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Rod Balance

Rod Balance

The 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.
Most 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.

I 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 angle.

Rod Balance

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