UPCOMING EVENT: T-H Marine BFL - 2020 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Review: Lew’s Mark Rose Small Crankbait Rod

Review: Lew’s Mark Rose Small Crankbait Rod
Team Lew's Custom Pro Speed Stick - Mark Rose Ledge Series

Great relationships are mutually beneficial. Case in point: Since beginning to design rods for Lew’s in late 2016, Mark Rose has used the company’s rods to win back-to-back FLW Tour events, and Lew’s has benefitted from his expertise in the design of a successful series of ledge-fishing-specific rods. Among the rods, which are part of the Team Lew’s Custom Pro Speed Stick Series, is the Mark Rose Ledge Series Small Crankbait Rod, which I recently reviewed. It’s a premier offering that is wicked sweet and a real joy to fish.

 

First impressions   

Measuring up at 7 feet, 6 inches long, the Small Crankbait Rod isn’t that small on the spec sheet, but it doesn’t feel really big in hand. Due to a little bit longer handle than normal, the rod is far from unwieldy, and it’s so light and balanced that you’d be hard-pressed to think of it as a truly “big” rod.

The butt is an odd-looking combo of foam and cork. I’m not a huge fan of the look, but it is very comfy to hold and fish, which is far more important. The reel seat is a pretty standard feel-through model that is comfortable and very solid. The rest of the rod is sleek and dark with gold accents. Everything on it has held up admirably well through a couple months of moderate fishing.

 

What you can fish

When I think of a ledge rod, I don’t really think small crankbaits. Mark Rose probably doesn’t live and die offshore with small crankbaits that much either, but they’re excellent tools closer to the bank, and this rod is great for them. It flat launches a Rapala DT 6, and you can fish a pretty wide variety of square-bills and medium-running crankbaits with ease. I’ve experimented with casting a 1/8-ounce crankbait like the rod is rated for, but I’m just not that good. That said, the rod truly has a lot of range, from the small end of a ¼-ounce Luhr-Jensen Speed Trap up to the Strike King 5XD or a Rapala DT 10.

Though the rod casts extremely well, it probably isn’t going to be a close-quarters go-to for most people due to its length. That said, I used to do most of my square-bill fishing with an 8-foot rod, so I’m kind of digging slinging a 7-6 around for closer stuff. I just think most people will probably prefer a shorter rod for picking apart laydowns with square-bills. Yet it can definitely be pressed into service on that side of things if need be.

In addition to being a capable square-bill stick, it’s also quite nice for jerkbaits. Again, some folks will prefer a shorter rod for less bait movement, but it casts a Megabass Vision 110 very well and really feels good. The handle is just a touch thicker than average, which I never noticed when casting and winding, but once I started jerking more I picked up on it. I think I could get used to it, but my usual jerkbait stick has a slimmer butt, and I think that’s just more comfortable for my hands.

I’ve also fiddled with the rod for topwaters, and I think it has a place there too. Because of the parabolic action, it soaks up the lack of stretch from braid really well. With braid, it will cast a walking bait a country mile, and the rod is light enough that it’s comfortable to walk the dog with despite the length. I’ve even chunked around a medium-sized wake bait with it, and that was fun too.

 

It keeps fish pegged

To me, the ideal crankbait rod lets you feel the bait pretty well and doesn’t lose fish. The Mark Rose Ledge Series Small Crankbait Rod has a nice combination of crispness at the tip for feel and softness throughout to keep fish buttoned up, and I can’t say that I’ve lost one on it yet.

Because it’s lighter than what I’d consider to be a 6XD rod, it’s not much for swinging fish, but you probably shouldn’t be swinging that many on a crankbait anyhow.

 

The verdict

Checking in at $240, the Mark Rose Ledge Series Small Crankbait Rod is a premium offering that does what it should perfectly and several other things very well. If you’re balking at the price, note that it does come with a limited lifetime warranty, which should make the purchase a little easier. If you do decide to pull the trigger you’re getting a heck of a stick. I really love it, and I can say for sure that it’s going to be a part of my arsenal for as long as I have it.

