Quantum's new Coldwater Salmon/Steelhead Series is replacing the old Quantum XL Series. These rods are designed to handle the rugged west coast style of fishing. Using IM 8 graphite makes these rods durable yet sensitive enough for float fishing or spin fishing for salmon and steelhead. They come in both bait casting and spinning configuration with lengths ranging from 7' 9" to 11' 6".
We started our 2004 guiding season with a full line up of Quantum Coldwater Casting and Spinning Rods. Because we fish so many styles and techniques we were able to test a variety of rods. Below is a list, description and field test report on Quantum Coldwater Series Rods.
Spinning Rods 9'
We chose the Quantum CWC902MHC for spinning rods, these are 9 ft medium/heavy with a 12 to 25 lb line rating, Our main applications were bottom bouncing with 1 to 3 oz of weight, casting large Gibbs Spoons such as #55 or 65 Kit-A-MAT, KOHO's and IRONHEAD's and float fishing with jigs. Our species targeted included Sockeye Salmon, Chinook Salmon & Chum Salmon. Fish size ranged from 5 lbs to 40 lbs.
These rods are perfect for the average angler who wants to target all species, many methods with one rod. Good for the beginner to the expert angler. Excellent rod for bottom bouncing the Fraser River for Sockeye, casting heavier spoons and spinners and short cast float fishing from shore or a boat. This is a great rod set up when match with a medium sized spinning reel and braided line. We matched up the 902MHC with Quantums Boca PTS 50 Saltwater Series Spinning Reels with 30 lb Tufeline XP braided line.
Bait Casting Rods 10' 6"
We chose the Quantum CWC1062MHC for casting rods or what we call float fishing rods, these are 10,6" medium/heavy fast action, 12 to 25 lb rating. Like the Spinning rods, IM 8 graphite which is well suited for Westcoast fishing.Our main application was targeting Chum, Chinook & Coho using the popular West Coast Float Fishing Technique.
This technique of using long sensitive rods with floats has been used on most of our small to medium sized river for many years. Quantum has a full line up of float rods ranging from medium fast, to heavy in lengths of 9 to 11' 6". We matched these rods with Quantum's Cabo CBC Series and Quantum Classic MG Series. Both are levelwind bait casters suitable for river float fishing.
Casting Rods (boat rods) 7' 9"
We chose the Quantum CWC79HB for boat rods. these are 7 ' 9" moderate with 15 to 50 lb line rating. Again IM 8 graphite like all Coldwater Series rods. We used these rods mainly for Chinook Salmon on the Fraser and Harrison River. We used two completely different methods with these rods, plunking and back trolling plugs. Plunking out of a boat is the same as bar fishing from shore, we use weights as heavy as 18 oz plunking spin 'n glo's behind the boat while anchored. We also back trolled plugs such as Kwick Fish and Hot Shots for Chinook Salmon to 60 lbs.
The reasoning for using rods with line capacity of 15 to 50 lbs is mainly because many anglers including us are now using braided lines for many fishing applications.Braided lines have little or no stretch so line weight must be increased to compensate. Techniques such as plunking and back trolling require rods to remain in the rod holders so when fish strike, the rods are smashed very hard, often breaking lines if line weights are too light. We matched these rods with Quantum's Cabo CBC Series and Quantum Classic MG Series spooled with 50 lb Tufeline XP Braided Line.
Season end report
After a full season of guiding with Quantum's Coldwater Series Rods, we experienced no pre-mature breakage or wear & tear. These rods are much the same as the old Quantum XL salmon/steelhead series. Light weight but durable enough to fish the banks of our local rivers and use on boats. You often hear people refer to "boat rods" as short rods or rods that take an extreme amount of abuse. This is, because the rods that spend a lot of time in boats are always being bumped, hit and smashed into things, therefore requiring a little more durability than your average rod.
At first I wasn't sure about the new style of Hard Chromium DynaFlow Guides. They are unlike anything I have used in the past so I was a bit skeptical. They look like they would fray line quite easily and at first glance but after 100's of hours of use and abuse we experienced no line fraying what so ever. Unlike graphite guides there is no insert so we did not experience any breakage or chipping of the graphite insert like on many other entry level rods.
We started the season with a full line up of the above mentioned series. 100's of hours of fishing resulted in only two rods being broken and both were angler error. When bottom bouncing, spin fishing or float fishing on a guided trip, most anglers fish the full day often only stopping to each lunch. These rods are taking more than just the average abuse, they are being totally disrespected, often being bashed, crashed, bumped and even stepped on. For those of you who have fished the Fraser River or Harrison River during peak salmon periods, you know that hook setting, playing and landing fish after fish is often the case. So these rods are really being put to the test. The price for these rods range between $100 to $140 Canadian. This is very good value for this quality of graphite and components used on these rods. I would think that most of your local tackle stores would carry a full line of Quantum rods, if not, Hub Sports in Abbotsford does. You can reach them on line or call them at 604-859-8316.
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