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HOOKUP

which pole do I really need?

Question

HOOKUP

There is a lot of talk about ST Croix and other high end rods. Do I really need a 100-250 dollar fishing rod. I fish for bass mostly and have caught a lot of fish on my cheap Berkley rod. What makes a rod worth 100 plus dollars? I am going to purchase a new baitcaster and I am pretty sure that I am going for the new Pflueger but I am not sure which rod to put with it. Thanks!

Randy

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icehousebob

I've handled Loomis and St. Croix and they do feel good. But, I have a couple of Gander Mountain series rods that do the job very well at a third of the price. My favorite jig pitching rod is a 20 year old Berkley Stinger that I bought on sale. Three of my sons keep forgeting who owns it. I've never felt undergunned by using any of my lower buck rods.

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Bobb-o

the new rapala series rods are really sensitive. For $25 they cant be beat in my opinion, paired with a daiwa samurai or a mitchell 300X and you have the best $60 combo you can find. A rod is only as good as you make it out to be, i have seen people outfished who were using everything high grade, G. Loomis rods shimano reels, by people who bought something cheap at Walmart. All a $200 does is give you $200 of confidence, nowadays you can find the same quality in a $50-$100 rod as you can inone that costs over $200.

------------------
Diplomacy - The art of saying "nice doggie" while you find a rock.

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Ranckenstuff

I like the Gander guide series rods for $50(IM8 graphite) and the Cabelas TXS rods $90(XrIII graphite).

If you want to pay more than 100$, look into a custom rod. This would allow you to personalize the rod. Being able to pick the blank, the handle, the guides, the sensitivity, all the way you want it. This makes it a little easier to spend more money on a truly "special rod".

When you are out shopping dont forget to bring your reel to the store so you can balance the rod, in my opinion this as important as sensitivity.

Good luck


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Surface Tension

Understand that some of that high price is from R&D. Through marketing in with a store markup and you start getting the high price. Just like drugs, in time a generic version comes along at a lower cost.

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delmuts

i have a g-loomis and a st croix. they are great rods, but i don't feel they are worth the extra money. most of my rods are BPS bionic blades. and there are other brands that give you great quallity , that are light, and very sensitive and cheaper. i do agree with picking out the reel you plan to buy and putting it on a rod that you are looking at to check balance and feel. del

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TUMBLEWEED

I have had good luck with the Ugly Stick
Lite series.($ 39 bucks)
I just got two of the Rapala rods
that look and feel great. One is the Long
Cast Model, the other a Tournament Series.
Cost was 50 bucks each

[This message has been edited by TUMBLEWEED (edited 03-01-2004).]

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basguy31

One thing to remember about the higher priced St. Croix and the G-loomis is you are paying for a lifetime warranty on those rods (on the Avid series St. Croix anyways). There is nothing wrong with the generic series rods from Gander, Bass-pro, and Cabelas though. I've used them and I think they worked quite well.

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FishinFix

Hookup, I was having the same problem you are. I was looking for a new baitcasting rod and didn't know what to get. Those St. Croix looked real nice but the price tag didn't. I almost bought one yesterday at Cabalas but I thought I should check out some other options. So anyways I went to Gander and found a Rapala rod for 30 bucks and I really like it. Nice action with a good backbone. Good luck

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fisherdog19

Just remember that a wise man once said, "it's not the arrow, it's the Indian." High proced rods are nice, but are not what makes a good fisherman. Rods in the $30-80 range can be as sensitive and light as the high priced models. One thing I like to look for in a rod is one that has a good number of guides, is light, sensetive, and the action I'm looking for. The most expensive rod that I have ever bought was $99, I did win a G Loomis Muskie rod that was worth over $200, but I would have a hard time buying one that expensive.

Fisherdog

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Chris Haley

basguy hit it on the head. I use St Croix and love them. I also send 2+ back a year broken. and pay shipping to receive a new one. A broken $75 rod is just that! A broken $160 Avid is a new one in less than a week with $10 shipping!!!

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fisherdog19

Another way to go would be a custom made rod. You could save a little money and get a high end rod that would be built to your exact specs. If your interested, Scoot's dad makes them and has great workmanship. Scoot is a moderator for the Red River forum.

Fisherdog

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jparrucci

I believe some of the higher priced rods are worth the price, depending on your skills and what type of fishing you are doing. Slow trolling and jigging for walleyes is a lot different than casting for bass. I think the added sensitivity makes all the difference when moving slow for walleyes. Being able to feel every tap and to be able to feel the bottom and keeping your jig inches off the bottom can be crutial to catching walleyes. Casting for bass is a whole different story. You want more power and backbone, and the sensitivity isn't nearly as important. I usually boat more fish than anybody else in the boat using a St. Croix with fireline (no stretch) in the deep water (40 feet) walleye bite. I definitly feel the fish well before they do, and get better hook sets. I see all of them missing lots of fish, while I miss very few.

