Before professional anglers were considered the definitive sources for angling advice, back when money was tight and things like new fishing tackle were considered a luxury, I was privy to some sage advice that has stuck with me to this day. It came to me as I stopped by a small tackle store on my way to visit my parents one weekend. My objective was to buy a rod for my father to replace the one that I had stepped on and broke a few weeks prior.
As I fumbled through the wall display, manhandling and inspecting every rod, the salesman told me something that nearly caused me to laugh out loud.
Buy the most expensive rod that you can, the salesman said. Once you see the difference in weight and sensitivity between a good rod and a cheap one, you'll never go back.
At the time, I thought the advice was just the salesman's attempt at relieving me of my money. But in the years since, I have realized that he was telling the truth. But, we have to choose wisely the rods we invest in and match purchases to our fishing needs. With just three rods rigged for three specific techniques, you can have a successful day on the water during Post Spawn and early summer.
Going into Post Spawn and early summer, you definitely need a Carolina Rig rod, a crankbait rod and something for topwaters. As the water starts to warm, bass will start to move back to the ledges and rocks, away from the really shallow water. These are ideal conditions for a Carolina Rig.
For Carolina Rigs, the rod experts at Fenwick recommend a seven-foot, medium-heavy action rod. Because most anglers use a sweeping hook set, you will need a rod with plenty of backbone and a fast tip. To meet this need, Fenwick offers the Techna AVC 70MHF, already a favorite of many pros when fishing a Carolina Rig.
Crankbaits are also highly effective for targeting bass in similar areas. I like to use a rod similar to the Carolina Rig rod, except with a more moderate action to allow the fish a better chance to take the bait. While some still prefer a fiberglass rod for Crankin', Fenwick's rod designers point to the characteristics of the Fenwick Techna AVC 70MHMC, a rod with plenty of backbone for solid hook sets as an ideal Crankin' rod.
Depending on the size of the topwater bait, the rod experts at Berkley recommend one of their 6 1/2-foot Series One casting rods. A shorter rod means that you are less likely to slap the water and interrupt the presentation.
Balance, sensitivity and a light weight are all must-haves for a fishing rod. To get those things, serious anglers shouldn't let something like a few extra dollars keep them from trading up to higher-quality rods.
After all, the salesman wisely told me, you get what you pay for.