Tower's boat rods, and most of those his regular customers purchase, are of his own design. He and Saco Bay Tackle build them of graphite or glass with standard lengths of either eight feet even or 8' 31/2". "How the blank is cut determines the action," he explains. "The longer rod has more butt section for tucking it under your arm, which is the right way to hold the rod when reeling in a cod or haddock. The rod is for jigging, not fish-fighting. The reel is for bringing the fish in." His rods have long, rubber-encapsulated foregrips, too, for those who like to rest the rod on the rail while carefully winding a fish to the surface. Indeed, this was the technique used by my rail-mate on the trip, regular Irwin Libeskind of Massachusetts, who landed and released the most good-sized cod of anyone and may have been overall high-hook for the day as well. By cranking slowly and steadily, Irwin didn't drop many fish.