Ive been reading and watching you tube rod building videos about the importance of a rods backbone. My rod is store bought. Im extremely happy with it. This post is a question about if I can get more distance on my cast with a custom rod. I need another 20 feet to reach the other side of the sand bar. I was thinking a 14 ft rod would do it but Ive googled them and they aren't really a USA product. Here is what I have: a 8 yr old daiwa saltiga ballistic surf 13'3" 3 piece 7 eyelet rod. cast wt is 2-10 oz with 5 oz the sweet spot. The ferruls are v flex, 17-40 line wt, and 28.5 to the center of the reel seat. So can a custom rod get me the distance if I stayed with this rod length or even possibly a 12' custom. Thanks for the input and if the answer is yes about the custom rod could you guestamate a ballpark price. Thank you for your expertise and time.
First things first there is no substitute form good form. I was maxed out at 80 yards with my Ocean Master rod (12'). My biggest problem was the reel seat was wrong for me. With where it was i could never do any better because i could never get my form correct. I cut the reel seat off wrapped the butt with para cord and clamped my reel on it. Took it out and started casting and moving reel placement until i found what worked for me (32' to center of reel seat). Once it felt right i worked on form and was getting out to 100 yards. Had a rod geeks built for me and i gained another 25 yards. I still have work to do on my cast but it's improving. From my experience a custom gives you a rod built to what allows you to get in the proper form, lighter so you can generate more speed on the casting, and allows you to load the rod properly. With everything being equal i can throw my custom farther than my factory. Price for a custom will vary depending on blank, components, design and builder. I have a rod geeks xh 13' 8 to 20 oz. Most of the customs i see start around $500.
A high dollar rod makes no difference unless your technique deserves a high dollar rod.
A high dollar rod is usually expensive for a reason, better materials, more expensive manufacturing and in some cases extensive input on design.
A high dollar rod is like a high maintenance woman, if you can afford one. Why not drive a Porsche instead of a Yugo. I remember giving serious cash money to high dollar strippers even though I could not really afford them either. Spent all my rod money in my Younger Days on Trixie and Delilah and Honey rather than Daiwa or Century or Fenwick.
Not sure if the Saltiga Ballistic mentioned by original poster is a 30 a 35 or a 40 as I do not have this rod. It is a decent rod. If the rod seems to be collapsing under the cast, nip off a couple inches and it will stiffen up.
RedHead prefers the Saltiga ballistic 40 over a CTS 1305 for Drum Fishing, CTS is about $150 more with similar guides and a not too elaborate butt wrap. If you put your ballistic in the hands of an experienced surf caster the rod will do its part. First time I saw a Ballistic was on Little Island Pier in 2007 and Lumm was flat out bombing it out there. This was before CTS became the preferred clone of the 1509. but the Ballistic certainly was not too far behind the All Star 1509 the standard Drum rod of that time period
I personally would move the reel seat to 31" Center of Real Seat any less and you are reducing your leverage with 4" shorter fulcrum point. A lot of factory rods were designed for midgets or for Spinning reels in the short reel seats they leave the factory with.
The reel is just as important as the rod for getting distance, if you have a crap rod or a crap reel the results will be the same.
if you looked at the reels of the top 10 DrumPro's they are either Seiglers or Penn Fathoms and one SLOSH20 and one uses old 700 series Calcuttas by Shimano. The Seigler is $400 and the Penn Fathom is $160. Is the Seigler three times as good as the Fathom, short answer is no, but it is better for distance if it is tuned. One young DrumPro who I was speaking with just yesterday fishes exclusively with Seiglers, he has never bought one, he has won every one of them in a Drum Tournament. Now this young man can outcast me and normally I would get perturbed (by being outfished and outcast) but this young man is not arrogant or egotistical unlike some of the DrumPros of today and yesterday. Hopefully this young man will win a new set of waders in his next tournament as it was probably (Definitely) chilly yesterday in the rain at the secret spot on the OBX
DrumPro's are by and large mentally challenged in a lot of ways, who else would fish all night to catch a fish they have to turn loose and not eat, but if a reel comes along that will get them a guaranteed 20 feet further, they will find a way to pay for it. Mostly the DrumPros do it the old fashioned way they earn it by toil and practice and being out there night after night, day after day.
Point being made is up to a certain level you can get a short cut to distance just by spending $700-$1300 on a Drum rod.
Come to think of it I need a couple new $$$$ sticks
The conversation extends beyond the rod. For me, basic reel tuning added 20+ yards to my cast (look up John Holden's e-book "CT Reel Tuning"), switching to low-reel positioning for heavier weights like 8oz. added another 20 yards. And technique, as Adam said, is the biggest thing. If you're casting 175 yards with bait into the surf, getting another few yards will be tough with the same equipment. If you're casting more like 80 yards into the surf with bait, forget a new rod, watch some casting videos, find a field, and spend about 3 hours a week for two weeks practicing. 20 more feet should come pretty quickly.
Of course all this is assuming you haven't tried any of this yet.
Buying a new set of golf clubs makes no sense if you swing like Charles Barkley. You should consider coming to the Zziplex Open Casting Tournament in Dec. to try many different types of rods but more important to have someone look at your cast. No charge to come, look, ask questions, see and cast different rods and get free lunch.