UPCOMING EVENT: YETI College Fishing - 2019 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

New Rod Roundup

Megabass has been making sweet rods for a while now, but many have been out of the price range of everyday anglers. The new Levante series should make a lot of us a little more comfortable when investing in the company’s rod products, which are premium in every way. The price is about $200. The Levante series features EVA grips – both split and full, depending on the model – and a new type of graphite called PYROFIL. We’re not exactly sure about the science behind PYROFIL, which is said to be 40 percent more fracture resistant than most graphite used to make rods, but Megabass is using it in its higher-end rods too. So you can probably expect it to be sensitive, and it’s very light. The series includes 10 casting models and two spinning models. Among the casting rods is a cranking mode

Rod companies continue to impress each year with a new crop of lighter, faster and more affordable (sweet!) rods. On the subject of price, these days, a tournament pro or an average angler could be fishing with rods that cost less than $100 apiece, but without giving up anything in the realm of quality.

Among the trends at this year’s show was the adaptation of the Microwave guide system to baitcasting rods – and just about every rod company added them to its lineup. Essentially, the Microwave system starts with a stripper guide that actually has two eyes that funnel the line down quickly off the reel. Gaining control right off the bat smooths the line so that it can flow through the remaining guides with less friction.

We rounded up a pretty full list of new rods to give you a quick first look at what was unveiled at ICAST. Stay tuned throughout the summer and fall for more in-depth reviews of some of the most promising models.

Click here for complete 2015 ICAST coverage.

 

The Custom Lite Speed Stick series from Lew's is a tournament-grade series of rods that feature split Winn rubberized grips - they're very sweet, by the way - and 85 million modulus graphite blanks. Rods are finished with a cool silver-on-black look. They're technique-specific and very light too. Prices range from $159.99 to $179.99.

Lew’s

Lew’s released three new rod series this season. The first is a combo aimed at young anglers. It’s called the Mach 1 and comes as either a spinning combo ($99) or a casting combo ($149). Either is perfect for a high-schooler or anyone just getting started in competitive fishing. The rods feature a cool white finish with green accents.

Shown above is the Custom Lite Speed Stick. It’s part of a tournament-grade series of rods that feature split Winn rubberized grips – they’re very sweet, by the way – and 85 million modulus graphite blanks. Rods are finished with a cool silver-on-black look. They’re technique-specific and very light too. Prices range from $159.99 to $179.99.

Finally, the Lew’s TP1 (shown below) is a slightly more affordable series of rods with similar attributes as the Lite Speed Stick, including Winn grips. There are 14 models made of IM8 graphite. The TP1 also features the cool Microwave guide train. They’re $99. Lews.com

The Lew's TP1 is a slightly more affordable series of rods with similar attributes as the Lite Speed Stick, including Winn grips. There are 14 models made of IM8 graphite. The TP1 also features the cool Microwave guide train. They're $99. Lews.com

 

Okuma updated its Guide Select series of rods by replacing the all-cork grips with EVA foam grips that are trimmed with cork. The change lightened them up a little bit. A new reel seat and cosmetics were added too. 

Of note, however, is the addition of three jumbo swimbait rods to the series. Bulb-shaped butts make the rods more comfortable when lobbing big trout baits. At the tip end, Okuma treated the last foot or so of the blank with unidirectional fibers, rather than fibers that wrap around the blank. The company claims the tip is three times stronger than on a standard finished model for more lifting power. Cost is about $125. OkumaFishing.com

Okuma Guide Select

Okuma updated its Guide Select series of rods by replacing the all-cork grips with EVA foam grips that are trimmed with cork. The change lightened them up a little bit. A new reel seat and cosmetics were added too.

