Tackle Reviews

Abu Garcia Veritas 2.0 Winch Crankbait Rod Review

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I am unbelievably picky when it comes to crankbait rods for bass fishing. In my opinion, you can get away with a less-than-ideal rod for many fishing techniques and still expect success—but I think your crankbait rod selection makes the biggest overall difference in your cranking success. I can’t tell you how many anglers I’ve taken fishing who hate crankbait fishing until they get a high-quality rod in their hands. It makes a huge difference.

I’ve been using the Abu Garcia Veritas 2.0 Winch Crankbait Rod since June and it has quickly become one of my favorite rods for using both shallow and deep-diving crankbaits. I’ve tested it both at home and abroad on Lake El Salto and I absolutely love it. Not to mention, it’s priced at $99.99.

Here’s what has impressed me the most.

  • Loads excellently
  • Ratcheting reel seat
  • Flat rod butt
  • Durable

Loads well on the cast and hookset

The primary characteristic I look for in any crankbait rod is its ability to “load” well on both the cast and the hookset. In other words, I don’t want a rod that’s too stiff—and there are two big reasons I say that. When you’re casting, a stiff crankbait rod will often cause you to pull your casts which drastically decreases your accuracy. Also, it’s important to give the bass time to eat the crankbait without pulling the lure out of its mouth.

The Abu Garcia Veritas 2.0 Winch is a fairly flimsy rod—and that’s definitely a good thing. Even when you’re using small, flat-sided crankbaits on the 7-foot, medium-action model, it loads beautifully on the back cast, facilitating longer and more accurate casts to specific pieces of cover. The wind is always your friend when you’re crankbait fishing and this rod allows me to make bomb casts effortlessly, regardless of the wind speed or direction. Underhand roll casts have also proved to be very easy, resulting in some awesome skip casts underneath sexy looking docks.

When a fish bites your crankbait, the Veritas 2.0 Winch gives you a nice “delayed” hookset which is essential. If the rod tip is too stiff, you’ll set the hook too soon and your hookup ratio will suffer dramatically. This rod, however, gives your treble hooks an opportunity to begin the penetration process before you execute a sweeping hookset. As a result, I’ve noticed very few skin-hooked bass in my testing. In most cases, the bass have been hooked by both sets of trebles.

Ratcheting reel seat

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Every now and then, we all have one of those “why didn’t I think of that?” moments. When I saw the ratcheting reel seat on the Veritas 2.0 Winch, that’s exactly what happened to me. It’s so simple, yet it makes a ton of sense for anglers.

Because crankbait fishing often involves a 45-degree rod angle and a low, to-the-side hooksets, both your reel and reel seat experience a lot of torque. When this happens, your reel will often become loose on the reel seat which does two things—decreases your hooksetting power and puts you at risk of losing an expensive casting reel in the lake.

The ratcheting reel seat on the Veritas 2.0 Winch is one of the more innovative features I’ve seen on a rod. Just like using a ratchet to tighten the oil plug on your tow vehicle, this reel seat clicks as you tighten your casting reel to the rod. It looks and sounds pretty cool, but it’s super-functional in my opinion. I’ve caught several hundred fish on this rod and my reel is connected as firmly to the reel seat as the day I put it on.

Flat EVA foam on the rod butt

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When you first hold this rod, there’s a chance you might miss this feature—until you get on the water and start chunking your favorite crankbait. The high density EVA foam located on the rod butt is actually flattened on the sides, which is extremely advantageous for crankbait anglers.

I’m a right-handed fisherman, so I use my left ribcage as leverage whenever I’m cranking. Whether I’m dredging a deep-diving plug in deep water or setting the hook on a shallow crankbait, I stick the rod butt into my ribcage to decrease fatigue in my forearm and give myself a more powerful hookset.

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The flattened sides of the Veritas 2.0’s rod butt drastically reduce ribcage pains and slippage when the rod is under a load. The EVA foam sits firmly against your side and gives you a solid plant-point which results in total control of the fish in any situation. Although it’s not necessarily a “major” feature of this rod, I believe it’s one of the most beneficial for crankbait fishing.

Great breaking strength and durability

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The Veritas 2.0 Winch features Titanium-framed guides with Zirconia inserts that not only allow for seamless casts, but they’ve also been super-durable throughout my testing. This rod spent four days stuffed in a tiny aluminum boat in rural Mexico and survived without any lost inserts or snapped guide frames. I’ve also been beating it up pretty well since I’ve been home and again—there’s no damage to speak of.

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I’ve also gone to great lengths to test this rod’s breaking strength. Because Abu Garcia claims an increased breaking strength of 22 percent, I wanted to put it through the wringer. To do this, I’ve been swinging every bass weighing over three pounds into my boat. I’ve had a few hit my windshield and fall back into the water, but when it comes to the rod’s strength; it has passed with flying colors. I’ve literally tried to break this rod in-half and have been unsuccessful up to this point.

If you’re in the market for an excellent and affordable crankbait rod, I recommend checking out the Abu Garcia Veritas 2.0 Winch Crankbait Rod. It’s priced at $99.99 and I will be investing in a few more this year.

The Abu Garcia Veritas 2.0 Winch Crankbait Rod is available at TackleWarehouse.com.