I actually want to fish a jerkbait now
Before I get started, I'll come out and say it: I've never been a huge fan of jerkbait fishing. It makes my hand cramp, I lose a bunch of fish and I could never find the right rod. I had actually resorted to using my cranking rods to fish jerkbaits. My system was all out of whack.
Even though jerkbaits aren't my favorite, they catch the fire out of big bass. I feel like I've been missing out on fish catches because of my disdain for jerking.
But things change. I heard about this rod and figured it wouldn't hurt anything to try it out. So without further ado, allow me to introduce you to my new favorite jerkbait rod: The Lew's Custom Plus Speed Stick Jerkbait Special.
This is a good one, folks. To my surprise, it has actually made me enjoy fishing a jerkbait. I'll run down the things that I think are most noteworthy about this rod.
Much shorter handle than you're likely used to
The handle of this rod measures only 10 1/4 inches. When you pick it up, you might raise an eyebrow like I did because it's so different than the vast majority of rods out there. When I first used it, it felt like an old-school pistol grip with a few more inches.
This is the beauty of the rod, in my opinion. As you make those sharp, downward snaps of your rod tip, the butt of this rod stays completely out the way. It won't snag on your baggy sun shirt or bulky jacket and it stays clear of your forearm. The shorter grip allows for more control as you're working your jerkbait and it's the most balanced jerkbait rod I've tested.
Interestingly enough, my hand cramps have drastically reduced while using this rod. I'm not quite sure why that is. My guess is the improved balance, but I can certainly notice a difference. I'm experiencing much less hand (and forearm) fatigue than I normally do.
Make precise casts with ease
You'll also find that you're able to make very accurate casts with this rod. When you combine a 6-foot, 7-inch rod with a short handle length, you can whip this rod around and put your jerkbait nearly anywhere. It handles both lightweight and heavy jerkbaits with ease.
I've actually started casting mine one-handed, as you can see in the photo. You still have just enough handle to utilize two-handed casts, but it feels a bit more natural for me when I cast with one hand.
The length is right on the money, in my opinion. Regardless of how aggressively you're fishing your jerkbait, your rod tip won't slap the side or your boat or the water's surface.
A big frustration I've had with jerkbait rods in the past has been an extreme lack of comfort. Lots of rods have components around the reel seat, or the trigger, that will rub the sides of your fingers raw after a few hours.
This rod is incredibly comfortable and I've experienced zero issues with blisters or raw spots on my fingers and knuckles. It feels very natural in your hands and even apathetic jerkers will agree.
Keep your grip no matter what
The Jerkbait Special features Winn Dri-Tac polymer grips that certainly add to the comfort of this rod. They provide a solid, slip-free grip even if your hands are wet or covered in fish slime. You're able to quickly unhook your fish and get back to fishing without wiping your hands all over your clothes.
I strongly recommend this rod to anyone who plans on tossing a jerkbait around this year. It has an outstanding action, the tip quickly feeds slack line to the jerkbait and it transfers beautifully to a powerful backbone. Not to mention, it's also a really good option for walking topwater lures, too.