Matching your rod to the application

About the author

Andrew Upshaw

Andrew Upshaw

Andrew Upshaw of Hemphill, Texas, teamed with Ryan Watkins to win the 2011 Mercury College B.A.S.S. National Championship for Stephen F. Austin, then edged Watkins for the first Bassmaster Classic berth from the collegiate series.

Over the past few years, I never felt like I matched my rod to the application quite like I do today.

I would often lose fish, miss hook sets or not have enough backbone to set the hook. We all have run into this one time or another. It really doesn’t matter what rods you use, as long as their actions and powers match up to what you are trying to do.

Following are three techniques where the right rod plays a huge role in your success. These might go against what everyone else does, but it works for me and in no way is the exact way to do things.

Swim Jig

Fishing a swim jig, I throw 20-pound Seaguar flourocarbon, unlike many fishermen who prefer braid. There is nothing wrong with throwing braid, but line choice and the rod I use are extremely important for what I am about to say. I currently use a 7-foot, 6-inch Team Lews in a heavy, extra fast action.

Other rods in similar actions will work; this is just what I am currently using. The reason I use this rod is it has very little bend. It’s maybe one step down from a broom stick. I use a stiff rod for two reasons: The ability to catch up on line without always using your reel, and I normally fish a swim jig in pretty thick cover and need a rod to move the fish, especially if it hits at the end of my cast.

Drop Shot

I absolutely love throwing a drop shot rig. This is one of my all-time favorite rigs to throw, especially now.

First off I throw two different rods with two different line sizes. First one is my light rig. This is the rig that I throw 7-pound Sunline Shooter fluorocarbon on a 7-foot medium light, fast action Team Lews spinning rod. I find it combines sensitivity and power behind a hook set for such small line. It’s a fun and effective technique and my absolute favorite for drop shotting light line.

The other line I use is 10-pound Seaguar. This is for a little heavier cover, possibly even casting the rig. I use a 7-foot medium, fast action Team Lews rod for this. This rod has just enough tip to play the fish but enough back bone to move them away from cover.

Wacky Rig Senko

This is by far my dad’s favorite technique in the world, so I figured I would share a few things about it. We use an open hook, similar to a 2/0 Gamakatsu G-Lock hook with 12- to 15-pound Seaguar. The rod we use for this application is a 6-8 Team Lews baitcasting rod with medium heavy, fast action.

We like the in-between rods because it seems like the shorter rods didn’t allow for complete hook sets and longer rods pulled the bait away from the fish.  This is the perfect rod for this application -- not too much tip but just enough to allow you to throw this light bait a long ways.

So now you know what I use for three different applications. I’m always up for hearing some request from my valued readers and would love to help you with picking out the right rod for the application. So if you have a specific application that you can’t seem to figure out the rod, let me know and I’ll see what I can do to help.

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