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Pistol Grip Rods - What's Your Opinion Of Them?

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I am starting this thread as a curiosity since a lot of us -now old timers- grew up learning how to fish using pistol grip rods.

So I am infinitely curious if any "modern day" fishermen are still using them?

To make a long story short, I grew up using pistol grip rods and recently I had an arm-muscle injury that caused me to pull out some of my decades old pistol grip rods and begin using them again. I was amazed at how the rod and reel package was more like a natural extension of my arm and so easy to use. My injury made using my longer rods 7' to 7'11" more painful to use for a short while this past summer and so I dropped down to the 5'6" range with the old pistol grips and discovered how much I still liked them, and it is now getting me to think about building some brand new rods with a pistol grip, but using modern rod blank technology and titanium oxide guides done in a spiral wrap. And I may experiment and push the rod length up to 6' but I realize I gotta worry about leverage and not having too much rod out there working against me.

So to get started I pulled out the one old pistol grip rod I hated the most, an old Lew's Speed stick, which is basically a whippy rod not much better than tying line on to a rubber band and trying to fish with it. It is a rod I would never use so I am removing the old pistol grip handle to use it for my new rod experimenting.

But there are a couple of old pistol grip rods in my collection that to this day are still amazing old rods to use as they are stock- an old Shimano graphite rod, a Ryobi graphite rod, and my oldest old favorite a 6' Abu Garcia fiberglass rod. Heck, I even found an old Ugly Stick in there too, but that one just collects dust now.

I find it really difficult to modify some of these old rods I still like so much, but I am thinking of redoing the guides on the old Ryobi rod since they are getting close to needing repair anyways, I might as well remove them and turn that old rod into a spiral wrap for next season's fishing here in central Florida.

This past summer due to the arm muscle injury my favorite less painful modern type of rod was a 6'6" rod shaft through the handle rod. As I used it I began to realize that basically it was constructed not much differently than an old pistol grip rod which is what prompted me to pull out the old pistol grips. But I suppose the point that really hit home for me was that the modern rods with rob blank running down through the handle is more like a tool in my hand with somewhat of a disconnected feel to it, while the pistol grip rods felt way more connected to me and almost like a natural extension of my arm.

So what do you guys think about pistol grip rods? Does anyone here still use them? Do they still have a place in fishing today?

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Not for me, I cast with two hands.

 

:party-096:

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A "niche" rod for close-quarters, sometimes the only way to get a casting rod 5'6" or shorter without going custom, otherwise - an antique...

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I prefer shorter handles than what is on most rods . Longer  handles get in the way . I still use a couple of the old original pistol grip Lightning rods  for top water fishing . 

 

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Modern day fishermen have never seen a pistol grip because practically nobody makes them anymore.

I´m an old timer and still keep a couple of 5'6" pistol grips in my arsenal, when it comes to placing a bait with pinpoint accuracy 30 yds away like if I had dropped the bait with my hand in that spot nobody can beat me with one of those rods in my hands.

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I own more pistol grips then anything they work on my yak perfect,i also have short handle rods ,30yrds is my sweet spot i can put a superfluke anywhere with a pistol grip at any angle with my eyes closed .i have just about every brand and some that are 20 plus yrs old.modern day bassers look at my combos like whats that,,then they see me dissect a area with precision accuracy.

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My father has used these exclusively for 40 years.  He prefers the pistol grips with the handles bent downwards behind the reel seat.  When he uses crankbaits he has success as typically these are MM rods.  He can't catch a cold with them when using plastics.  Because of the success with crankbaits, he refuses to switch to spinning gear for plastics.  He's as stubborn as he is educated.  He watched me pull out 8-10 trophy fish this season all on spinning gear while he couldn't make a hook set.  I just got him 68MXF Avid X for Christmas with a Plueger President reel.  His question when he saw the gift "How much do you think it would cost to put one of those pistol grips on this?"  I almost snapped the rod over my knee.

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26 minutes ago, offsidewing said:

My father has used these exclusively for 40 years.  He prefers the pistol grips with the handles bent downwards behind the reel seat.  When he uses crankbaits he has success as typically these are MM rods.  He can't catch a cold with them when using plastics.  Because of the success with crankbaits, he refuses to switch to spinning gear for plastics.  He's as stubborn as he is educated.  He watched me pull out 8-10 trophy fish this season all on spinning gear while he couldn't make a hook set.  I just got him 68MXF Avid X for Christmas with a Plueger President reel.  His question when he saw the gift "How much do you think it would cost to put one of those pistol grips on this?"  I almost snapped the rod over my knee.

I dont use spinning gear for soft plastics either . It would be a huge downgrade where I fish .

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9 minutes ago, FloridaFishinFool said:

Bass Pro Shops still sells them!

http://www.basspro.com/Bass-Pro-Shops-Power-Plus-Graphite-Casting-Rod/product/98362/

But all of them are in the cheaper price range and none are made to high standards.

