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By : Luke Estel - Angler's Channel
Glass rods look different, feel different, and they are only suitable for doing one thing: throwing a crankbait. The parabolic bend is what makes it unique.
How many rods do you own? 5, 10, 20, or more? I would guess the average local tournament angler carries at least 10 rods. Each rod has a purpose. We have spinning rods for shaky heads, worm rods, and flipping sticks. What I have found is that most fishermen do not have the right crankbait rods yet they throw crankbaits several times throughout the season. They often use a seven foot medium graphite rod and call it good.
When I was younger, I became obsessed with crankbaits. I watched Bassmaster and read articles about crankbait gurus like David Fritts and tried to emulate them. At the time I could not afford a Fritts Cranking Rod but my dad had an old glass rod that I had redone that would work just the same. It was heavy, yet I still caught fish on it without losing very many.
As the years went by, I purchased more glass rods and found that glass was the only way to go. They look different, feel different, and they are only suitable for doing one thing. Throwing a crankbait.
Fast forward to last year when my partner Chopper and I fished the Anglers Choice Classic on Lake Guntersville. We were throwing Strike King Red Eye Shads and KVD 1.5s all day. I had several glass rods rigged up with different colors of crankbaits. Throughout the two-day competition we boated an estimated fifty fish. What is even more amazing than our two-day total of 52 pounds was the fact that we never lost a fish! That’s right, we caught that many fish without ever losing one. The reason was simple. Glass. The glass rod flexes unlike any other rod on the market. The parabolic bend is what makes it unique and that is why you do not lose fish near as much throwing a crankbait versus a traditional graphite rod.
Everyone knows how to throw a crankbait and more times than not you here of fishermen at the weigh in talking about all the fish they had hooked up on a crankbait and the came off. If I had to guess, they were not using a glass rod. From Red Eyes to 6XDs, a glass rod should be an essential part of your arsenal. If you carry ten rods, and you throw crankbaits, a minimum of two should be glass. I know they are not a multi-purpose rod but they can make the difference in cashing a check or coming in empty handed.
There is a natural tendency to set the hook when a fish strikes the bait. Since the glass rod is more flexible, it naturally gives causing the fish to get the bait in his mouth instead of ripping the hooks out. They also improve casting distance due to their slingshot like ability. This allows for further casts and is crucial when throwing larger crankbaits.
There are several rod companies that make these specialized rods. Quantum KVD cranking rods, Power Tackle rods, St. Croix, Lew's, and my favorite, Tigerrodz. These are just a few. If you are looking for more than one crankbait rod I suggest you get two sizes. A 7’3” for smaller crankbaits an a 7’6” plus rod for larger baits.
Trust me, starting out it will feel much different than your normal rods. They may even be slightly heavier also. They may feel flimsy without much back bone but I assure you they work. Once you learn how to use them you will have wished you had them a long time ago. Good luck and happy cranking.