Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
July 21, 2024, 01:22:37 PM

Login with username, password and session length

Recent Topics

[Today at 12:08:57 PM]

[Today at 11:40:23 AM]

[Today at 09:15:24 AM]

by kro
[July 20, 2024, 11:31:47 PM]

[July 20, 2024, 11:04:09 PM]

[July 20, 2024, 10:40:19 PM]

[July 20, 2024, 01:56:11 PM]

[July 20, 2024, 01:04:47 PM]

[July 20, 2024, 11:40:06 AM]

[July 20, 2024, 11:20:58 AM]

[July 19, 2024, 08:59:30 PM]

[July 19, 2024, 08:58:28 PM]

[July 19, 2024, 08:57:49 PM]

by ark
[July 19, 2024, 05:28:33 PM]

[July 19, 2024, 01:42:39 PM]

[July 19, 2024, 12:58:34 PM]

[July 19, 2024, 08:59:58 AM]

[July 18, 2024, 09:25:15 PM]

[July 18, 2024, 03:41:52 PM]

[July 18, 2024, 03:27:46 PM]

[July 18, 2024, 02:49:18 PM]

[July 18, 2024, 01:48:29 PM]

Support NCKA

Support the site by making a donation.

Topic: Rod Power Recommendations  (Read 909 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


  • Sardine
  • *
  • View Profile
  • Location: San Francisco
  • Date Registered: Apr 2024
  • Posts: 2
I will caveat my below questions with the fact that I am just getting into kayak fishing and while I have done some research my practical knowledge is limited. I am looking to spend up to $225-250 on this set-up since I am just getting started and having to acquire all of my gear at once.

Looking to build out a set-up for both fresh and saltwater angling, primarily trolling and jigging. Reading lots of praise for Ugly Stiks; however, most rods sub 7', like the Tiger, seem to be medium heavy power and up. Is medium-heavy too heavy? Should I be using a medium or medium-light power rod when targeting lings, cabs, halibut in SW and trout, kokanee, and salmon in FW? As an alternative to a Tiger, I was looking at this carbon casting Ugly Stik which is medium power, anyone ever fool around with one of these (https://www.uglystik.com/carbon-casting-rod-1509896)?

For a reel, I was planning to pair with a Penn Warefare 15 with a line-counter, but they are out of stock. As an alternate, I was looking at this Okuma Cold Water Trolling Reel (https://www.amazon.com/Okuma-Water-Linecounter-Trolling-CW-153D/dp/B008GQ6WBG?th=1). Does that seem appropriate for the type of fishing I am looking to do? Does it make sense with the above rod selection? The line capacity seems more than sufficient, but I am unsure on how much drag I should be looking for.

Open to any and all suggestions, even if it is for a different set-up entirely.



  • Sand Dab
  • **
  • View Profile
  • Location: Sacramento
  • Date Registered: Oct 2021
  • Posts: 57
If you're new to kayak fishing you'll want to start out with cheap setups so that when you eventually lose them overboard, it won't sting as much.

Medium ugly stick tiger is popular for a reason: strong, relatively cheap and can be used for trolling in the salt (halibut, striper, salmon, etc) or fresh (striper, sturgeon, catfish, etc). I bring my nephew and nieces with me on the boat so I actually go one step cheaper and purchase the daiwa ft rods which are just $30 and similar glass builds comparable to ugly sticks.

Eagle claw featherlite rods (yellow noodle rods) are what I buy for light trolling such as kokanee and trout. They can be had for $21 at Walmart and do a great job. I've caught trout, kokanee, bass, landlocked kings with them.

If you're handy with servicing reels this is where you can do well by going with used gear. I look on ebay and marketplace for used 10-15yr old reels that are selling at rock bottom pricing due to the owner upgrading or selling off altogether. Old penn jigmaster, squidder, can be picked up for ~$15-$30 and work well for salt trolling with just a cleaning and drag replacement. I also like to pick up old gen 1&2 abu revo reels for ~$20-$30 and clean them up, maybe replace a worn down part or two and good as new. All my yellow eagle claw rods have old revo reels on them and average about $50/setup. No big deal if my 10yr old nephew drops it into the lake.


