by John Boudreau
I’ve been lucky enough in my relatively short regional tournament career to affiliate myself with some quality companies that I really believe in. It’s quite a feeling, the confidence increase I get, when I’m using the right tool for the job. Denali Rods is a brand that makes a great addition to anyone’s repertoire and since I made the switch to these rods last season, I can’t say enough good things.
Let’s talk about two rods in particular that are “technique specific”, but are so much more versatile than their title. They’re both Jerkbait Rods in Denali’s Signature Series that are based off a similar rod blank to their popular Rosewood line.
You may ask me, “Two Jerkbait Rods?” Indeed!
The main difference is that one is a casting rod, and the other is a spinning rod. Both measure out at 6’ 8” with a medium action and a moderate tip. My preference for the casting version is to pair it with small 50 size casting reel, like Shimano Curado 50E or Chronarch 50E. I do this because, even with 10lb. test line, I can cast small 1/4oz lures very well. On the spinning version, I’ll use a 30 size spinning reel. Using the bigger spooled reel on this helps the line come off the reel easier on the cast. I can also downsize my line size easier with a simple spool change, which in turn, I can downsize my lures size even further if need be.
Each of these rods excel in their suggested Jerkbait technique. Generally, on my bait casting set-up I’m running 10lb fluorocarbon line. This will handle most of the jerkbaits I tend to throw.
Early on I found that this set-up is very good for throwing square-bill crank baits. You can really feel what is going on at the end of your line, from the wide wobble of the lure on the retrieve, the bottom composition, or any structure. What’s even better, is when a fish hits and loads up, the moderate tip helps with handling the fish and won’t pull the treble hooks free.
With a simple reel swap to a high speed reel lined with 10lb-12lb monofilament or 30lb braid now, most top water techniques are at your disposal. The shorter handle length makes working that popping bait or walking style bait very easy. All this holds true for the spinning rod version as well. This rod also throws in the added ability to downsize your fluorocarbon down to 6lb-8lb for an inline spinner or 1/8oz minnow style lure. You also have the option to go with 10lb mono for the smaller popper or prop style baits.
These rods may be extremely light weight and sensitive, but don’t let that fool you, they have plenty of backbone to haul in a big bass. In this growing “technique specific” world of fishing rods, finding versatility within can help you fish smarter and give you great flexibility to cover what you may not realize you can. You can check out these two rods, and Denali’s entire line-up at www.denalirods.com.
About John Boudreau
John is a New Englander living in the Boston area, which due to the large amount of water surrounding and throughout the state, is extremely conducive to his fishing lifestyle. “I can enjoy some freshwater bass action from one of the many lakes, ponds, or rivers if I choose, or switch it up and head to the coast for some saltwater action.” Fishing for John is not only a hobby, “but an obsession that began at an early age. Introduced to the activity by his father, uncle and grandfather, John was an avid angler up until early his 20’s at which time he decided to dedicate himself to creating music. But all it took was picking up the pole again and landing a nice 4 lb. for John to be right back where he left off. In 2009, John began bass tournament fishing averaging 12 plus tournaments a year, with 20+ top five finishes that included five wins. John currently serves as vice-president/tournament director for the Avid Anglers (avidbassin.com). John’s sponsors include: Denali Rods, River2sea, Boag Hog Baits and EZ Angler