Yep I know you're stunned as many folks know I treasure my St Croix rod collection! But the Carrot Stix Wild Wild Black spinning rod really needs to be shared, especially given how many people are looking for a great rod at a great price. Well folks, this is certainly such a rod, mine is a 6'7" MH. Why haven't I mentioned it or written about it sooner? Simple, there are quite a few negative reviews about this rod and they're primarily about two specific aspects. Of the two I can attest firsthand about one of them and completely validate it is true. So, what are these two things?
There are many reviews that say the rod tip snaps easily and when you contact customer service they don't meet their warranty promises. The other is the hook holder. You read that right, the hook holder. This is the one that I can readily attest to. Mine came with the hook holder immediately behind the reel seat on the top of the handle. It was a V shaped hook holder with a very pointy end. At first it wasn't too bad because it was easy to place lures and hooks and hold them in place. However, it didn't take long before it was problematic. My wrist would catch on it and it would scratch me or when I went to grip the rod my hand would be on top of the hook holder. It's obvious Carrot Stix is aware of this issue because 4 other people that have them say their hook holder is in a different location and they all cause different issues. For instance, one friend the hook holder is on top of the rod right before the first eye. What happens? Often his line gets wrapped on it in some manner. While that is an issue, the solution is simple. Took mine to Rick's Rods, had them remove the holder and put one exactly where I like it. So what about the rod tip and warranty? Well that's a big reason it's taken me so long to put this review together. Having my rod for 3 or 4 years now and using it quite heavily, I was waiting to see if this problem popped up on me. It has not, so I can neither confirm nor deny this aspect. But there are so many reviews saying it is true, it would be unwise to not be concerned. My solution would be to purchase from someplace like TackleWarehouse (TW) where even if the manufacturer doesn't honor their end, TW will. Now that the negative is out of the way, lets get to the good.
How about a price tag of $129.99 and if you were to have purchased it when TW had their 15% off sale it would have only been about $110.50 which is outstanding given the quality. Pretty good start right? This rod weighs an amazing 3.2 oz and has phenomenal backbone. Just how much do I like this rod? Mine is paired with a Shimano Sustain FG 4000, yes it's that good! The combined weight of this combo is a staggering light weight of 13.1 oz. This is something you can cast all day and all-night long. When you hook into a big fish it has the backbone to get the fishes head up and gain control. If you've seen some of my ditch pickle (LMB Bass) videos, you will have seen the pair in action in heavy hydrilla pulling the big fish up through that mess. Two years ago almost to the day my buddy Kev-O was using this combo and pulled in about an 8 lb pike. My oldest son also caught his largest pike on it coming in at around 12 lbs and I have also caught some great pike on it. For it to be this light and yet have the power to get the large pike and pull bass through heavy weeds is impressive.
When you cast your lure, it is more like launching it as opposed to casting it. Try a half ounce Kastmaster and you can literally lose sight of the lure. Ok, so my eyes aren't that great but in the same breath I'm not exaggerating either. Granted, the correct pairing is important and it should be noted that the 4000 series Sustain is about the same size as most 2500 series reels in terms of physical size and perhaps even lighter in weight. The fast action of the rod allows for an extremely quick and solid hook set, which is really nice on those long casts. Sensitivity? This rod got it all. It is comfortable throwing cranks, jerks or plastics, you can feel every bounce, wobble and flutter. Another great aspect is how good it feels when you hold it as not all rods of quality feel good. Some even feel a little strange. lol
Given the price and quality of this rod I would have to give it a 8.5 to 9 on a scale of 10. If you're searching for your first high quality rod at an affordable price, look no more.