Target cranking is an effective way to catch bass. Putting a crankbait where many anglers might be afraid of hanging up. Obviously you need a crankbait that can deflect off of cover, but equally as important is a rod that loads quickly and has enough backbone to move the fish but flexes enough to keep the hooks pegged in bass’s mouth. The new St. Croix Mojo Bass Target Cranker Glass rod fits this bill perfectly.
I’ve been fishing with this rod for several months with lipless crankbaits, square-bills and even some deeper diving models. Over that time I’ve come to admire the action of this rod, the way it handles a hard pulling fish without pulling the hooks of a crankbait out and how well it presents a bait in close quarters to gnarly, snaggy targets.
This rod does several things well, which include the following:
- Loads and slingshots small crankbaits
- Bows to hard pulling bass
- Rolls baits into tight quarters
- Alleviates fatigue found with heavier glass rods
- Smooth line distribution and comfortable grip
Right length and power for flinging baits effortlessly
Too long of a rod can be cumbersome to fish in tight to shallow cover. You want to be able to roll cast a bait in there very quietly and effortlessly on short distance casts. But a short rod is often hard to cast a crankbait well on.
That can be one of the advantages of a glass rod. It loads really well and then snaps the bait out there. In essence, you let the rod do the work of casting for you. It’s slightly different casting than you might be used to with a graphite medium-heavy power rod with a faster tip.
The St. Croix Mojo Bass is a good blend of all the best attributes. It’s 6 feet, 10 inches long, has a wide base and tapering mandril. It loads well with medium power and moderate action and can really fling a bait without a hard whipping cast motion. But it also has enough rear end to lean into a fish and keep it buttoned up.
The age old argument with using glass versus graphite in cranking rods is in how they fight the fish. Most who prefer graphite say they want to be able to drive the hooks in the bass. Most who prefer glass say they don’t want to pull the hooks loose on a hard pulling bass with a rod that is too stiff.
I guess I lean towards the hooking issue is related to hooks as much as the rod. Use tacky sharp hooks and “lean into bass” on the hookset. But after that I want my rod to bow to the bass on surges. Drag can help but a moderate power and slower taper can actually react quicker than your drag can and that added time given by the St. Croix Mojo Target cranker has really made a difference on landing some of the bigger bass I’ve had on the last several months.
Tight quarter casting and fish landing
You want a short enough rod that you can roll cast the bait in next to a laydown or stump or rip rap quietly but you need it to be long enough to take up your line and get into the bass on a quick strike. Part of the issue with this type of fishing can be that you get a bass to the boat that is green in just a few turns of the handle. That’s where this rod really has proven itself.
I’ve set the hook on a bass just a few feet away from me, had it go absolutely crazy right at the boat and the rod just folded and went with the bass to keep him pegged until the drag kicked in or until I mashed the button and let him take a little extra line.
Lighter glass reduces fatigue
The days of “E” Glass rods have come and gone. E glass is much heavier than the “S” Glass used in these Mojo rods. These rods are glass rods but the feel much more like a graphite rod in your hand. They have wider glass rod type bases, but they don’t feel like they weigh a lot more than my other rods. That’s a big deal when you get on a bite where you have this rod in your hand all day long.
This is a $110 rod but it has good guides that are tapered well to allow for good line distribution on a long cast or a roll cast alike. Sometimes you step down in price on a rod and the way it handles the line on a cast is greatly reduced. But I was pleasantly surprised about how well this rod handled at this price point. Well worth the money in my opinion.
The grip is simple but very comfortable all day cranking. The blank is balanced really well. I make a lot of one handed roll casts with this rod, but I’m not afraid to rear back and let a bomb two-hand cast fly either.
If you like to cast a crankbait “at stuff,” you should probably give the St. Croix Mojo Bass Target Cranker rod a look. It’s got a good price, good length, good action and power and is comfortable to fish with all day.
You can find this rod at Tacklewarehouse.com and other retailers that carry the St. Croix Mojo Bass line.
To see this rod in action, watch this video on cranking shallow cover we shot this summer.