Camp Halibuts own rod series
We are exited to finally present our own brand new rod series that we have produced in close cooperation with American Tackle. At this point we have one halibut baitfishing rod and one halibut jigging rod. The baitfish rod is not suitable for jig fishing but the jigging rod works well for everything. If you want one single rod for halibut fishing, the Camp Halibut Jigging XH is the one you want. More prototypes are on the way and we plan to have a couple more models to cover different situations shortly.
We truly believe that we have made the best halibut rods on the market. All the details are designed by us guides at the camp specifically for this purpose. We have always been frustrated that the existing rods seem to be designed from some office in somewhere. Or produced in another part of the world for species completely different than halibut. It seems like almost all manufacturers make compromises to get better profit or to get a suitable price for the market. Our only goal is to make the best rods possible. No matter the profit or the price. These rods are made specifically for halibut fishing and we have spent five years figuring out and testing what the perfect halibut rod is. Now we believe we know exactly what we want and we have put the rods in production.
Camp Halibut Baitfish Deep Power
Baitfishing halibut is simple. You don’t make a lot of movements with the rod and the baitfish is doing fine on its own. You don’t need a high sensitivity since the halibut bites are impossible to miss. At least when it is time to set the hook. If you are using circle hooks you have no need for a fast blank. Quite opposite you want to reel in the hook as evenly as possible and that is easier to do with a very slow blank. Even if you are using trebles or double singles like we do you have all the time in the world to reel down the rod to a deep pressure before you set the hooks. No matter how you rig, you really don’t need a fast blank for baitfishing. What you however do need is a blank that help you lift extremely heavy fish for an extended period of time without overloading your lower back muscles.
You want a blank that works super deep to get the weight as close to your body as possible. If you lift a 10kg bucket in your hand, its not very heavy. If you lift it on the tip of a broomstick its almost impossible to get off the ground. The advantage with a fast blank is that every single lift is longer and retrieves more line. That is the opposite of what you want for halibut fishing. Within a few minutes you will be much more effective with shorter lifts where your rod doesn’t end up too high. You can see it as gears on a bike or a car. Halibut fights are like going uphill and you want as much power as possible and lift the fish steady instead of fast. That is why we have made a rod that works very deep with relatively low pressure. When you really push these rods they work so deep it is actually uncomfortable to watch. We have tried lifting 18kg and the blanks show no signs of maxing out. They just keep bending. It really feel like we are just tapping into a fragment of the potential. 18kg may not sound much but try lifting 10kg with a rod on shore. It is quite heavy. 18kg is more than an average person could ever lift in a moving boat. You should never push your knots and your braid more than that either way.
Camp Halibut Jigging XH
When you are jig fishing you are fishing the lure more actively with your rod. That demands a lot more sensitivity. You need to feel everything so that you can trigger a skeptical fish to take your lure. That makes the sensitivity even more important. You want to be able to reel down the rod and set the hook relatively rapidly as soon as you feel that the halibut has really taken your lure. You also need a lot of power to really be able to bury those thick hooks deep into the cartilage in a halibut mouth. And you still want a rod that gives you the upper hand on a really big fish. The problem is that these characteristics isn’t completely possible to combine. You need to find a perfect compromise and that is what we have tried to do.
The Camp Halibut Jigging XH is super fast up until a certain point of pressure. After that point it is just working deeper and deeper. That gives this rod a completely unique sensitivity that is just unheard of when it comes to nordic big game fishing. Sometimes the halibut is opening its mouth sucking in water without actually touching the lure. When we are fishing spinnertails that is making them swim slightly different for half a second and we are accually sometimes able to feel that with these rods. We are able to feel halibuts not touching the lure. It is absolutely incredible. Since they are so fast, they just answer immediately and you have an enormous force when you set the hook. It is actually very easy to snap braids since you are getting so much more power than you are used to. That is one of the reasons we never recommend braid with a breaking strength under 100lbs for halibut fishing. We only use Whiplash 0,28 since it is the most abrasion resistant braid we have tried.
The Camp Halibut Jigging XH is a dream to fish with and if you are getting one single rod, its your best choice. The downside is the fight. Since it is faster than the baitfish rod, you can never bend it as deep with the same amount of pressure. You can’t rest the same way during the fight since it is much faster to straighten itself out. To keep a high pressure on a big fish the fight will be more intense. We have tried them on fish up to over 100kg and there is no big problem at all. It will be hard to fight a 200kg+ fish but those are hard to land no matter what rod you’re using. With that said, there is no other rod on the market that we would prefer to hook a fish like that on. Except the Camp Halibut Baitfish Deep Power. That is a crane and it’s accually what we would choose for Greenland shark.
Design and details
A rod is so much more than just a blank. That is why we have thought all the details through for years. Perfect handle length varies from person to person but we have made the rods as allround as possible. The back handle is shorter than standard rods. We have made them just long enough for tall guys to fish comfortable with the handle in the armpit. They are however short enough so that when you put it on your hip, you will get a slightly more upright position than usual and that takes a lot of load off your lower back. The front handle is extended so that you can place your hand as far up as you are comfortably able to do to get maximum strength. It is quite a lot thicker than standard rods which gives you a lot more grip strength. Thinner handles gives you better sensitivity and thicker handles gives you more power. The first guide is elevated and placed right in front of the front handle. This avoid braid cutting you handle or hand when your rod is working deep. That is a very real problem when fighting big halibut. The rest of the guides twist around the rod to end up on the lower side. This is called acid wrap. It gives you a lot more feeling and balance. It takes a lot of load off your wrists and forearm since the pressure wants to keep the rod straight with the reel up instead of twisting it. A little more like the balance you get with a spinning reel. Extended heavy fights are hard enough without the extra pressure of keeping the rod straight. Acid wrap is something you didn’t know how badly you needed until you try it. There is almost no glass in the rods but high quality carbon fibre. They are extremely light weighting 347g and 367g. We have tried both rods for thousands of hours on several fish over 2 meter, heavy deadlifting and bottom hook ups and we are able to say that they are completely unbreakable under the right kind of pressure. That means you can’t break them with your own power if the load is remotely close to what they are built for. If you are uncertain on how you can and how you can’t load a rod just google ”high sticking fishing rod” and there are some very educational pictures.
The Camp Halibut Jigging XH is 6,6 feet and the Camp Halibut Deep Power Baitfish is 7 feet. That is longer than the best common halibut rods are these days and that is because those rods are made for a completely different purpose. A slightly longer rod gives you several advantages. It is way better at absorbing the gigantic headshakes of a big halibut. You have much better control over the line and it is easier to go around the engine or bow when you need to. A longer rod also makes it a lot easier to land the fish with long rigs and long leaders. We don’t see any benefits of a shorter rod. It is just a lot harder to make a longer rod that works in your advantage during the fight. As long as the blank is perfect, 7 feet is much better than 5 feet in our opinion. Both rods are one piece. That isn’t perfect for traveling but it gives you better a feeling and a stronger rod.
We believe we have made the best halibut rods on the market. It is hard to explain, especially in writing, you have to experience them yourself. We are extremely satisfied and we want to thank American Tackle for helping us make this happen. All of their products are top of the line and we would never choose anything else. If you want something that you can trust when you hook the fish of a lifetime, buy our American Tackle made rods. Both rods are 3000 NOK if you are a guest at the camp and 4000 NOK if you buy them somewhere else.