Image from St. Croix Rods
Fishermen have their favorite rods, it is largely a matter of personal preferences. My favorites are St. Croix Rods. They have a model for any fishing need, and I have several in different models, weights and actions.
I won a St. Croix rod at a tournament in Wisconsin back in the early 1990s and fell in love with it. The Avid model seven-foot, medium weight, fast action AVC70MF is the best all-around rod I use. It works well for topwater baits, crankbaits and spinnerbaits. I also use it successfully for small swim baits and underspins.
The next year I bought two more Avids but didn’t pay careful attention and ordered the medium heavy weigh AVC70MHF, a lucky accident. I used them for throwing the shaky head and jig and they were perfect. I seldom lost a fish on any of my three rods.
I broke the first rod and St. Croix replaced it under warranty for $50. They did not even ask how I broke a two-year old rod, but I am sure I hit it on the side of the boat working a topwater plug based on where it broke, cracking it.
I managed to lose one of the second two I bought, a whole nother story of my stupidity, and ordered two more of the medium action. Since I was mostly fishing shaky heads and small jigs, one of them was dedicated to the small jigs. I kept fishing a shaky head on the medium heavy weight rod.
After losing several fish on the jig, I quit throwing it for a time. I finally realized all the fish I lost were on the medium weight and had not lost fish on the medium heavy rod fishing a shaky head, I ordered another Avid AVC70MHF medium heavy weight fast action rod a few months ago. Since then I have not lost a fish on the jig, including a 4 pounder at Guntersville and many other keeper fish.
Rod weight makes a difference! The slightly heavier weight helps set the hook on the jig and shaky head where the lighter weight is fine for other baits. I fish both shaky head and small jigs on those two rods every tournament now and use the medium weight for most of my other baits.
To clarify some terms:
Rod length is pretty obvious. But the other terms can be confusing.
Rod action is how fast a rod bends from the tip. A fast action rod has a light tip that bends easily. A medium action bends less, and a heavy action bends little. Lighter actions are best for lighter baits. For heavier baits, heavier action is needed.
Rod weight is how stiff the rod is. A light weight rod is usually lighter in heaviness, but mainly it bends a lot, often from the tip to the butt, in a parabolic arch. A heavy weight rod will bend little even at the tip. Again, a lighter weight rod is better for lighter baits but the heavier the weight is, the more ?backbone” you have to control the fish.
I also have a Mojo Crankbait rod and it is perfect for casting big crankbaits, and small ones for that matter. Jamie Koza, owner of The Dugout Tackle shop in Atlanta and well-known tournament fisherman, told me it is the best crankbait rod he has ever used, and I agree. I bought the Mojo Crankbait rod at a Georgia Outdoor Writers association auction, and got it for a very good price.
St Croix rods are not cheap but are all quality rods with a great warranty. But they make a series for most any budget, from their Bass X at about $100 to the very top end Legend Family, made for the deadly serious bass fisherman, at around $420. The Avid Family model I love is about $180 – second only to the Legend, and their Mojo Family is about $130. Their Premier series is about $120.
St Croix makes quality spinning and casting in all the above models and have models for saltwater, salmon and fly and even ice fishing. I have a St Croix Premier spinning rod and five Avid casting rods and the Mojo now, and have ordered a Legend jig rod – just gotta try it out.
Disclaimer – I get a discount from St. Croix but would never use so many of them – at any price – if they did not work for me. I would recommend any fisherman try the St Croix rods in the model and action that they like.