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How to Make A Topwater Spinning Rod

By Russ Bassdozer

Need a Great Walking and Shaking Rod? Why not wrap a Lamiglas SMB 108 3M spinning rod? Now, I've heard that Ronnie Pettit of Fish Head Lures will be selling a great new topwater stick he's coming out with soon. But, I'll probably "stick" with my baby, the Lami SMB 108 3M! I happen to believe the old adage, "Never leave the girl who luvs ya," and I've been using my sweetheart topwater and shaking stick for many years now. Too many years to replace her with something new from Ronnie, although I am sure whatever rod he produces will be great!

Getting back to the Lami though, I doubt you can buy this stick ready-made. But you can have a rodmaker order the following components and wrap one up for you:

Rod  blank. The Lamiglas S-Glass SMB 108 3M is 9 foot long, but cut the butt down to 7 or 6 1/2 feet depending on you. I use a seven footer. Do not cut anything off the tip, which is a nice-sized 8 1/2 tip. So although it's extremely shaky, it's not a thin-tipped rod. After cutting the butt, the blank will weigh between 3 1/2 to 4 ounces.

S-Glass is sensitive, lightweight and made with the same epoxy resins as in graphite sticks. But S-Glass is far superior than graphite for shaking soft plastics and for walking topwater baits. Why? Because when you shake it, the S-Glass vibrates in PARABOLIC ARC. You can't get a parabolic shake with graphite. Lamiglas also makes E-Glass rods - a great (some say the best) series of cranking and spinnerbait rod. But S-Glass is far superior for walking topwaters and for shakin', doodlin', light C-riggin' suspended bass. Besides, it's far lighter and more sensitive than E-Glass.

Cork tape handle. I don't know how common this is in freshwater, but we use cork tape on all our striper surf rods. Your rodmaker should know where to get some. Basically, wrap one layer of cork tape, then wrap over it with a second layer, thereby bumping up the diameter of the grip slightly. How long a handle? Make it a comfortable length for you.

Lightweight spinning guides. I use a set of four wide-diameter spinning guides. The wide diameter is not critical, but lightweight guides are. Use the lightest guides - and don't use heavy rod-wrapping designs on the feet. It's good for you or your rodmaker to put the cork tape handle on, temporarily tape the guides on, and test casting with the rod until you are satisfied with the guide placement, and therefore the casting distance/quality.

Reel seat. Just put your reel where you want it using black electrician's tape. You may have seen some ultra-light Slider Rods where you tape the reel on too, but you'll be mistaken if you think this stick is like a mini-ultralight Slider Rod.

Reel. I use a Fin Nor MegaLite spinning reel in the "4000" size range on this rod.

Line. I use 15 lb. test mono with the topwaters.  I use an ultra-thin mono line in 12 lb. (no less than 10) for shaking soft plastics.

You can shake the hooks off the split rings of one of Ronnie's topwater Walkin' Sticks with this. The rods far from fancy, but it's deadly at what it does - which is to make topwaters walk and splash. Your Zara Spooks will think they've died and gone to heaven after you do them with this stick. Poppers will snap, crackle and POP all the way back to the boat.

Do you shake or doodle suspended fish with light darter heads, light C-Rigs or splitshots? Would you like to turn a floating worm into a nervous wreck? Do you want to make a lightly-rigged tube bait come to life?

I won't tell you the rest of what it can do. Just shake it. I am sure you will discover many deadly uses of your own for such a special tool.

In time you may grow overly fond of her, like I have of mine.

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