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Rod Review

TackleTour's 2009 Crankbait Rod Wars Finale (continued)

Line cont'd: Lastly, there are some very high quality nylon monofilaments that offer thin diameters and very smooth casting performance. Sunline’s Defier monofilament immediately comes to mind to fit the bill here and is an excellent companion to your favorite graphite cranking stick.

The Crankbait Rod wars allowed Cal to rekindle his Enthusiast spirit.

Zander's favorite deep diver remains the Norman DD22.

Awards & Honors: Seven cranking rods qualified for a total of eight awards this year and if that run down doesn’t sound quite right, remember Lucky Craft ran away with two awards for a single product. Yes, the Lucky Craft 701F qualified for a very rare double award ceremony on TackleTour! Here’s a recap of our 2009 Crankbait Rod Wars Awards recipients.

CB Rod Wars Awards & Honors



Megabass F4-72GTZ ICBM Editor’s Choice
Shimano Cumara Reaction CUC70H Editor’s Choice
Dobyns Rods 704CB Glass Editor’s Choice
Lucky Craft 701MF Editor’s Choice & Best Value
Phenix X-10 Cranking Editor’s Choice
Falcon Cara Reaction T7 Deep Runner Best Value
Daiwa Fle-X-Lite Crankbait Rod Ultimate Enthusiast Award

Final Thoughts – Actual Editor’s Picks: With over thirty rods to work through this past year, there were bound to be some favorites, disagreements, and negotiations amongst the TT Editors as to which single rod stood out.

We take our work here very seriously at TackleTour and even a torn bicep cannot keep us away from the work at hand.

Zander: I must have drew the right straws because I got to spend time with a lot of really good cranking rods throughout the last fifteen months. On top of the rods I fished I also tried to put in some time with the other rods the rest of the staff fished as well. The Megabass F4-72GTZ ICBM Biwako Guide Special exhibited the most sheer enthusiast appeal to me but the Daiwa Fle-X-Lite delivered the most enthusiast appeal for a rod designed for the domestic market. Lucky Craft and Falcon both deserve recognition for products that exhibit more performance than you would expect from rods at their price points. I also must note that I didn’t review the Lamiglas stick in the initial plan because it tested out just about identical to the previous Skeet Reese stick I reviewed three years ago so you can basically transpose that review if you are considering the other Lami offering.

For Zander, it's a decision between Enthusiast or standard fare and the age long debate of Daiwa versus Shimano.

When it comes to the one rod that I enjoy fishing more than other out of this roundup it would have to be the Daiwa Fle-X-Lite, it is incredibly sensitive and just feels buttery smooth when working baits and fighting fish preserving the initial hookset and keeping fish on, but the Daiwa Fle-X-Lite does come with a hefty price tag and if I take price into consideration my next favorite rods would be the Dobyns 704CB (which I’m still not giving back to Cal) and the Shimano Cumara Reaction CUC70H. Both are exceptional rods and if you prefer graphite you will like the Shimano offering and if you’re more partial to glass the Dobyns 704CB is the one to get in my opinion. 

The search continues for JIP's favorite cranking rod.

JIP: For the Crankbait Rod Wars my contenders were the E21 21 Carrot Gold, Fenwick Elite Tech Crankshaft, Quantum Tour KVD, and the Airrus Wildlife Copperhead. Unlike all-purpose bass rods, each of these rods were designed and built completely different. Some made use of graphite, some bio-fibers, some glass, and some a blend. Their one goal is to fabricate the perfect action to fish a crankbait. As you can tell, the four rods that I reviewed received fair to good ratings. They are all good for specific crankbait fishing styles but nothing stood out as the best of the pack as each had their pros and cons. All four rods needed a slightly longer handle, some only requiring an additional inch while others more. The rods with split handles weren't as well balanced as the full handle ones but that's a sacrifice between overall lightweight versus being balanced. Each rod had it's advantages: 21 Carrot Gold - Lightweight and balance port; Elite Tech Crankshaft - Glass action, graphite control; Tour KVD - Good cast and power, inexpensive; Wildlife Copperhead - Lightweight and sensitive. None of these rods met my needs entirely, each required a sacrifice, so in the end, none of them win my pick for the year.

The Megabass F4-72GTZ ICBM Biwako Guide Special was Cal's favorite in 2009.

Cal: Of all the cranking rods I fished this year, there was one stick I looked forward to fishing every opportunity I got and that was the new Megabass F4-72GTZ ICBM Biwako Guide Special. Normally a fan of glass sticks for cranking, this stick’s light and crisp feel won me over very quickly. Couple that with the way it performed up at Pyramid Lake for those beautiful Lahontan Cutthroat Trout and I just could not get enough of this stick during 2009.

Despite the conclusion of our Year of the Crank coverage, you can be sure we'll continue to Crank It Up in 2010 and the years to follow.

Conclusion: So there you have it, with 2010 already a couple of months old, our 2009 Year of the Crank can be officially laid to rest. As alluded to earlier, you can expect a lot of crank specific tackle and bait reviews to continue through the New Year, but it’s now time to turn our attention to our 10th Anniversary Celebration and The Search For One. We hope you enjoyed our cranking coverage as much as we enjoyed bringing it to you and rest assured, we’ll continue to Crank It Up in 2010 and the years to follow.

Looking for cranking rods? Try Tackle Warehouse , Hi's Tackle Box, and Monster Fishing Tackle









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