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Before Technique Spec Rods, There Was Rick Clunn.

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With all of the Technique Specific (TS) rods on the market now,  it appears many people are even more confused with what action is meant for what.  I searched for a thread that spoke to this but didn't find one within the last half dozen pages, so I apologize if it's been covered already.  On one thread a poster has said they are gimmicky, a marketing ploy.. what have ya. (I agree to a some degree)  Another thread poster said he bought a froggin' rod and it's too stiff and someone replied he should try the TS spinnerbait rod from the same manufacturer, for frogging.  Of course these are seemingly appropriate responses to their respected questions and threads.  It just seems, understandably, that manufacturers are designing rods to get close to what the average fisherman thinks is perfect for the desired bait/action they are trying to achieve.  And that's fine, but there's a cost to that (covered later)  And I see it as a move forward for fishing in general, but......

 

But!!!  A big But!!!  In the process, what I see has happened is this......TS rods have ousted the "older" series of rods, right?  Nobody can disagree here.  TS rods have doubled the amount of rods in their new series, right?  Again, we agree.  But the biggest change I've seen is the poorer quality of rod in the TS lines compared to the series of rods they are replacing.  As a long time user of Fenwick, Shimano, Falcon, St. Croix, and a couple other well known makers, I see the new series of TS rods are not as light as the predecessor, have different actions, went to foam in some cases (or the fancy name for it), and the overall quality seems to be lacking.  I used Avids and Legends for 20 years and they were the top of the line in the company's lineup, now the TS LTB has replaced the Avid series and they are heavier, have flacid actions, and cost quite a bit more.  Maybe it costs more to make them, I cannot say, but they aren't as nice as the Avids were.  I bought the Slop N Frog and all I got was the Slop. lol   Maybe most people fish frogs with rods having slow tips but that's probably why many people have a hard time hookin' up.  I fish with a fast action and a longer rod, for more leverage.  Regarless of my fishing styles, this company lost a 20 year die-hard fan due to TS rods.  Shimano's Crucial line did the same thing.  I just bought the TS Flipping rod (2 of them) and it's dummied-down.  The original Crucial Rod is a beast!  This one's a bust, in comparison.  I'll keep 1 for pitching light plastics but nothing heavier.  I understand some rods fit the actions people want but we're paying the price in losing some quality, in my opinion.  This brings me to the Rick Clunn part.

 

Rick Clunn, a master of our sport!  I thinks so, anyways.  Rick Clunn, the man who seemingly passed the crown to a well deserving KVD?  Without question!  But do you remember when RC announced he will fish with nothing more than ALL 7' rods that are exactly the same and with the same reels?  If not, look it up Google generation.  Some may remember him saying that and it seems he quickly disappeared from stardom (debatable) after this announcement.  Why did RC go to "all rods the same" mentality?  Because every rod and reel he picks up will feel the same to him, every time.  Because he will not have to adjust his hands and casting for each rod and reel.  Interesting that the All Time Leading Bassmaster Classic winner would have a system like this but the market goes in the opposite direction to TS lines. 

 

So, my question to you is, do you use TS rods because that's what's available, or because they have helped your fishing, or do you stay with "old" wiseguys like RC and use one rod for many different applications?  I'm in the middle with a few TS rods that work as anything but what it says on the rod, lol, and rods that aren't TS.  I also have micro guide rods and a medium guide rod.

 

I'm not knocking the new stuff, but don't tell me it's better and costs more if it just costs more but isn't better.  If the rods were super quality, fine, but they just cost more, in other words.  I guess being in my 40's just makes me old and question things.  If this is a controversial topic, it wasn't intended to be, just delete it, I can take it.  I just feel that the market is taking advantage of us, at the moment, with all this new TS. 

 

FL           

 

 

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I do not give my rods names that way if I throw a worm with my jig rod it doesn't get confused!

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I did read his article where he mentioned using the same rod for all applications. I also wonder if you are referring to me regarding the Spinnerbait mojo rod for frogging in that thread lol.

