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Old 02-12-12, 09:40 PM   #1
bassboogieman
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Default M/L rods for bass

Not wanting to hijack Kory's thread about his new carrot stix rod, and to get as much input as possible I'm curious how many guys use a M/L rod for bass (and I am assuming he would use it for bass due to the specific mention of shaky head). I'm not critical of anyone's personal choice, I just can't get my head around the idea and hope to get a better understanding of the reasons for using one. I've never used anything less than a medium power rod for bass. I only own a couple ML spinning rods that I use for crappie and panfish. But for bass - I don't know anyone that uses a M/L power rod.

Actually I don't have many medium power rods either. Those I do are either spinning rods for finesse presentations or crankbait rods. Everything else I use for bass is M/H or heavy. My thinking is a M/L rod would not have enough power to get a good hook set on a bass with it's mouth clamped shut on a bait, like a shakey head as Kory mentioned. Maybe it would work with a small crankbait that is already moving with very sharp hooks, but I'd rather use a medium power spinning rod. I'm just not getting it, but am interested in how they may work for others.
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Old 02-12-12, 09:46 PM   #2
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To my knowledge they fair as good drop shot rods due to the soft tips. Helps you move the worm without moving the weight. They're also fairly popular for river smallmouth. You can cast light spinners and give a tube a good hop to boot while maintaining control of the fish!
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Old 02-12-12, 09:50 PM   #3
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I've actually got a Fenwick hmg 6'6" Light casting rod. My wife bought me as a stocking stuffer in '10. I didn't want to hurt her feelings so I figured I could find a use for it. Lo and behold it's one of fav rods for throwing small pop-r's and torpedo's and rapalas. Takes some mental adjustments but with a small topwater on 10 lb mono and sharp trebles it hooks um good. The real pleasure though is enjoying the temendous rod bend when your hooked up to a decent fish.
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Old 02-12-12, 09:51 PM   #4
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I don't have one yet, but will hopefully be picking up a ML spinning rod to fish light dropshots with. It will be 7' or 7'4" and paired with a 2000 sized spinning reel and 6-7lb test FC or 10lb Braid.

A ML casting rod can be paired with a finesse reel like a Sol/Alphas, Pixy, or Core/Curado 50/51. Not many good rod manufacturers make a ML casting rod. St. Croix and Dobyns do for sure, and Dobyns even has a 7' L F casting rod. A light powered rod like these will increase the ability of even the best finesse baitcasting reel to throw light baits (weightless 4" worms, micro cranks, etc).

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Old 02-12-12, 10:12 PM   #5
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I use a 6'9" ML Abu Veritas for my Shakeyhead / DS rod.
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Old 02-12-12, 10:13 PM   #6
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I generally get criticized for using rods that are heavier than most guys prefer for certain techniques. In fact I rarely use anything lighter than a medium heavy rod, the only time I do is when I use a medium powered rod for jerkbaits and small crankbaits. In this case however I will be using shaky heads that have a very thin wire hook, I can actually flex the hooks with my hands with ease. I will also be using 12lb braid with a florocarbon leader for my shaky heads so the lack of line stretch will help make up for the lack of power in the rod, and if I went with a medium powered rod like I almost did I was affraid that the combination of the medium rod, braid, and light wire hook might cause me some problems with straightening hooks out. By the way, fishing a shaky head on braid is going to be a new concept to me. I have made it pretty well known that I hate using braid but will do so when I fish techniques where it is better suited than mono or florocarbon. In this case since I don't finesse fish unless I absolutley can't get anything going with power fishing techniques, I knew that florocarbon would have really bad memory from the lack of use. If I was going to use mono or florocarbon I would have went with a medium powered rod, no doubt about it. This rod does have a fair amount of backbone for a medium light, it just has a pretty soft tip.
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Old 02-12-12, 10:21 PM   #7
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I tried a ML Dobyns Champion Extreme, and I was really not liking how flimsy the rod felt. A ML rod was not for me. On Erie, we commonly thrown 3/8 - 5/8 DS weights with the lightest I throw being 1/4, so the ML was def. to light for that. I missed quite a few fish becasue of the heavier weights that we were using. When I would lift up and feel some"weight" the rod tip was giving so much that it was hard to feel a bite. I now fish a 7'2 Medium Fast Carbonlite DS rod, and it can take the 1/4 - 5/8 DS weights perfectly. I can see a ML rod working if you were only using 1/8-1/4 weights or light shakey heads, but for what I do around here, a ML didn't cut it.

