Finding the perfect balance between performance and price is essential when buying a new fishing rod, but it isn’t always as simple as it sounds.
Fortunately for me, I’ve run across the Denali Kovert Casting Rod. I’ve been using the 6-foot, 9-inch medium-heavy model for several weeks and have really enjoyed it. In fact, I put my other spinnerbait rod in the closet because the Kovert has everything I’m looking for.
The Denali Kovert features a very lightweight IM-8 graphite blank that allows me to fish comfortably throughout the entire day. I love to target windy banks with spinnerbaits and bladed swim jigs during the fall and it can really wear you down with a heavier rod.
Fishing the wind is all about maximizing your casts and I’ve been super impressed by the Kovert’s weightlessness. I can bomb and pitch spinnerbaits all day with this rod without any shoulder or elbow fatigue.
In addition to its lightweight properties, the Kovert is balanced very well—with minimal effort, you can balance it on one finger. Not only does a well-balanced rod reduce fatigue throughout the day, but it also aids in accurate casting. When you’re fishing spinnerbaits around cover, accurate casts are imperative to your success and this rod has enabled me to make some awesome casts underneath docks and overhangs.
The tip of this rod is moderate-fast, but drives the hook into a bass’ mouth extremely well. When fighting big fish, I’ve never once felt overpowered as they surge toward deeper water. The tip absorbs the energy well and the meaty butt section gives you total control of the fight.
I’m not a big fan of netting my fish in a tournament setting because I’ve had some flat-out disasters over the years—either I’m not good at it or I just have bad luck. Either way, I’ve been boat flipping some 3 and even 4-pounders with this rod with no problem at all.
This rod has brought new life into spinnerbait and bladed swim jig fishing for me—to date, it’s the most sensitive spinnerbait rod I’ve ever used. It features a stabilized hardwood foregrip and a lightweight skeleton reel seat that offers outstanding sensitivity transfer throughout your retrieve. If you palm your reel and place your index finger on the foregrip, you’ll be amazed by how much you can feel.
When I throw a spinnerbait on this rod, I’m able to feel almost every rotation of the blades regardless of the depth I’m fishing. Every time the blades tick a piece of cover, you’re going to be able to feel it. It actually took me a while to get used to its sensitivity. When I first started using this rod, I had a lot of “false hooksets” because I was mistaking tiny collisions with cover with a bite.
If you like to throw a bladed swim jig, this rod is a great choice for it. Whether you’re waking it next to dock posts or dragging it slowly next to grass lines, you’re able to feel each vibration of the jig. When you burn a bladed swim jig, you can feel the vibration all the way up to your elbow. A lot of your bladed swim jig bites feel mushy on less sensitive rods, but there’s no question when you get a bite on the Kovert.
The grip of the Denali Kovert is extremely comfortable in your hand. I have pretty big hands and I’ve let some fishing partners with smaller hands use this rod and we’re all in agreeance—it’s very ergonomic.
The trigger has a slight upward curve toward the tip of the rod, which promotes a relaxed grip when fishing. A relaxed grip helps you become more in-tune to what your lure is doing, which contributes to the sensitivity of this rod. Even in rainy conditions, it’s easy to hold and stays in your hand well, even under a load.
I also really like the EVA foam handles on the Kovert. I feel like they provide a much better grip than traditional cork and they also don’t stain your shirt. After you catch a fish and get slime all over your hands, it’s not necessary to wipe them off on your pants or boat carpet before making another cast. The handles absorb it well so you can keep fishing without missing a beat.
I really like the location of the Kovert’s hook keeper. It’s located on the underside of the rod, directly beneath the foregrip. I don’t have to worry about getting my slack line caught in it throughout the day and it’s attached very solidly. I can’t envision a scenario in which the hook keeper would become dislodged or bent in any way.
The Kovert also comes with semi-microguides, which I’m really starting to like. They minimize line slap which results in longer and more accurate casts, but they also make re-rigging a breeze. Small microguides are a pain to thread your line through, but these semi-microguides are very easy to manipulate and, similar to the hook keeper, are very sturdy and don’t bend or break.
If you like throwing a spinnerbait or bladed swim jig, I think you should check out the Denali Kovert. Starting at $129.99, it’s priced very reasonably and it has all the features you’d expect from a much more expensive rod.