The Bait Finesse System has been around for a few years, giving anglers a means to throw ultralight lures and other tackle on specialized bait casting equipment. However it has been implemented very little for crappie fishing. Sure anglers have caught crappie on bait finesse systems but they have not been used much for crappie fishing mostly because the options out there were a little too beefy for bass fishing or a little to wispy for trout fishing.
Thankfully companies like Jenko Fishing are making rods specifically tuned for crappie fishing, especially casting to crappie with LiveScope. I was fortunate to spend time with the Jenko designers and anglers and got to test out the BFS rods before their public release last week at ICAST. I spent time casting jigs on the prototypes up at the shop as well as fishing with them on the water with Tony Sheppard. They gave me a rod to go experiment a few weeks ago, so I figured I’d document my initial experiences since this will be new for a lot of crappie anglers.
I spent some time chasing crappie with it and getting an understanding on what it’s advantages and disadvantages are. I was pleasantly surprised that BFS offers more advantages than disadvantages. In fact it impressed me so much, I will likely make the switch to bait casting BFS gear for much of my crappie fishing now. From line management to casting distance, the Jenko Double Down rod was impressive with jigs as light as 1/32 ounce and it’s rated to throw a 1/80-ounce jig.
BFS reels incorporate shallower designs with completely different gearing. So you can’t just put your regular bait caster on this rod and go crappie fishing. It won’t be a great experience. But I put a Shimano SLX BFS reel on the Double Down and had an absolute ball chasing crappie around on deep stumps and brush on the main river on a hot 100-plus-degree day.