  • Manatee
  • *****
  • .
  • View Profile
  • Location: Prunetucky
  • Date Registered: Sep 2006
  • Posts: 26300
Used to love Shimano and Seeker rods but my favorite is Ugly Stiks now.
"Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass...it's about learning how to dance in the rain."


  • Sea Lion
  • ****
  • View Profile
  • Location: Concord
  • Date Registered: Sep 2020
  • Posts: 1406
Good info here.  I also like Ugly Stiks.  I use a 8' medium light Ugly Stik Tiger for pretty much everything saltwater - halibut, rockfish, etc.  Pair it with a Piscifun reel and you are less than $200 for the combo.  I also have a 6'6" medium Ugly Stik Tiger - it is MUCH stiffer than the medium light 8' version, but is great for jigging heavy stuff in deeper water. 

Okuma makes some nice budget gear too - their website has a revolving 50% off sale for a lot of stuff. 

As mentioned above, nothing wrong with old/used gear too.  I've scored some nice older stuff at local yard sales, Craigslist, and a Buy Nothing Facebook group for our neighborhood. 
- Kevin


  • Sea Lion
  • ****
  • View Profile
  • Location: Contra Costa
  • Date Registered: Apr 2020
  • Posts: 1265
A rod for lingcod and halibut is not a rod for Kokanee. Better to follow the others’ advice and get at least 2 inexpensive setups than trying to get one do-it-all.
Hobie i9
'21 Hobie Outback Papaya

  • View Profile
  • Location: San Francisco
  • Date Registered: May 2024
  • Posts: 12
The medium heavy you have should be good for rockfishing and lingcod, it's nice to be able to horse fish out of the kelp/rocks. Some people prefer lighter power for halibut trolling but I'm sure you could still catch with that.


  • Sea Lion
  • ****
  • AOTY Committee
  • View Profile
  • Location: Windsor, CA
  • Date Registered: Oct 2014
  • Posts: 2743
There is a lot of personal preference involved in rod selection.

Length: Different people have different arm reach. Get a rod that is short enough to let you easily land a fish without high sticking the rod, but long enough to get around the front of the kayak if a fish goes from one side to the other.

Grip: split grip, full grip, trigger grip, cork, foam, graphite/carbon. What do you like? What fits in the rod holder you want to use or like? Personally I prefer full grip (split grips sit funny in rod holders) non trigger (again funny in rod holder) with a non cork grip (personal preference I don’t like cork).

Power: freshwater power and saltwater power are very different. Something in a medium for salt would suit well for what you are talking about. Med/light for fresh.

Action: rods have different actions. Slow-fast. Slow bends all the way to the butt, extra fast bends at the tip. For trolling usually you want a slower action. For jigging a little faster. 

Material: fiberglass, graphite, carbon, blended. Generally speaking fiberglass is used more in slow action rods and trolling rods. Higher modulus (numerically speaking) graphite generally means a lighter rod which translates into more sensitivity.

All of that being said if I had to choose 1 rod for salt out of my arsenal to do a lot of stuff it would be a 7’ Daiwa harrier X in medium power. For what you are describing in fresh I would grab an okuma sst either 7 or 76 light.

For a reel skip the round okuma and get the low profile okuma linecounter. The low profiles are more reliable. Spool it up with some 30lb braid and then whatever topshot you want.
Angler Of The Year is currently free!!
NCKA Angler of the year (AOTY)link http://aoty.norcalkayakanglers.com/
NCKA AOTY how to link https://www.norcalkayakanglers.com/index.php?topic=62574.0
Send me a message if you want to be signed up for AOTY


  • Salmon
  • ***
  • View Profile
  • Location: Novato
  • Date Registered: Aug 2020
  • Posts: 676


  • Salmon
  • ***
  • View Profile
  • Location: Shasta Lake City
  • Date Registered: Jan 2020
  • Posts: 292
3$j on the money about freshwater…

Okuma SST and low profile line counter is my favorite non-leadcore combo for freshwater trolling. Kokes, landlocked kings, backtrolling steelhead plugs, trout, stripers to 10lb, pyramid lake grade cutties, I’d take it over my Shimano level winds and expensive name brand trolling rods any day.
Blue Revolution 13 2014
Papaya Compass 2020
Papaya Revolution 13 2022

Many fishermen spend their lives chasing fish, only to realize that it was themselves that they were chasing.

The "Salty" in my handle refers to my attitude, not the waters I fish