Dobyns Champion Randy McAbee Crankbait Rod Review

There are crankbait rods of all brands and sizes. And not all crankbait rods work for all crankbaits. Even inside of a bass fishing niche like crankbaits. There are niches inside of that for rods like square-bills, lipless baits and deep divers, even the new super deep divers. One rod we really love for big deep diving crankbaits after a lengthy review is the Dobyns Champion Randy McAbee Crankbait Rod.

For those who don’t know, the Randy and his father are very well known tournament anglers on Clear Lake and California. They have won numerous tournaments out west and almost all of their damage has been done with deep diving crankbaits. Gary Dobyns tapped into their wealth of knowledge and designed what many believe to be one of the best deep diving crankbait rods on the market.

But here is why we think this rod is a great investment if you are avid deep crankers like us:

  • Handles big baits easily
  • Length launches big baits effortlessly
  • Extended handle improves casting
  • For a big rod, it’s not cumbersome


Rod length improves fishin

I actually received the the Dobyns 805 CBRM a while back. As a rule I’m not a big rod guy. Somewhere around 7-foot, 3-inch rods are about my limit on long rods. I don’t like huge flipping sticks. I have a few 7 1/2- to 8-foot rods but most fall between 6 1/2 to 7 feet. So I was pretty skeptical on the length of the rod.

However after I tied on a Strike King 6XD and threw it the first day, I had completely changed my mind. I could not figure out if it was they 8-foot length, the medium heavy action or the extended handle that made this rod throw a bait so much farther than my other rods, but it did. I’ve referred to this rod combined with a Revo Winch or Lew’s Speed Spool as a “Rocket Launcher.”

I think the length coupled with a back bone and good taper and action allow a big bait to load really hard on your back cast without taking control of the rod with its momentum. Then on the forward cast all the energy unloads to literally launch a crankbait.


Handle and guides combine for control

The handle on this rod seems extra long to me, but that could be because it’s a foot longer than most of my other fishing rods. It gives you a great fulcrum thought to load the rod and then change direction hard and fast to transfer the energy into the bait.

The handle is a high-grade cork with nice detailing on the ring and butt. It’s a very comfortable grip to crank with all day which is something many anglers overlook in buying a crankbait rod.

The guides are KiGan SiC with stainless steel inserts. They are smooth, and the right size. The rush to microguides has been done wrong on many rods, especially crankbait rods. A rod with a really small microguide as the first guide up from the reel makes too sharp an angle that abrades and cuts fishing line on long rods when under load or pressure of a hard pulling fish. So I like the standard tapering guides on this rod. I think it aids in the casting of big baits and still has great sensitivity in the blank.


Weight is not an issue

My other fear was that an 8-foot crankbait rod could be like holding a shovel all day. And your shoulders and elbows would be screaming at you at the end of the day. I didn’t find that to be the case at all. I think a lot of it has to do with how effortlessly the rod can heave a bait. You can make a good fulcrum and keep your elbows in close to your body (which alleviates a lot of muscle and joint injuries) and still launch the bait because of the handle and rod length.

You might could do something to cut weight on the rod, but it might make the big rod a little less comfortable to fish with. That will be more important in the long run than how much a big rod weighs.


My conclusion 

The rod retails for around $259.99 on That’s a bit steep but well worth the money in my opinion. This rod will last you a long long time. It’s covered by the Dobyns $70 no-hassle warranty and really will help you get control on your deep crankbait fishing. Terry has used the Dobyns 764CB RM and loves it almost as much as I love the 804CB RM. These rods are terrific rods and we have yet to meet a person that has fished with ours that didn’t love them. For more information visit


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