Bobber, Centerpin, Float
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.
A more powerful version of the Gary Loomis plug rod, designed to fish Hot Shots, Wiggle Warts and other deep-diving steelhead lures. This particular rod was developed for big fish areas like Tillamook Bay in Oregon or the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska, where you need larger plugs and more lead to be effective. Its fast taper and magnum butt work well for backbouncing bait and it is a real workhorse for stripers and small sturgeon. Able to cast lures of up to a couple ounces and handle up to 5 ounces in a trolling/mooching situation, the rod’s long rear grip and trigger reel seat give you total control.
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.
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.
This powerful, moderate-action mooching rod handles up to 30-pound line and will troll/mooch up to 6 ounces or cast 2-3 ounces without a problem. It is an excellent rod for bobber fishing large fall Chinook near tidewater, and its oversized guides and tip-top allow extra room for a bobber stop.