Tips & Techniques >
rod balance principle is fairly simple to use. Instead of
resting your rod in the bottom of the boat or in a fixed rod
holder, you balance the rod on a beam or object. The
advantage that the balance gives is that the fish can't feel
resistance when pulling the bait. They are therefore less
likely to drop the bait before you set the hook. Normally,
the balance point is just above the reel somewhere on the handle.
The easy way to do it is to lay a 2x4 across the back of your
boat. This is why some people call it a balance beam.
people these days use a store bought balancer that has a
"Y" shape. These can be mounted to the back of
your boat or to a beam that sits across the back of the boat.
I put mine into a coffee can full of concrete (see
illustration). There are plastic models and recently a delta
tackle company released a quality metal balance that mounts to the
boat. I've used PVC pipe, net handles, backwards rod holders,
sticks, the motor handle, etc.
like to balance my rod at about a 40 degree angle for sturgeon. This
gives the fish a chance to take the rod down before I set the
hook. If you have problems with the rod slipping off the
beam, you can add some rubber bands, surgical tubing or some other
object to the rod handle to create a bump that will stop the rod
from slipping down. I usually tie a 5" section of surgical
tubing around my rod blank just above the handle. This is convenient
when I need to slide the balance point up or down to adjust to
changing current or wind conditions. As the tide changes, I
always adjust the balance point to keep the rod at the correct
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