It’s really tough to break into a new niche in the bass fishing space. The large majority of anglers out there, myself very much included, tend to find a few brands they like and stick with ‘em until the very end. It’s just like how some folks love Ford and others swear by a Chevrolet; it’s dang near impossible to make people change their preference.
So whenever I see a fishing manufacturer venture into a new product category, I clinch my jaws a little because more often than not, it doesn’t really work out for the reasons listed above. When I received the Savage Gear Black Ops Casting Rod, I kind of had a similar reaction. Sure, they make really good baits that catch a bunch of fish but man… when it comes to rods, can they really pull it off?
After well over a year of testing the Savage Gear Black Ops Casting Rod, I’m thrilled to say that they nailed this move. Although they’re primarily known as a high-quality fishing lure manufacturer, this rod is one of the finest I’ve tested in recent memory. It boasts an impressive blend of weightlessness, balance, strength and sensitivity that is sure to impress anglers throughout the country.
Let’s run through what I’ve learned about this rod.
I’ve been primarily fishing with the 7-foot, 3-inch medium-heavy action Savage Gear Black Ops Casting Rod that’s designed for all-purpose fishing. I’ve pitched lightweight Texas rigs with it, thrown ChatterBaits around sparse grass and cast squarebills around all kinds of cover throughout my testing. If you’re looking for a fishing rod that can do just about anything, this is one you’ll want to consider.
When fishing bottom-contact presentations, I can feel very slight changes in bottom composition which helps me slow down in these key areas in order to keep my bait in the prime strike zone a bit longer. When I’m pitching around the outskirts of grass, I can feel the stalk of every single grass blade which, in my opinion, is nothing short of impressive.
Fishing reaction baits with the Savage Gear Black Ops Casting Rod is just as impressive. It has turned out to be an outstanding rod for a 3/8-ounce ChatterBait and in my opinion, it seems to shine brightest when fishing a 1.5-sized squarebill crankbait. I can feel every single wobble, every collision with cover and perhaps most importantly, I’m able to detect whenever something doesn’t feel “right”. That might sound crazy but your squarebill bites aren’t always going to be super obvious; there will be a lot of times when you can simply feel your plug lose its cadence when a bass bites. The Savage Gear Black Ops Casting Rod does an outstanding job at transferring this feeling to the angler with its 42-ton ultra-light carbon blanks.
Flimsy and cheaply made bass fishing gear doesn’t interest me in the least bit. If I’m going to spend my hard-earned money on a fishing rod, I want it to last for years without having to worry about any loss of structural integrity.
After fishing with this rod for well over a year, I can confidently say that it’s a very well-built rod that holds up to abuse without any problems. I’ve thrown it in the back of my truck, inside my buddies boats, bounced it around in my rod lockers and whatever else you can imagine. I haven’t lost a guide or experience any cracks. Every time I set the hook, it still offers a solid feel without any cracks or pops when under a load. This rod holds its own easily.
Let’s talk strength
I bring this up a lot in reviews because I’m fairly passionate about it: I think some manufacturers spend far too much time worrying about the weightlessness of their rods and reels. Okay, great—it’s light as a feather. What good does that do me if it flexes, breaks or cracks when I’m trying to yank a 5-pounder from underneath a boat dock?
This Savage Gear Black Ops Casting Rod is very tough and handles hard hooksets with the utmost of ease. This lineup actually features 1 DFR technology which integrates a blend of materials into the upper-third of the rod without sacrificing performance. In easier-to-understand terms, you can boat flip some bigguns into your boat and not have to worry about your rod snapping in half like a twig. This particular rod has some serious backbone that makes it well worth the price.
Well balanced for all-day comfort
One of the more striking characteristics throughout my testing has been the elite balance of this rod. The EVA foam handles certainly make it comfortable to fish with throughout a long day but it’s also weighted in a manner that makes it not tip- or butt-heavy. Whether you’re dragging, cranking or twitching some type of bass lure, you’re going to immediately notice the supreme comfort of this bass fishing rod.
The bottom line on the Savage Gear Black Ops Casting Rod
I can understand the hesitance for some folks because many of us think “bass fishing lures” when we talk about Savage Gear. But I’m telling you… they did this right. I hold hundreds of different rod models per year and I can assure you that no corners were cut with this one. Whether you’re concerned about balance, weightlessness, sensitivity or strength, I think you’ll be made into a believer after a few hours of fishing with this rod. Kudos to Savage Gear for thinking outside the box and delivering a killer fishing rod that’ll catch fish for years to come.