Many peopleâ€”not just bass anglersâ€”believe a product’s quality is best represented by its price point. Using such logic, something that costs $500 is better than something similar which costs $100, right? I’m not a big subscriber to this line of thinking and my experience with the Denali Jadewood Series Spinning Rod definitely reaffirms my beliefs.
I’ve been using this rod for several months and I’ve found it to be an outstanding balance between performance and price. Priced at just $99.99, it has offered me excellent value for a ridiculously low price.
Powerful, with right action
For the longest time, I’ve been using separate spinning rods for different applications. I primarily throw a shaky head on spinning gear and I usually have one rod for open water structure fishing and another for skipping docks and other shallow cover. The Denali Jadewood, however, has everything I need for both techniques.
I have the 7-foot, medium-heavy model and it has a very powerful backbone to it. I’ve used it a lot lately while targeting deep trees and brush piles and it does a great job of pulling the fish out and away from the cover. I’ve been using fairly light line, so I’m not using an enormous, come-off-the-floor hookset eitherâ€”just a sharp, upward pull is all it takes to get the bass away from potential hang-ups and snags.
This model has also proven very effective for skipping docks. Shaky heads around docks is a great technique where I live when the weather is cold, and this rod has been great. It has a much softer and faster tip than my other medium-heavy spinning rods, which allows for very accurate and precise casts. Using a “whipping” motion is very important for this technique and this rod loads very well on the back cast and slings shaky heads into hard to reach areas.
Whether you’re fishing around shallow cover or deep structure, you need to be able to feel bites. I know it sounds elementary, but so many spinning rods get “mushy” when you get a bite, which can put you at a disadvantage when targeting lethargic bass or fishing in the wind. So far, the Jadewood makes it very clear whenever I get a bite.
When I’m dragging a shaky head or light Texas rig along the bottom, I’m able to feel everything with this rod. So much of winter fishing is dependent upon finding hard bottom areas and it hasn’t been an issue for me. I can feel even the slightest transitions, gravel, shell beds or limbs when I’m fishing in deep water.
This rod also features a Jadewood foregrip. Before using one, I always thought it was meant primarily for aesthetics, but it does much more than that. When I keep my index finger on the foregrip throughout my retrieve, it dramatically increases sensitivity. Keeping contact with something hard, directly attached to the rod blank allows for excellent sensitivity transferâ€”you’ll feel a lot of your bites through the foregrip before feeling them with your rod tip.
The line guides are “just right”
I use a two join uni knot to connect my braided main line with my fluorocarbon leader and I’ve had some issues with it when using some other spinning rods. The line guides have been way too small, eventually weakening the knot and causing breakoffs. Not good.
These line guides are just the right size in my opinion. They’re small enough to reduce line slap and increase both accuracy and distance, but not too small as to beat your knot to death and cause heartbreaks.
I’m a huge fan of EVA foam grips for several reasonsâ€”they’re easier for me to grip in inclement weather and with fish slime on my hands, but more importantly they don’t stain my shirts.
I fish a bunch and after fishing all weekend with some types of cork grips, I’ve noticed a bunch of dark stains on the rib-area of my light-colored shirts. I’m no laundry expert, but I can’t get the darn things to come out for the life of me. These EVA foam grips don’t stain your stuff, so whenever a rod sports these grips, it’s an immediate attention grabber for me.
While some rods have big, EVA foam-covered rod butts, the Jadewood’s isn’t oversized. That may seem like a moot point to many of you, but it can come in handy if you’re a co-angler or even if you ride along in another buddy’s boat. Because of the rod butt’s small size, it fits very well in the co-angler rod storage area of bass boats. It slides easily into the notches and/or slots and you don’t have to wrestle with it each time you need to use it.
If you’re in the market for a killer shaky head, light Texas rig, wacky rig or even soft jerkbait rod, I think you should look into a Jadewood. I’ve had a great experience with mine and the $99 price point makes it that much more impressive.