 

Details

Company: Lew’s

Series: Team Lew’s Custom Pro Speed Stick

Model: Mark Rose Ledge Series Small Crankbait Rod

Power: Medium

Action: Fast

Length: 7-6

Price: $239.99

Warranty: Limited lifetime warranty

 

Tags: jody-white  tech-tackle-reviews 

Make a Tiny Swimbait Your Winter Go-To

Make a Tiny Swimbait Your Winter Go-To

Wintertime and late fall fishing can be super fun, especially up north, when smallmouths are often fat and fairly grouped up. However, it’s not the time of year when you want a ton of rods on deck, and having a confidence bait or two is a must. For Casey Smith, the go-to winter weapon is super simple: a little bitty swimbait on a jighead. READ MORE »

Miller Wins Wild Card on Kentucky Lake

Miller Wins Wild Card on Kentucky Lake

Weighing limits of 15 pounds, 13 ounces on day one and 15-3 on day two, Michael Miller of Greenville, S.C., overcame a tough-fishing Kentucky Lake to win the T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) Wild Card and qualify for the All-American. READ MORE »

How to Rock Fall Largemouths

How to Rock Fall Largemouths

Smith says that the best time for fall largemouth fishing happens after the first big cold snap, when the water finally drops below 60 degrees.   READ MORE »

Olson Scouts Cumberland

Olson Scouts Cumberland

At just 19 years old, Lane Olson is fishing in the Costa FLW Series Championship. Were he from Alabama or Texas or any number of other southern states known for their bass fishing, that wouldn’t be too surprising. But Olson is schlepping all the way to Kentucky from Oregon, where he finished second in the Western Division Angler of the Year standings, missing out on the top spot by just one point. READ MORE »

Roaming Cumberland with Davidson

Roaming Cumberland with Davidson

Davidson, a West Virginia native, qualified for the Costa FLW Series Championship out of the Northern Division and has fished the T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) Mountain Division quite a bit. He’s spent a lot of time on Cumberland and nearby Dale Hollow in the cooler months. As such, he’s one of a handful that pundits are definitely keeping an eye on heading into the championship, and he was kind enough to let me tag along for part of the second practice day on the Kentucky reservoir. READ MORE »

The Layout of Lake Cumberland

The Layout of Lake Cumberland

The ninth largest reservoir in the U.S., Lake Cumberland is a perfect stage for the Costa FLW Series Championship. Home to all three bass species and over 1000 miles of shoreline, the lake can swallow up a big field with relative ease, and with the fall bite starting to pick up in earnest and the water level lower than usual, the fishing should be pretty good. READ MORE »

B. Lat, MDJ Win Pan Am

B. Lat, MDJ Win Pan Am

Brian Latimer and Mark Daniels Jr. are best friends off the water, and it looks like they’ve got the makings of a deadly team on the water. Weighing five smallmouths for 21.16 pounds in the first session and 23.92 pounds in the second session, the pair totaled 45.08 pounds to win the individual competition in the Pan American Bass Championship on Lake St. Francis. READ MORE »

Canada Wins Gold at Pan Am

Canada Wins Gold at Pan Am

Though Team USA locked up the top three places, Team Canada placed six teams in the top 10 and averaged 38.98 pounds to win the Pan American Bass Championship on Lake St. Francis. Results were tallied based on the average weight brought in by each team in the two sessions of fishing, which almost guaranteed an extremely close finish. Earning a silver medal, Team USA finished just a hundredth of a pound back with a 38.97 average. READ MORE »

Canada Leads at Pan Am

Canada Leads at Pan Am

The first session of competition in the Pan American Bass Championship on Lake St. Francis was a roaring success. After the morning weigh-in, Team Canada is leading with an average of 21.16 pounds, Team USA is in second with a 19.6 average, Team Akwesasne First Nation is in third with 18.62 and Mexico had an up and down morning to accrue a 17.24-pound average. READ MORE »

Do you need a generator for bass fishing?

Do you need a generator for bass fishing?