Of note, however, is the addition of three jumbo swimbait rods to the series. Bulb-shaped butts make the rods more comfortable when lobbing big trout baits. At the tip end, Okuma treated the last foot or so of the blank with unidirectional fibers, rather than fibers that wrap around the blank. The company claims the tip is three times stronger than on a standard finished model for more lifting power. Cost is about $125. OkumaFishing.com

 

Meet Spiral X technology - carbon tape that's wrapped up the blank at a 45-degree angle, then wrapped back in crisscross fashion. Shimano says Spiral X is what makes the Zodias series of rods lighter and stronger, and able to resist twist and unnecessary flex during the cast. The reel seat was also lightened by crafting it from CI4 carbon (the same stuff in some of the company's best reels), and EVA foam split grips finish off the package. Eleven rods make up the series. They sell for $199 apiece. Fish.Shimano.com

Shimano Zodias

Meet Spiral X technology – carbon tape that’s wrapped up the blank at a 45-degree angle, then wrapped back in crisscross fashion. Shimano says Spiral X is what makes the Zodias series of rods lighter and stronger, and able to resist twist and unnecessary flex during the cast. The reel seat was also lightened by crafting it from CI4 carbon (the same stuff in some of the company’s best reels), and EVA foam split grips finish off the package. Eleven rods make up the series. They sell for $199 apiece. Fish.Shimano.com

 

The newest offering from G.Loomis actually was unveiled at the Bassmaster Classic back in the spring, but the rods have only recently begun showing up in tackle shops. The first noticeable feature is the cool green-on-black look. The second is the price point: $179 to $199. That's for a rod made in the U.S. with a lifetime warranty.

Loomis built the rods with what it calls

G. Loomis E6X

The newest offering from G.Loomis actually was unveiled at the Bassmaster Classic back in the spring, but the rods have only recently begun showing up in tackle shops. The first noticeable feature is the cool green-on-black look. The second is the price point: $179 to $199. That’s for a rod made in the U.S. with a lifetime warranty.

Loomis built the rods with what it calls “multi-taper” construction, which incorporates varied blends and diameters in the blanks to give designers improved control over every part of each rod for accomplishing very specific actions. Of the 31 models, maybe half are marketed as technique specific, while the rest are called “Mag Bass” models and are more all-purpose sticks. GLoomis.com

 

The Legend Elite name has been around, but the latest iteration from St. Croix is all-new, from the blank to the Fuji blank-through reel seat to the Fuji Torzite micro guides. Rods in the series feature full-length cork grips and a nice green finish. Like everything St. Croix makes, fit and finish are superb. All together, the series features 57 models, including six musky rods. There are rods for panfish, steelhead and just about everything else. The rods most suited for bass anglers sell for about $370 to $420. StCroixRods.com

St. Croix Legend Elite

The Legend Elite name has been around, but the latest iteration from St. Croix is all-new, from the blank to the Fuji blank-through reel seat to the Fuji Torzite micro guides. Rods in the series feature full-length cork grips and a nice green finish. Like everything St. Croix makes, fit and finish are superb. All together, the series features 57 models, including six musky rods. There are rods for panfish, steelhead and just about everything else. The rods most suited for bass anglers sell for about $370 to $420. StCroixRods.com

 

Slip a popper into tight quarters in the morning, then launch swimbaits in the afternoon. That's kind of the premise of Manley Rods' designs, which feature expandable metal rod handles that can be customized for what's most comfortable to use in various situations. Loosen the knurled nut to slide the handle in or out, then tighten it with a partial turn to lock it in place. Manley makes four series with bass applications in mind in a range of prices. The Excalibur (cork grips) and Black Ops (EVA foam grips) are probably best for tournament anglers and cost about $240 to $280. Manley uses Microwave and Microwave Light guide trains. ManleyRods.com

Manley Rods

Slip a popper into tight quarters in the morning, then launch swimbaits in the afternoon. That’s kind of the premise of Manley Rods’ designs, which feature expandable metal rod handles that can be customized for what’s most comfortable to use in various situations. Loosen the knurled nut to slide the handle in or out, then tighten it with a partial turn to lock it in place. Manley makes four series with bass applications in mind in a range of prices. The Excalibur (cork grips) and Black Ops (EVA foam grips) are probably best for tournament anglers and cost about $240 to $280. Manley uses Microwave and Microwave Light guide trains. ManleyRods.com

 

Here's another series that's suited for young and entry-level anglers. The Quantum Team KVD series includes a combo that sells for $99, a rod that sells for $79 and a reel that sells for $79.