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Old 02-12-12, 10:43 PM   #8
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personally i love this type of rod. and like it for slinging my ROOSTERTAILS as well as light weight worms. sometimes it comes in handy for the shaky head as well, like kennethdaysale says he uses his for.

mainly for light weight baits it is a great rod to use on a baitcaster in my opion.
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Old 02-12-12, 11:51 PM   #9
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I had a ML spinning rod once and I replaced with with a M simply because I was loosing too many bass once I had them on. I was using it for 1/8 oz. and 1/4 oz. maribue jigs with small Mr Twister lizards for trailers. The bass loved the presentation, but the lightweight aberdeen hooks still wouldn't hook up solid. Once I switched to a medium power rod the problem was solved.
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Old 02-12-12, 11:56 PM   #10
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I don't currently own anything in a ML. I am considering building a ML ModFst cranking rod for throwing RC .5's, KVD 1.0's and other really small crankbaits. I don't think the lighter power will effect setting the hook on a small crankbait and it will greatly aid in casting really light baits.
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Old 02-13-12, 10:47 PM   #11
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I have a rod which I believe is listed as medium light but it has plenty of backbone for tossing baits on 6 lb test. I have caught fish over 5 pounds on it. I usually enjoy medium to medium heavy rods best. Not really a fan of super stiff rods.
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Old 02-14-12, 01:25 PM   #12
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I'm glad this thread was started, since I have a reel looking for a rod and was considering trying out a M/l rod. I seem to have enough of everything else so I was thinking this might be something to add to my arsenal. Getting a lot of good info. Thanks Guys!!
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Old 02-14-12, 01:58 PM   #13
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I use both a light and med. light spinning rod for bass. Mainly in winter and early spring. I'll use the med. light rod up into may if needed. But they've been great and have not had any problems landing bigger fish with them either. Now that I live up north they'll see a lot more action.
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Old 02-14-12, 04:38 PM   #14
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A ML/XF 6'9" makes a great drop shot and steram smallie rod. Like anything else it needs to matched with proper line, hooks and weights. Thine wire hooks are no problem. Another thing to keep in mind, one of the most popular models with these specs is put out by St Croix whose rod ratings are on the light side. Their ML has some punch to it.
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Old 02-14-12, 08:29 PM   #15
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I've been using a 7'2" ML/F Shimano Crucial Dropshot rod.




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Old 02-14-12, 09:47 PM   #16
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I have the same rod that woody has in that picture only mine is the 6' 8" and I would say it rates closer to L than M/L. It fishes small dropshots very well but doesn't really even have the backbone to fish anything but the smallest shakeyheads. It does fish small cranks like a #5 shadrap very well and is a great rod for tossing small spoons for trout or light grubs for crappie and bass. I also have a 6' 10" M/L St. Croix Rage rod that I use for lighter dropshots and is one of my favorite rods to fish a small jerkbait or light crankbait on. My crucial usually has 6lb test on it while the Rage has 8lb most of the time but I will drop to 6lb on it also and have dropped down to 4lb for bass with my crucial.
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Old 02-19-12, 09:57 AM   #17
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I have quite a few Medium-Light, Light, and Mag-Light rods. Some for light crankbaits, small jerkbaits, drop shot, shaky head, tubes, etc. I haven't quite figured out what to do with the 7-6" Mag-Light spinning rod yet though, it may be better suited to trout. I prefer using lighter rods than the norm and feel that I lose fewer fish because of it. I generally use the lightest weight (head/lure) I can get away with too.
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Old 02-19-12, 12:18 PM   #18
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I use a Falcon Low Rider dropshot rod which is a ML. I prefer a rod with more backbone, but since I use an exposed hook when fishing a dropshot the ML rod works pretty well. that is the only application I use it for.
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Old 02-19-12, 11:04 PM   #19
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Bruce, I've been using a 6'9" ML F Vendetta as a drop shot rod (w/ 6lb fc) for a while (Walker still hasn't finished my "DS v2.0 ). I think for very light baits it's great, but let me tell you...that 3lb'er I caught on it last year was a lot of fun to bring in on such a light rod.