While I agree to some extent that a single rod do almost everything, I don't feel that it can do so ideally.

I also know that rick was more than willing to design TS treble hook rods for W&M that where broken down so specifically that they were different based on water clarity for an intended lure. I also know that in his second place finish on Falcon last year, he had differnt rods and reels on his deck as the pictures showed. I saw daiwa lexas, wm reels as well as his cranking rods and skeet rods.

And while I also do agree that expensive and new doesn't make it better, technology can help.

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I met Rick Clunn February 28 at my local bass pro. He gave a talk on square bills and jerkbaits. He mentioned using the same type of rod for all of his cranks and jerkbaits, but I can't remember what power and action for sure, other than the fact that he likes glass. I also remember him talking about using mono line for everything.

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I do not give my rods names that way if I throw a worm with my jig rod it doesn't get confused!

You can do that????? I heard that your lure would literally not cast if you put it on the wrong rod! No matter how how hard you swing.

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I did read his article where he mentioned using the same rod for all applications. I also wonder if you are referring to me regarding the Spinnerbait mojo rod for frogging in that thread lol.

While I agree to some extent that a single rod do almost everything, I don't feel that it can do so ideally.

I also know that rick was more than willing to design TS treble hook rods for W&M that where broken down so specifically that they were different based on water clarity for an intended lure. I also know that in his second place finish on Falcon last year, he had differnt rods and reels on his deck as the pictures showed. I saw daiwa lexas, wm reels as well as his cranking rods and skeet rods.

And while I also do agree that expensive and new doesn't make it better, technology can help.

Grantman, I think it was your post about the spinnerbait rod.  It was the perfect response, imo.  I would not go as far as RC to say one rod covers all either, but within 6" and an action, you can cover most fishing situations.  I wonder if RC changed his stance  based on the times.....conform or be left behind type thing?  I'm all for technology!  I love it, I swapped my old cloth diapers and gave the kids plastic ones that fill the earth with garbage!  Think green. :)  No, seriously, I'm for technology, I just don't see TS as technology, just added actions, etc.

 

Catt, you got it, partner!  Just don't name them "betsy" because it'll show age.

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I recall that article. It didn't go over with me then or now. I would like to think there are rod "classes", about five or so and many rod's capabilities overlap to many lure types and techniques. Some rod classes are narrower than others. The punching rod and ultra light finesse spinning come to mind but in between, many rods can do a lot.Catt excels in interpersonal sensitivity and does not want any of his rods to have a complex.

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I met Rick Clunn February 28 at my local bass pro. He gave a talk on square bills and jerkbaits. He mentioned using the same type of rod for all of his cranks and jerkbaits, but I can't remember what power and action for sure, other than the fact that he likes glass. I also remember him talking about using mono line for everything.

 

Good advise, using mono for cranks!  I may have met him at the Chicago BPS Grand opening, I have a nice picture with a younger KVD though.  He was the cream rising to the top at the time.  One day I'll find those pics and post them. 

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You van do it all with 2 rods pick a lenght..a spinning rod and a baitcaster .technically you can do it all with. 1 spinning rod and 3 spools. Of diff diameter line. I dont buy rods based on what they say i do it with feel .JMO

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You don't shoot a squirl with a 12 gauge slug, you dont shoot a moose with a pellet gun, you don't bring 14 of the same club golfing.  Technique specific rods have been a great upgrade to the fishing gear market IMO, the more choices we have as anglers the better we can fine tune our presentations. try to dropshot with the same gear you punch with...lol good luck. I Also think the rod qualities have increased quite a bit over the years as technology has progressed,  the biggest difference i see is the quality control and attention to detail has decreased, but i still believe the overall performance and product is better now than it ever has been it just costs more...

