Product Review – Sea Vixen Ghost Stand-Up Rods
With the increase in rod blank material and technology, each year brings a new inshore or jigging rod that is lighter yet stronger. While tackle manufacturers are consistently pushing the limits with this, the category of stand-up trolling rods seems to be often forgotten.
Fiberglass and composite blanks, some resembling the size and stature of a pool cue, are still the top choice when outfitting boats for offshore trolling. The resulting rod and reel combinations are overtly bulky, heavy, and intimidating for youth and novice anglers.
Sea Vixen, local maker of high-end resin head trolling lures, has addressed this gap in the tackle market with the introduction of their Ghost series of standup rods.
Ghost standup rods are the result of the exact frustrations listed above. Developed by Capt. Rick Croson, the goal was to create a rod that was strong enough to land large pelagics, durable enough to withstand the daily rigors of charter boat use, while at the same time being light enough that a young child, elderly angler, or someone who has never seen a fishing rod before could comfortably use.
Using high-end carbon fiber for the main blank material and then coupled with an outer layer of fiberglass, the completed blank has featherlike weight, with a durable outer layer to prevent breakage and increase durability. These blanks are then coupled with top of the line components, including premium stainless-framed SiC guides and a #2 Aluminum Unibutt.
Even with the aluminum collar, the finished 30-80 lb. blade section weighs only 9 oz.!
Perhaps the most stunning visual of the Sea Vixen Ghost series is their short stature. At a mere 4’ 9” (a full one foot shorter than your average trolling rod), it is easy to understand anglers’ uneasy initial perceptions. However, the shorter length is what makes the rod so forgiving on the angler.
The shorter length moves the fulcrum point of the rod directly to the hands instead of several feet down the rod, allowing higher drag settings without stress or fatigue on the angler. The aluminum butt stabilizes the pressure during the fight, and it also prevents rod and reel movement when cranking while in a rod holder.
The ghost stand-up series is available in three actions: 20-50 lb.; 30-80 lb.; and 80-130 lb. The #2 aluminum collar allows for an angler to customize between curved and straight butts, and the 80-130 lb. comes with a bent butt.
The 20-50 lb. is designed for smaller lures, making it a perfect choice for blackfin tuna, dolphin, and sailfish.
The most versatile rod in the lineup, the 30-80 lb. is perfect for lures and ballyhoo, while having enough oomph to handle blue marlin encounters.
The proverbial meat-stick of the line is the 80-130 lb., which can perform a 45-degree deadlift with 50 lbs. of weight. This model is best suited for larger pelagics, high-speed trolling, and as a lighter planer rod that can even pull a #16.
Designed to be used with some of today’s lighter, stronger offshore reels, Ghost rods pair the best with reels from Shimano’s Talica and Penn’s VISX lines. Higher drag settings coupled with braided backing or mainline allow these lightweight setups to pack the punch of their heavier 30 to 50 wide predecessors.
Sea Vixen Ghost rods are available at local tackle dealers now, and more information can be found at www.seavixentackle.com.