My home lake has changed a lot lately. What used to be a fishery that was dominated by blowdowns, shoreline grass, boat docks and stumps has drastically been transformed by the introduction of hydrilla. I don’t know how it happened but it has definitely changed the way we all approach this lake. What worked a few years ago isn’t really the hot ticket these days.
I’ve really had to beef up my rod selection in the last several months as I learn how to dissect this new-to-me ecosystem. Instead of medium-action rods and 12-pound line, I’m quickly learning that heavier-action rods and braided line is the most efficient way to attack this fishery.
Luckily, this change has given me an opportunity to test the Lew’s Super Duty Speed Stick Casting Rods. Specifically designed for heavy-duty bass fishing applications, I couldn’t think of a better rod lineup to try as I relearn my home lake.
It’s a great topwater rod
I have two of the Lew’s Super Duty Speed Sticks; one is a 7-foot, 6-inch medium heavy-action rod and the other is a 7-foot, 6-inch heavy-action rod. I can confidently say that the 7-foot, 6-inch model is an incredible topwater rod if you’re looking for long casts and hook-setting power. Most of you reading this have dealt with schooling fish in the past. You’ll be fishing down the bank and out of nowhere, a big school of bass will come up schooling just out of reach. You can cast with all your might but in the end, it always seems like you fall a few feet short.
This rod has solved that issue for me in most situations. Of course, a longer rod helps but the tip of this particular rod seems to launch topwater lures a country mile. With very little effort, I’m able to cast a topwater plug far enough to feel the backing knot rub against my thumb on every cast. The casting distance and sensitive tip has turned this rod into my new schooling fish rig. I’ll leave it on the front deck of my boat throughout the summer and fall so whenever a school of fish starts busting the surface, I can grab it and launch one of my favorite topwaters right into the action.
Solid grips for close combat
As I mentioned earlier, I think the days of wimpy Texas rigs are coming to an end in my area; I think it’s going to turn into a lot of thick braided line and heavier-action rods with the introduction of hydrilla. I’ve been testing the 7-foot, 6-inch heavy-action Super Duty Speed Stick around some of this vegetation and I’ve really enjoyed the Winn Dri-Tac handles.
If you’ve ever fished thick vegetation, you’re well aware that you need a beefy rod and a solid grip when it comes time to set the hook. Especially when you run across a “scrape” of active bass in a particular area, you need to be able to put a bass in your livewell and immediately make a follow-up cast, flip or pitch. This rod allows me to be very efficient due to the Winn Dri-Tac grips they’ve put on it. I can catch a fish, unhook it quickly and get right back to casting without having to wipe the fish slime off my hands. So far, no matter the situation, I’ve been able to keep a solid grip on this rod no matter what.
As I’ve been pitching and flipping heavy, matted grass with this rod, I’ve been incredibly impressed by its sensitivity. The reel seat design allows you to keep constant contact with the rod blank which helps a lot when detecting subtle bites. In my experience, sometimes the biggest bass bite the lightest and it’s incredibly important to sense anything that feels “different” on the end of your line. This rod has allowed me to feel incredibly subtle bites and even slight changes in bottom composition. I can flip a beaver-style bait into a grass bed and quickly feel when the bottom changes from silt to gravel or clay to sand. Big bass love to hang out in transition areas like this, so I’ve really developed an affinity to this particular rod because I feel like it lets me feel a lot more than may other rods I’ve tested over the years.
I really like this rod. So many times, there’s an emphasis put on weightlessness and looks in regards to both rods and reels. With all sorts of neon-colored combos out there these days, I personally found it refreshing to pick up a fairly plain-looking rod and go fish heavy cover with it. There’s not a whole lot of aesthetics with this rod; it’s matte black with a little big of grey on it.
Nothing fancy. Nothing unnecessary. Nothing cute.
Just a dang workhorse of a bass fishing rod that’ll carry its weight in any heavy-cover situation.
Maybe I’m just weird. But I love a good, ol’ fashioned whooping stick and in my opinion, Lew’s has nailed it with this one.
The Lew’s Super Duty Speed Stick is available at the following retailers: