As a certified tackle junkie and former manager of a popular tackle store in central Arkansas, I have always looked forward to ICAST. There’s always certain level of excitement that comes with the possibility of the next “big thing” to change the fishing industry forever. With that said, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to test out Fenwick’s new Elite Bass series of rods that will be released at ICAST this year.
Growing up, I used a number of Fenwick rods – everything from the low-end rods to the high end, technique specific Elite Tech rods that had the color coordinated tips that were made so famous by Bassmaster Elite Series anglers in the early 2000s. With that said, I love that Pure Fishing is putting an emphasis on bass fishing centered rods like the new Elite Bass Series.
The rod that I got the opportunity to put to the test was a 7’ medium heavy, fast action casting rod, and my initial impressions were extremely positive. At first glance, the Elite Bass series is cosmetically pleasing with a sleek silver blank and navy blue wrapping on the guides and other accents.
As soon as I picked the rod up, the first thing I noticed was just how light the rod was. When you pick up a rod without a reel, it’s going to feel light which can be deceiving, but this rod is extremely light even with a reel. This is largely due to the exclusive Powerlux 200 resin technology that makes the blank ultra-light, yet provides superior impact and fracture resistance. The durable, titanium guides with zirconium inserts also help reduce weight.
Another thing that stood out right away is the unique, custom Fenwick reel seat, which is another thing that is hard to appreciate until you put a reel on the rod. Even with an early generation, larger Abu Garcia Revo S casting reel, the reel seat is extremely comfortable in my hand. Having the ability to feel the blank behind the reel seat is also a big advantage.
All of these things are great, but to get a good feel for a specific fishing rod, you have to get out on the water and test it out which is exactly what I did. I took the versatile 7’ Medium Heavy action Elite Bass rod to Lake Guntersville to put it to the test on the historic Tennessee River ledges.
While this action may not be the very best for specific techniques, it can accomplish just about all of them. The rod has the power to drag something like a magnum shaky head, yet a soft tip for throwing a vibrating jig. During my trip, I threw a variety of different baits on the rod including a magnum shaky head, hair jig, hollow body swimbait and buzzbait when we slid up to shallow water, and it handled every bait with ease.
If you’re looking for a more technique specific rod, that won’t be a problem. The Elite Bass Series features 13 casting models as well as seven spinning models that covers everything from the lightest dropshot to punching a heavy weight through matted vegetation.
I intentionally didn’t look up the price of the Elite Bass Series before testing it out, because I wanted to formulate my best guess as to what the price range may be. Once I realized that the series ranges in price from $169.95 – $189.95, I was genuinely shocked. My best guess would have been much closer to $300 per rod.
Overall, the Elite Bass Series has a very crisp feel that matches rods that are double the price!