type: Steelhead Cast
power: Medium Heavy
A wonderful big-river steelhead rod, this 9 ½-footer is the rod of choice in northern Washington and southern British Columbia. The extra length allows you to fish a float or use traditional drift fishing methods with artificial eggs, bait and spinners. Boat anglers like this rod for boondogging the likes of the Skagit and Cowlitz.
The ultimate light-line steelhead drift rod. It has the perfect action to handle 6-pound line and a subtle power, much like a fly rod, that tires fish quickly. We originally designed this rod for the western technique known as boondogging, where the angler lets his boat drift the same speed as the river. This allows the bait to maintain a drag-free drift beside the boat. The technique requires a more forgiving rod, because the fish will drop the bait the minute it feels any resistance. Consequently, this rod is soft enough to let you “see” the strike before the fish has time to react. It works well for both winter and summer-run fish. This style of rod has become a favorite for those anglers that are side drifting. Other applications include still-fishing bait for big trout and casting small spinners and spoons from shore.
Designed initially as a Hover rod for salmon and steelhead, the HVR 763 has proven to be an ideal bass rod too. This is an exceptional rod for small shallow-running crankbaits and vibrating/wiggle baits like Big O’s or Super Spots. This rod also handles small buzzbaits and stickbaits exceptionally well, and it makes a terrific ultralight saltwater popping rod for sea trout and puppy reds. The HVR 763 loads easily so you can cast light baits accurately, and it excels in clear water where light line and small lures are the keys to success. For the salmon fishery, Hover fishing is the presentation of eggs just off the bottom right in front of the fish’s mouth. The tip needs to be very light to notice a salmon pinch down the presented bait. But the blank must also have power for an angry 40-pound chinook. What makes this rod unique is an incredibly light tip and a powerful backbone all the way throughout.
As you travel north through steelhead country, rod lengths gradually increase (by the time you get to Canada, you’re up to 12 feet or more), but when you look at the techniques involved it is easy to see why. Float fishing requires long rods to handle the floats and long leaders, while the smaller, brushy rivers of Northern California require shorter, lighter rods for success. By the time you get to the Cowlitz River in west central Washington - just up the road from Edge - you’ve hit 9-foot country, and that is where this rod shines. It handles the long leaders and light leads required for the low, clear water of summer, and the heavier gear necessary to fish the high, emerald-green water of December. The graphite is HM, because sensitivity is the name of the game and overall weight is an important factor, especially in a longer rod.
The StR 1264 is a very specialized steelhead rod designed for float fishing for summer steelhead. It has a medium tip to help protect light leaders and an extra-long handle to balance its 12-foot overall length. This rod began as a specialty rod we made for British Columbia, but it has found its way south into Washington and Oregon as float fishing has become more widely accepted in the Northwest - especially as a solution for fishing difficult stretches of water.