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Guest

I was one who probably used to think that cheaper rods were comparable to high end rods, but then I worked at Gander Mtn and had the opportunity to buy high end rods for low end prices. For lots of types of fishing I now am a believer in the precision that you get with a higher end product. I think the fishing experience is increased with a lighter, more sensitive, and tighter blank.

For instance, I have a Lighting Rod flipping stick and Two St. Croix Avid flipping sticks. The Lighting Rod is heavier and feels quite a bit more clumsy, so much so that I rarely pick it up and my fishing style is one where I will change rods constantly to try different lures.

Occasionally there are some lower priced rods that have an outstanding feel and action. Another thing about high end rods is that they teach you what to look for in lower end rods in terms of feel and action.

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Scoot

I think it depends a lot on the application you're going to be using it for. If you're a bass guy and want something to pitch spinnerbaits with, you certainly don't need the worlds most sensitive rod. If you're trolling with cranks for eyes, muskies, or whatever you definitely don't need the a super sensitive rod.
However, if you're jig fishing finicky eyes in the spring or fall and are using a cheap rod that's not sensitive, I wish you luck. I've seen some guys fish an entire weekend (in my boat) on the Rainy and "not have a bite" while we knocked the snot outta them. I'm sure they had as many bites as me, but they couldn't feel them.
So yeah, sometimes a good, sensitive rod is worth some extra money. Some applications let you can catch as many fish with a reel attached to a broomhandle. Gotta match the rod to the application.

------------------
Scoot

So I got dat goin’ for me… which is nice.

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chief

Hookup,

There's no downside to buying the best rod you can afford. And there's no question that, for experienced anglers, a rod is a truly personal, subjective purchase. However, beyond a certain dollar range...oh, let's say...... $85 or $90 it becomes difficult to objectively describe true benefits. Having said this, here is my two cents:

1. If you look in boats at tournaments, in non-sponsored anglers' boats, what you'll see is an abundance of Cabela's Fish Eagle, Fenwick HMX, Berkley Lightning Rods, Bass Pro Bionic Blades, St, Croix Premier,and so on. All of these are well under $100.00 and are frequently on sale. Sponsored anglers, for the most part, pay nothing for rods--so of course they use top of the line models. But most tournament anglers use surprisingly modest tackle.

2. Like most folks using this website, you're probably a multi species, multi presentation angler. As such you use and need a variety of rods. A variety of Loomis, Avid, Techna AV, etc., etc., is a prohibitively expensive proposition. It's less painful to have a variety of solid, mid-range, rods in the boat.

3. There are certain finesse, cold water, deep water tactics that do demand great rod sensitivity. I agree with others that you should have one higher end spinning rod if you spend much time in these situations. But spinnerbait, crankbait, bobber, topwater applications don't really demand a great deal of rod sensitivity.

4. High end rods claim to contain very high modulus graphite, resulting in very high strength to weight ratios. However, if you read the fine print, the percentage of high modulus graphite in any one rod is usually less than 30%. Furthermore, despite advertising claims to the contrary, high modulus graphite is more susceptible to blow-ups as a result of nicks and dings to the rod wall. Yes, yes, there are lots of good warranties out there, but shipping fees and down time will always be an issue.

5. All things being equal. buy the lighter of any two rods. A too heavy rod, and the fatigue it causes, will cost you more fish than almost any other factor.

6. Purchase decent, brand name tackle--then spend the difference on actually being on the water.

GOOD LUCK.

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Northlander

I have lots of rods. Lots are in that $55 to $85 range. Some are real nice rods. The more I fish the more I like certain rods. As stated above if you fish a lot go with a light rod that feels good in your hand. After years of fishing with a lot of rods my favs. are St. Croix Avids, Fenwick HMG or HMX, Shimano V sreies and a certain lightning rod that just has some history to it. I also like those new Rapala rods for the $ and certain Diawa rods are nice too.
If you have the extra $ get a nice rod with a great warranty like St. Croix. As stated above a $10 shipping is much better than buying 2 or 3 $50 rods.
Can you catch fish on cheaper rods? Of course. But once you try a high end rod you have a hard time using anything less. Even my wife prefers my St. Croix sticks and she fishes about 3 times a year!

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Chris Haley

I feel your pain northlander!! Everytime I get a great new rod or reel the wife claims it as her new favorite!!

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