YES! I not only REMOVE the bottom first four "rods" I even sometimes remove the second set of four "rods"on 4 bay antennas that I install. More traditional antennas work best but are very directional. Yes. I put up antennas for people in St. Catharines and surrounding area. What you need to know is that these antennas are actually rotary antennas to get your full bang for your buck. The problem is nobody likes only getting some channels and having to turn the antenna to get the other channels. Aiming a 4 bay antenna south east will get you 30 to 40 channels in the Niagara region. Don't expect to get channel 51, 56 or 67 all the time. They either only serve Buffalo, barely or are low power. Consider yourself living in what I call a "sweet spot" if you can get these channels all the time. 67 is easier to get than 56 and 56 is easier to get than 51. 51 barely reaches Buffalo from their transmitter site in Batavia.
YOU SHOULD be able to get all the major networks from both sides of the border with one 4 bay antenna aimed towards Buffalo. If you're having troubles getting Channel 4, 40 and sometimes 57, either raise the antenna higher or invest in a tower. The price you pay to put a 30 foot tower on your house will pay for itself in 12 months: you can connect one antenna to FOUR separate TV's
There's a 4 bay antenna with a built in pre-amp on the antenna itself and a booster that goes inside the house either before your splitter or behind the tv. Look for the name Electronic Master. That's the antenna I install, use on my house and have had the best luck with.