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Looking for a new (casting) rod that can handle finesse/lighter crankbaits like Shad Raps. I like to throw lots of cranks in the 1/4-5/16 range and my current squarebill rod (***)  is way too stiff and casts them terribly. I love spinning outfits but crankbaits are the only thing I hate to throw on spinning tackle for some reason. I tested out a St. Croix Mojo 7'3" M a while ago that seemed a lot softer but I was throwing a 1/2 oz squarebill so couldn't really assess. Looking for something under $200, $150 preferably. Really can't find a moderate action rod that loads decently with only 5/16.  Any help would be appreciated

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I just bought a St Croix legend inshore gulf series rod, from their own store on close out for $150. I bought the light power and it's nice for what I wanted, but they do a med light as well which might suit you perfectly.

 

http://stcroixrods.com/shop/index.php?p=catalog&mode=sale

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I've been using a 7'2" MM St. Croix Rage, and it throws 1/4oz cranks pretty well.

Or there's this ML-M Aetos model -- a little short for what most people want in a cranking rod, but a good deal:

https://www.ffo-tackle.com/detail.cfm?PassProdId=6880

 

 

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I have a 7' Falcon Bucoo micro M/M and that is pretty much the only thing I throw with it.  Rated for 1/4-1/2.  I would recommend it.

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Like the guy above said, i have that same rod and its exactly what your looking for. 7ft m/m bucoo. One of my favorite rods in my arsenal

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3 hours ago, lecisnith said:

I have a 7' Falcon Bucoo micro M/M and that is pretty much the only thing I throw with it.  Rated for 1/4-1/2.  I would recommend it.

this!

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Go to FFO, I believe they still have my finesse cranking rod for sale for a lot less than I paid for mine. I have a Fenwick Aetos, 6'6" ML-M rated 1/4oz to 12oz but it should be rated 1/8oz to 7/16oz. I use to throw the #5 shad rap with a spinning rod, the only crank I fished on a spinning rod until I got this rod and I'm going on my 3rd year and I'm happy as a clam. I can tell you my fishing actually got better with the finesse cranking rod as my smaller cranks have more action and I'm getting more bites. I like the throw the small Sebile Cranksters SR baits, they weigh 1/4oz but it feels lighter, on my regular cranking rod they worked, or so I thought and when I threw them the first time with the finesse cranking rod the bait seemed to really come to life, it dug in and and had a wider wobble and the fish were clobbering it. The closest rod to it that is longer is the Falcon BuCoo 7' M-M rated 1/4oz to 1/2oz, I have used that rod and it is very close to my 6'6" ML-M so that would work as well. There is just something with the 6'6" length in the finesse cranking that I like, I use it to throw 1.0 and 1.5 KVD square bills for river smallies, it feels like the rod was made for them, I can put it in very tight spots and I've landed 4 smallmouth over 5lb on this rod so far and a bunch of 4lbers and it amazes me every time. I'm sorry for the long rant but I'm sold on finesse cranking, I'm finding that the fish will react to these small baits when they don't hit anything else and it seems like using the right rod is critical, I never caught fish on small cranks at the rate I do now, it is that noticeable that I believe everyone should have that type of rod.

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34 minutes ago, smalljaw67 said:

Go to FFO, I believe they still have my finesse cranking rod for sale for a lot less than I paid for mine. I have a Fenwick Aetos, 6'6" ML-M rated 1/4oz to 12oz but it should be rated 1/8oz to 7/16oz. I use to throw the #5 shad rap with a spinning rod, the only crank I fished on a spinning rod until I got this rod and I'm going on my 3rd year and I'm happy as a clam. I can tell you my fishing actually got better with the finesse cranking rod as my smaller cranks have more action and I'm getting more bites. I like the throw the small Sebile Cranksters SR baits, they weigh 1/4oz but it feels lighter, on my regular cranking rod they worked, or so I thought and when I threw them the first time with the finesse cranking rod the bait seemed to really come to life, it dug in and and had a wider wobble and the fish were clobbering it. The closest rod to it that is longer is the Falcon BuCoo 7' M-M rated 1/4oz to 1/2oz, I have used that rod and it is very close to my 6'6" ML-M so that would work as well. There is just something with the 6'6" length in the finesse cranking that I like, I use it to throw 1.0 and 1.5 KVD square bills for river smallies, it feels like the rod was made for them, I can put it in very tight spots and I've landed 4 smallmouth over 5lb on this rod so far and a bunch of 4lbers and it amazes me every time. I'm sorry for the long rant but I'm sold on finesse cranking, I'm finding that the fish will react to these small baits when they don't hit anything else and it seems like using the right rod is critical, I never caught fish on small cranks at the rate I do now, it is that noticeable that I believe everyone should have that type of rod.