Austin Felix has been running a generator for a few years now, and his primary use is during the spring in the North, when he’s spending mega-days on the water practicing for tournaments that feature bedding smallmouths. READ MORE »

Day 1 Delayed at Pan Am

Day 1 Delayed at Pan Am

Because of steady rain and hard winds at around 20 mph or more, day one of the Pan American Bass Championship has been canceled. With gusts up to 40 mph in the forecast, the organizers have decided to fish two sessions on Friday instead. READ MORE »

Pan Am Gets Underway in Canada

Pan Am Gets Underway in Canada

With the official training day in the rearview, the Pan American Bass Championship starts Thursday, Oct. 16, on Lake St. Francis in Cornwall, Ontario. Teams from Mexico, the Akwesasne First Nation, Canada and the United States will be competing the next two days for glory and country, but also to help along the movement to make bass fishing an Olympic sport. READ MORE »

Umbrella Rigs for Great Lakes Smallies   

Umbrella Rigs for Great Lakes Smallies   

The days of catching seemingly infinite bass on an umbrella rig are mostly gone, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't fish with one. The rig is a great tool for catching fall smallmouth bass on the big waters of the Great Lakes and elsewhere up north. READ MORE »

Hunting Big Bronze in Wisconsin

Hunting Big Bronze in Wisconsin

“On a normal day, if the best five aren’t over 25 pounds, it isn’t a good day,” Stefan says. “My best days with a buddy have been where the best five have gone 29 to 32 pounds. We get lots of 6-pounders a year, and we’ve caught some right at the 7-pound mark. I’ve had a few on that we haven’t landed that were bigger.” READ MORE »

Eyes on the Weather at Lake of the Ozarks

Eyes on the Weather at Lake of the Ozarks

Wrapping up the Costa FLW Series Central Division with an early fall stop at Lake of the Ozarks has become a tradition over the last few years. This year, the final stop of the season is presented by Evinrude and takes place Oct. 10-12, which should be good timing for a number of patterns to play. READ MORE »

How to Fish a Blade Bait for Smallmouth

How to Fish a Blade Bait for Smallmouth

You can catch smallmouths on a lot of baits in the early fall, but one of the most consistent producers later in the year is a blade bait, and Scott Dobson is an expert with it. His go-to is the old-fashioned Silver Buddy, but he has some distinct preferences and tweaks for better success. READ MORE »

Dobson Wins First FLW Series AOY

Dobson Wins First FLW Series AOY

Scott Dobson has earned a pile of accolades up north, but this year, he earned his biggest title yet. Winning the Strike King Angler of the Year in the Costa FLW Series Northern Division presented by Gajo Baits, the Clarkston, Mich., angler finished third at Lake Champlain, 13th on the Potomac River and wrapped the season and the title with a second-place showing on the St. Lawrence River. READ MORE »

How Schmitt Targets Late-Summer Tidal Bass

How Schmitt Targets Late-Summer Tidal Bass

As we’ve seen pretty much every year in the FLW Cup, which is usually held in the South, going way up creeks to find slightly cooler water is a productive pattern in the heat of late summer. The same strategy can pay off on tidal fisheries such as the Potomac River and James River as well, albeit with some tweaks for the situation. READ MORE »

Bryan Schmitt’s ChatterBait Box

Bryan Schmitt’s ChatterBait Box

“I’m pretty wild on color selection,” says Schmitt. “I always have my shad colors. I always have my black and blues. But I fall in love with trying to find a niche color. Especially when you get into the fall of the year on the Potomac. I love to find a crayfish pattern, and I feel like then a crayfish-imitating ChatterBait out-fishes anything else. And I also like to find a bluegill pattern at times, so I play with the colors.” READ MORE »

Review: STIX Fishing Rods

Review: STIX Fishing Rods

STIX Fishing is a relatively new company started by FLW Live host Travis Moran and Nick Smith that sells fishing rods with a bit of a unique plan. Instead of picking and choosing a rod or two at a time, STIX wants to sell you six rods at a time (the STIX PAX) for $500, which comes out to about $83 per rod. According to the company, the STIX PAX is a complete set of bass rods and will do everything you need rods to do. READ MORE »