I’ve had the opportunity to test a bunch of different rods throughout my career and a bunch of them feel the exact same. I know that might not be want everyone wants to hear but it’s the truth; a bunch of rods out there are fairly identical, if I’m being honest. When I put my hands on this rod, however, I knew it was different. In a crowded market, that’s saying a lot.
I took the rod out of the cardboard rod tube several months ago while I was in my shop, rigging some gear for prespawn bass fishing. When I got it out of its plastic wrapping, I was fairly blown away by its weightlessness and balance. My wife was inside fixing supper and I rarely do this, but I walked inside and asked her to come feel this rod. I told her, “Honey, I need you to come try this thing out. It’s unbelievable.”
She helps me take a lot of photos and what not, so she’s pretty well versed when it comes to fishing gear. I let her hold the rod and tinker around with it and her jaw dropped. We both knew we had discovered something special. I had never heard of Trika rods in my life and had never known of anyone who had used them. But after testing a pile of high-end rods over the years, I know a good one the minute I put one in my hands.
To make a long story short, this is truly one of the best spinning rods I’ve ever put in my hands. I know it’s kind of weird to try a rod brand with which you’re not familiar but this dang rod feels like an extension of my arm.
Hang with me for a few minutes and I’ll go over with my experiences with this particular rod.
Trika Rods feature a 100% carbon-weave blank that’s engineered, designed and manufactured in America. I’ve personally tested this rod with weightless soft plastics, shaky heads and smaller jerkbaits with outstanding success. When fishing weightless, I’m able to detect very subtle bites on slack line which allows me to be a bit less of a “line watcher” throughout the retrieve. I know it might sound corny but it seems like if a bass even knocks the water off of a weightless plastic, I’ll feel it before my line even moves.
When it comes to bottom-contact finesse presentations such as the shaky head, the sensitivity is even more impressive. I’m able to feel even the slightest change in bottom composition while dragging the bait back to the boat. I can easily feel whether or not I’m dragging it across silt, mud, hard spots or anything in between without any issues at all. When a bass bites, it’s as clear as day and even on post-frontal days when they bite super soft, the energy of the bite transfers directly to your hand and there is absolutely no doubt you’re getting a bite. You won’t have to do a bunch of guesswork when it comes to setting the hook.
Finally, the jerkbait fishing I’ve done with this rod has further sold me on this design. I’ve had a love-hate relationship with jerkbait fishing over the years because I’ve always lost a lot of good fish on them. A lot of times when you get a bite, they’ll smoke it on slack line and you’ll never know it until you start to jerk your rod tip again; the bass will push the bait towards you and you won’t feel a thing. With the Trika Spinning Rod, however, you can feel ‘em push it towards you, even on slack line. The carbon-weave blank makes a noticeable difference and for this reason, it has become a quick favorite in my boat.
A NOTICEABLE INCREASE IN CASTING DISTANCE
I purposely didn’t look at the Trika website or anything before testing this rod; I don’t like to do that because I don’t want to get polluted with marketing speak because that’s somewhat of a pet peeve of mine. I took it out of the tube, rigged it up with a wacky rig and went fishing—that’s as complicated as I made it.
When making an overhead cast, I definitely noticed an increase in casting distance. I thought maybe I was just imagining things, so I’d put the same rig on a similar rod and sure enough… the Trika allowed me to make longer casts. I kind of raised an eyebrow because I couldn’t quite figure out the difference but then it hit me. Excuse my lack of fancy terminology, but this rod tip doesn’t “wobble” during the cast like most others. When a rod tip oscillates during a long cast, it creates more friction and resistance between the fishing line and line guides which, of course, significantly hurts your casting distance. I don’t know exactly how the folks at Trika did it, but it sure does make a big difference and it’s absolutely worth mentioning.
DURABLE COMPONENTS THAT WITHSTAND ABUSE
I’m not easy on most of my fishing gear. I like to throw rods in the bed of my truck and just go fishing; whether it’s at my in-law’s pond or other private ponds around the area, I’m not the kind of guy to put my stuff in proverbial bubble wrap and baby it. It’s meant to be used and if I’m going to recommend something to somebody, it dang sure better hold its own in a myriad of situations.
The line guides of a spinning reel are pretty volatile because they’re large and they also have slimmer frames. So if you’re fishing in a bass boat and take a wrong step or pond fishing and knock one on a branch or something, there’s normally a good chance one will break. I’ve not had that problem whatsoever with these rod components.
LOTS OF NUMBERS AND DATA TO CONSUME
It took me a while to write and publish this review after all of my personal testing. After I fished with this rod for nearly a year, I finally looked up all the specs and what not. I’m a fisherman and I try my hardest to not get caught up in the minutia of things—I go by real-world experiences in my fishing. With that being said, I totally understand and respect those who love to research stuff like that.
If you like to look at data and really analyze your purchases, Trika seems to be the company for you. You could spend an hour on their website reading over all of the information and data they provide. I won’t type it all here but you can click this link and see all kinds of scientific stuff about their rods. It’s clear that they haven’t gone into this endeavor with a half-way attitude. They’ve studied all of this stuff and the findings are nothing short of interesting and thought provoking. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a rod company provide this type of transparency into their research and resulting data.
FINAL IMPRESSIONS OF THE TRIKA SPINNING ROD
When you fish with this rod, you’re going to be impressed—there’s no doubt in my mind. I’ll admit that the crazy amount of testing data they provide in the link provided above is a little overwhelming for me. I hope it doesn’t spook people from trying one of the rods because 23 pages of testing data will seem like a bit much to people.
With that being said, however, let’s bring it back down to a more real-life level. The rod feels awesome in your hand, it’s very well balanced, it casts even weightless soft plastics like a rocket and the sensitivity is nothing short of impressive. If you’re feeling froggy and wanting to try a new rod brand without much risk, I absolutely suggest trying this one out. It is one of the finest rods I’ve tested in recent memory and deserves consideration from even the most discerning anglers.