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Ugly stik downrigger rods???
In 1997, had a buddy send me one from California that he found at a garage sale for $5. Still in use today and it has major miles on it!
Back in the early 2000's I bought "captains choice" yellow downrigger rods from Lakeside Fishing shop (Jefferson/10 mile). Was told that they were shakespeare blanks that were used for ugly sticks, basically an ugly stick without the labeling scheme. My best rods over the years by far, wished I would have bought more of them. Never had a single problem with any of them. Lakeside quit carrying them long ago :(
 

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I use ugly sticks for my downrigger rods and love their performance durability and price. I bought them off the Shakespeare website. For salmon I use the 7’ catfish series. For walleye and trout I use the 7’ walleye series. Both blanks are white w black handles. They look nearly identical except for diameter. I also used them for board rods with coho.

I believe my friend's dad had white wonder rods from Shakespeare back 25 years ago.... I think they still use them today.

Water Sky Boat Watercraft Lake
 

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Since I'm posting, I might as well report that I was at Tawas this past Thursday when it was super calm. I fished solo just outside of the point, perpendicular to the light house in about 30' of water. Around 8 AM I had a flurry of action when a laker hit on my orange magnum slide diver that was set on 4, 25' out with a Mongolian beef (I think) spoon back 50'. It was my first time trying to use my new jumbo salmon net to try to net a fish solo. The speed of the boat / water pushed the net right into the treble hooks as soon as I dipped the net in. Yes... I managed to de-hook the fish and he swam off. I estimate that he was around 32-34 inches and over 15 pounds. I quickly reset the rod and it went off again a few minutes later. This time it was a gorgeous steelhead in the 10 pound range. Just as I was about to net him he rocketed out of the water and spit the hook. If you were out there Thursday, you probably heard me swearing up a storm. Then, about 20 minutes later I had an inline board get yanked backwards about 8'. I grabbed the rod and fought the fish for about 10 seconds before it popped off. That was a chrome and chartreuse DDHJ set back 125'.

After that it was quiet, I mean really quiet. I could hear Johnny O peeing from his Kayak 100 yards away.... Around noon I was in 38 FOW and had another planer board pull back. This time it was a 24" walleye that I managed to get in the boat. He measured 24" and tasted great blackened on the griddle. That fish was caught on a black and silver deep Challenger Minnow, 125' back.

That was my first time in Tawas and I'll definitely go back some time. Thanks to AndyOtto and Johnny O for sharing their tips!
Water Sky Lake Recreation Fishing rod

Musical instrument Human body Idiophone Finger Font

Wheel Tire Smile Sky Vehicle

Water Sky Watercraft Boat Vehicle

Cloud Sky Water Fluid Dusk
 

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Discussion Starter · #246 · (Edited)
Since I'm posting, I might as well report that I was at Tawas this past Thursday when it was super calm. I fished solo just outside of the point, perpendicular to the light house in about 30' of water. Around 8 AM I had a flurry of action when a laker hit on my orange magnum slide diver that was set on 4, 25' out with a Mongolian beef (I think) spoon back 50'. It was my first time trying to use my new jumbo salmon net to try to net a fish solo. The speed of the boat / water pushed the net right into the treble hooks as soon as I dipped the net in. Yes... I managed to de-hook the fish and he swam off. I estimate that he was around 32-34 inches and over 15 pounds. I quickly reset the rod and it went off again a few minutes later. This time it was a gorgeous steelhead in the 10 pound range. Just as I was about to net him he rocketed out of the water and spit the hook. If you were out there Thursday, you probably heard me swearing up a storm. Then, about 20 minutes later I had an inline board get yanked backwards about 8'. I grabbed the rod and fought the fish for about 10 seconds before it popped off. That was a chrome and chartreuse DDHJ set back 125'.

After that it was quiet, I mean really quiet. I could hear Johnny O peeing from his Kayak 100 yards away.... Around noon I was in 38 FOW and had another planer board pull back. This time it was a 24" walleye that I managed to get in the boat. He measured 24" and tasted great blackened on the griddle. That fish was caught on a black and silver deep Challenger Minnow, 125' back.

