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What spinning rod would you choose for S. Florida backup/ fun fishing?

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Discussion Starter #1
Good morning MicroSkiff.com

Long story short I have a credit from a broken rod with St Croix and I'd like to use it to purchase a new travel Spinning rod that I can bring with me on a plane to the Keys for a week at the end of February to fish from shore for Snapper and anything else I might find from shore or the bridges. I'd also be bringing it back with me the last two weeks of April when I'll be driving down with my MicroSkiff in tow to focus on fishing, It would be a backup to my fly gear but obviously pending conditions could end up being essential.

I'd like a travel length rod (All rods I listed are available as 3 Piece) I can use for Flat's fishing, Bonefish, Permit, Redfish, Trout, Cuda's and maybe Tarpon, that is still acceptable to catch dinner off a dock or bridge when I fly somewhere. This rod could also be used for Striped Bass up north as well. Sounds like a tall order I guess but if you had to pick one Length/ Action which would you choose and why? Also feel free to chime in about reels I was thinking a Quantum Cabo PT 40 and what weight and line type? I appreciate an explanation as to why

I don't have a whole lot of Salt experience so I truly appreciate anyone who takes the time to help me out. I created a Poll with the rods I was considering and allowed 3 votes if you happen to think 1 isn't enough. TY in advance.
 

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Rover, I see you needing at least 2 and most probably 3 different rods to cover those fish. for two rods I would go with 7' ml 3pc tide master rod (bonefish, redfish, trout, and sm permit) & 7'6" H 3pc tide master rod (large permit and Tarpon) and I would put Diawa Back Bay reels on them. 3000 on the ml and 4000 on the H.
 

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So tidemaster over the CRAZY expensive Legend Trek? $160 price difference between the two, only reason i was even considering the Legend was the 15yr replacement vs 5... and for what it’s wirth i agree. Two rods is better. Though i have plenty of light and med light rods, they just don’t pack for easy airline travel... thanks for the great replies so far.
 

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I have a St. Croix Tidemaster TIS70MF3 (3 Piece Travel Rod) and a Temple Fork Outfitters (TFO) 3 piece travel rod. The line weight for both is 8# to 17#; the St. Croix is a med/fast; the TFO is med-heavy/med/fast. I like the St. Croix rod the best, although they are both really nice travel rods.
 

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I've spent years trying to find the perfect travel rods as they are so much easier to carry when on the go. The problem is my preference for finesse fishing. Because of the added stiffness of the extra ferrules, many feel like broomsticks. That includes private label models like Cabelas/BPS, LL Bean and even TFO and Okuma. I've tried them all. I would love to own a set of Legend Trek, as those blanks are very similar to the discontinued Legend Inshore that I own. But since I'm not traveling as much these days, I can't quite justify the cost for rods that would spend most of the time in my office closet.

The G. Loomis Escape rods are nice, but I still liked the action of the Tidemasters better. But again, the heavier the rating the stiffer the action on those.

For your upcoming trip I would probably go with the 7' Medium Light rated for 8-14. With braid, it would handle most anything on your list, including juvenile tarpon. If you wanted a little more leeway, bump up to the Medium 7' rated 8-17. It won't be quite as nimble tossing lighter jigs but you'll have the backbone if you do hook a bigger fish.

As far as reels, the Shimano Stradic FK or Ultegra would be a good match. 3000 class if you go with the ML, 4000 if you opt for the medium action. Spool with 12- or 15-pound Power Pro Super 8 Slick in aqua green and you'll be set. You could also add a spare spool and load it with 12-pound mono if you are specifically targeting spooky bonefish and permit on the shallow flats.

By the way, if you or others have a St. Croix 7'6" Legend Inshore one-piece ML spinner collecting dust, I'd be more than happy to take it off your hands. ;)
 

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If I were you, I would go with 2 rods. One on the light end and one on the heavier. I have both the Tidemaster travel and Triumph travel, both are nice. I believe that the Triumph is a med rated up to 12#. That weight will work well for the smaller fish. My Tidemaster is up to 17#, would work well for the cuda and small tarpon. That rod casts as a stiffer weight rod.

I prefer 7 foot for travel rods as that makes the sections smaller and easier to use as carry on baggage.
 

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A 7' Medium is the best choice for the majority of S. FL flats from a boat. A 7'6 ML or M works well for bones on a wide open flat but is not as versatile casting around mangroves. A 7+ MH or Heavy is better for tarpon.

Cabo PTSE 40 reels, and I have 2 of them, are better matched to 7 Heavy rod or at least a Medium-Heavy rod. For a Medium action rod, you're better off something like a Stradic 3000 or Daiwa 2500.

I like the Legends but since you only want one rod and want to go with the Cabo reel... go with the Tidemaster 7' MH travel rod (TIC70MHF3). Too bad they don't make an Avid travel rod
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Ok, if anyone is/ was following along my broken Avid arrived in WI and I was called and asked what I’d like to do for a replacement.

While there was no overwhelming majority in my Poll, I did go with the number one choice a 7’ Medium 3 piece travel rod. I chose the St Croix Legend Trek Inshore. :)

So here’s the reasoning... 1st off you guys, thanks to everyone who voted and responded.

