By Eric “Slappy” Harrison
I recommend different rods for trolling tube and eels than tossing plastics. I want a much more responsive rod to fish plastics. That said, it would be better to use a rod designed for plastics for tubes and eels than a tube/eels rod for plastics.
My recommendation is 7′ to 8′, quality graphite rod. For big plastics on jigheads, you want a fast action rod, but not an extra-fast action rod.
I prefer a short foregrip, the only time I use the foregrip on a spinner is when fighting a big bass. The most comfortable butt length is usually the length to your elbow when you are holding the reel stem–in the 8″ to 10″ range up to 12″.
From a kayak you don’t need a big reel. A shimano sustain or stradic in the 6000 series has a quality drag and holds more than enough line. You don’t need the extra weight of an 8000 or larger series reel, even with the heavy line.
You could make a short pitch rod for high fliers, a 5.5′ rod casts pretty well, short rods are not great for distance, but are great for accuracy. Don’t put too many guides on and keep the butt short, that way you have more rod in front of the reel for casting. I would use a west coast style butt, about an 8″ butt, reel seat and a 12″ foregrip. The longer foregrip is more comfortable should you ‘accidentally’ hook a tuna.