United Composites US80 Tilefish for Jeff Davis

Started by Jon Vadney, April 18, 2017, 10:35:34 PM

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David Hall


                                                                                 Tilefish & My Friend Steve

Well, I've had some time using this rod & have some thoughts. None of what I'm describing here has anything at to do with Jon's work. I will get to that.

When I first received this rod I was overwhelmed....to say I liked it would be an understatement. But at the time it had more to do with Jon's work than the actual rod itself. Later as I began to test & fish this rod I have to say my excitement diminished. This blank just loads very different from anything else I've fished.  
    Again I am talking about this specific blank Not Jon's Work. Let me say the 8' Tilefish is very different from the other shorter version. It's an all around heavier blank. I went so far to see if a semi retired, close friend, who fishes all over the globe 225 days every year, was interested in buying it. He was familiar with the Tilefish even fished mine for a bit.

My friend Steve agreed he would buy the rod under one condition....That it be the only rod I use on our 3 day trip on the river. I was hesitant. I dont ever go to the river & fish with just one rod. I need to stop & mention here that I'm hard headed & Steve is a very gifted & talented teacher.

Pulling into one of my bait ponds I got out to grab my cast net for perch only to see Steve already had it in hand. So I went to rummage about for the small Penn spinner I use for bait. In this case Bullheads. Where was it ? I knew I had put it in here. I step back & see Steve smiling while handing me the Tilefish...." You agreed only this rod for these 3 days "  Well this was getting irritating in no slow way.
While catching bullhead I discovered something. This Tilefish is sensitive as in VERY sensitive.

   Over the next 2 days we didnt catch much to speak of. With the river being up high from the recent heavy rains. I did learn some things about my Tilefish from using it fishing as opposed to my "opinions" formed while holding & testing it.

I had originally thought when picking up my 2 CP70HP's.... 7' vs lighter action 8' Tilefish...  that my CP's were lighter. But when I finally weighed them both I saw what I was feeling had more to do with how the rods balanced in my hand than actuall weight. 7' CP weighed 21 oz.  Tilefish 17 oz. Taking into consideration what this blank weighs & the amount of work Jon put on this blank with type of guides used I find this finished weight to be impressive.

This blank shuts off fast & goes into extreme power mode, has very quick recoil & cast various weights,2 - 8 oz. with bait & more very well. It recoils so fast I found I had to retime my release during while casting. This rod blank fishes as stated prior 13 - 18 lbs. of drag just fine. This will vary to a small degree among different blanks of the same model. But no where near the variance you will see among some off shore made blanks.  However you will not bottom it out or break it going to 20 or a little above this. This straight from the mouth of Randy Penny & my experience.

I sometimes fish jigs tipped with cut bait letting the current carry the into log jams. When the current of the river comes against a log pile, bridge piling or any other structure it washes away the sand that makes up most of the Kansas River bottom & reveals the  mud or rock thats below it. Knowing where exactly this happens is very important. This is when I like to say the river is talking to me...telling me its secrets. With my Tilefish I can feel where exactly this break up in bottom happens. I can tell if its mud, sand or gravel. Few if any blanks I've used do this at the level the Tilefish does. As of right now I will not fish the river with out this rod being with me.

This is my first acid / spiral wrapped rod. I do notice a positive difference with this rod that I believe can only be attributed to it's being wrapped in this manner. Some of the best rod & blank makers agree the acid / spiral wrap does make a positive difference. Gary Loomis & Randy Penny being 2 of them. I dont know that the Tilefish is a blank best suited for it. Will I change it to a conventional wrap ? Absoluteley Not. There is no negative aspect to its ability to fish or catch fish. I'm very picky about guide spacing & lay out. It can make or break a rod build.  Regarding this Jon did a perfect job on this rod.

    In fact this is my first ever custom wrapped rod. I've seen others & fished with some. I can safely say I think that Jons work takes second place to none I have seen or held....Jeff


Quote from: Rivverrat on May 20, 2017, 09:41:46 PM
                                                                                Tilefish & My Friend Steve

........ As of right now I will not fish the river with out this rod being with me.


so, you didnt sold the rod, right?
The Baja Guy


Best rod I have for 40 - 50 lb. line for what most here would call bottom fishing. You can really lay into this rod. But yet its super sensitive.
It will in a pinch fish 60 lb. line.

It is not in my opinion a great all around casting rod. Works best fishing live & chunk bait around structure where you need to get there head turned.

When looking at the Tilefish blank it's good to know that the 7' & 8' are entirely different animals.


Man I have at least 7-8 'that" rods. Just depends what I'm fishing for.
If you're not fishing,you're wishing you were!!