That was my first time in Tawas and I'll definitely go back some time. Thanks to AndyOtto and Johnny O for sharing their tips! View attachment 830780
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I’ve been there man feel your pain. I just attached an old down rigger clip to the handle of my net. It clips to the bottom of the bag to hold it back and out of the way especially when I’m netting alone. When the fish hits the net the weight cause the clip to pop. It’s worked great so far.
Dandy eye btw!
 

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Thanks for the net clip tip! I'll give it a try. I forgot to mention, the Laker must of puked up 8 or so baitfish as I was trying to get the net unhooked. I couldn't tell what they were. I only marked one bait cloud in the 6 or so hours I was out there. Maybe they were bottom fish...
 

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Discussion Starter · #248 ·
Thanks for the net clip tip! I'll give it a try. I forgot to mention, the Laker must of puked up 8 or so baitfish as I was trying to get the net unhooked. I couldn't tell what they were. I only marked one bait cloud in the 6 or so hours I was out there. Maybe they were bottom fish...
Lots of bait are way up high right now so you don’t tend to mark much. That’s especially true when it’s sunny and calm. They like to get up near the surface and sun bath. Almost all our fish have had bait of some kind this spring. That will change in a few weeks as the temp starts to get deeper in the water column. You’ll start marking more bait and fish.
 

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Since I'm posting, I might as well report that I was at Tawas this past Thursday when it was super calm. I fished solo just outside of the point, perpendicular to the light house in about 30' of water. Around 8 AM I had a flurry of action when a laker hit on my orange magnum slide diver that was set on 4, 25' out with a Mongolian beef (I think) spoon back 50'. It was my first time trying to use my new jumbo salmon net to try to net a fish solo. The speed of the boat / water pushed the net right into the treble hooks as soon as I dipped the net in. Yes... I managed to de-hook the fish and he swam off. I estimate that he was around 32-34 inches and over 15 pounds. I quickly reset the rod and it went off again a few minutes later. This time it was a gorgeous steelhead in the 10 pound range. Just as I was about to net him he rocketed out of the water and spit the hook. If you were out there Thursday, you probably heard me swearing up a storm. Then, about 20 minutes later I had an inline board get yanked backwards about 8'. I grabbed the rod and fought the fish for about 10 seconds before it popped off. That was a chrome and chartreuse DDHJ set back 125'.

After that it was quiet, I mean really quiet. I could hear Johnny O peeing from his Kayak 100 yards away.... Around noon I was in 38 FOW and had another planer board pull back. This time it was a 24" walleye that I managed to get in the boat. He measured 24" and tasted great blackened on the griddle. That fish was caught on a black and silver deep Challenger Minnow, 125' back.

That was my first time in Tawas and I'll definitely go back some time. Thanks to AndyOtto and Johnny O for sharing their tips! View attachment 830780
View attachment 830781
View attachment 830782
View attachment 830779
View attachment 830778
I run those same trees as well as a couple singles on each side, really strong and a great quality product
 

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Discussion Starter · #253 ·
Got out solo tonight. Ended up 3 for 4. Coho, brown, steelhead that went back and lost what I’m pretty sure was a tiny king like 17 or 18 inches. Had hits on 2 and 3 color black and green moonshine spoons and slide diver out 25 with a green jeans. 30- 40 fow. There were some rollers out there but it was fishable until about 7 when it started to really blow.
Water Boat Vertebrate Sky Fin

Fishing net Goggles Eyewear Sky Glove
 

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Also, ugly sticks were basically the old Wonder Rod renamed. Anyone on here old enough to even know what that is? Those things were darn near indestructible.
My first "Pier Rod" was a 9' Shakespeare Wonder Rod from Bowman's Sport Shop in downtown Beulah Christmas of '74. Had it for about a year and ended up with a crack in one of the pieces. I sent in to Shakespeare and they replaced it with this new rod that had just been introduced - The Ugly Stick.
 
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