Henry Gilbey
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I’m starting to look around for a longer, more powerful lure rod for heavier lures and/or some surf based bass fishing - how about some of the lighter US striped bass rods?

Following on from my surf fishing based blog post from Weds last week, and then my post from a few days ago, well my brain is churning away with any number of bass fishing related things (as usual!) - with one of them being an interest in a more powerful lure rod to properly deal with bigger lures and heavier surf conditions especially………..

By no means am I saying that any of you here need to rush out and buy a new lure rod, but I would hope that you kindly read this blog because you kinda like thinking about fishing related stuff along with me on here. Like many of you I am sure, I can turn to say a 9’6’’ lure rod that might be rated up to around the 35-40g mark, and to be honest a rod like this covers the bulk of the heavier lures and/or rougher weather lure fishing I might currently do. But if there is one thing that obsessing about bass fishing has taught me is that there is so much more to lure fishing for these magnificent fish than I could ever have imagined, and via Monday’s blog post and how we needed to deal with that particular location, and then my urge to start properly exploring some autumn and winter surf fishing, well I am starting to look for a slightly more powerful lure rod again to deal with some potentially bigger and heavier lures.

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For the time being I have got the reel sorted - review to come in due course, but wow this Penn Slammer III (3500 size, the smallest in the range) is growing on me. A few times I have deliberately drowned it in saltwater and so far there are no ill effects from this at all, indeed the reel feels like a frigging machine. OK, it’s not as light as a comparable sized Shimano or Daiwa, but if there is one thing I won’t be doing as and when I start doing some proper surf fishing is taking an expensive Japanese spinning reel out into those conditions - not with how easily I have seen surf fishing over in Kerry with our clients damage too many spinning reels now. Nope, unless the Penn Slammer III suddenly falls apart on me and/or goes horribly wrong (which it certainly doesn’t feel like it will so far), then as a reel to not worry about when it’s getting repeatedly soaked with saltwater, well it’s a no-brainer to me, and especially at the prices I can find it online.

Anyway, I digress. I know what I don’t want, and that’s an out and out poker of a bigger, more powerful lure rod. If you read my rod reviews then I am sure you will have worked out that I am drawn to very steely, faster/fast action lure rods up to around the 9’6’’ length, but for casting heavier lures than I would more usually fish with, well I don’t want something that’s going to make my shoulders ache after an hour of blasting. I have taken one of the Major Craft X-Ride 10’ shore jigging rods over with me when I have fished the famous Cape Cod Canal a few times for striped bass, and whilst it’s got the surface lures out there for me and also landed a few nice fish in a proper run of current (and I have seriously overloaded the rod with no ill effects at all), the rod’s so bloody stiff that I think it ends up working against you. 

Bull casting the 12' Shimano Tiralejo rod 2-6oz - sure it gets some heavy lures out there a long, long way if you can cast as well as this guy can, but getting at the power in the rod is almost effortless

Bull casting the 12' Shimano Tiralejo rod 2-6oz - sure it gets some heavy lures out there a long, long way if you can cast as well as this guy can, but getting at the power in the rod is almost effortless

Granted, I know it’s not designed for this kind of fishing, but it takes so much effort to wind the rod up and punch surface lures out there that an hour or so later and your shoulders want to fall off. I then had a bit of a fish with this local Canal guru Bull’s US Shimano surf rod setup and it was an absolute delight and so much easier to get big lures out there. He uses rods that can cope with the bigger surface lures which often seriously need to get out there on the Canal, but the rod bends and it’s so much more efficient to fish with. I don’t want a rod like this for DoLive Sticks etc., but now give me say a 40g or 50g lump of metal and a raging winter surf and I want a rod that’s not going to put me on my backside. 

Obviously the the Major Craft is a shore jigging rod and I am not about to start trying to cast great big striped bass size lures at our somewhat smaller bass, but I hope you get my point. There are of course a load of Japanese and European lure rods out there that might well be exactly the rod I am after - and as much as I can get hold of stuff to try I will (APIA, Tailwalk, Teklon, Favorite etc.) and then report back on here - but after my limited experiences with Bull’s setup, waggling a fair few US surf rods in US tackle shops, and then a couple of lads over here saying so, I wonder whether I should be looking at some of the US surf fishing rods that are designed for what in striped bass terms would tend to be the lighter lures. In their terms this would be along the lines of say ¾-4oz, and if you go looking around there are plenty of US surf rods like this in a variety of different lengths.

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Now I don’t know much about what might or might not be available along those lines here in the UK, but I do know that the nice people at Lure Lounge who handle brands such as Favorite and Z-Man have also just started to deal with the big US rod brand St.Croix for our market - and when I have been in striped bass parts of the US you do see a lot of St.Croix surf fishing rods around. There’s an interesting range of St.Croix surf and surf spinning rods called “Mojo” which aren’t hideously expensive at all. Somebody I know has the 10’6’’ ¾-4oz Mojo Surf Spinning rod which he is kindly going to get me a look at, and I am fascinated to see if this thing could work for some of the bass fishing that I have been on about recently. Century rods do a heap of US style surf rods for example, but as far as I know they are not available here in the UK - and so on. Plenty more to come I can assure you, holy cow my brain is on overdrive at the moment! 
 

The St. Croix Mojo range of Surf Spinning rods that I believe Lure Lounge can bring into the UK

The St. Croix Mojo range of Surf Spinning rods that I believe Lure Lounge can bring into the UK