I've been skipping with a baitcaster since I was a little boy. I can remember walking through the woods to different ponds and having to beat back the briars and limbs in order to get a very small casting window from the bank. I had to get good at skipping pretty quickly because that was the only way I could make a cast most times.
Fast-forward to today and skipping remains an enormous part of my fishing. Our lakes are notorious dock-fishing lakes and if you don't know how to skip your baits under them, you better learn quickly or you'll get your feelings hurt. After skipping tens of thousands of boat docks per year, I've become very picky in regards to my rod selection. I had a custom-made casting rod I used for skipping docks but it broke two years ago. Since then, I've had a heck of a time trying to find a similar one.
I have finally found a replacement, however. The Daiwa Elite Skippin' Jig casting rod is the best dock-skipping and pitching bait I have ever tested. I don't know if I've ever used the word "best" in a review before, but this rod is unbelievable and it's the rod I use more than any other I own.
I'll run through its most noteworthy characteristics.
The perfect amount of tip
The Daiwa Elite Skippin' Jig rod is listed as a 7-foot, 1-inch heavy-action rod, but don't let the word "heavy" make you think it's some sort of clunky broomstick. It's a bit lighter than any other heavy-action rod I've used, so I'd almost be tempted to call it a magnum medium-heavy, if that makes sense.
Either way, it does have the perfect amount of tip for skipping baits underneath cover. I use it for primarily skipping a 1/2-ounce jig and a hollow body frog under boat docks and my casting accuracy has increased dramatically. It's tip allows the rod to load beautifully on the back cast which helps give me the momentum to effortlessly slide my bait under a dock or overhanging bush.
This lighter tip also allows me to land my baits very quietly, which is a huge deal when you're fishing shallow cover. It even makes my 1/2-ounce jig with a big Zoom Super Chunk on the back sound like a small baitfish skipping across the water. I know I'm catching these fish by surprise because I've been getting a bunch of bites on the fall while testing this rod. In my mind, that's a great testament to how quietly and naturally it allows me to present a bait.
Makes skipping feel like second nature
This rod is very lightweight, which I really enjoy. The majority of skipping/jig rods I've used just feel heavy and unbalanced to me. The Daiwa Elite Skippin' Jig rod, however, just feels comfortable and perfectly balanced in my hand. There's no arm fatigue at the end of a long day due to its ergonomic design.
In addition to its feel, the accuracy is crazy. I can go down a row of 15 docks and skip each one five times without my jig ever touching a dock post, ladder or anything else that could spook a nearby bass. Even if you're not very good at skipping docks, I feel like this rod could increase both your confidence and success in just a few days.
Cracks 'em on the hookset
I know I've talked a lot about the lighter tip and the accuracy of this rod, but don't think for a minute that it won't cross some eyes when it's time to set the hook. I've had an excellent hookup ratio throughout my testing because that lighter tip transfers seamlessly into a powerful backbone.
The rod is built with X45 carbon fiber materials, which results in increased torsion resistance. In simpler terms, you're going to get a solid hook in the fish nearly every single time you swing on 'em.
I've probably caught close to 100 fish on this rod and I've boat flipped every single one of them. To this day, I've had no breakage issues and haven't heard any precarious cracking sounds when the rod is under a heavy load. I've put a lot of stress on this rod throughout the last several months and it has handled everything with flying colors.
Aesthetics match its performance
Now, I'm not huge on "cool" color schemes and all of that for my fishing gear. Fishing isn't a fashion show to me. But heck, if I can find a rod that performs flawlessly and it looks good, I'm all for it. The Daiwa Elite Skippin' Jig rod is definitely a good-looking rod.
My buddies love to swing by my shop and talk fishing in the evenings. I live right at the lake, so they'll stop by after they get off the water. Every single time, without fail, they'll grab this rod off of my front deck within five minutes. It definitely gets the most attention from everyone that comes into my shop.
The silver scheme is really sharp looking in my opinion and the matching cushioned foam grips are a nice touch as well. There are also some other contemporary cosmetics throughout the rod, but not so much that it's gimmicky or made just for looks.
I currently have two of these rods and ideally, I'd like about three more. If you need to sling a bait underneath a boat dock, a bush, willow trees or any other type of overhanging cover, you'll want to this rod. You'll see exactly what I'm talking about on the first cast.