to dominate. Whether it be deep or on the surface, pelagic’s swim around the ocean like a pack of school yard bully’s harassing bait. Their persona doesn’t change when you have lent back into your rod and sunk a treble into the side of their gob either, instant domination.
Being a predator capable of electrifying speeds there is one thing that swings into the angler’s favour when battling these guys, ‘fatigue’. The fatigue factor varies from species to species, tuna tend not to fatigue as quickly as say Spanish mackerel. There are a lot of differing characteristics between the two.
Mackerel tend to hit and run. When I say run, I mean run! It’s not uncommon for a ‘Spaniard’ to rip 150m-200m of braid off your reel within seconds. But like a Cheetah, Spaniards are sublime over short distances but lack stamina. It’s a common trait that a mackerel will take three distinct runs and then succumb to the boat.
Whereas a tuna, although very quick won’t tend to tear as much line off you in such a short space of time. Tuna are built like a 44 gallon drum and shaped like a bullet, tuna are resilient to come to the boat right from the outset. A tuna will begin to do large circle work once fatigued, but it’s not over there. A tuna will have an angler arched over the gunnels of the boat in pain, back aching and arms throbbing fighting for every inch, till the death.
The key to a rod for chasing pelagics is one which compensates for the differing characteristics each pelagic have. In my opinion it must have a several characteristics which I’ll point out below:
- Length – Your new pelagic bashing stick must have length. Length is important, trust me, especially for sling shotting long casts, sometimes in excess of 50m in order to reach the school to prevent spooking the feeding school. I like to use a rod +7ft in length.
- Slow Taper – Ok before I start, I’ll briefly explain the difference between a slow and fast taper.
A fast tapered rod will remain straight the majority of the way through the blank from the butt. As the blank progresses towards the tip the bend quickly comes from approximately the last 3rd of the rod, some may describe it as a ‘flicky tip’.
A slow tapered rod is the opposite. The rod will slowly bend from the fore grip through to the tip of the blank.
Now that you have a basic understanding of both a fast and slow taper, when choosing a rod for pelagic’s I prefer a rod with a slow taper. When tangling with one of these brutes you need to be able to put as much hurt on them as you can. A slow tapered rods grunt comes from the first third of the rod. So the method to my madness is that the last two thirds of the rod is working to apply pressure and lift the hooked fish, giving you more leverage. Perfect for lifting fish that have stubbornly anchored themselves down deep.
- Light weight – if you addicted to speed and love chasing these animals all day, casting, cranking and battling with a heavy fibreglass rod isn’t ideal. Something light weight is far more ergonomic!
- Heavy/Extra Heavy Blank – This stuff isn’t child’s play, you’re now playing with the big boys. You need to ensure that the rod you choose is rated to cope with the weight of the lure you are throwing and at a minimum able to accommodate 20lb braid.
- Good looking – The rod must be good looking, let’s face it. If you putting all of your energy into entering the caldron with pelagics, when it comes to your 5 minutes of fame in front of the camera, it’s got to look good in a photo…. ha ha!
Daiwa have a vast range of rods which will suit your pelagic pursuits. Take away all of these important characteristics when considering your choice, match it to your budget and you’ll be swinging off the back of a pelagic in screaming ‘yeeeeha’ in no time.
Ben’s personal choice in rod is the Daiwa Generation Black ‘SUPERCASTA’ matched with a Daiwa TD Sol II 3000H