Quantum Team KVD

Here’s another series that’s suited for young and entry-level anglers. The Team KVD series includes a combo that sells for $99, a rod that sells for $79 and a reel that sells for $79. “Mid-micro” guides and EVA foam handles dress the rods. QuantumFishing.com

 

Denali replaced its Rosewood series with the new Lithium lineup of rods, which have real (not just cosmetic) carbon-fiber wraps on the lower end and semi-micro guides. The rods are also 20 to 25 percent lighter than the Rosewood rods. They feature cork handles and a small wooden accent above the reel seat that the company says helps to transmit every tick or bump to the angler's hand. The series features 15 rods priced at $179 to $199. DenaliRods.com

Denali Lithium

Denali replaced its Rosewood series with the new Lithium lineup of rods, which have real (not just cosmetic) carbon-fiber wraps on the lower end and semi-micro guides. The rods are also 20 to 25 percent lighter than the Rosewood rods. They feature cork handles and a small wooden accent above the reel seat that the company says helps to transmit every tick or bump to the angler’s hand. The series features 15 rods priced at $179 to $199. DenaliRods.com

 

The 13 Fishing Omen series has been revamped for this season with a new blend of graphite in the blank, a full cork handle and new hardware, including a proprietary custom reel seat. It's still affordable though at $100 to $140. The company designed a cool snagless hook keeper so your line won't grab it and fitted the rods with low-profile guides. A crisscross wrapping process on the blanks makes the rods lighter and stronger - never a bad thing. Finally, 13 Fishing added 7-foot and 7-foot, 9-inch cranking rods to the lineup. 13Fishing.com

13 Fishing Omen

The Omen series has been revamped for this season with a new blend of graphite in the blank, a full cork handle and new hardware, including a proprietary custom reel seat. It’s still affordable though at $100 to $140. The company designed a cool snagless hook keeper so your line won’t grab it and fitted the rods with low-profile guides. A crisscross wrapping process on the blanks makes the rods lighter and stronger – never a bad thing. Finally, 13 Fishing added 7-foot and 7-foot, 9-inch cranking rods to the lineup. 13Fishing.com

 

No. 8 Tackle's Blackout isn't brand new, but it's new enough to justify a quick look, especially since each rod in the lineup costs $80 but feels like a premium rod. They're all crazy light. Stainless-steel micro guides and a custom reel seat help make that possible. If you're on a tight budget, this series should probably be among your first considerations. No8Tackle.com

No. 8 Tackle

No. 8 Tackle’s Blackout (above) isn’t brand new, but it’s new enough to justify a quick look, especially since each rod in the lineup costs $80 but feels like a premium rod. They’re all crazy light. Stainless-steel micro guides and a custom reel seat help make that possible. If you’re on a tight budget, this series should probably be among your first considerations.

Also new from No. 8 is the Hellbent series (shown below). With split cork and EVA grips and a wide range of models suitable for any freshwater species – plus a saltwater line – the Hellbents are rods for everybody … for only $60. No8Tackle.com

Also new from No. 8 is the Hellbent series. With split cork and EVA grips and a wide range of models suitable for any freshwater species - plus a saltwater line - the Hellbents are rods for everybody ... for only $60. No8Tackle.com

 

If you like Daiwa rods, thank the company now. It reengineered several of its top models to be more affordable, including the Steez XT ($299 to $349) and Tatula XT ($109 to $119). Also, the high-end Steez AGX series was expanded to include casting models. They sell for $579 to $599. Daiwa.com

Daiwa

If you like Daiwa rods, thank the company now. It reengineered several of its top models to be more affordable, including the Steez XT ($299 to $349) and Tatula XT ($109 to $119). Also, the high-end Steez AGX series was expanded to include casting models. They sell for $579 to $599. Daiwa.com

 