They may be in BPS´ catalog but that doesn´t mean they are physically available at all the store all the time, I have been to BPS Springfield, BPS Katy ( Houston ), BPS Grapevine ( Dallas ), BPS St Charles ( St Louis ) and BPS San Antonio on several occasions and have never seen a pistol grip on store.

Why would anyone purchase a rod with low standards ?

So when I say that practically nobody makes them anymore I´m not lying.

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I like them. I grew up with having berkly lightining rods 5ft6in. Caught alot of fish with them. Im more accurate with them also,but i still have the standard straight also. As far as accurosy,the pistol grip works better for me. Due to having 2 strokes,my right sides not the same, and im finding the pistol grip more comfortable. Esspecialy the ones with the built in hump behind the reel.

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I have two old pistol grips that were in service until recently. One is at least 20yrs old and a BPS TS MH 6' that was shortened to 5'8". And an old Berkley 5'6".  My daughter is using the Berkley and the BPS was finally retired for a Falcon Cara T7 6' MH that Falcon had laying around on a shelf. It has the shorter handle but its not a pistol grip.  Its an essential piece of my arsenal when looking for reaction bites in really tight spaces. 

 

thread jack- Can't bring myself to use spinning gear for traditional T-rigging, can't really see the benefit. I keep my spinning gear to finesse swimbaits, dropshot and light shakey heads- which I just recently started using on a regular basis.- end of thread jack

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8 minutes ago, Raul said:

They may be in BPS´ catalog but that doesn´t mean they are physically available at all the store all the time, I have been to BPS Springfield, BPS Katy ( Houston ), BPS Grapevine ( Dallas ), BPS St Charles ( St Louis ) and BPS San Antonio on several occasions and have never seen a pistol grip on store.

Why would anyone purchase a rod with low standards ?

So when I say that practically nobody makes them anymore I´m not lying.

Try the BPS in Pearland. Everything else you would be looking for won't be there but they usually have a nice pistol grip selection.

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I have a few 5'6" pistol grip rods that I primarily use for walking baits. Working a spook with a pistol grip is so much nicer for me.

They worked well for Charlie Campbell. :D

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I still use them mainly for spinnerbaits and chatterbaits. My favorite is a BPS Tourney Special. I have caught several fish on it. Nothing like catching a good one on a shorter rod. I have plenty of longer, non pistol grip rods, but this is my favorite rod to catch them on without a doubt.

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For those that like them...in addition to the BPS pistol grip options, St. Croix makes a 5'6" in the Premier series, Lew's has a 6', there may be others as well.

FWIW.

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They fit in the trunk of my car, so I always have one with a lip less crank bait with me. They don't go into the boat though. Mine are early 80s BPS boron rods, 5'6".

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I just finally yard sold my last two bass pistol grip rods. After years if clicking the mouse for a living, I like to cast two-handed now. I have one spincast for creeks and live bait bluegill fishing. But I have a light action spinning that I prefer to it.

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1 hour ago, Mumbly said:

I have a few 5'6" pistol grip rods that I primarily use for walking baits. Working a spook with a pistol grip is so much nicer for me.

They worked well for Charlie Campbell. :D

I tried to salvage an old 5-6 pistol grip rod that was losing the cork handle for that purpose. I wanted to remove all the cork handle and replace with a linger straight grip, but I just butchered it and threw away.

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2 hours ago, dcmclassic said:

Try the BPS in Pearland. Everything else you would be looking for won't be there but they usually have a nice pistol grip selection.

Don´t need to try anywhere, I already have 2, they have been with me since the late 80´s, Berkley Lightning Rod LR15 and LR16.

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I have a pistol grip rod that's been with me since I graduated from a snoopy pole and I think it works great.  I think the best use for it is accuracy.  Don't get me wrong, all the new poles I have are great and accurate and perfect in every way but I can knock the wings off a fly with that pistol grip rod.  It could also be that way because I've fished it for 20+ years!

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I still have a Lowrider Falcon pistol grip. Still use it from time to time. When I started fishing that was all you could buy and mostly used 5'6" rod. Now you will lucky to find a 6'6". I still like the pistol grip for jerkbaits.

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21 hours ago, Raul said:

I´m an old timer and still keep a couple of 5'6" pistol grips in my arsenal, when it comes to placing a bait with pinpoint accuracy 30 yds away like if I had dropped the bait with my hand in that spot nobody can beat me with one of those rods in my hands.

So what I am reading here repeated a couple of times is that some fishermen believe that they can cast more accurately with pistol grip rods than they can with rod-blank-through-the-handle rods.

If this is true, then what is it that makes the difference?

Is it because the pistol grip rods are shorter and are held in the hand more like a wand? Or, is it because in rod-blank-through-the-handle rods that maybe the extra rod blank that extends beyond the grip point is getting in the way some how?

I am curious what some of you think gives some of us the thought that we can cast more accurately with a pistol grip rod than the more modern type with rod-blank-through-the-handle?

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I have blank-through-handle pistol grip rods and offset pistol grip rods. The original offset ones (Lews and BPS copies) are more comfortable to handle with a better wrist position. I use them for Chatterbaits and spinnerbaits.

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