Hop To It
Mar 3rd, 2016 by OutdoorsFIRST
Modified Mar 3rd, 2016 at 12:00 AM
Hop To It
Long rods fuel hole-hopping efficiency
European anglers have long influenced North American ice fishing tactics, but the latest trend toward using long rods for high-efficiency hole hopping started right here in the New World.
While our friends across the big pond may favor pint-sized rods you can practically hide in your pocket, American anglers are discovering that it pays to walk softly and carry a big stick.
Whenever fish scatter, whether roaming a basin or pushing into shallow weeds, you simply have to keep moving; and this is exactly where a 37- to 42-inch ice rod can help you catch more fish.
Long rods have multiple benefits. Just the fact you don’t have to take a knee at every hole is a godsend. The extra length lets you stand and fish comfortably, while minimizing the distance between your rodtip and the hole. In turn, this keeps the wind from catching the line and throwing a bow in it, which reduces sensitivity. By keeping a taut line, you feel more strikes and put more fish on ice.
You also pick up more line when you raise the tip, which helps drive the hook deeper than you would with a short rod.
You don’t have to sacrifice line size, either. Because a long rod spreads stress across a longer blank, you can actually use lighter line. For example, 2-pound-test fishes extremely well on a three-foot rod.
When choosing rods, I look for options like 13 Fishing’s Tickle Stick and Widow Maker, which combine a stiff, sensitive blank with a flexible tip. Ideally, when you dance the jig, only the tip should move, not the entire blank. This keeps your line in contact with the guides, increasing sensitivity.
Matching jig weight to the rod is also important, so always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations on the blank.
Ideally, when the lure is hangs from the rod, the tip will be slightly engaged but not fully bent. If you can’t feel your jig or the tip is too loaded up, try a different rod or switch jigs to maximize your sensitivity and make the most of long-rod technology. To check out the latest of what 13 Fishing has to offer, check them out HERE.
Based in Walker, Minnesota, noted fishing authority and outdoor communicator Chip Leer operates Fishing the WildSide, which offers a full suite of promotional, product development and consultation services. For more information, call (218) 547-4714 For media requests or transcripts, please contact us HERE.