G-Rods International is an all-new company that debuted at ICAST with a line of rods made with a proprietary blend of carbon fiber and Graphene. Exactly how the two are mixed and layered together is a company secret, but here are some cool stats about Graphene, which has apparently been lauded in engineering circles as a miracle material: It's 200 times stronger than steel, 25 percent lighter and 25 percent stronger than typical graphite used for rods, and a million times thinner than paper. The company makes series for various freshwater species. Bass rods have split EVA grips and Fuji tangle-free guides. They sell for $349 to $389. GRods.com

G-Rods International

This all-new company debuted at ICAST with a line of rods made with a proprietary blend of carbon fiber and Graphene. Exactly how the two are mixed and layered together is a company secret, but here are some cool stats about Graphene, which has apparently been lauded in engineering circles as a miracle material: It’s 200 times stronger than steel, 25 percent lighter and 25 percent stronger than typical graphite used for rods, and a million times thinner than paper. The company makes series for various freshwater species. Bass rods have split EVA grips and Fuji tangle-free guides. They sell for $349 to $389. GRods.com

 

Nowadays, $100 gets you a lot of rod for your money, including the new Daylite series from Halo. With a cool orange-and-black color scheme, the rods certainly stand out in the aesthetics department. Halo is building these rods on an IM-7 graphite blank with micro guides and foam grips. Expect to see them in stores this fall.

Also, the company completely redesigned its Twilite series, which is a favorite of several Walmart FLW Tour pros. The Twilite Series II is built on a new blank. It'll retail for about $200. HaloFishing.com

Halo Daylite

Nowadays, $100 gets you a lot of rod for your money, including the new Daylite series from Halo. With a cool orange-and-black color scheme, the rods certainly stand out in the aesthetics department. Halo is building these rods on an IM-7 graphite blank with micro guides and foam grips. Expect to see them in stores this fall.

Also, the company completely redesigned its Twilite series, which is a favorite of several Walmart FLW Tour pros. The Twilite Series II is built on a new blank. It’ll retail for about $200. HaloFishing.com

 

Megabass has been making sweet rods for a while now, but many have been out of the price range of everyday anglers. The new Levante series should make a lot of us a little more comfortable when investing in the company's rod products, which are premium in every way. The price is about $200. The Levante series features EVA grips - both split and full, depending on the model - and a new type of graphite called PYROFIL. We're not exactly sure about the science behind PYROFIL, which is said to be 40 percent more fracture resistant than most graphite used to make rods, but Megabass is using it in its higher-end rods too. So you can probably expect it to be sensitive, and it's very light. 

The series includes 10 casting models and two spinning models. Among the casting rods is a cranking mode

Megabass Levante

Megabass has been making sweet rods for a while now, but many have been out of the price range of everyday anglers. The new Levante series should make a lot of us a little more comfortable when investing in the company’s rod products, which are premium in every way. The price is about $200. The Levante series features EVA grips – both split and full, depending on the model – and a new type of graphite called PYROFIL. We’re not exactly sure about the science behind PYROFIL, which is said to be 40 percent more fracture resistant than most graphite used to make rods, but Megabass is using it in its higher-end rods too. So you can probably expect it to be sensitive, and it’s very light.

The series includes 10 casting models and two spinning models. Among the casting rods is a cranking model that transitions from graphite at the lower end to glass at the tip for the best of both worlds, if you will. Also, two rods are two-piece models, but they pull apart down at the handle so that the section of the blank from reel to tip is solid. MegabassUSA.com

 

These rods from Fitzgerald Rods might provide the closest opportunity that any of us will have to being able to fish like Bryan Thrift. At least you can fish with the same rods as him. Company owner Trevor Fitzgerald (Rayovac FLW Series stud, that is) says that Thrift was extremely picky about the details of the rods, but the final product is a series of five sticks that are perfect for Thrift's high-paced style and extreme casting accuracy. 

