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High Quality Rod and Why You Should Have One

by: Jim McFarland , Colorado 12/31/2016

If youre fishing a lot of crank baits, swim baits and especially plastics, you really need to invest in a high-quality graphite rod.  Many will wonder to themselves, if not reply to this blog, and say, But Why?  My Ugly Stick has served me well for many years.  There was a time, those would have been my very words.  At the time of this writing, there are 3 Ugly Sticks stacked in the racks of rods behind me.

So then, why?  To start with, if you want to increase the number of fish you catch, a good quality rod will do this.  Higher quality rods are simply far better designed, not to mention the materials are superior.  They will help you stay on the water longer and cover significantly more territory.  Again, why?  Because a good graphite rod weighs almost nothing.  And at the end of a long day this will add up to more casts, thereby covering more water.  Youre probably thinking, but the difference is only a few ounces.  Ask any hunter what a difference a few ounces make carrying a gun in the field all day.

The first time I truly realized what a difference a high-quality rod makes was fishing some plastics at Pueblo Reservoir.  Bottom bouncing a craw imitation in some water with both rocks and vegetation I was overcome with an epiphany.  I could literally FEEL the structure, every little bump and nuance.  Then, it happened a bite!  A bite so light it could barely be felt but there was no doubt what it was.  A fish had picked up the lure and then dropped it.  I immediately wondered how many bites had happened over the years that I was never aware of.

This level of sensitivity can only be found in your better rods.  Have you noticed no brand of rod has been mentioned of yet?  Thats because there are lots of great brands of rods out there.  You do not have to spend a ton of money to get a great rod anymore.  For Example, the Bass Pro Johnny Morris Signature series rods are excellent and currently on sale for about $130.  Only mention these because they are rods I am familiar with.

Think of a better rod this way.  How many of you work with tools? Whether it be a mechanic or a chef.  Your tools are your livelihood. Correct me if Im wrong here, but better tools make for better work!  They simply make your life easier and more productive. Take me for example, having worked in the Information Technology field my entire life, having to work with a slow computer makes me GRUMPY.  Lol

So, is it worth the investment?  Because $130 is still a lot of money to some folks. You better believe it is.  One of the rods in my arsenal is a St Croix Legend Extreme and it near caused me heart failure to buy it.  When I did, my thinking was it was only going to be used in the most pleasant of weather conditions and then rarely taken out of the garage if you will.  LOL Well, that thinking turned out completely wrong.  It is probably my favorite rod and certainly the one that goes with me the most.   I let my friend Kev-O use it once and he managed to catch a nice greenback.  When he returned it to me he enthusiastically said, I could feel the fish hit before it hit!

Rods have become a passion for me and there are many different brands and variations in the rod racks in my man cave.  There are some Im not sure cost me $5 and are essentially willow sticks with eyes.  Having used low quality gear for most of my life now make me fully appreciate what a difference the high-quality gear makes in terms of my enjoyment and my success.

This blog is meant to whet your appetite and hope you have many questions to ask.  I will gladly answer them to the best of my ability.

Blog content © Jim McFarland
Member comments
slipperyfish, CO   12/31/2016 6:28:45 PM
I totally agree with you Jim. If you can't afford one, some companies offer refurbished rods or start with a better quality than you a presently using and work up from there. Happy fishing!!!
lackskill, CO   12/31/2016 6:50:45 PM
Good article Jim. I've only managed one good rod so far but only partly because I managed to get great deals on 3 daiwa reels. If rod deals like this came along, I'd probably be divorced...
Kev-o, CO   12/31/2016 7:03:22 PM
Good equipment and mediocre equipment is a night and day difference. I do have our friend Jim to thank for hooking me up with that really nice g loomis walleye rod that started me on my addiction of owning better gear. Now I care if my rods gets broken lol. If you're serious about fishing I definitely recommend you check out a good quality rod and reel they're a little pricey but you won't regret your decision.
Jim McFarland (anglerwannabe), CO   1/1/2017 2:38:27 PM
Thank you guys. That's great advice Slippery, I hadn't even thought of refurbished. Bass Pro's Spring sale is also a great time.. you can trade in an old rod and get up to $100 towards a new rod. Lackskill - I'm not divorced cuz The Boss likes to fish. Whenever any of you run into Kev-O, you should ask him about the time he dropped his walleye rod. lol
opencage, CO   1/6/2017 7:07:43 AM
Yup, rods are great. I remember thinking, "Oh, I'll never need more than two rods." Well that's long gone now, fly, ice, and spinning rods. The best thing to do is ask for BPS (or wherever) cards and save them up to buy the good stuff. Thanks Jim.
FISHRANGLER, CO   2/12/2017 6:33:27 PM
I could feel the fish hit before it hit! My St Croix Legend Extreme doesn't have this new technology. Maybe I have a older model? This is true what you say about physical fatigue setting in after a long day on the water using heavy equipment. The couple OZ saved on a good rod will help you stay in the strike zone for longer periods of time. I look at it as tactical gear these days . Im at war with the fish and i need to pack light and be stealthy and be maneuverable. Buy less buy what you can afford but do look at weight when shopping for a rod it could help you .
FISHRANGLER, CO   2/12/2017 6:34:58 PM
I know of people that have have surgery for wrist problems due to fishing.
Swampy13, CO   2/12/2017 6:49:30 PM
Very good! Until you actually try a high end rod you don't even know there can be a difference. I own several (ok, too many) St. Croixs and each has a different use. Two years ago I was able to pick up a couple of Edge First Strikes (via Kickstarter) when they first came out. They are my go to rods now. IMHO they are better than the St. Croixs. If you have never tried a high end rod, you need to.
Skookshunter, CO   2/13/2017 6:48:07 AM
You don't always need to spend an arm and a leg to find a good quality rod either. Shop sales, search online (facebook buy sell trade), use a coupon, check Cabelas bargain cave, etc. You'd be surprised at some of the amazing deals you can find.
esoxrocks, CO   2/13/2017 7:05:26 AM
I agree with owning good equipment...but IMO there are boundaries to that obsession. Paying $300 more to get something like a 1-2 oz. lighter rod doesn't make the cut for me. There are just too many other competing ways to spend my fishing $' travel, boat (queue, "endless sucking sound"), etc, etc. I try to stay in the mid-upper grade level where I feel I am maximizing the quality vs. cost curve.
Jim McFarland (anglerwannabe), CO   2/13/2017 6:09:28 PM
awesome feedback guys! Swampy, I like GLoomis too, St Croix just has a better warranty. Thanks FR great points. Great ideas Skooks, I forgot about the bargain cave. Esox, I don't have a boat! lol But would say if you bought an Avid it wouldn't break the bank and you'll have an awesome rod to boot.
esoxrocks, CO   2/14/2017 7:38:42 AM are right about good equipment I own mostly St Croix Premiers plus a Legend Elite I bought on sale from St Croix last year. I also agree the Avid's represent a very good quality vs price trade-off ( I think that will be my next purchase). I was mostly making the point that with limited resources...and unlimited places to spend these resources...I work hard to optimize the value of each expenditure.
sylvan, CO   2/14/2017 4:53:57 PM
the boss was using my $49.99 BPS Tourney series rod and did quite well if I remember correctly. so tofarbehind I guess we could have considered you buriedforsure.
Jim McFarland (anglerwannabe), CO   2/14/2017 6:17:14 PM
Sylvan... I also seem to remember her catching tons on 2 Avids that were on that trip not to mention the other rods on your boat. For some strange reason she pretty much caught ALL the fish.. regardless what rod they hit. lol She sure had fun
Jim McFarland
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