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Rod Review

What the Finesse : Falcon's Jeff Kriet Signature Series Stick


Date: 5/14/11
Tackle type: Rod
Manufacturer: Falcon
Reviewer: Cal

Total Score: 7.25 - GOOD

Bassmaster Elite Series Angler Jeff Kriet has twelve, top 10 finishes to his credit including a 1998 Oklahoma Invitational title, and second place finish at the 2010 Bassmaster Classic. One of his specialties is fishing plastics and Big Bite Bait's Squirrel Tail Worm is one of his signature designs. Of course, if you're an Elite Series angler and you have a signature bait to your credit, it stands to reason, you're going to have a signature rod associated with said bait. Introducing Falcon's Cara series Jeff Kriet signature stick, the Squirrel Tail spinning rod.


Falcon Cara CS-4-17M-S Spinning Rod Specifications

Material Falcon's F120X Graphite
Length 7'
Line Wt. 6-14lbs
Lure Wt. 1/16 - 1/4oz
Pieces 1
Guides 7 + Tip (Fuji Alconite)
Power Rating Medium
Taper Fast
Rod Weight 3.6 oz
Origin Made in USA
MSRP $199


Impressions: With two rods from this series already in our archives, Falcon's CS-4-17M-S offered no surprises. It is a seven foot stick featuring a no foregrip, split rear grip design, and Fuji Alconite guides. It is a clean, no-nonsense stick proudly manufactured within the United States along with all of Falcon's rods. The only downside to the fact the Cara is made in the United States? It's priced roughly $50 more than rods built by other manufacturers with similar components overseas.


Introducing Jeff Kriet Signature series Squirrel Tail rod by Falcon.


Lab Tests: First stop for our Jeff Kriet signature Falcon spinning rod was the lab and an appointment with the RoD WRACK. It is here we can see the CS-4-17M-S's rate of deflection is pretty darn close to that of our two baseline rods. The actual curve, as charted, is lower than either the G.Loomis DSR820S GLX or G.Loomis SMR822S-SP GLX, meaning the Squirrel Tale is a bit heavier in power than the other two sticks, but the actual rate at which the rod deflects is very similar.


Lab Results for Falcon Cara CS-4-17M-S Spinning Rod

Avg RoD (2-32 oz)
Measured Weight (oz)
Balance Point (inches)
Balancing Torque (ftlbs)
Falcon Cara CS-4-17M-S Spinning Rod

More news on the plus side for the Squirrel Tale spinning stick is it weighs in at a more than respectable 3.6 ounces, but with this light weight comes a big, “tip heavy” penalty. This stick’s balancing torque is 0.23 ftlbs, a number we more commonly see with eight foot flipping sticks.

Fig 1: This chart illustrates the deflection characteristics of the Falcon Cara CS-4-17M-S (red curve) against our two baseline What the Finesse (WTF) sticks in the G.Loomis DSR820S GLX (yellow curve) and SMR822S-SP GLX (blue curve). As you can see, the Cara is a full to half a power heavier than either of these rods, but shares the same, general rate of deflection throughout.

Field Tests: I matched the CS-4-17M-S up with a Daiwa Certate Vintage Custom 2004 reel, spooled the reel up with 6lb Sunline Super Natural, and slid the combo into my boat locker for one of our extended, early season trips to Clear Lake, California helping to kick off our WTF (What the Finesse) activities.

We matched the Squirrel Tail up with a Daiwa JDM Certate Vintage Custom spinning reel.

Casting: The CS-4-17M-S is rated from one sixteenth to one quarter ounces in lure weight. Though the lower end in lure weights for most spinning rods can probably be extended without much difficulty given the ease by which you can cast with a spinning reel, I’m not sure the Squirrel Tale is properly rated.

Falcon proudly displays "Made in the USA" on all their sticks.

Lab tests aside, right off the rack, this rod feels every bit its “Medium” power rating, but its lure and line weights belie this fact and infer the stick is more along the lines of a light powered rod doing the blank a discredit.

Naturally, their rods' components are still from overseas as Fuji manufactures their parts in Japan.

In fact, I was able to cast and work baits up to half an ounce on this rod with little difficulty. Jeff Kriet uses this stick to fish his Squirrel Tail worms on a shakey head, but I found this stick more suited to all purpose type spinning rod applications. In fact, with ten or twelve pound test line on this rod, I wouldn’t hesitate to use it tossing jerkbaits, top water poppers, spinnerbaits, and lipless cranks. It’s a very versatile stick.

The nice, clean, cork grip of our Squirrel Tail rod.

On the other hand, the natural, tip heavy feel of this stick lends itself very well to bottom contact presentations where you’re fishing with the rod’s tip pointed down the majority of the time.

And the simple, yet effective butt end.

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