The list includes a 6-3 medium-heavy topwater rod; a 6-6 medium-heavy rod for crankbaits, jerkbaits and the like; a 6-9 medium-heavy ChatterBait rod; a 6-9 heavy skipping rod; and a 7-2 medium-heavy frog rod. They're built with heavy-duty micro guides that shouldn't break in a rod locker like a lot of the cheapos and a full-size tip guide that won'

Fitzgerald Rods Bryan Thrift Signature Series

These rods might provide the closest opportunity that any of us will have to being able to fish like Bryan Thrift. At least you can fish with the same rods as him. Company owner Trevor Fitzgerald (Rayovac FLW Series stud, that is) says that Thrift was extremely picky about the details of the rods, but the final product is a series of five sticks that are perfect for Thrift’s high-paced style and extreme casting accuracy.

The list includes a 6-3 medium-heavy topwater rod; a 6-6 medium-heavy rod for crankbaits, jerkbaits and the like; a 6-9 medium-heavy ChatterBait rod; a 6-9 heavy skipping rod; and a 7-2 medium-heavy frog rod. They’re built with heavy-duty micro guides that shouldn’t break in a rod locker like a lot of the cheapos and a full-size tip guide that won’t ice up as bad as a micro. Grips are split EVA. Price is $199. They’ll be ready for sale this fall. FitzgeraldRods.com

 

Enigma is making some noise this year thanks to the success of its top-tier pro-staffer Aaron Martens. Martens designed the Aaron's Edge rods one-by-one. No two blanks are alike, and every component, length and action is custom-built to his specifications. There are 12 casting models and four spinning models, all with Microwave guide trains, carbon fiber reinforced handles, a handle-mounted hook hanger, split EVA grips and a dull gray finish. Purchase includes a rod sock and a contingency-type program where anglers who use the rods can earn gift cards for tournament wins - even at the club level. Cost is $169. EnigmaFishing.com

Enigma Aaron’s Edge

Enigma is making some noise this year thanks to the success of its top-tier pro-staffer Aaron Martens. Martens designed the Aaron’s Edge rods one-by-one. No two blanks are alike, and every component, length and action is custom-built to his specifications. There are 12 casting models and four spinning models, all with Microwave guide trains, carbon fiber reinforced handles, a handle-mounted hook hanger, split EVA grips and a dull gray finish. Purchase includes a rod sock and a contingency-type program where anglers who use the rods can earn gift cards for tournament wins – even at the club level. Cost is $169. EnigmaFishing.com

Tags: icast  rods  curtis-niedermier  headline-story  2015-07-13-icast-cup 

Duarte Covers Ground for Second W

Duarte Covers Ground for Second W

John Duarte of Middle River, Maryland, caught five bass Saturday weighing 18 pounds, 8 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) South Carolina Division season opener on Lake Hartwell presented by Navionics. For his win, Duarte earned $4,396. READ MORE »

Stevens Drops 32-10 on Big O

Stevens Drops 32-10 on Big O

Kail Stevens of Boynton Beach, Florida, caught a massive five-bass limit Saturday weighing 32 pounds, 10 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Gator Division tournament on Lake Okeechobee. Stevens took home $4,766 for his efforts. READ MORE »

Aaron Plays Current for G-Ville Win

Aaron Plays Current for G-Ville Win

Chad Aaron of Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, caught five bass Saturday weighing 25 pounds, 14 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Choo Choo Division season opener on Lake Guntersville presented by Navionics. For his win, Aaron earned $4,363. READ MORE »

How to Fish Power Plant Lakes in Winter

How to Fish Power Plant Lakes in Winter

Some of the power-plant lakes throughout the Midwest are borderline legendary. If you live near one or are willing to travel to keep your open-water season alive, Colby Schrumpf’s system could work on just about any of them that have grass. READ MORE »

Montevallo Wins on Seminole

Montevallo Wins on Seminole

The University of Montevallo duo of Justin Barnes of Monroeville, Alabama, and Adam Carroll of Carrollton, Georgia, won the YETI FLW College Fishing event on Lake Seminole Saturday with a five-bass limit weighing 23 pounds, 1 ounce. The victory earned the Falcon’s bass club $2,000 and a slot in the 2020 FLW College Fishing National Championship. READ MORE »