Then again, catching that 5lb channel cat on a 5'6" UL trigger spin rod w/ 4lb test was a blast too.

I'm all for light tackle. It returns playing the fish back into the art it used to be.
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Old 02-28-12, 12:01 PM   #20
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I use a m/l dobyns. Quickly becoming my favorite rod. Dropshot flukes small underspins. Great rod for those kinds of things.
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Old 02-28-12, 12:33 PM   #21
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I use ML spinning rods for stream fishing, especially in the winter months when I tone down the size of my jigs and start using 1/8 oz bucktails and marabous. I like the ML rods for casting these lighter jigs the greatest distance possible. I use a quality 8 lb test line or maybe 6 lb if the water is gin clear and make sure my drag is set properly. I don't get too many breaks on 8 lb test, but I get my fair share when I go down to 6. I used 4 lb test on a couple of trips, and I'll never want to go that small ever again.
Also you can get away with lighter tackle in the winter months as bass just don't have as much energy to fight.
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Old 03-02-12, 08:54 PM   #22
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I recently converted a light 7' spinning rod to baitcasting and used it today to bring in a 5 pound spot full of eggs. Fish's only chance was to rub the line across some rocks, the rod does not give much room to throw a hook. In general, I also use lighter rods and lures than most guys. The cons have been addressed in this thread, I cant muscle a fish at all, but the setup throws well.
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Old 03-02-12, 10:32 PM   #23
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If given the choice between punching mats with a 3/4 beaver....65lb braid and a pool cue to catch 3/4/5 lb ers and catching the same class fish out on a mid lake hump with an SR7...8lb mono and a lively m/l rod...I'll pick the latter every time. Don't get me wrong there is something kinda fun going from hook set to boat deck in one motion but like a lot of you I'm more in it for the fight. I get more of a rush and feel more "sporty" about the whole thing when I know if I don't do everything just right the battle could be lost.
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Old 03-03-12, 04:57 PM   #24
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I'm a spinning reel guy; maybe that's why I have 3 ML rods. I don't think I would go lighter than a medium for a casting rod. IMO, A bait-casting reel's greatest attribute is the instant torque or power you get when you crank the handle - so a bait-caster seems better paired with a more powerful rod.

My ML spinning rods do get quite a bit of use. I tend to throw T-rigged plastics a lot with 1/16 ounce bullet sinkers. I also throw weightless wacky worms and weightless flukes. In addition I fish stream smallmouth from a canoe about 3 times a year and I like a ML rod for that as well.

DISCLAIMER: I live in Iowa and 1-1/2 to 2 pound bass are normal. Bass over 3 pounds are good fish and a 4+ pounder is a once-a-year monster. I might have a different opinion if I lived somewhere warmer and was catching larger fish on a regular basis.
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Old 03-04-12, 10:18 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IowaBasser View Post
I'm a spinning reel guy; maybe that's why I have 3 ML rods. I don't think I would go lighter than a medium for a casting rod. IMO, A bait-casting reel's greatest attribute is the instant torque or power you get when you crank the handle - so a bait-caster seems better paired with a more powerful rod.

My ML spinning rods do get quite a bit of use. I tend to throw T-rigged plastics a lot with 1/16 ounce bullet sinkers. I also throw weightless wacky worms and weightless flukes. In addition I fish stream smallmouth from a canoe about 3 times a year and I like a ML rod for that as well.

DISCLAIMER: I live in Iowa and 1-1/2 to 2 pound bass are normal. Bass over 3 pounds are good fish and a 4+ pounder is a once-a-year monster. I might have a different opinion if I lived somewhere warmer and was catching larger fish on a regular basis.
I agree, I love fishing weightless plastics with a spinning rod/reel. Although I usually prefer M over ML with flukes and senkos.
Anybody else ever sling a wacky rigged senko off the hook with a baitcaster? One of the worst bird's nest I've ever had in adulthood.
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