If you’ve read any of my articles for the last decade-plus, you’re well aware that I absolutely love to throw a crankbait. There’s something about a crankbait getting inhaled by a big bass that will never get old to me. Throughout my career, I’ve had an opportunity to test just about every crankbait rod on the market. To be quite honest, many of them feel the exact same because they’re made in the same factory. I’m a blue-collar guy like you and I’m just not going to pay a pile of money for something that’s made for show. I want a cranking rod that’s unique, well balanced and loads well on a sweeping hookset.
I’ve been testing the Cashion Element Crankbait Rod for the last month or so and it’s one of the most impressive cranking rods I’ve had the opportunity to test. I figured it would be expensive but at $129.95, I’m hard pressed to suggest another cranking rod to you at such a great value.
Stay with me for a minute or two and I’ll tell you what’s so special about it.
The Cashion Element Crankbait Rod is made in America
This is a big deal for me. The Cashion Element Crankbait Rod is made in America with the blanks being designed and manufactured in Sanford, North Carolina. You’re not getting the same ol’ blanks from the same overseas factory and the attention to detail that goes into these particular blanks is nothing short of impressive.
There are certainly other American-made rods available on the market but I honestly don’t know of one you can buy at this price point. I was telling a buddy earlier this week that if you blindfolded me and put this rod in my hand, I’d sincerely figure it would cost $200 or more. The weightlessness, balance and sensitivity is absolutely impressive and coming from a crankbait snob, that should mean something. Cashion has something special with this one.
Cork grip is a plus
Cashion rods are widely known for their carbon-fiber grips and while a bunch of folks love ‘em, I think it scares some traditional-type anglers away from giving them an honest chance. I’m an old soul and I’m stuck in my ways at times; I prefer cork and EVA because if it’s not broken, why should I fix it? I think the people at Cashion took this into consideration when they made the decision to introduce a cork grip on this Element series.
These cork grips are fairly high quality as well, meaning that they don’t have deep pits in them and are going to be resistant to damage over years of hard use. They’re very comfortable in your hands and I really like the EVA butt-end of the rod as well. Cork butts tend to stain light-colored shirts after repeated hooksets and this EVA design avoids all of that. I don’t know if Cashion did this on purpose, but I certainly think this is a great idea that will save a bunch of shirts for anglers.
I’m huge on sensitivity when it comes to a cranking rod. Of course, sensitivity is important with any bass fishing rod but I believe it’s absolutely imperative when it comes to fishing a crankbait. A lot of anglers don’t like crankbait fishing because they have a hard time detecting bites but my argument is always very simple: If you’re using a high-quality rod, you’ll feel every short-strike, bite, swat or any other disturbance on the end of your line.
The Cashion Element Crankbait Rod is one of the more sensitive cranking rods I’ve had the opportunity to test throughout my career. I’m still having an issue wrapping my mind around the $129 price point, if I’m being honest. One of my favorite cranking rods on my front deck is almost $300 and this rod does everything that rod does. Heck, I’d even argue that this Cashion rod has better bite detection than the more expensive rod. Needless to say, I’m going to be saving up to grab a few more of these rods because I’d love to have several of ‘em rigged and ready at all times.
Casts finesse crankbaits with ease
We’ve all tried to chuck a flat-sided balsa plug with a baitcaster before and in the large majority of situations, it sucks. It’s a great way to get backlashes and get totally ticked off before your fishing day really begins. I purposely tested some lightweight crankbaits with this particular rod and I can comfortably and confidently say that this is an outstanding rod for finesse plugs. Again, it’s one of the best I’ve tested in the last decade or so.
The transition from tip to backbone is incredibly crisp, if that makes sense. This characteristic allows the rod tip to “whip” easily on the back cast as you cast those lightweight plugs but the backbone of the blank gives the rod enough shoulders to handle a heavy load and boat flip fish when absolutely necessary.
The bottom line
I really respect this rod lineup. I know that might sound a little weird but whenever a company comes in and makes their stuff in America without charging an arm and a leg, I can’t help but be proud to use it. I also appreciate their no-frills approach to this line. You’re not buying it because it’s neon-colored and jumps off the proverbial shelf at you. It’s just a dang good rod that doesn’t pull any punches. If you put one in your hands, I’d bet my boat you’ll feel the same way. It’s a good one and it’s going to get a lot of attention.