Mount Paran Christian School wins on Seminole

Mount Paran Christian School wins on Seminole

The Mount Paran Christian School duo of Lee Rose Koza and Carter Koza, both of Marietta, Georgia, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 23 pounds, 2 ounces to win the 2019 Bass Pro Shops FLW High School Fishing Lake Seminole Open. READ MORE »

Anders Chases Shad for Keowee W

Anders Chases Shad for Keowee W

Boater Joe Anders of Easley, South Carolina, caught a five-bass limit Saturday weighing 14 pounds, 11 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Savannah River division event on Lake Keowee presented by Navionics. Anders earned $4,164 for his efforts. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Toho

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Toho

While the Lake Toho FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats fell basically right on top of a wave of spawning bass piling into the shallows, many of the top finishers targeted bass that were staging out or transitioning to or from their beds. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Toho

Top 10 Baits from Toho

The second stop of the 2019 FLW Tour landed right on the spawn on Lake Toho and the other lakes on the Kissimmee Chain. Top finishers caught bass in all phases of the spawn. Collectively, they used just about every bait you’ll ever need if you want to catch a bass this time of year in the Sunshine State. READ MORE »

Toho Day 4 Coverage

Toho Day 4 Coverage

Complete coverage of the 2019 Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Toho in Kissimmee, Fla. READ MORE »

Gross Wins Second Tour Title

Gross Wins Second Tour Title

Buddy Gross of Chickamauga, Ga., won the 2019 FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats at Lake Toho in Kissimmee, Fla., with a four-day total of 20 bass that weighed 85 pounds, 12 ounces. READ MORE »

Gross Grabs Toho Lead

Gross Grabs Toho Lead

Day three of the FLW Tour presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Toho was tough on the leaders, but Buddy Gross stayed steady, rising to first from fifth with 19 pounds, 12 ounces. In total, Gross has amassed 62 pounds even through three days, which is just about a pound ahead of Darrell Davis, who caught 25-12 for a 60-15 total and rocketed up to second from 13th. Going into the final day, everyone in the top six is within 5 pounds of the lead, and the way the Kissimmee Chain is pumping out big ones, that counts as the slimmest of margins. READ MORE »

Toho Day 3 Coverage

Toho Day 3 Coverage

Complete coverage of the 2019 Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Toho in Kissimmee, Fla. READ MORE »

Cox Stays Ahead on Toho

Cox Stays Ahead on Toho

Day two of the FLW Tour presented by Ranger on Lake Toho featured not one, but TWO 10-pounders, one caught by Casey Scanlon and the other by Jamie Horton. READ MORE »

Toho Day 2 Coverage

Toho Day 2 Coverage

Complete coverage of the 2019 Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Toho in Kissimmee, Fla. READ MORE »

Cox Leads Toho Slugfest

Cox Leads Toho Slugfest

Day one of the FLW Tour presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Toho was the slugfest many expected. Leading the way is sight-fishing extraordinaire John Cox, who caught 31 pounds, 9 ounces and the day one big bass – a giant that went 10-9.  In second, John Voyles wrangled up 24-15, and Scott Martin is close behind him with 24-12. READ MORE »

Toho Day 1 Coverage

Toho Day 1 Coverage

Complete coverage of the 2019 Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Toho in Kissimmee, Fla. READ MORE »

FLW Live Schedule for Lake Toho

FLW Live Schedule for Lake Toho

Weigh-ins at the FLW Tour Lake Toho event will be broadcast daily at 3 p.m. ET days one and two and 4 p.m ET days three and four. The studio broadcast, with live in-the-boat streaming, airs Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. - 2 p.m. with hosts Travis Moran and Peter T. READ MORE »

Thliveros Brings it Home

Thliveros Brings it Home

Nick Thliveros led after day two on Okeechobee and after weighing his lowest weight of the week, he was able to seal the deal for his first Costa FLW Series win as a pro. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Okeechobee – Day 2

Top 5 Patterns from Okeechobee – Day 2

Fishing as a whole is still tough on the Big O, but there was definitely an improvement today – especially for the guys at the top of the leaderboard. READ MORE »