Second one of my very long time friends is a Fishing Dept Manager at Bass Pro, and while he lives back up North now he was in Mississippi and than Florida for quite a number of years and respect his opinion that “the Legend is MUCH nicer than the Tidemaster” to be honest it’s just his opinion and I personally have never seen either one.

Finally and really the biggest reason I went with the Legend is another 15 year Warranty. I know a lot of people have mixed feelings about the warranty Croix offers but personally I couldn’t be happier. My previous 7’ Med Avid was 13 years old (according to the date codes, to be honest I thought I had it longer). It was quite literally run over by a 4 wheeler and crushed/ rendered completely usesless.

Croix gave my $190 credit minus the $85 Gold Star program fee, so $105 credit. $105 for a 13 year old rod that was absolutely destroyed. To me that’s a pretty good deal.

The Legend cost me an additional $295 delivered. A lot? Sure but as I’m almost 40 years old now this rod should get me almost to retirement. Not bad In my opinion.

The service I received was also TOP NOTCH, I spoke with Dan and he went out of his way to help me and answer all my questions. He also called me back after almost an hour to ensure the new rod would be finished and shipped with 100% certainty before my Feb trip to the Keys. (They’re literally being built right now).

Long story short St Croix treated me right and I gave them yet another $300 to say thank you....

I plan on pairing this rod with a Diawa Saltist 3000 and Sufix 20lb 832 braid, according to my buddy that should handle virtually anything inshore....

Keep in mind I have ML, MH, and even Heavy Rods that I use when not flying. This rod is strictly to Fly/ travel with.

Thanks everyone.
 

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I can also attest that the customer service at St Croix is top notch. I had to send my 3 piece Tidemaster back when my girlfriend high sticked the rod landing a black tip and snapped the top section 4 inches from the tip.

Your set up will cover most of Florida fishing.
 

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Good morning MicroSkiff.com

Long story short I have a credit from a broken rod with St Croix and I'd like to use it to purchase a new travel Spinning rod that I can bring with me on a plane to the Keys for a week at the end of February to fish from shore for Snapper and anything else I might find from shore or the bridges. I'd also be bringing it back with me the last two weeks of April when I'll be driving down with my MicroSkiff in tow to focus on fishing, It would be a backup to my fly gear but obviously pending conditions could end up being essential.

I'd like a travel length rod (All rods I listed are available as 3 Piece) I can use for Flat's fishing, Bonefish, Permit, Redfish, Trout, Cuda's and maybe Tarpon, that is still acceptable to catch dinner off a dock or bridge when I fly somewhere. This rod could also be used for Striped Bass up north as well. Sounds like a tall order I guess but if you had to pick one Length/ Action which would you choose and why? Also feel free to chime in about reels I was thinking a Quantum Cabo PT 40 and what weight and line type? I appreciate an explanation as to why

I don't have a whole lot of Salt experience so I truly appreciate anyone who takes the time to help me out. I created a Poll with the rods I was considering and allowed 3 votes if you happen to think 1 isn't enough. TY in advance.
 

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I would call Florida fishing products ,they have great reels ,but for rods Go with an Ugly sticks and pair it with a reel from FFP ,the 3000 would be fine for what you want to do .
 

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First of all travel rods will always be compromise. As I travel from Europe to Florida at least once a year I have plenty of experience travelling with rods as well as all the headaches air travel with tackles gives :)

Have to admit that the choice of travel rods is growing but whatever rod you chose it will never feel as nice as the comparable one piece (st croix) equivalent.

When travelling to Florida I would never go without at least three rods.

My light stick is in fact a st croix tide master 7ft medium. This is my most used rod and handles everything from bait fishing up to small tarpon. A little more length is always welcome but do remember that a 3 piece 7 footer will easily fit diagonally inside most big suitcases.

My medium stick is another tide master. This is a 7’6” heavy. A great rod for bigger baits and fish. Landed many medium size sharks and tarpon on this rod.. As grouper stick it is less suitable as dragging fish out is not something the rods like (zing pow!). Didn’t have much hassle with st croix customer service.

For the bigger stuff I couldn’t find anything in the st Croix range so had to look else where. For a couple of years I have used a 3 piece Tsunami 7ft travel rod. As a 30-40lb stick it is not as stiff as I would have liked but again a compromise. When I needed a new tip on this rod Tsunami was a great help and for $ 15 I had a new tip delivered in The Keys. Great service.

Two years ago I discovered the MHX range of blanks by Mudhole. The do a XH blank in 7’6”. A great blank. I have build two and the are a great all-round heavy rods.

My advise would be to bring as many rods as you can. With a lot of careful packing I can get four spinning rods and a fly rod in a suitcase together with some reels, shirts and odds and ends. Take your time packing and you will be surprised.

Finally the enjoyment of fine tackle, aka legend tournaments/ elites will be lost in travel rods. But what you gain is the enjoyment of fishing your own tackle without the stress/ cost of travel with rod tubes and the risk of getting them damaged in transit.
 
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