 

Mitch

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I use very few technique specific rods, in fact its just one cranking rod and one flipping rod and the rest are all M or MH rods between 6'6" and 7'. I like having a rod that can do a lot of different things because I change my techniques with the conditions a lot and I'd much rather have 6 rods than 60. As the times go on I may add one two more specific rods, I'm in the market for another cranking one right now just because that's a technique I use almost year round in my lakes. Theres something to be said for simplicity though and we as fisherman must constantly be reminded that its the man not the equipment that ultimately puts fish in the boat. We should be focusing on the fish and not whether or not we tied our lure onto the wrong pole or not. And as far as Rick Clunn goes I'm a huge fan and I strongly urge any crankbait fisherman to try his Luck E Strike "freak jr" crankbait, its an awesome lure. I sound like a broken record in these forums because I mention that lure any time someone even hints at a crankbait related topic but I promise its worth it.

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Personally I think rod companies do this for 3 reasons:

  • To help simplify things for people who don't know enough
  • To help anglers by giving them what they believe is the best action for a technique
  • Marketing-They're still in it to make money just like every company out there is

I personally don't think rods have been downgraded to do this though. Technology is constantly evolving, and companies are constantly using it to give us better equipment. If you don't want to use something technique specific, then don't look at the name of it and buy it based on its length, power, and action. Those are all still listed on the rod.

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When BPS sold Clunn signature 7' MH rods years ago - I made the mistake of ordering one.  Broom stick and not sensitive either.  It's the only rod I ever used once and got rid of.  If Clunn continued to use this rod for all presentations, that's fine.  JMHO, everyone has to figure out what equipment works best for them.  Unless your name is Clunn, Van Dam, or whoever, it's pretty idiotic to base a buying choice on the individual choices of others - even pros.  Even if you do, that assumes the manufacturer is actually selling the same product to the public that the God of Fishing is actually using!  Pretty iffy proposition.

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I remember hearing him say that, and I though he meant that he would use the same series of rods and reels. So, rather than having 7 rods by 7 different companies, he used 1 series of rods. For example, if he used a St. Croix Avid, he would only use the Avid series for cranks, jerkbaits, topwaters, spinberbaits and texas rigs. Then, with reels he would use the same series of reels, just in different gear ratios. He said it takes time to adjust to different brands of rod and reels and it was a waste of time.

I took it more as him saying people use 12 rods by 12 different rod manufacturers, instead of finding one band or series we liked and sticking with it.

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Im over the TS rods. They always seemed kinda strange to me. I fish mostly Medium Heavy rods. They work for my crankbaits, jigs, and plastics. I use a 6ft Trevalla jigging rod for my heaviest jigs. I have two medium rods I use for lighter baits and tiny crankbaits. To hell with what the "intention" of the rod is supposed to be. I caught a bass on a freaking offshore rod with hundred pound braid spooled on the reel.

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I remember hearing him say that, and I though he meant that he would use the same series of rods and reels. So, rather than having 7 rods by 7 different companies, he used 1 series of rods. For example, if he used a St. Croix Avid, he would only use the Avid series for cranks, jerkbaits, topwaters, spinberbaits and texas rigs. Then, with reels he would use the same series of reels, just in different gear ratios. He said it takes time to adjust to different brands of rod and reels and it was a waste of time.

I took it more as him saying people use 12 rods by 12 different rod manufacturers, instead of finding one band or series we liked and sticking with it.

That's what I took it as and that's what I do with my rods and reels. Ido have a chronarch mixed in with my curados but same basic feel and seems to cast a weightless bait better.

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You don't shoot a squirl with a 12 gauge slug, you dont shoot a moose with a pellet gun, you don't bring 14 of the same club golfing.  Technique specific rods have been a great upgrade to the fishing gear market IMO, the more choices we have as anglers the better we can fine tune our presentations. try to dropshot with the same gear you punch with...lol good luck. I Also think the rod qualities have increased quite a bit over the years as technology has progressed,  the biggest difference i see is the quality control and attention to detail has decreased, but i still believe the overall performance and product is better now than it ever has been it just costs more...

