There’s no doubt bass fishing can be an expensive hobby, so I make a concerted to find affordable tackle that performs at a high level. It wasn’t long ago I was a broke college angler fishing national championship events with a total of about $300.00 of tackle in my entire boat””rods and reels included. I couldn’t afford a lot of the things other folks could, so I just learned to make it work.
I’ve realized, however, that there are products out there that offer anglers both affordability and performance. For example, I’ve been using the Lew’s American Hero Speed Stick Spinning Rod for several months and have been ridiculously impressed by it. Even with a price tag of only $69.99, it’s one of the better spinning rods I own.
There are four things I really like about it:
- Benefits American veterans
It doesn’t seem like an unbalanced rod would make much of a difference””until you use one that’s balanced correctly. I’ve used a lot of low-cost spinning rods that were simply uncomfortable to fish with. By lunchtime, it felt like I had been punching mats all day rather than finesse fishing.
The Lew’s American Hero Speed Stick Spinning Rod, however, is very well-balanced regardless of the reel you put on it. It’s not tip-heavy and the butt of the rod doesn’t pull the tip upward throughout the retrieve whatsoever. I try to avoid finesse fishing whenever possible, but this rod actually makes it bearable for me. Whether I’m skipping weightless soft plastics or casting shaky heads at brush piles, its split-grip handles and high density EVA foam make for an extremely comfortable day of fishing.
I have a huge appreciation for versatile fishing rods. It’s not necessary to have dozens of rods piled up in your truck or on your front deck in order to have a successful day on the water. If you spend some time shopping around, you’ll be able to find a few rods that work well for a bunch of different techniques.
I’m happy to say that this rod is very versatile for both boat and bank anglers. I’ve used it a lot in both situations and have caught a lot of quality bass in almost every condition you can imagine.
- Shaky head“”I’ve had a lot of success using this rod to fish shaky heads underneath docks and in thick brush piles. Even with a lighter shaky head, the rod loads very well on the back cast and allows me to make very accurate skips to the darkest parts of docks. When using it with heavier shaky heads for fishing deep brush, this rod has plenty of power to get the fish out and away from the cover while maintaining enough sensitivity to feel very subtle bites.
- Weightless plastics“”You can always catch some nice fish on farm ponds with weightless plastics and I’ve definitely given this rod a workout doing so. I’ve been able to whip floating worms and soft jerkbaits under overhangs without any hassles and it has plenty of back bone to swing bass out of the water without dragging them across the mud, grass and rocks.
- Drop shot“”This rod may be a little stiff for drop shotting, but you can definitely get away with it. It’s easy to detect bites, but I’ve learned to tone-down my hooksets a bit to avoid ripping the hook away from the bass. It casts a drop shot a mile and lets me feel very small changes in bottom composition.
- Small crankbaits“”I don’t throw crankbaits on spinning rods, but my guide clients have been crazy about throwing Shad Raps and other lightweight crankbaits on the American Hero Speed Stick. With a little practice, even my most novice clients have been making some really impressive casts. The rod also loads well when a fish bites, which has resulted in a great hookup ratio for them.
When you put a bunch of people in a bass boat, rods and line guides are going to get stepped on””it used to make me cringe but I’ve kind of learned to accept it. I’ve had a lot of rods break over time, but this one is pretty darn tough. There’s only been one time the eyes have bent and it was a quick and easy fix.
The American Hero Speed Stick is also one of my pond hopping rods which means it gets beat up pretty badly. I’ve bounced it around in the bed of my truck, slapped it against trees in tight quarters and dropped it several times to beat the fire ants off my legs and there’s only one small scratch on the rod. It still works perfectly and all the components are totally intact.
I’ve also been impressed by the durability of the hook keeper. A lot of folks don’t pay attention to these things, but they definitely have a tendency to snap when they’re used regularly. This hook keeper is places between the grip and butt section of the rod which keeps it totally out of the way””your line doesn’t snag on it and it doesn’t get beat up as much as some other rods’.
Benefits American veterans
Our selfless veterans deserve to be treated well and it’s incredible to see Lew’s acknowledging that. Here is their American Hero Pledge:
Lew’s promises to never forget or take for granted the service of our American veterans who gave given unselfishly during their time of duty so that all who please can enjoy their favorite activities in the great outdoors of this free country.
Lew’s pledges that a portion of the profits will go to help select programs that benefit the mind, spirit, soul and body of these American Heroes so they, too, can experience the same enjoyment outdoors.
Well done, Lew’s.
If you’ve been trying to find an affordable spinning rod that’s balanced, versatile and durable, check out the Lew’s American Hero Speed Stick Spinning Rod. It’s priced at $69.99 and helps a great cause.