Tackle Reviews

Wright & McGill Skeet Victory Carbon Review

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It seems as if I become more peculiar about my fishing rod selection as each year passes. I’ve splurged on more expensive rods in the past and had a few of them snap in half on the very first hookset and I’ve tinkered with some of the budget models that have become some of my absolute favorites.

Striking that happy medium between affordability and high-end performance is paramount when you’re purchasing a new bass fishing rod—but it’s not always easy to do. So when I run across a solid rod that meets my expectations in both areas, I make sure to let our readers know about it. 

For the past month or so, I’ve been testing the Wright & McGill Skeet Victory Pro Carbon Casting Rod. As the name implies, this rod series is personally designed by Elite Series pro Skeet Reese. He takes a lot of pride in producing reasonably priced fishing equipment for anglers of all skill levels, so I was immediately intrigued.

He uses these rods on tour, so they have to be good, right? 

After hours of testing and tinkering, I think there are a few specific things you should know about these fishing rods. 

  • Sensitive
  • Powerful
  • Ergonomic
  • Convenient features

Bite detection isn’t a problem

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I’ve been doing most of my testing with two of these rods in particular—the 7-foot Spinnerbait/Worm model and the 7-foot, 4-inch Jig/Big Worm model. So often you’ll find a lack of balance in rods designed for bottom-contact presentations. When you find one that has some shoulders to it, it feels like you’re fishing with a broomstick. Conversely, when you get your hands on one with some sensitivity to it, it feels like a half-boiled noodle on the hookset. 

These Wright & McGill Skeet Victory Pro Carbon Casting Rods, however, have really impressed me with their balance of sensitivity and power. Let’s talk sensitivity first—we’ll get to the power aspect shortly. 

The bass around here have been in a complete funk lately and are bringing a whole meaning to the term “post-spawn funk”. They’re still catchable, but in order to trick them, I’ve had to dead-stick a big worm in deep brush or flip a 1/4-ounce Texas-rigged stick worm to the outside grass edges. Both of these techniques require very careful and deliberate bite detection. 

These rods have performed beautifully in regards to sensitivity, if I’m honest. I’ve been able to feel those very small “tick, tick” bites on the grass lines and most importantly, I can feel those very lethargic “heavy” bites when I’m fishing deep brush—just a slow, slight increase in weight. 

The sensitivity of these rods has actually allowed me to set the hook a bit sooner than I usually would. I don’t always like to get too anxious on the hookset, but when they’re buried in heavy cover, I believe it’s important to detect the bite quickly and wrench ’em out before they have a chance to wrap your line around a bunch of trash. As a result, I’ve lost very few bass to my lakes giant brush piles and thick grass stalks. I’m putting roughly 95 percent of my bites into the boat. 

In addition to bite detection, I’ve really enjoyed how well these rods have allowed me to feel slight changes in bottom composition. With very little effort, I’m able to feel very subtle transitions from soft mud to clay, mud to sand, baseball-sized rocks to softball-sized rocks and so on. Heck, I’ve even been able to feel the difference between “crisp” vegetation stalks and soft stalks. Details matter, especially when fishing is as tough as it has been here. So you have my permission—you can go right ahead and color me impressed. 

Strength when you need it

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I just went back and added “when you need it” to the title of this section because I think it’s a point worth discussing. In my opinion, an overly stiff rod tip isn’t very useful. Yes, it’s powerful and we can hear all about guys “yanking ’em out of the crud” with these types of rods, but I don’t want to rip a dime-sized hole in a bass’ mouth when I set the hook. That’s a quick way to lose a big fish as you’re fighting it to the boat. 

So again, we come back to that “happy medium” concept I keep mentioning in this piece. You need a rod that can lay the wood to ’em, but you also have to have a little bit of shock absorption somewhere in the mix.

The Wright & McGill Skeet Victory Pro Carbon Casting Rod is an excellent representation of this balance. As we discussed, it’s sensitive, but that sensitive tip transfers to a powerful backbone very quickly. You’re not sacrificing the integrity of your presentation or any sensitivity, but you’re able to enjoy solid hooksets and quick fights. 

When I can finally get a bass to bite lately it seems to “wake up” and go crazy, resulting in a bunch of strong boat-side surges and runs. The soft tip absorbs that shock quite well while the backbone of the rod allows me to have total control of the fight. I have yet to feel overpowered by a bass I’ve caught with these rods. 

Comfort and balance

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The first thing I noticed about these rods were the double-trigger handles—I don’t know if that’s the technical term for them. But that’s what I’m going to call them. 

Before I added a reel to either rod, I’ll admit that they felt a little awkward. I’ve never owned a rod with a similar handle design, so it was definitely a new feeling. But when I put on the reels, it made much more sense. It feels really darn natural. 

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As I fished with them for the next few weeks, I really began to appreciate them. They add a bit of control to hard hooksets and give the rod a great sense of balance. The rod butt doesn’t pull the back of your rod downward and the tip is nice and light—I honestly think a large part of it is due to the way you’re able to grip this rod’s handles. 

I was happy to see that these double-trigger handles don’t result in any loss of blank contact throughout the retrieve. The reel seat is cut away where your middle and ring fingers would go, giving you total access to the blank while you’re dragging, hopping or dead-sticking a worm. And of course, the more blank you’re able to touch, the more sensitivity you’ll have. 

Convenient features

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That sounds a little weird doesn’t it? That’s not a term many use to describe a fishing rod, but if you fish a lot and own several different rods, you’ll probably understand what I’m saying. 

First of all, I’m a big fan of the hook keeper location. I don’t like hook keepers that are located on the blank—especially on the top side. I’ve seen them fray lines and totally break on slack-line hooksets, so I make an effort to avoid them. This keeper, however, is located on the front trigger of the handle and it’s just a small hole. There’s no clip to get in the way. You’d never know it’s there unless you’re looking for it. If you’re picky about scratching your reels with hooks and weights, this is an excellent solution. 

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I also think the indicator bands on the handle and rod butt are a practical and convenient addition. Just below the reel seat, you’ll find a line and lure weight indicator and on the butt, you’ll see a length and action. So if you’re someone who likes to stash a bunch of rods into your rod locker, this is an easy way to identify them while rigging tackle. 

Final impressions

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I’ve certainly enjoyed my time testing these rods. They’re sensitive, powerful and ridiculously comfortable to use throughout an entire day of fishing. The models are printed clearly on the blank making for quick and simple identification, they’ve stood up well to big hooksets and numerous boat-flipped fish catches and they perform very well for $159.99 rod. If you’re in the market for a new rod, this one is worth checking out.