CB Rod Wars Part 11: Experience Half Graphite and Half Glass Crankbaitin' with the Fenwick Elite Tech Crankshaft (continued)
Tests: With the
lab results completed it was time to take the Crankshaft on the water for some
field trials. I paired the Elite Tech rod with the awesome Abu Garcia Winch,
that is specially made for cranking, and the pair matched up perfectly. Off I went to test the rod at lakes such as Clear Lake
and of course our famed California Delta waterways.
A hooked butt cap provided a
secure double handed cast
Casting the Fenwick Crankshaft is smooth. You get the rigidity of a graphite rod
at the lower half while the top half, which is glass, sends the lure out as it
loads up. You wonít have to compensate much when casting this rod due to its
moderate fast taper which is common in many types of rods.
A hard cast
loading the rod with a medium diving crankbait
Another thing that is
really nice about the Crankshaft crankbait rod is the rear handle. It has a
secure trigger butt cap that allows you to not only makes better long casts
because you have a better grip but improves the overall power as you go through
the casting motion. The only downside I found is that the handle could be
extended one more inch in length as it felt better to me when grasping for a two
half to the tip provided good cranking action
Although itís a half
graphite half glass rod, Iím surprised at the rodís sensitivity. Itís definitely
not as sensitive as a graphite rod but much better than a glass rod. The
vibrations are well transferred from the two materials directly to your hands.
When retrieving medium-diving crankbaits I had no problems feeling the wobble of
the crankbait and when it ran into tops of submerged trees and rocks.
Fenwick's own reel seat with
exposed blank for greater sensitivity
glass rods, even the E21 21-Carrot Gold, I had to set much harder than normal.
With the Elite Tech Crankshaft it didnít disappoint me in this category as the
lower half of the rod was graphite and provided plenty of hooksetting and
lifting power when needed.
Check out the
graphite and glass action when fighting a fish
The lab results show that
this particular model has a RoD value of 2.28 with a moderate fast taper, thus
we categorized it with our medium cranking sticks, and yes this rod performs
well with crankbaits running in this range. The Fenwick ECC73MH-MF, on the other
hand, is much better for deep cranking and provides even more power when you are
going 15+ feet down.
The Crankshaft rod can take much more abuse than say a complete graphite rod,
especially the glass portion. During our field tests, I accidentally high
sticked the rod a few times when landing fish but didnít have any breakage
issues there. The trigger butt section is made of EVA foam and, depending on how
you abuse the rod, can take on some wear. The overall components are good
including the Fenwick proprietary reel seat and Pac Bay DPL frames with SiC
the Delta for black bass, I hook into this striper which gave it a good test as
the fish ran much faster than a bass
As already mentioned, the Fenwick Elite Tech Crankshaft rod is made for one
thing and one type of lure only, crankbaits. The rod excels at tossing and
retrieving crankbaits and from our lab and field tests we have validated the rod
to have a sweet range for medium diving lures though it can handle smaller or
Elite Tech Crankshaft (ECC70M-MF)
Good overall construction
making use of both graphite and glass portions
Built for cranking, the
rod does well on casts and power for this dual material rod. When it comes
to sensitivity it leans more towards a graphite feel than glass
A fair competitive price
with rods of this level
The rod has the basic
features but has the added hooked butt cap that improves casts
When matched with the
Winch the setup is well balanced. The hooked butt cap is a nice ergonomic
feature though we would like the handle to be extended at least one more
This rod is designed
specifically for cranking only. Best used with medium diving lures
1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = unbelievable!
Pluses and Minuses:
Graphite and Glass construction
Handle can be one inch longer|
Security hooked butt cap
Conclusion: The Fenwick Elite Tech Crankshaft was
designed for one thing, cranking. The construction of the rod made use a lower
graphite section and a glass upper portion of the rod. The combination gives you
the benefits of graphite and glass all in one rod. With the "50/50 Superdelay"
action the glass portion of the rod provided good cranking performance from
launching the crankbait far or taking the load off the angler when luring medium
to deep diving baits. The rod has a hooked but cap which is great for double
handed casts to ensure no slipping when you make that fast whipping motion.
Overall a good crankin' rod for medium diving baits and does better than glass
rods with some beneficial traits of a graphite blank.
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