BGP Livebaiter Rod Blanks

Looking for information on the Rod Blanks used by the Traditional Live Bait Guides in BGP. Im trying to build a few rods like they use and could any info you might have.

Thank You In Advance!


  • kmagnusskmagnuss Posts: 3,146 Captain
    Tarpon... everything else is just bait.
    Captain Keith Magnussen - Crooked Rod Charters
  • haydenfox!#$haydenfox!#$ Posts: 2,382 Captain
    ^ Clever :grin
  • TarponatorTarponator Under a BridgePosts: 12,698 AG
    Hopefully someone with more direct knowledge than me will answer (Sandy?), but from what I've seen and photographed, they are generally 8' fiberglass rods often with the old-school metal guides.
  • jrimmer1987jrimmer1987 Posts: 70 Deckhand
    Hoping sandy will chime in. I love the bend in those rods.
  • restlessnativerestlessnative Posts: 2,105 Captain
    All of the old school blanks we use are Harnell or Harrington blanks. I can't remember the model numbers off the top of my head and all my blanks/paper work are in Boca Grande (I am in Tampa). We used a couple different ones...1 for live bait (i.e. squirrel fish) and 1 for crabs which was a little stiffer. Some of the blanks that were originally wrapped by someone in my family, though re-wrapped by now, are probably still on a majority of the boats around. There were a few wrappers that generally everyone uses. You might be able to still find some of those blanks on ebay, but otherwise anyone around Boca Grande who has any will not be letting go of them as they are no longer made and are cherished. I am very happy to have several rods on those blanks as well as a small stash of blanks still waiting to be done, which I will eventually get to over the years.

    Since you wrap rods, you might be interested in some of the history on those blanks, like I was when I first started getting in to it. John & Jean Harrington started Harnell, but after a while needed a cash infusion so partnered with some other folks, who eventually had a falling out. Harnell became Blue Royal Rod Company and the Harringtons resurfaced with Harrington Rod Company (they were not allowed to use the Harnell name anymore). Blue Royal Rod Company was then sold to one Gary Loomis in the 80s (before he was a huge name). Gary acquired the equipment and mandrels from Blue Royal after leaving Lamiglas (I have some old Lamiglas blanks too). Gary, along with some other partners, started Loomis Composites Inc, but they too had a falling out and Gary then started G. Loomis Inc. Loomis Composits Inc eventually became Talon rods. One of the other original partners in LCI went on to start Tridon Rods, which then became Shikari, and eventually a blank plant for the late Bob Batson called Cascade Composites. After Gary sold G. Loomis to Shimano, he acquired the equipment and mandrels of Cascade and the mandrels of Shikari, and started North Fork Composites.

    Anyways, and I am not sure when I will be down again (probably won't be for another couple of months), I will try to look at the blanks and paperwork I have on all of that stuff in the rod shop. Sorry I can't remember the model numbers and for the long winded post. Try calling Sandy at his shop, he can point you in the right direction for the blanks they use now, I have that info too just not here so again I apologize for not being much help.
  • jrimmer1987jrimmer1987 Posts: 70 Deckhand
    WOW!! Awesome info!! I would appreciate any info you can get for me. Also, I only need one blank. Any chance of you parting with just one of them?
  • restlessnativerestlessnative Posts: 2,105 Captain
    WOW!! Awesome info!! I would appreciate any info you can get for me. Also, I only need one blank. Any chance of you parting with just one of them?

    Sorry bud, they are family heirlooms so mean more to me than just a blank. If I had a lot it might be different, but just a small stash.
  • Capt. Sandy MelvinCapt. Sandy Melvin Posts: 54 Greenhorn
    All this info from RestlessNative is correct to my knowledge.

    My rods are 8' harnell's, and I also have some 6 1/2' harnell's I use for trolling grouper plugs. No one I know has ever found another blank that offers the parabolic bend and strength these rods do. The soft action definitely helps to keep tarpon from throwing hooks as easily as faster action rods.

    They are hard to find.

    I've bent mine like an ugly stick many times under my transom when my movement was blocked and a tarpon ran forward underneath.

    I would not sell mine, but I do tell my clients they are $3,000 a piece just to get their attention, adding that and as long as they are in the boat they are mine, but out of the boat they are theirs. :)
  • jrimmer1987jrimmer1987 Posts: 70 Deckhand
    Thank for the input sandy! I've seen your rods put some serious heat on tarpon. If you couldn't find the harnell blank what would be your second choice?
  • jrimmer1987jrimmer1987 Posts: 70 Deckhand
    Also what model are your blanks?
  • Capt. Sandy MelvinCapt. Sandy Melvin Posts: 54 Greenhorn
    Sorry, but I have no clue what model number they are.

    I'd search at garage sales for old, heavy 50's/60's era fiberglass rods for a back up if I had too. All the latest rods I've seen have too much graphite and are too fast for me.

    Good luck.
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