 

Mitch

I agree, it's a win, win, for us to have more options.  But not if the product is not as good and it costs more.  It's clear to me that the companies and product lines I mentioned are not at par with what they were intended to replace.  Granted the LTB is a different line than Avid but Crucial is still the same name.

 

Look at this video.  http://www.bassmaster.com/blog/drop-shotting-power#  Now give Ike any rod from any manufacturer that says "dropshot".  See my point?  Who can say what rod will be used for what?  Punching and dropshot have been fairly specific from their start, so only a name was added to a rod.  Without technique names on the rods, all these rods would sell for much less.

 

If QC and attention to detail decreased (agreeing with you).......maybe, just maybe, they should go back to what was better? 

 

These are just opinions and observations, I'm just speaking my mind.  Take away what you will.   What works for someone is what they should use.

 

Edit:  LTB and Crucial are quality rods, especially LTB, I just don't think they are upgrades.  Shimano is the letdown with the fancy foam, but I'll give it a go and try to remember to rate it later.  

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I agree and disagree with some of the things you said. I do not agree that just because St Croix makes the LTB and they call them "TS" that the Avids or Legends are of less quality. I feel the same goes for other manufactures as well.  I have the LTB "plastics" rod because I needed a Medium Fast rod and wanted the Higher modulus graphite. I feel that the LTB rod acts like it should. I love the 2 avids I have as well as the 2 triumphs. I pay less attention to the word of what technique the rod says and more to how it feels. I passed on the St Croix Mojo Flippin stick because I didnt care for the action, Instead I chose the Daiwa Cielo. Now I havent had a chance to use it yet but it feels like I expect a Heavy fast rod to feel.

 

I feel its up to the consumer to know what they want and not to pay attention to the words written on the rod except for the line/lure rating.

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Personally I think rod companies do this for 3 reasons:

  • To help simplify things for people who don't know enough
  • To help anglers by giving them what they believe is the best action for a technique
  • Marketing-They're still in it to make money just like every company out there is

I personally don't think rods have been downgraded to do this though. Technology is constantly evolving, and companies are constantly using it to give us better equipment. If you don't want to use something technique specific, then don't look at the name of it and buy it based on its length, power, and action. Those are all still listed on the rod.

You hit the proverbial nail on the head, I think, with the bullet points.  Maybe not downgraded per se, certainly not upgraded though.  Everyone has a stickler, I guess mine would be the names on the rods :)   Do you fish the LTB line?  Any long term usage you can share some insight on?  I know they shortened the butt section of some of the rods in the lineup and it made them feel heavier (comparing Avid).  I stayed away from them, partially due to this.

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I agree and disagree with some of the things you said. I do not agree that just because St Croix makes the LTB and they call them "TS" that the Avids or Legends are of less quality. I feel the same goes for other manufactures as well.  I have the LTB "plastics" rod because I needed a Medium Fast rod and wanted the Higher modulus graphite. I feel that the LTB rod acts like it should. I love the 2 avids I have as well as the 2 triumphs. I pay less attention to the word of what technique the rod says and more to how it feels. I passed on the St Croix Mojo Flippin stick because I didnt care for the action, Instead I chose the Daiwa Cielo. Now I havent had a chance to use it yet but it feels like I expect a Heavy fast rod to feel.

 

I feel its up to the consumer to know what they want and not to pay attention to the words written on the rod except for the line/lure rating.

It's definitely up to the consumer to know what they want, great point.   Please reread, I did not say Avids and Legends are of lesser quality.  I said LTB are not any better because they are TS and thus should not cost more.  Also, I'll just repeat often, these are my observations and opinions.  And I have to agree with you, the Mojo flippin stick has an action leaving something to be desired.

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It's definitely up to the consumer to know what they want, great point.   Please reread, I did not say Avids and Legends are of lesser quality.  I said LTB are not any better because they are TS and thus should not cost more.  Also, I'll just repeat often, these are my observations and opinions.  And I have to agree with you, the Mojo flippin stick has an action leaving something to be desired.

