Fishing really large swimbaits can leave you somewhat limited on rod and reel choices. There are some great swimbait rods and a handful of reels that do well with big baits, but there aren’t but a few really good mainstream rods. But I’m excited about the new Jenko Fishing Savant Swimbait Rod. I have been fortunate to have one of the early prototypes since March and have spent a lot of time from the conceptualization stages to the testing stages and all the way to production of this new rod. The fact I was able to have input on this rod obviously will make me biased with the review of this particular rod. So full disclosure on that. But I think it’s going to really open some people’s eyes on mainstream swimbait rod that has a lot of new custom attributes to it.
Incredibly light and strong blank
The Jenko Savant Swimbait Rod starts with a 7-foot, 9-inch highly responsive and sensitive 36T rod blank. It’s a matte gray finish laced with black and silver accents. But more importantly the rod is meant to load and unload easily with baits up to 3 ounces. I have tested it with baits well over 3 ounces even though it’s rated for 2 ounces.
But it’s sweet spot will be on 2-3 ounce smaller crank downs like the Toxic Whipper Snapper, Bull Shad 4×4, Bull Shad 5 to 7-inch originals, bluegill swimbaits like the Gantrel, small glides like the S-Waver, Deps 175, Shizzard, Pizz Shadley II, etc.
The handle is extra long at 20 inches by design with a custom grip built around it. The grip is soft and tacky and really nice on a big swimbait rod. The rod handle was designed to fulcrum transfer of energy cast big baits but it also helps with roll casting lures into tight places like along boat docks, under trees, around laydowns, etc.
The rod handle tucks nicely under your arm as you retrieve your swimbait, giving you comfort and leverage. But more importantly, with baits like a crankdown, this rod will act more like a 7-foot crankbait rod. So you can get the same sort of fishability with a 3 ounce crankdown as you can with a small shallow-diving crankbait.
High Functioning Reel Seat
The reel is locked in place with two locks that won’t let the reel slip out on a big fish. There is a through grip section to give you access to the blank for added sensitivity to your lure in the water. And finally the real seat accommodates larger reels like the Tranx, Curado 300, Calcutta Conquest A, Daiwa Tatula 300, etc.
Experience in the Tip
This rod’s blank was designed to keep fish hooked on large treble hooked hard swimbaits. The way the rod loads makes casting a breeze but it also absorbs the fish on the fight to keep them pegged. It was designed to scale favorite small crankbait rod behavior into a larger big swimbait rod to allow the angler to load into a fish and keep them hooked through the whole fight.
Very comfortable swimbait rod
Throwing big baits can be tiring, as can be hucking them all day on XH action 8-foot rods. The goal was to design a big rod that could handle big treble hook swimbaits but fished more like a conventional crankbait rod. In the seed testing a few of the anglers said this rod kept summer bass hooked better than they had ever seen other rods do. So much that they were considering changing out a bunch of rods to softer tip swimbait rods.
That’s partially because of how comfortable the rod is in your hands. You just lean into the fish like you would with a deep diving crankbait and they stay pegged. You can really lean into them hard and keep cranking and keep the fish pegged.
I would bill this as a crossover rod. It takes what guys know of conventional rods, and marrys it to a swimbait rod. How it feels, how it casts, how it fights will all feel familiar but scaled to fish larger lures.
In my testing I did some deep cranking with the rod. I’m not saying I’ve unlocked something with this rod, but how far it can throw a Strike King 6XD or a Jenko CD25 is fairly silly. Heck, I even fished Chatterbaits and swim jigs on it because I wanted to see what the rod could do with small stuff too. I will have a couple for deep cranking no doubt.
But day in and day out the Jenko Savant Swimbait rod has a small glide or a crankdown like the Bull Shad 4×4 tied on it.
Comes with it’s own sleeve
The Jenko Savant Swimbait Rod comes with its own custom rod sleeve as well. Spandex to attach to your handle hook keeper. And long enough to cover the whole rod with a custom tag at the top.
Been great in testing
The testing the last several months went really well. I caught fish on glides, crankdowns, swim jigs, Chatterbaits, deep crankbaits, oversized shallow crankbaits. Guys in California, North Carolina, Texas as well as me and the Jenko pro staff tested the rods with various baits on various lakes without issue, catching several bass to 8 pounds on the rod.