Finesse fishing requires a high amount of delicacy and feel, making a high-quality spinning rod imperative for diehard finesse anglers. I’ve been fishing with the Dobyns Champion Spinning Rod throughout the spring and it’s quickly become an essential tool in my finesse fishing arsenal. Above all, 4 specific characteristics have left me wanting to buy a couple more of these rods.
• Soft tip
• High-quality cork handle
• Great guides
Well-balanced for long fishing days
If you’ve ever fished an entire day with a poorly weighted fishing rod, you’ll share my appreciation of the Dobyns Champion Spinning Rod. I don’t do a whole lot of dragging with spinning gear—usually I’m jerking and twitching soft jerkbaits, floating worms and small hard jerkbaits. Using these techniques on a subpar rod is not only cumbersome, but it will wear out a grown man in a hurry.
I’ve got my Champion paired with an Abu Garcia Revo SX30 and it’s perfectly balanced. If you put your index finger right above the foregrip, you can balance it for days. This incredible balance has allowed me to aggressively fish weightless soft plastics and small hard baits for hours on end. My wrist doesn’t hurt, my forearms feel great and I’m immediately ready to fish another day.
Soft tip with a lot of backbone
I’ve been using the 7-foot, medium-heavy 704 Champion Spinning Rod and it’s a rare beast. If I had to explain it, I would describe it as a casting rod/spinning rod hybrid.
It has a very soft tip, ideal for skipping baits under cover and presenting baits in a subtle, non-threatening manner. Every time you twitch your bait, you’ll see your rod tip bend—don’t mistake that bend for weakness, though. When you give your weightless soft plastics a little “tip” after you twitch, the rod snaps back into place very well, giving your bait a lot of added action. Just yesterday I was making my Trick Worm do 180-degree turns. How awesome is that?
This particular rod also has a lot of backbone which has been great when fighting big fish. I’ve been throwing my weightless soft plastics into very thick grass and flooded bushes, and the Champion Spinning Rod has more than enough backbone to get the fish out of the crud.
The cork handle proved me wrong
I’ve never really been a fan of cork handles on fishing rods. Not only have I avoided them because I don’t like the gripping power, or lack thereof, but a lot of low-quality cork handles will stain your shirts where the rod butt sits.
The cork handles on the Dobyns Champion Spinning Rod are outstanding. They don’t soak up with water after handling fish, they repel fish slime much better than other cork handles and they won’t stain your shirts. They also feature a slight, outward contour on the handle with gives you more to grab ahold of when fighting big bass. I’m not positive that it really makes a difference in landing more big bass, but it definitely gives you a better feel and more confidence.
Kigan SiC guides are great for line-to-line knots
I’ve fished with a few spinning rods that were absolute murder on line-to-line knots—their guides were too small, causing premature knot wear and several lost fish and heartbreaks. Thankfully, that is definitely not an issue with the Champion.
You won’t hear your knot slam through the guides on every cast, which leads to better accuracy and more peace of mind. I’ve gotten more casting distance on this rod than most other spinning rods I’ve used.
Finally, the stainless steel guide frames are extremely durable. Just ask the guys at Wired2Fish—I can be a bit rough with my equipment. The Dobyns Champion has held up remarkably after many guide trips, fun bank fishing trips and rickety john boat rides.
I love this rod, and if you’re a hardcore finesse angler, I would definitely recommend trying one. With the Champion models starting at $174.99, you can be sure you’re getting a comfortable, strong and durable spinning rod.