Well the LTB uses higher grade graphite, reel seat, guides and other technologies. I do think that it is of higher quality, at least the "plastics" one that I have feels nice. I wasnt interested at all in a heavy action St. Croix rod and I think you should try and get your hands on a Medium or Med-Heavy you might like them.

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Well the LTB uses higher grade graphite, reel seat, guides and other technologies. I do think that it is of higher quality, at least the "plastics" one that I have feels nice. I wasnt interested at all in a heavy action St. Croix rod and I think you should try and get your hands on a Medium or Med-Heavy you might like them.

They both use Alconite guides.  The reel seats are configured differently, no upgrades of any kind otherwise.  The graphite used to make the rod may be better, it's slightly different.  I've been using medium and medium heavy St. Croix for over 20 years, I already like them. 

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Without over thinking the whole thing and in the simplest of terms, catching bass is The Job.

 

Your lure selection and techniques utilized are the Tools.

 

Using the Right Tool for The Job has been and always will be the most effective way to get The Job done.

 

Personal choice regarding tool selection can be daunting as there are several options with in each category but a tradesman has the option of keeping it simple and can still be reasonably effective.

 

A-Jay

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I saw Rick Clunn at a show and he was giving a seminar and he used 7' MH-F BPS rods for everything and he didn't believe in crankbait specific rods, he even said when graphite became the norm there was no one more happy than him as graphite was much more superior to glass. Now he says the exact opposite, I used to like Rick Clunn but he is now full of hypocrisy, I remember watching him on a show saying KVD didn't know how to fish a square bill or a spinnerbait the right way, all I could think of is KVD is catching fish and winning tournaments and Rick isn't even making the top 50 cut but KVD doesn't know how to fish those baits? It was only 2 months after I saw that when KVD won the classic on a square bill that he didn't know how to fish, ironic, isn't it. As for the TS line of rods, I like having rods for certain things, the thing you are talking about with St. Croix and their frog rod, well they are on board that using heavy braid means you need a soft rod, want a frog specific rod you will like? Quantums old red Dean Rojas frog rod, even guys that hate Quantum loved the frog rod, it was pretty much a broom stick with a limber tip to work the frog, absorb the shock and drive the hook home, you can still get it in the Tour Tactical series. I also see rods getting higher in quality, companies are trying to stand out in the mid tier $150 to $200 range and the only way to do it is make a rod that is way above price point in performance, take the Tatula rod, Tackle Tour said that if you paid $400+ for an SVF Steez rod and picked up and fished with a $150 Tatula, it would break your heart as they thought the Tatula was really close to the Steez and actually had better sensitivity, maybe it is me but I see the opposite.

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You hit the proverbial nail on the head, I think, with the bullet points.  Maybe not downgraded per se, certainly not upgraded though.  Everyone has a stickler, I guess mine would be the names on the rods :)   Do you fish the LTB line?  Any long term usage you can share some insight on?  I know they shortened the butt section of some of the rods in the lineup and it made them feel heavier (comparing Avid).  I stayed away from them, partially due to this.

That all depends on who's using it. Since we all have different perceptions of what the perfect rod is, something that some people might really like others may hate. The shorter handle on some is probably due to the fact that some people find the longer handle impeding them from imparting the action they want on a lure. I mainly fish the LX's, LTB's, and Mojo's. I'm not worried about durability St. Croix's come with a great warranty, but their technology makes them very strong. Their Advanced Reinforcing Technology really helps to make them stronger along with their slow Fortified Resin System. I haven't had any issues with them holding up and don't foresee any issues in the future. Check out what makes them better http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZeJYCyOTPdQ

 

Also, I see in one of your later posts that the guides are the same on the Avid's and the LTB's. They both have Alconite guide rings, but as far as the guides themselves they are different. Avids have the Fuji concept guides, where the LTB has the Fuji K-concept guides which are a tangle proof guide which also have titanium frames.  

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