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By : Walker Smith
A large part of my job is testing and reviewing bass fishing gear. After a decade of doing this, I’ll admit that it’s tough for a product to really get me excited. So whenever I run across a product that really blows me away, I make absolutely certain to bump it up in the editorial calendar and share my experiences with our readers as soon as humanly possible.
That definitely happened when I had an opportunity to test the Lew’s Elite Series Casting Rod. It’s important to understand that my wife is a big help to me in my job; there are a lot of photos and things I need to get done that are tough to do with just my own two hands. As a result, she helps me a lot after work hours and has become pretty entrenched and knowledgeable in the bass fishing industry.
She will tell you, I very rarely say the word “wow” when I put a new product in my hands. When I took this rod out of its cardboard rod tube, however, I walked from my shop intoto the house and told her, “Hunny, you’ve got to feel this rod. Wow.”
The Lew’s Elite Series Casting Rod is one of the finest rods I’ve tested in recent years. From its weightlessness to its sensitivity and brute strength, this is a series of rods I’d like to have in my boat for years to come. It feels incredible in your hands and I’ve been telling all of my colleagues about it as well.
Although many anglers might think about fishing reels when it comes to the Lew’s brand, I can personally vouch that they have made miles of improvement in regards to their fishing rods. These rods are expensive but they certainly earn their price tag on the water. They sport a particularly thin diameter and lightweight profile thanks to their FOCAS blank technology that allow for 75% increased tip strength.
All of that sounds fancy but when it comes down to it, all of that fancy talk means that this is a super light rod that won’t break when you try to boat-flip a bass. It has some serious shoulders to it.
A lot of times, these super-strong rods tend to be very unbalanced and clumsy-feeling in your hands but that is certainly not the case with the Lew’s Elite Series Casting Rod. The balance of this rod is nothing short of impressive.
If you’ve read any of my ramblings for the past decade, you’re well aware that I’m an old-school guy when it comes to both fishing gear and fishing techniques. Cork grips never really failed me so I normally prefer to stick with them whenever possible.
But man, I’m telling you right now that thes Winn Dri-Tac grips are super cool and make a big difference during a day on the water. They’re super sticky but don’t leave any residue whatsoever on your hands. This allows you to flip, pitch and skip in rainy conditions with the utmost confidence and it also helps during the culling process if you’re a tournament angler. You can cull your fish and get fish slime all over your hands and not have to clean your hands at all. I’m not quite sure what these grips are made of but they sure are convenient and comfortable in a wide array of situations.
I’ve been primarily testing the 7-foot, 2-inch medium-action Lew’s Elite Series Casting Rod and it is an outstanding rod for flat-sided crankbaits and smaller crankbaits. I’ve been able to feel every single vibration of my bait and every change in bottom composition on each and every cast. They say this is due to a new technology called Vibration Transfer Rings (VTR) and I’m sure that’s all well and good. But again, I keep things simple. This is one of the most sensitive rods I’ve tested in my entire career. You can ask my wife, buddies and colleagues… I’ve been talking about this rod for a long time and I’m absolutely positive others will agree with my assessment.
I’ve never been a huge fan of hook holders located above the foregrip of a bass fishing rods. Most of the time, they’re easy to ignore but if you allow a little slack to get into your line, all kinds of trouble can happen when it comes time to set the hook. These hook holders/bait keepers are important to have on a rod but I want ‘em as far away from the foregrip as possible.
Thankfully, the Lew’s Elite Series Casting Rod kept the bait keeper on the butt-end of the rod which keeps it totally out of the way. Whether you’re cranking, throwing a topwater or pitching a heavy weight around grass, you won’t need to worry about it at all. You won’t even know it’s there until you need it.
If you’re in the market this year for a high-end bass fishing rod, I strongly suggest putting this one on your list. It feels absolutely incredible in your hand, it’s lightweight and somehow, Lew’s was able to maintain a bunch of strength to the blank as well. In my personal opinion and experience, this is, by far, the best rod Lew’s has ever built. I can’t say enough good things about it.