I am an absolute freak when it comes to shallow cranking. I don't know why, but I can never get enough of it. Every day of the year, you're going to see several shallow plugs rigged and ready to go on my front deck. Because of this strange affinity of mine, I have had an opportunity to test hundreds of cranking rods over the years. Most of them don't make it to the website because, to be honest, they don't meet my standards.
That's not the story with this particular rod, however. You might not know Savage Gear for its bass fishing rods yet, but I sincerely urge you to put a few in your hands just to see how they feel. I have been testing the 7-foot, 1-inch medium action Battletek rod and it's one of the best shallow cranking rods I've tested in recent memory.
I'll quickly go over what I like about it.
Because I fish a shallow crankbait so frequently, comfort has become a big evaluation point for me whenever I'm testing cranking rods. The Savage Gear Battletek seems to fit perfectly in my hand and in the hands of my buddies who have also tried it.
Although it's just a medium-action rod, it doesn't wear me out after cranking all day. This technique can get a little tiring, especially when you're burning your plug all day looking for reaction bites. With prime cranking season coming up soon, I don't expect to have any fatigue-related issues with this rod.
The lightest cranking rod I own
I honestly didn't know what to expect when I first ordered this rod. Can a lure company really excel at making high-end fishing rods?
When I took this rod out of the package, my jaw dropped. I'm not sure that "lightweight" is a strong enough word for the weightlessness of the Battletek. Even after I put a reel on it, I couldn't believe how dainty this thing felt in my hands.
The blank is made from 36-ton high modulus carbon and this particular medium-action model I've been testing is just a tiny bit lighter-action than most mediums you've probably used. I personally love this trait. I'm able to feel every single wobble or shimmy of my crankbait. If my lure misses just one "kick" throughout the retrieve, I know it's time to set the hook.
The Battletek series features Seaguide 316 stainless steel tangle-free guides with siC inserts. For me so far, this has resulted in absolutely zero line management issues and the line seems to come through these guides effortlessly. I can make some pretty impressive casts, even with some very lightweight, custom-built finesse crankbaits.
Fishing isn't a fashion show, but...
I try very hard to not judge products based on their looks. I've always said that fishing isn't a fashion show. But man, I am crazy about the looks of the Battletek series. The whole lineup is Army green-colored blanks and tactical-looking EVA grips. In the days of neon-colored rods that make your front deck look like a bag of Skittles, I think it's awesome that Savage Gear found a way to separate themselves aesthetically without outlandish color schemes.
I like the hook hanger location
I know this is a small detail, but I really like where the hook hanger is located on the Battletek series. You'll find it on the side of the blank, which is great because it doesn't inadvertently catch your line in any circumstance. It's totally out of the way and you won't realize it's there until you need it.
This will be one of my most heavily used rods throughout the prespawn period; I can guarantee you that. From the sensitivity to the sheer weightlessness, I was pleasantly surprised to see what Savage Gear was able to pull off with this rod. My hat's off to them in a big way.