The Right Tools

Over the past few years I’ve been asked the same old question over and over “James, why do you need so many fishing rods; you can only use one at a time?

I’ve had the same Ugly Stick since I was twelve and I’ve never needed any other rod!”. Each time I’m asked a question like this I’m forced to reach deep down into my bag of clichés and pull out gems such as, “You don’t play a round of golf with just a putter” or “You can’t build a house with just a hammer”. You need the right tool for a specific job or in this case the right rod for the situation or technique.

I’m not saying you need to rush out and buy twenty new rods to catch bass. Nor is there a mathematical equation that’ll give you the exact correct answer to how many rods you need to have on the deck of your boat to catch bass. Ask any six dedicated anglers and you’ll get six slightly different answers, it’s all about comfort and how you intend to fish them.

Here's three versatile rods that can be used to apply a variety of techniques that every bass angler should own whether you're just starting out in the sport or you're a seasoned veteran competing in tournaments!

1. 6’10” Medium/Light power with an Extra Fast action spinning rod… With this rod you’ll be able to apply a lot of “Finesse” techniques with lighter fluorocarbon or braided lines. This rod will serve well for Drop Shotting, Shakey Head, Wacky rigged stickbaits, or 3.5-4” finesse swimbaits. You’ll use this rod to really pick apart an area. You can drop a bait right on top of them vertically with drop shot or slowly move a shakey head or wacky rigged stick bait over the area.

6’10” Medium power with an Extra Fast action casting rod…
With this rod you’ll be able to throw a variety of baits including Top Water (poppers, walkers, props… etc.), Jerkbaits and Tube style baits. This rod will assist in finding fish; you can cover a lot of water quickly with a Top Water bait and look for really aggressive fish. Added bonus with Top Water is even if you don’t get a clean hook up, you’ll get an opportunity to get a quick look at the size of the fish. Jerkbaits are an absolute must when you’re searching for fish they allow you to cover a lot of water to find active bass. Try varying your speeds and pauses until you find the correct combination. Tubes are a must in anyones repetoir. You can cover a lot of water while having a bottom presence imitating a crayfish. If you’re not comfortable with casting gear you can use the same specs with a spinning rod.

2. 7’2” Medium/Heavy power with a Moderate action casting rod… With this rod you’ll be able to throw a heavier line, I use 15-17bs fluorocarbon. This rod will work for reaction baits such as Spinnerbaits which offer a lot of flash in clearer water situations, or a Chatterbait which will give you a lot of vibration in more of a stained water scenario. Both are great for moving quickly to find active biting bass. This rod will also work well for dragging jigs over an area or pitching at docks, laydowns and other specific cover.

With these three rods you’ll be set up to target fish in different patterns, weather condition and seasons. When you do decide to add a rod to your repertoire; find one that offers the most value for as much as you’re able to spend. Look for rods that come with warranties included and are made with high end components such as guides and reel seats.

Tags: #FishingTips



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