If you on the lookout for a lighter lure rod to use for bass fishing - and no doubt other lure fishing as well - then I would strongly recommend that you take a long look at this amazing new Favorite Skyline SKY-862M 8’6’’ 6-21g lure rod. A lure rod this light in my opinion almost has no right to feel like this - it’s so damn fast it’s almost a joke, it will properly put 21g lures out there if needs be but then also properly fish the much lighter stuff, I don’t know how they manage to put a tip like this on a rod that’s got so much grunt lower down, and I just love how this Favorite Skyline SKY-862M 8’6’’ 6-21g lure rod is the next level up in power over the slightly lighter Favorite SkyLine 862ML 8’6’’ 4-16g sibling that I reviewed a while back.
It’s when you start working various lures that this slightly more powerful version of the lighter Favorite Skyline suddenly and seriously comes to life, indeed it’s quite remarkable how outstanding this magic wand of a 6-21g lure rod is when you are imparting action to soft lures especially. Do nothing but whack and crank and you might as well save some money and buy something cheaper that isn’t giving you this much, but bringing lures to life and I can’t really see how an 8’6’’, slightly lighter lure rod is going to get any better than this Favorite Skyline SKY-862M. Bloody hell this thing is special, and I will do my best to tell you why.
OK, so I am obsessed with the OSP DoLive Stick soft plastic lure, and especially the 6’’, but increasingly the smaller and long casting 4.5’’ FAT version. I like how far these things cast and I tend to like working them with a kind of twitch, twitch, pause, wind a bit, twitch, pause and so on sort of retrieve, but then saying that, I watched our clients over in Ireland the other day land some fantastic bass on the 6’’ DOLive Sticks by simply winding them in at a slowish sort of pace so that the lure swims with the most outrageous slalom sort of action. It’s when I feel totally connected to a soft plastic “twitchbait” like this that I know I am using a decent lure rod, and I can’t think of a better combination than this particular Skyline rod plus DoLive Stick, senko etc. I like a fast lure rod, and this thing’s as fast as they come, but the tip on it is just something else it’s so good.
When I’m working the lure, obviously the tip needs to work with me to help impart life to it, but I don’t want to feel that a lighter lure rod like this is “collapsing” into the lure if that makes sense - we need a tip to help us work soft plastics especially, but I can’t stand any sort of floppy stick of a lure rod. I could watch the way the tip on this Favorite Skyline 862M bends into the rest of the rod all day long, but better still I am in love with how it feels in my hands - absolute precision, maximum feedback, and the feeling that with the rod I am alert to any kind of interest at the lure end. I’d love to be able to better explain it, but at the end of the day it just all feels wonderfully “together”.
There’s no point in me telling you what you should or should not be doing with this lighter lure rod - I think the casting weight and rod length gives you all the clues you need. As for whether you would ever want or need a lure rod for your bass fishing like this depends on many factors, not least where you tend to do the bulk of your fishing, what sea and weather conditions you tend to face, and what lures you tend to like fishing with.
I got a bit of a shock the other night when I fished with this 6-21g Skyline and also the lighter 7-23g Major Craft Skyroad which I really like (review here) - I would fish for a while then change rods but use the same lure, and whilst I have a serious thing for the lighter Skyroad, I could not believe how different these two rods are when you cast them. The overall steeliness blending into that utterly sublime tip on the Favorite Skyline is very different to the more through action on the light Skyroad, indeed it showed me how the lightness of the Skyroad is right through the rod I suppose (and I really, really like the 7-23g Skyroad), whereas the Skyline is so much about the tip working with a lot of steeliness - and yes, the more expensive Favorite Skyline is more “precise” than the Skyroad, as indeed perhaps it should be for the price.
The grip and handle design on this 6-21g Skyline are the same as on the 4-16g version I reviewed a while back, and whilst I generally like what is going on but had reservations about what sits under my reel hand, over time I have come around more and more to what I think is some sort of textured carbon underneath. The build quality on these not cheap Skyline rods smacks of quality and I do really like a set of Fuji Torzite guides that just never seem to show any signs of rusting. A rod bag makes little difference to me, but I like the fact that it’s neoprene, plus you get a couple of neoprene rod straps included which I think is a nice touch.
If you read my previous, lighter Skyline review then you know my feelings on these lighter rods - I am increasingly enjoying fishing with them, and this is largely down to me fishing more and more soft plastics rigged weedless and weightless especially. This 6-21g Favorite Skyline seems born to fish surface lures like my beloved IMA Salt Skimmer, and I have absolutely blasted some 20g GT Ice Cream type lures I have here in an attempt to stress the thing out a bit, but to be honest the rod just keeps on going, and I put that down to the power present in the butt and mid-section. Because of where I fish and the conditions I often face, I can’t use a lighter rod like this all the time, but when a lure rod is as utterly sublime as this new Favorite Skyline SKY-862M, then I can’t help but find as many excuses as possible to fish with it.
I knew nothing about Favorite rods only a few months ago, but holy cow have the few I have fished with so far been some impressive bits of kit. I wonder where this mightily impressive company might go with the bass type lure rods they are increasingly making available, indeed that sub-£200 Favorite Shooter SHT-962MH 9'6'' 15-35g rod (review here) still sits in my head as one of the most impressive “next step up” bass lure rods I have come across. In my lure fishing fried head I am dreaming of a say 9’4’’ 7-28g version of this awesome Favorite Skyline SKY-862M 8’6’’ 6-21g lure rod - now that would be something else…………...
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