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Rod Review

CB Rod Wars Part 10: Crankin' with Carrots, That's E21's 21 Carrot Gold (continued)

Field Tests: The E21 21 Carrot Gold Stix 21CRG701M-M-C was one of many sticks that joined Cal and I on our trip to El Novillo Mexico earlier this year. On this trip, I paired the rod with a Pflueger Patriarch and Daiwa Zillion spooled with 50 pound Toray braid. Both of these reels matched up nicely with the relatively light 21CRG701M-M-C.


The 21 Carrot Gold was field tested Stateside and at El Novillo Mexico


Casting: The 21CRG701M-M-C feels very much like a moderately tapered graphite stick and casts like one too. Because of this action some anglers will feel the need to make adjustments in their casting motion to compensate for the way this rod loads. While adjustments may need to be made to accommodate the action it is no where near what anglers will find versus changing over to a fiberglass rod. Overall, the 21CRG701M-M-C is a very easy stick to grow familiar with when casting both for accuracy and distance.


Best with medium diving baits


Sensitivity: While the 21CRG701M-M-C casts more like a graphite rod, its sensitivity is very much in between traditional graphite and glass. It is not the most sensitive rod Iíve fished and some of that has to do with the moderate taper. Using braid while fishing this rod is almost a requirement if you want a high level of sensitivity. When compared with the rest of rods in our crankbait rod wars the 21CRG701M-M-C comes in around average when it comes to sesnitivity. 


No foregrip and the highly functional hook hanger


Power: Hereís where I ran into a little issue with this rod and not so much in fish fighting power but with the rodís ability to quickly hookset. I hooked plenty of fish with this rod, but less than half actually made it into the boat even though I was using braid! Most of them came off in the middle of the fight during which time everything felt normal. One second Iíd feel the headshaking action of the bass at the end of the line, the next moment the fish would be gone! When I first started to use this rod I did not have much luck keeping fish buttoned at all. A crankbait rod needs to be able to protect the line and absorb the shock with fish just barely hooked on smaller trebles. I adjusted my hookset to even more aggressive levels and the problems went away. Hook setting adjustments are a must when fishing the 21 Carrot Gold. Set it harder than you normally would even crankbait fishing, in fact don't be afraid to channel your inner "Pro" and set hard.


One must adjust to the way they fish this rod due to it's moderate taper. You must hookset harder and must adjust your casts due to the way the rod loads

 While the blank was able to handle aggressive sets we did encounter some issues with the rod when it came to durability.
The 21CRG701M-M-C comes with stainless steel guides that are coated with a TiCH coating. The guide inserts are double swaged so they also do a good job at keeping them in place. Any coating on the inside of a guide is going to be susceptible to some level of wearing out and sure enough the tip top of my 21CRG701M-M-C showed signs of wear after several days fishing in the waters of El Novillo, Mexico battling those crazy south of the border bass. In fact the TiCH coating was actually was completely gone in the center area just after several days of fishing with braided line.


The E21 tip is no longer TiCH coated. Braided lines wore the coating off in just a few trips out


We made E21 aware of this issue and they claimed that they hadnít heard of any similar complaints, but shortly after our exchange, we were informed Pac Bay had gone back and added some extra layers of TiCH coating to their guides to help guard against possible similar occurrences. While the rod continues to fish just fine even with the layer worn away our position is that a coating is still just a coating. True that no ceramic inserts means there are no guide inserts to crack or fall out but a harder wearing implementation would have been a plus. 


E21 21 Carrot Gold Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Aside from the guides the overall construction of the rod is rated good. The initial claim that there are carrot fibers in these rods are no longer the case and the company states that the rods now make use of a "NANO Bio-Fiber" 7
Performance This particular models has a very "parabolic" action. You must adjust your cast, hookset, and the way you fight the fish with this rod. We had issues with the guide durability, though the rod continued to fish reasonably well the TiCH coating wearing off is an area for concern 6.5
Price We rated the rod fair in this category. The blank may not be the most sensitive but we didn't experience any durability problems while setting aggressively. But at the 200 dollar price point we expect better guides 6.5
Features The rod features no fore-grip, a split rear grip, an exposed reel seat design, and TiCH coated guides 7
Design (Ergonomics) The rod is lightweight! At only 3.6 ounces it feels light in hand and is easy to balance with a wide range of reels. We rated the E21 crankbait rod great in this category with the balance port implementation   8
Application Good rod for an all-purpose crankbait rod but it's best used for medium diving baits 7

Total Score

Ratings Key: 1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = unbelievable!
For More Details of the updated rating system visit our explanation here

Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Only 3.6 ounces L Guide coating wear
J Good action for crankbait fishing L Expect better components at this price point
J Balance port  


The 21 Carrot Gold Stix cranks up many bass in Mexico

Conclusion: When E21 first got into the fishing business a few years back with their first orange rod, everyone was excited about the new series as it was touted as one of the most advanced and "green" materials ever implemented into a rod blank. Though the final rods no longer utilized the carrot fiber the company states that the production blanks now make use of a NANO Bio-Fiber. The actual material still remains confidential so we may never know what it is exactly and while we found it just average in sensitivity it did deliver a quality action and good overall blank durability. These rods have proven to be quite popular, perhaps it is the memorable striking orange blank color or maybe it is the very light overall weight. Minus the issues mentioned, the 21 Carrot Gold Stix proved to be a decent multi-purpose crankbait rod though there is certainly still room for improvement.


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