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Ok, so I fish mostly spinning reel set ups and I usually bring with me a few 3000 size reels and rods in different sizes from 6'6" to 7'6". I have a couple of Ugly Sticks and some Penn wally world specials and recently I spent $100 on a Shimano. $100 is about my limit of what I want to spend on a rod. My favorite set up is a Browning 6'6" High Power Harry Stiles signature rod (bought for bass fishing when I was a kid) combined with an Okuma Trio 30. The rod has always felt like it has the best sensitivity, balance and quality of anything I have tried. I have landed 30" plus reds on it and always felt confident with it. I have a TFO casting rod that is really nice, still doesn't give the same sensitivity, and I had a Shimano Compre that seemed way over priced and lacked sensitivity and quality.

As I look to replace it, is there a difference in the way this rod was built say roughly 20 years ago than rods built today?? I want to say I spent maybe 40 or 50 dollars on this rod, and it feels 10x better than the rods I spent $100 on. Is there some difference I am missing?



-Joe H.
 

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Red X Angler
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I am adjusting to modern graphite rods myself. They feel cheap in my hand. I am used to fiberglass rods and cheap composites.
 
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Red X Angler
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I have a fondness for old rods, but you can notice a difference in the sensitivity of the new ones. I have a Falcon BuKoo spinning rod 7' med that I really like. My favorite baitcasting rod right now is a 6'6" diawa Aird ML

Darrell
 

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The first real setup I received for xmas in 1969. It was a Garcia 7' light action/fast taper glass rod with a Mitchell 330 reel. The auto bail version of the 300. I still have it and have used it much over the years. You could say I tried to wear the eyes out of it. I also have my moms setup which was a carbon of mine and dads which was a 440 with a heavier rod. We fished the clear cold waters of Michigan back then and life was good.

Now, take a 7' graphite rod of similar action with a Pflueger President 2500 or 3000 reel (my current fav spinning reel). It weighs half what the other setup weighs. The reel is half the size with a better drag. The blank is half the thickness or less. It looks like a twig next to the old one.

But you don't feel a good new rod, you feel the plug at the end. The wobble of a crankbait. The wiggle of a stickbait. The jig head hitting a rock or tree and you can tell the difference. That's what I have discovered.

We made our third annual pilgrimage to The Village Camps on Grand Lake in Maine a few weeks ago. Mom is now 77. She had not fished in years. I had her using her old setup because of her comfort with it. Old memories and such. Last year I had her try my newest setup. A replacement for my old setup. She took over ownership of it for the rest of the trip. The heck with old and comfortable. I like this new one.

So, over the last two trips I replaced all my old spinning tackle with good graphite. Old Mitchell and Schimano reels have been replaced with new Pflueger reels and old rods replaced with St. Croix (I like their stuff and I built a couple rods on their blanks). All these rods run on 6lb test. I also dabble in 4lb on the ultralight.

The only old rods I fish anymore are bamboo.

Embrace the new. If nothing else.... Your arm will be grateful.

mikeski
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I am trying, doesn't help when the new Shimano rod snaps two thirds of the way up while slinging a Top Pup. Just a normal cast, when the lure went, the top third of the rod went with it. Bought it last year and had it paired with a Penn Battle 2000. ML setup and not really impressed with either the rod or reel. Gonna stick with the Okuma Trio, TFO rods and Ugly Stick Inshore Select. Maybe I'll give the St Croix a try next.
 

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Red X Angler
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My favorite as of late has been my 7' MH Field and Stream Tech Spec Black. Best sensitivity I've felt on any rod. I've got Abu's, Shimano's, and Ugly Sticks. The Black is $60. They also have a Red that is around $30. I had a 7'6" MH in the Red but my stupidity got the best of me when trying to get a jig un-snagged from a stump. I grabbed the end of the rod while pulling and broke the top 6-8 inches off. I replaced it with the Black. I was thoroughly impressed with both of them on how sensitive they were and having such a strong back bone. They both have the split grip so your hand and reel are in direct contact with the blank. I fish stick worms a lot and can feel the lightest bumps. Pick up either of those and I promise you won't be disappointed. If you are, I'll buy it off of you.
 

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Now, don't laugh, but my current favorites are Field and Stream Tec-Spec Elite rods from Dicks. The blue ones. I have one that I have used for almost 3 years, and it is used heavily. I think it was 80 bucks then, which is a lot for me to spend for a rod. I started out using it for jigs and heavy worm rigs for bass. It has since become my spinnerbait rod and I absolutely love it for that. I have caught bass this year up to 6 lb. with it and had no problems. The only thing is they are closing them out, so I have been going to every Dick's store I can find to find a couple more of them. Never fails, find something that I really like, and they go to changing them. Progress I reckon.
 

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Ok, so I fish mostly spinning reel set ups and I usually bring with me a few 3000 size reels and rods in different sizes from 6'6" to 7'6". I have a couple of Ugly Sticks and some Penn wally world specials and recently I spent $100 on a Shimano. $100 is about my limit of what I want to spend on a rod. My favorite set up is a Browning 6'6" High Power Harry Stiles signature rod (bought for bass fishing when I was a kid) combined with an Okuma Trio 30. The rod has always felt like it has the best sensitivity, balance and quality of anything I have tried. I have landed 30" plus reds on it and always felt confident with it. I have a TFO casting rod that is really nice, still doesn't give the same sensitivity, and I had a Shimano Compre that seemed way over priced and lacked sensitivity and quality.

As I look to replace it, is there a difference in the way this rod was built say roughly 20 years ago than rods built today?? I want to say I spent maybe 40 or 50 dollars on this rod, and it feels 10x better than the rods I spent $100 on. Is there some difference I am missing?



-Joe H.
Twenty years of technology advances make a tremendous difference. Think of cars of the 90's and compare them to the 2020 and '21 models. Different metals/materials, different engines, turbos on Grandma's Civic, safety, navigation, comfort, and so on. Same for rods and reels. Each manufacturer has their fancy new models, and some for us non-fancy folks, all made better with better materials than what they sold years ago. Case in point: I'm a Shakespeare Ugly Stik kind of guy, as its darn near impossible to break them. They did that by making every part of them heavy-duty with thick sticks, great flexibility, and heavy weights using fiber technology to allow you to step on them, or jam them into corners of the boat/closet/garage/pickup truck without busting the tip or shattering the shaft. You could bend them full circle, stick them in a suitcase and let them spring against the insides for travel by air to Mexico/Canada/anywhere, with no chance of breakage. Been here, done that. Also reduces the chance of lightfingered baggage handlers gaining access to your favorite rods and sending your empty rod tubes on to your fishing lodge. Anyway, a few years ago Ugly Stiks were built thinner, lighter and stronger, keeping the action you choose and the unbreakability, but making a long fishing day less tiring. Now comes the Ugly Stik Elete, even more so. I still have a few of the old ones, which I use often, but they are usually fifth or sixth in the line on the deck with different lures tied on them. The Eletes are what I put my go-to lures of for the day, and the difference when in hand between old and new is striking. I also have Browning, Fenwick, and other well-known brands in the rod rack. Each has its advantages, but for $50 rods, you can't beat the Eletes. And no, I don't work for Shakespeare, but if they want hire me, I'd go.....
 
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