We get emails all the time from folks looking for a good, all-purpose rod for bass fishing. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars when you’re just starting to tournament fish. When I first started fishing tournaments in my late teens, I won several tournaments with only two rods in my entire boat. That’s all I could afford.
I’ve found a new recommendation for the people who want one rod for several techniques. I’ve been using the Fitzgerald Casting Rod for several weeks now and I’m super impressed by its versatility, durability and craftsmanship.
Cranking, spinnerbaiting, flippingâ€”you name it
You’ll find several rods that are good for very specific techniques, but it’s hard to find a rod that can be used in several different situations. The 7-foot, 3-inch medium-heavy Fitzgerald Casting Rod, however, can do just about anything.
I’ve thrown a lot of larger squarebill crankbaits with this rod and have been very pleased with the results. It has a graphite blank that loads excellently both on the back cast and when a bass bites. You never want a cranking rod that’s too stiff because it will rip the hooks out of the fish on the hookset, but this rod gives me plenty of shock absorption and delay when I hang into one. When fighting fish, I’ve never once felt overpowered or out of controlâ€”it always feels like I have the upper-hand.
I’m not a big fan of short spinnerbait rods. I like to keep the large majority of my rods the same length because it helps me be a much more consistent caster. This rod has actually proven to be a very good spinnerbait rod as well. The heavy duty micro guides are extremely sensitive and allow me to feel each individual rotation of the blades throughout my retrieve. When I’m slow-rolling it through heavy cover, it’s also very easy to feel the difference between limbs, stumps and a bite.
I’ve also had success flipping and pitching light Texas rigs with the Fitzgerald Casting Rod. Again, it’s very sensitive, which allows me to feel very slight changes in bottom composition and detect those “mushy” bites bass are famous for in cold water. If you flip and pitch a lot, chances are you’ve had a few problems with your line wrapping around your rod tipâ€”sure, it’s annoying, but it can also lead to a broken rod on the hookset. The tip on this rod is designed to be tangle-free, which is very convenient for the shallow power fisherman.
This rod may be a little too long for frogging, but you can definitely get away with it because it has plenty of power. The guides handle braid very well and the powerful blank makes it easy to yank big fish out of the thick stuff.
This rod feels solid as a rock when you hold it in your hands and it definitely holds up to a lot of abuse. The guides have saltwater-gauge steel frames that provide ridiculous durability. We’ve all bent line guides by accidentally stepping on them throughout the fishing day, but that hasn’t been an issue for me whatsoever. There is absolutely no “play” in these guides.
I’ve banged this thing around in my rod locker in rough water, slammed it around in a johnboat and thrown it in the back of my truck when taking afternoon pond trips and it doesn’t have a scratch or ding anywhere in it.
Hand-made in the USA
I go to great lengths to support American-based businesses, so I was very glad to see the “Made in USA” emblem above the foregrip of this rod. It’s excellently crafted and each blank carries a full lifetime warranty. How sweet is that?
If you’re a regular reader of my tackle reviews, you probably know by now that I’m not the biggest fan of cork handles on a rod. They stain your clothes and reduce your grip in adverse weather conditions. Some cork grips are great, but others are subpar.
The grips on the Fitzgerald Casting Rod are made of EVA foam and are extremely comfortable to fish with for days at a time. Whether you’re handling a bunch of fish or competing in a rainy tournament, you won’t notice any loss of grip whatsoever. These grips give you plenty of comfort and grip to get the job done, regardless of the technique.
If you’re looking for a rod that can be used for a variety of techniques, I suggest taking a look at the Fitzgerald Casting Rod. The model I have is priced at $199.99, but I think it’s a very fair price when you consider its versatility, durability and craftsmanship.