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Brandon Khoo

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I though it might be useful explaining what a stickbait rod is seeing there seem to have been a number of posts asking around this topic which would indicate there isn't a good understanding of exactly what a stickbait rod is and when you need such a rod. Please note I am only referring to fishing for GTs. I hope the below will be useful.

What is a stickbait rod?
A stickbait rod is a rod that has been designed specifically for surface stickbaits. They are designed with a soft tip so that they more impart action on a surface stickbait. The stickbait rod in GT fishing was conceptualised by Kenji Konishi at Carpenter it its famous Blue Lagoon range of rods. The tip of a stickbait rod is designed to be matched to a weight range of lures. An example of this is that a Blue Lagoon 711/35 is best matched with stickbaits in the 120-160 weight range. At this weight range, the tip will fold slightly to impart maximum action on the stickbait. If the tip is too firm for the lure, it will not maximise its action and if it is too heavy, it will over-saturate the tip.

Do I need a stickbait rod and if so, when?
The reality is that a stickbait rod is not a necessity. There seems to be a prevailing view that a stickbait rod is a must have. That is a fallacy and is simply not the case. There is no doubt that a good stickbait rod will enhance the action of a surface stickbait in the right hands but a competent stickbait angler will work a stickbait adequately with a broomstick of a popper rod. The other issue to note is that there are actually very few lures whose action will be enhanced by a stickbait rod. Only surface sliders benefit noticeably from this. Good surface sliders include the Carpenter Gamma, Hammerhead Assymetry and Sevenseas Valkyrja. There are a lot of stickbaits in the market today that have a sub-surface type of action that simpy derive no benefit from bring used on a stickbait rod. Certainly, you don't need a stickbait rod for sinking stickbaits. The one real benefit of stickbait rods for most anglers is their softer actions make them very pleasing to use.

What stickbait rods are available on the market?
Again, this is an area which is poorly understood and has become even more confused today with the number of multi-purpose rods on the market. I personally believe that only the Blue Lagoon range from Carpenter and the  Ultimo range from Ripple Fisher are specialist stickbait rods. There are a host of other rods that are suitable but they are multi-purpose rods. This includes the Coral Viper and Endless Passion range from Carpenter. In the past, I have heard rods like the Reversal from Ripple Fisher and the Monster Hunter referred to as being suitable for stickbaits. As I wrote above, you can use any rod at the end of the day for stickbaits.

How do I pick a stickbait rod?
The primary consideration comes down to the weight of the lures you want to fish and the weight of line you want to use. My personal armoury comprises of Blue Lagoons but I have used the Ultimos and would have no hesitation in recommending them.

Chris Dennis

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My 'stickbait' rod is an Endless Passion 85/36. I've used it with a 125 Cubera but it's not ideal for this. My allrounder is a Ripple 82 Longcast - ok with stickbaits and will comfortably handle poppers up to 150g.

Brandon Khoo

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Both the EP85 and 82LC do a pretty good job on surface stickbaits. You won't go too far wrong with either of these.
If it swims; I want to catch it!

Cedric Yuen

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I am also contemplating getting either EP85 or 82LC.
But I am unsure what are their ideal popper weight and stickbait weight for both the rods?
Appreciate your advice. Thx

Brandon Khoo

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For the EP85, I'd suggest stickbaits around 140 and poppers in the 120g range. For the 82LC, I'd suggest poppers around 130g and stickbaits around 150g. They will both work heavier weights but would be outside what I think would be ideal. I know Chris suggested poppers up to 150g for the 82LC but I found that was a little outside ideal for me
If it swims; I want to catch it!

Chris Dennis

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I'd say the 82LC is more of an all rounder. I'd rather use a 150g popper with the LC than a 125g one on the EP if that makes any sense. I've got the old model LC not the new nano version. I'm using Cuberas and Craftbait Gt3 (and a 130g Jai Bighead if its choppy).
I'm in the Andamans again next week so i'm planning to make a concerted effort with the EP and surface stickbaits this time (Strategic Angler Walking, MB Customs Slider 130g, BCS Wavewalker and eventually a 140 Gamma........). Hopefully I will get a few on it ☺

Huzaini Hussain

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Hi Guys, I am looking to get a rod to work surface stickbaits decently. Are there any offerings from Fisherman in the same class of RF Ultimo series or Carpenter's Blue Lagoons? I have browsed Fisherman's catalog and the closest rods i found are the Big Game series which are designed for popping and therefore they may be probably be too stiff to work surface stickbaits. I really do not mind the Ultimos and Blue Lagoons but the opportunity to customize your own rod is why I am checking Fisherman first.   :)

Frank Henri

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Thank you Mr Brandon KHOO for this report style Stickbait rods!

On my side I think I order TBL 80/35 I have some Gamma, Maihime and Blue Fish to swim!