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River: Gunnison River (Gorge/Black Canyon)
Fish: Rainbow Trout

Broke my Lightning rod on a big Slimer!

Post By: Digginjiggin      Posted: 9/28/2023 2:49:55 PM     Points: 502    
Ok, I’ve broken the tip off a Berkley Lightning rod and it actually improved action from UL to light, so I’ve used it as my river rod the last 2 years with lots of Gunnison river fish landed. But this morning, after landing two nice bows, I tripped over slide rock trying to land the biggest, a nice deep-sided female. When I tripped, I broke the top 2’ of said rod. I was able to horse the fish the last 20’ and land it. I tried my backup rod, a 9.5’ Redington Salmon rod that I thought would work well, but not really. Not enough spine to set the hook solidly. It still caught some smaller browns, but now what to use? I don’t dare take my expensive 1 piece boat rods there and risk breaking them. What does everybody else use in terms of a 7’6”, 2 piece, light action spinning rod? Only one locally is an Okuma Celilo. Anyone use this rod? Better choices? Pic is fat “Slimer” for Ski who wanted some fish porn, Lol.
 Reply by: richw88      Posted: 9/28/2023 7:30:03 PM     Points: 65
Looks like you cut your hand on the fall. Been there, done that.
Nice fish, but us old guys have to watch ourselves. Our wives could end up owning our rods and selling them for what we told them we paid for them. Not good!
 Reply by: SirGreg88      Posted: 9/28/2023 7:59:34 PM     Points: 395
Nice work guy guy. I had a super old fiberglass Fenwick fly rod that got slammed so I snipped it right up to the next eyelet. Worked great for years until it finally broke altogether. I had that thing since high school and used it for almost 40 yrs.
 Reply by: Digginjiggin      Posted: 9/28/2023 8:21:50 PM     Points: 502
Thanks guys, I have had several fall’s going down steep river banks and even Blue Mesa banks. I slipped on a slanted rock that had black ice on it and broke my tail bone three years ago. It also herniated L5S1 disc and it raised a big bone spur. Have had a numb calf, ankle and foot since then, causing a lot of stumbling issues. I use at least 1 trekking pole going downhill because I still feel the need to fish instead of being on the couch. I’m sure you guys get that. Surgery scheduled Oct 18th should fix the problem and save some rods, Lol. The cut wasn’t near as bad as I it might seem, but if I had look d closer at the pic I wouldn’t have posted it. Oh well……
 Reply by: RogBow      Posted: 9/28/2023 10:10:38 PM     Points: 2760
I had an Okuma Celilo until I broke it. Caught a lot of crappie and trout on it. A smidge soft spine but works well enough.
 Reply by: anglerwannabe      Posted: 9/29/2023 7:31:58 AM     Points: 73044
Hey Jerry, you're braver than me... after falling a couple times on rocks I'm much more cautious. That's a beautiful fish

Anyway, I have ultra lightweight Fenwick 2 piece rod that works really well. And it isn't too heavy on the wallet.
 Reply by: Digginjiggin      Posted: 9/29/2023 8:06:50 AM     Points: 502
Thanks Jim and Rogbow for the rod advice. For many years I used my trusty 7’ St Croix Avid ml 2 piece as my main river rod. Was just right except a little short on casting to the far side of the Green and Gunny when needed. Broke it three times in 20 years trying to unsnag jigs. Warranty replaced the top half twice but then I landed on it last year in a fall and broke it in half. That Berkley did that well but it did lack the backbone to get a solid hook set. To Jim’s advice, Fenwick makes that rod dimension in an HMG and an HMX. So does St Croix but they are now $240. I will try the HMX. Thanks Jim!
 Reply by: malty falcon      Posted: 9/29/2023 9:03:59 AM     Points: 9978
I will only live one time on this planet. I will always take my favorite rod, because it's the best! Fishing just isn't as fun with 2nd-rate equipment after using the good rods.

Those 7'6" rods are great for casting anywhere on the big rivers, for sure. But you like to fish the rougher areas where the length may be an obstacle. I often wish I had a "caddie" for all the gear I like to take!
 Reply by: Digginjiggin      Posted: 9/29/2023 1:13:41 PM     Points: 502
I almost always agree with most of what you post, and with a few exceptions agree with that thinking. My best rods over the last 20 years have been St Croix because of their feel, durability and warranty. They tend to be over-priced now, IMO compared to lots of brands. And their warranty isn’t nearly as good as it used to be. A Daiwa Tatula XT at $99 is every bit as good as that Avid . I try to get the best bang for the buck, I rotate between 8 rods, each with a specific purpose. For Ned rigging, hover strolling and drop shot, where high sensitivity and lightness is needed, I use my Legend Elite. But when fishing in the river or using crank baits, I will use a softer tip but with a great backbone like my Ark Honey Badger, it has better components than most of my St. Croix’s. Everybody has their own view of it.
 Reply by: SurfaceIron      Posted: 9/29/2023 3:09:11 PM     Points: 435
Celilos are actually great rods. The price is right, they're well balanced, and many have excellent actions. If I break one I just go get another. I've never had one break with proper use. I've been buying them for years. I use Phenix, Loomis, and Shimano baitcasters most of the time but if I have to fish spinning ultralight it's Celilo. They also make nice 8.5 to 10 foot baitcast rods. I probably have 5 or 6 Celilos right now. Killer 2lb noodle rods.
 Reply by: bharper      Posted: 9/29/2023 11:15:13 PM     Points: 415
Sweet Bow and sorry to hear about your rod! That hill is really tricky going up and down!
I use an ABU Garcia Veritas PLX ML Rod and a Phenix Maxim ML Rod! They run around $120 a piece! They both have great sensitivity, casting distance and can handle big trout in fast current! I caught a 6 1/2 lb Bow on a local river in fast current using the Abu Garcia Rod! Sportsmans might have a few in JCT! That store isn’t up to par on their rods like they used to be there!
 Reply by: Digginjiggin      Posted: 9/30/2023 12:45:19 PM     Points: 502
Thanks Bryan for the input, those look like sweet rods. I still feel the need to use that 7’6” length so the choices are really limited. I bought the Celilo at SW based on the above input since I was going again today. Also ordered the Fenwick HMX from Scheels. I landed all 12 trout on the Okuma this morning and it passed muster. Biggest was a 4# cutbow hooked 1’ from the edge on the far side. Still a hopper edge bite. Ken used my 6.5’ backup Daiwa, caught 4, but struggled to get across the river.
 Reply by: bharper      Posted: 9/30/2023 8:02:49 PM     Points: 415
Those sound like good choices! Definitely does improve your chances of getting the bigger ones if you can reach the other side! Great BOW!!!🎣👍🍻
 Reply by: 1fishwilly      Posted: 10/5/2023 10:41:53 AM     Points: 287
Another fat Gunny rainbow! You and bharper have that dialed in. Nice to have that right in your back yard. I always thought the Gunnison was primarily a brown trout river, with a few big rainbows sprinkled in. Has that changed?

Sorry about your fall and broken rod. I have one right now that I need to put a new tip on, 6 inches shorter.

Honestly I am not an expert on rods. I mostly will walk into a store, get a feel for a few rods that are mainstream brands, and pick the one that feels good in my hands, balance, medium fast, on sale, etc. I rely on you expert gearheads to guide me.

Flyrods on the other hand... definitely St. Croix, and Temple Fork Outfitters.

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