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Retireing Rod...help Me Pick A New One

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My previous rod was a 4'6" UL spinning rod (berkley safari). I'm looking to replace it with another spinning rod although I am thinking of going heavier that UL. I mostly fish for smallmouths in the rivers/streams here in ohio. Bank or wade fishing only. My previous most used techniques break down as follows: (ROUGHLY)

50%- curly tails grubs/minnows on jig heads (1/16 to 1/4 oz with 1/8-3/16 being most used)

25%- small top water

10%- small crankbaits

5%- spinner bait

5%- texas rigged worm

5%- other

Based on information I've found here and other sites I'm leaning towards the Fenwick Elite Tech smallmouth Rods. Others in the running are St.Croix Premier/Avid, and Loomis Bronzeback. Like the look of the price of the Fenwick, as well as the large lure size range on them. My concern is that the shortest rod is 6'3" MEDIUM (quite a jump from my ultralight) or a 6'9" Medium Light or Medium (might get used to length but having looked at some 7' rods in store they seem HUGE to me atm.) Also the 6'9" Medium comes in fast or extra fast. Which techniques are best with the fast or the x-fast?

Thoughts and opinions welcome. I'm looking to maybe throw some bigger lures although it would be great if the new rod could still throw my UL gear I already have. If they made the UL in 6'3" or shorter there would be no questions :cry4:

(First time poster, hope I did everything right, and in the right forum!)

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Welcome aboard! Manufacturers seem to be tending toward the long rods of late. I hate it. I'd recommend, if you can find one, a 5'9" Shimano Compre - last years' model. My fav spinning rod hands down. Not happy Shimano dropped the shorter rod range.

From what I understand, St. Croix rods are a little stiffer than their rating, so a M might actually rate out (feel like) a MH.

The Fenwick sounds like it might be your best bet. While I've never used a Fenwick, I did find this HMG 5'9" at Gander Mtn. Also in Light at 5'3"... Hope this is helpful.

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Thanks for the reply! I did a search for that Shimano Compre you recommended but so far am unable to find it anywhere. I also took a look at the Fenwick HMG you mentioned. The rod length is more what I'm looking for but its a medium action. If my understanding is correct that means it might be better for crankbaits and topwater, but not as good as a faster rod for jigs. I think I would prefer a faster rod. If i am wrong on my thinking, feel free to correct me.

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Fenwick Elite Tech. Best rods I have.

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I have a St Croix Avid 6' ML that works great for everything you mentioned in your Post. I use it more for Small Cranks, Topwater and Jerkbaits because I have another Avid that I use for Senkos and other Plastics but the 6' works great for Plastics too.

The Avids do Fish a little heavier than their Rating. I Fish almost exclusively for River Smallmouth and the ML is perfect for me.

I used SC Premiers for Years, they are very good Rods also just not as sensitive as the Avids for Bottom Bouncing stuff.

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OK!! I love spending other guy's money. Just kiding but I have fished with most Loomis and St. Croix rods out there. the Loomis IMX and GLX are good rods but I favor the Avid over the IMX and think the best rods on the planet at any cost say Legend Elite on them!!! If I own one rod that I would never ever part with the very last rod I would still have is the ST. Croix Legend Elite in a 6'3 Medium Extra Fast action. It weights 3.2 ounces and with a new Sustain at 6.5oz is just an absolute Small Mouth destroyer. light enough to have a ball on small fish but enough backbone to tame my PB a 7lb 6oz Lake Erie hog. I have caught Walleye on this rod over 8 1/2 lbs. If you like rods with only half the handle on it get the Legend Extreme, same weigh at 3.2 oz. but it does not have the full cork handle, I cant stand the feel of the half a handle fad I want full and Premium Cork just me! you may like the new ones, but I feel it is just a fad, looks cool, even if it is uncomfortable.

I think at 6'3" it is short enough for most bank situations but it gives a little more casting distance than a 6' important when you have to work in tight spots. I also have the 6'6" legend Elite in fast action but it aint in the same league as the LES63MXF one absolute have to have if you are a serious smallie fisherman in my book. I assure you that you wont regret it!!! and in the Legend series it is a true medium rated rod!

Oh ya I forgot, it is the most sensitive rod on the planet! You need to at least hold one to understand.

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69mlxf legend extreme with stradic 1000 ci4. Most sensitive combo i know and a dream for me to fish with.

If you dont want to break the bank, look at these rods below in a link i will post. I bought the 6'6 ul strictly for small stream trout in NE iowa. Tennessee grip feels great with a 1000 shimano and light as a feather. Ive had 4.5lb browns with this rod amd it was a blast. SUPER sensitive with the handle technology they use.

http://www.norsemenoutdoors.com/shop/category/esp-rods

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For the lure range you are looking at and fishing smallies I would suggest it is time to upgrade some. I would suggest looking for a good light to med light. I got a deal on a old model crucial 6' med light on ebay. Was like $55. I really like this rod better than the St Croix Avid in 6' Med. Light. Why shimano thinks everyone wants a split grip is beyond me. Another Shimano I have is a Clarus 6' Light. Love this rod. Would be another one for you to look at. Balances Perfect with a 1000 size shimano.

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Avid AVS 66MLF

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