I got a new book recently entitled "Catfishing Techniques" that was put out by the North American Fishing Club. It has alot of great info in it, and a wide variety of clear, full color pictures of various subjects (rigs, equipment, bait techniques, etc.)
Anyway, one of the techniques that was discussed caught my eye - "Slipping Timber". The basic technique is very similar to drop-shotting live bait. Simply put, it's a technique for working logjams where you pull right up to the jam and drop your bait vertically (so as to avoid snags) down into the holes.
Thinking more about this technique, it seems the main considerations for pulling it off are using a very abrasion-resistant line to hold up to the wood, and using very heavy equipment to enable you to horse a big cat out of it's holding place. And, while a longer pole would be nice for it's greater reach (remember, you're dropping your bait down vertically, so, if you can't reach a hole, you can't work it), I think you'd sacrifice alot in terms of leverage.
While I'd love to be able to have a specific setup for just this task, I don't. So, whatever rig I end up with for this will also have to pull double-duty as a tightlining rod. So, it has to be able to cast a heavy line and have a decent capacity.
Having said all of that, I'm looking for equipment input in the following areas...
Line - Superbraids are out, due to their lack of abrasion resistance. A heavy (40# or greater), abrasion-resistant mono (Trilene Big Game, Trilene XT, Stren Super Tough, Ande, etc.) would seem ideal. But, what about something like braided Dacron? How does it compare with regards to abrasion resistance and casting performance? How does it compare diameter-wise to the same rating is mono?
Reel - It's got to be able to hold a heavy line, obviously. And, while it doesn't necessarily have to hold a large capacity for this Slipping Timber, remember that this rig will be pulling double duty. I was considering something like an Abu 6500C3, but I'm not really sure how it will handle casting a larger line (not to mention the line capacity shortcoming) or wether it really has the guts to horse a big cat out of heavy cover. Something like an Abu 7000 would be a better choice, but what about something like a Penn levelwind? How do these compare to Abus in terms of raw power, casting distance and drag performance?
Rod - As mentioned, while longer would be nice for reaching into the jam, I think the tradeoff is just too great. What is really needed is backbone and pure power to control a big cat. Something in the 7' - 7'6" range in a heavy action would probably be ideal. I typically try to stay away from multi-piece rods, just because the junction is one less thing to worry about failing in the heat of battle. Am I just paranoid, or is this a valid concern? What about retractable butt rods (where the two pieces don't actually separate, but, instead, slide into each other)?
Anyway, if you read this far, thanks.