I’ve become pretty darn picky when it comes to choosing a bass fishing rod. I’ve tested just about every major brand on the market and I can tell when a company is trying to sell me a $80 rod for $200. Lots of rods out there are made in the same factory and there’s not much different about ’em other than their aesthetics. So when I hear a bunch of hype about a rod, I immediately raise an eyebrow and set out to see whether or not it’s worth the commotion.
The reintroduction of the Falcon Cara Casting Rod has been getting all kinds of rave reviews. If you remember, the Cara series was an enormous hit several years ago and for whatever reason, they disappeared. Anglers everywhere where searching to buy them second-hand and the lucky few who had some of them could practically name their price. I’ve never met a single fisherman who didn’t love an old-school Cara.
As you can imagine, this reintroduction has a lot to live up to. When a rod has the name “Cara” on the blank, an angler’s expectation changes. As I tested these rods, I kept that in mind and was pretty stringent in my review process.
Stick with me and I’ll quickly share my experiences with it.
A very versatile and sensible series
I’ve noticed a lot of weird lengths, powers and actions on rods throughout the past several years. Sometimes they just don’t add up and I’ll look at a list of the different models and can hardly find one I’d want. I think that can happen when a rod company gets too many professional anglers involved. Someone might absolutely love a particular LPA (length, power and action) but that doesn’t mean the general public will enjoy it. I guess I’m trying to say that it becomes too overcomplicated and specialized at times in my opinion.
I have to say, however, that I absolutely love the options in the Falcon Cara casting rod lineup. They didn’t try to get too cute with the design process and each and every LPA makes sense and can be used and appreciated by any angler, regardless of their fishing style or geographic location.
I really like that they incorporated some heavier actions in their shorter lengths. I fish shallow, skinny water throughout most of the year and I’m constantly weaving between boat docks, laydowns and other obstructions which makes it pretty cumbersome to skip something with a long rod. With the 6-foot, 11-inch heavy-action rod I can skip a frog underneath a skinny boat dock and the 6-foot, 10-inch medium heavy-action is an outstanding and incredibly versatile pitching and flipping rod. If you want to dob a little creature bait around in shallow water, I can’t recommend a rod series much more than this.
Again, I’m a pretty discerning shallow-water angler. Starting at $249.99, you might have to save up a few pennies to get one of these rods but I’m telling you, they’re worth every single cent from what I can tell so far.
I’m not quite sure if I’ve ever used the word “breathtaking” in a product review but whatever… I just did it. It’s the best word to describe my experience with these rods.
I have used a lot of sensitive rods since I’ve been doing this for a living but the Cara series takes the meaning to an entirely different level. These rods are built with Fuji ECS reel seats which are widely regarded as some of the lightest and most sensitive reel seats on the market and when you fish with ’em, you can immediately tell a difference.
Without any issue, you can feel very slight changes in bottom composition when you’re dragging a bottom-contact bait and you can also feel each movement your reaction lures make. If it skips a wiggle or gets mushy for just a second, you can detect it quickly and set the hook or snap your rod tip to clear debris from your lure.
When I put a reel on this particular rod, I was immediately impressed by its balance and weightlessness. It’s not tip heavy and despite the full cork grip, it feels great in your hands. I’m normally not a full-cork guy when it comes to rod handles but this rod might change my mind a little bit.
I’ve been able to throw frogs and flip creature baits with this rod for hours without any undue fatigue. The poorly balanced rods are the ones that normally make you sore after a long day of fishing but throughout my testing with this rod, I’ve felt like a spring chicken at the end of some long, hot summer days.
I fully understand that $249.99 is a lot of money. You work hard for your money and I respect that, so when I strongly recommend this rod, I don’t take it lightly. If I could have a front deck full of these rods, I’d do it in a heartbeat. If you’ve ever wanted to splurge a little bit and get a super nice fishing rod, this is one I’d urge you to consider.
The Falcon Cara Casting Rod is available at TackleWarehouse.com and FalconRods.com.