Let me tell you right off the bat that picking a good crankbait rod has nothing to do with price. Get that out of your head right now. High-dollar models that cost hundreds of dollars won’t do anymore for you than a lower-priced model. It’s about weight and action — start to finish.
We’ll start by talking about blank materials. The best stuff I know about for a crankbait blank is glass.
Time was when glass rods were heavy and not very sensitive. Modern glass is different. Scientists have found ways to make glass blanks lighter than ever before. You can fish all day with them and not wear yourself out. And, they’ve figured out a way to make them sensitive. The truth is there’s very little difference in those areas between glass and other construction materials.
There is one thing that hasn’t changed about glass, though. That’s the delay it gives you when a fish strikes and the bend it gives you when you cast. Those two things are the most important. If you don’t have them, everything else is worthless.
The delay when you set the hook after you feel a fish bite is critical. Crankbaits have treble hooks. They’ll pull out quick enough if you put a lot of quick pressure on a fish or jerk around on it. And, when it makes a hard run the last thing you need is a jerk on those hooks. You want a smooth pull back. Glass gives you that.
The other thing is that a soft, parabolic bend in the rod gives you long casts. As you know, I’ve said many times that making long cast with a crankbait is important. That’s not complicated to think about. The longer your lure is in the water the better chance you have to catch a bass. That’s just common sense.
The rods I use are my Signature Series crankbait rods made by Lew’s. They’re affordable and have all the features I’ve already talked about. We used to make them out of 100 percent glass, but now they’re made with 92 percent glass. That’s because there are so many heavy crankbaits out there that guys are using.
Now let’s talk for a minute about something not so positive — my season. I’m struggling. Actually, it’s a whole lot worse than that. It’s the toughest season I’ve ever had, but it’s about more than fishing. My personal life has been in a turmoil.
My mother had a stroke and the caregiving has fallen to my sister and me. And, just the other day my stepdad had his toe amputated. Their care has fallen to my sister and me.
I’m in no way complaining. Lord knows mom took care of me long enough. But the reality is that I haven’t prefished a lake we’ve fished all year. All I’m doing is showing up for practice and then fishing the tournament three days later. Basically I’m fishing blind. You just can’t compete with the kind of anglers we have now doing that, and my results show it.
Wish me luck.