Major Craft Crostage CRK-902ML 9' 10-30g lure rod - around £130.00
I am pretty sure that an older version of this Major Craft Crostage CRK-902ML 9' 10-30g lure rod was the first Major Craft rod I ever picked up and waggled a few years back now, and I remember thinking nope, not for me. Well I’ve now had the chance to actually get out and fish with this lure rod, and taking into account how much that I feel I have learnt about lure fishing and lure fishing tackle since then, it was with a more open mind that I rigged this 9’ 10-30g Crostage up for the first time. The rod’s cosmetics, grip and rings have had an update since I first saw one, and whilst I hesitate in saying that around £130 makes this a “budget” lure rod, the fact is that compared to a lot of stuff out there it is - yet you still get Fuji guides, a Fuji reelseat, and a rather smart build overall. Pretty damn good if you ask me.
One thing I would advise you against is taking much notice of Major Craft’s descriptions of their rod actions on their rather handy English language website here. Why? Because they make no sense to me at all. I am not saying that this 9’ Crostage hasn’t got a “Regular” action, indeed I think it’s a good word for this particular rod, rather I have to then question how on earth the actions on say their 9’ Truzer (review here) or 9’ Skyroad (review here) could possibly be described as “Regular” as well. One size doesn’t fit all if you ask me.
Let’s take this 9’ 10-30g Crostage as a “Regular” kind of lure rod then - it’s not as fast and “steely” as it’s slightly more expensive and ridiculously good value for money cousin, the 9’ 10-30g Skyroad, but it’s not remotely slow and floppy like a stick of rhubarb. It’s just an “easy” rod to lure fish with. As with many of the slightly cheaper lure rods, you can feel it when you’re pushing this thing hard towards its 30g top end, but you can get say the Patchinko out there just fine if you slow down a touch and don’t lash it.
Take a typical minnow-type hard lure such as the IMA/DUO Nabarone 125F and you could fish it all day long on this rod it’s so easy, but as with casting the heavier lures, there’s no need to be in too much of a hurry. Fast rods can be cast fast, but rods with a more regular action like this Crostage in my mind work better if you slow down a bit and load them up. Use that easier action to really compress the rod and it then puts the lures out there with consummate ease, indeed the more I fish with this rod, the more it grows on me. I am not going to say that I would buy this rod for myself as I do prefer a faster rod action overall, but I think that plenty of lure anglers would get on really well with this rod. Poker-stiff rods aren’t remotely a macho thing.
I can’t get away from the handle being too long for me, but that’s merely a personal thing, and I know other anglers who prefer longer handles and can’t understand why I like the shorter handles. I would imagine that tackle companies would love it if we were all the same, but if my ideal length from butt to reel foot is around 30cms (as per the Major Craft Truzer), you can understand that 41cms on this Crostage is a bit on the long side for me. I can fish with it no problem and over time I get perfectly used to it, but overall I do prefer a shorter handle.
I happen to think that via the Major Craft rods I have now played with (see here), you tend to be getting a hell of a lot of rod for whatever money you might be spending on them. It’s the same with this Crostage. This is a proper fishing rod, and don’t for one second make the mistake of thinking that an easier action is because of the price - plenty of far more expensive lure rods have “easier” actions as such, and it just depends what you prefer fishing with. If you are looking for a lure rod for around this kind of price then I would implore you to think about this Major Craft Crostage CRK-902ML 9' 10-30g, but I would also point out that the next step up in the Major Craft family tree of rods that are available here in the UK and Ireland is their outstanding and somewhat steelier/crisper Skyroad range - and with their recent price drop I think it’s essentially a farce how awesome they are for the money. I like this Crostage, but I absolutely love the Skyroads.