Wow good stuff right here I throw alot of shad raps floating minnows and small square bills on spinning rods but after reading this I think I will try this route out.

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get yourself a GLASS rod!!. You'll never regret it. I have a ST Croix Mojo Bass Glass rod in medium that launches 1/4oz baits. Just make sure you have a good reel that can throw lighter baits without backlashing all over

 

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I like my medium light moderate action bps crankin stick for shad raps and small square bills. 

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8 hours ago, lecisnith said:

I have a 7' Falcon Bucoo micro M/M and that is pretty much the only thing I throw with it.  Rated for 1/4-1/2.  I would recommend it.

 

1 hour ago, mojojojo said:

get yourself a GLASS rod!!. You'll never regret it. I have a ST Croix Mojo Bass Glass rod in medium that launches 1/4oz baits. Just make sure you have a good reel that can throw lighter baits without backlashing all over

 

Thanks for the suggestions. I'm gonna try to find a retailer that has the Bucoo and Mojo and test them out side by side. I'm a tall guy and prefer longer rods (7'3" is my 7') so the 7'4" M/M Mojo might have to be the ticket. I wasn't familiar with the Bucoo's but they sound really fantastic so worth a test drive. 

 

I really like the Fenwicks for multi-species/trout but their offerings has a real gap between 85 bucks and almost 200 on the casting side. None of the cheaper ones really meet what I need.

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3 hours ago, Smallieseeker said:

Wow good stuff right here I throw alot of shad raps floating minnows and small square bills on spinning rods but after reading this I think I will try this route out.

Check the link I posted above -- I believe that's actually the rod smalljaw is taking about:  6'6" ML-M Fenwick Aetos caster, $75. Looks like there are 7 left.

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My finesse cranker is a custom made by DVT Mike.  I absolutely freakin' love this rod!  Perfection.  Talk to Mike about what you need!

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13 minutes ago, MIbassyaker said:

Check the link I posted above -- I believe that's actually the rod smalljaw is taking about:  6'6" ML-M Fenwick Aetos caster, $75. Looks like there are 7 left.

Yeah, it looks like an incredible deal but the size kinda freaks me out. I've never owned a BC under 7' and I've struggled with every one I've borrowed.  It's probably the best option though. Gotta sleep on it

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5 hours ago, smalljaw67 said:

Go to FFO, I believe they still have my finesse cranking rod for sale for a lot less than I paid for mine. I have a Fenwick Aetos, 6'6" ML-M rated 1/4oz to 12oz but it should be rated 1/8oz to 7/16oz. I use to throw the #5 shad rap with a spinning rod, the only crank I fished on a spinning rod until I got this rod and I'm going on my 3rd year and I'm happy as a clam. I can tell you my fishing actually got better with the finesse cranking rod as my smaller cranks have more action and I'm getting more bites. I like the throw the small Sebile Cranksters SR baits, they weigh 1/4oz but it feels lighter, on my regular cranking rod they worked, or so I thought and when I threw them the first time with the finesse cranking rod the bait seemed to really come to life, it dug in and and had a wider wobble and the fish were clobbering it. The closest rod to it that is longer is the Falcon BuCoo 7' M-M rated 1/4oz to 1/2oz, I have used that rod and it is very close to my 6'6" ML-M so that would work as well. There is just something with the 6'6" length in the finesse cranking that I like, I use it to throw 1.0 and 1.5 KVD square bills for river smallies, it feels like the rod was made for them, I can put it in very tight spots and I've landed 4 smallmouth over 5lb on this rod so far and a bunch of 4lbers and it amazes me every time. I'm sorry for the long rant but I'm sold on finesse cranking, I'm finding that the fish will react to these small baits when they don't hit anything else and it seems like using the right rod is critical, I never caught fish on small cranks at the rate I do now, it is that noticeable that I believe everyone should have that type of rod.

I love to see you posting, but have to say it isn't always a good thing for my pocketbook.  You have talked me into more rods than anyone else.  Just ordered the Aetos.  Extremely hard to pass on a deal like that.  Especially given your report on how well the rod works.  I'll have to compare it to my Falcon Expert Light.  See if I can notice the difference in lure action.  I don't normally like a rod that short although I have a couple 6'8" and 6'9" rods that I like so it is mostly a mind thing for me.  I do like shorter spinning rods tho.

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8 hours ago, Taylor Haberle said:

Yeah, it looks like an incredible deal but the size kinda freaks me out. I've never owned a BC under 7' and I've struggled with every one I've borrowed.  It's probably the best option though. Gotta sleep on it

The bass pros shops ML cranking rod is ok but for finesse you want that Aetos and the reason is that the rod is all graphite. I will apologize to the person who told you to go glass now, but for finesse cranking the last thing you want is glass, they are heavy and you won't have any idea what the small cranking is doing, the only good thing is it will cast well provided your reel is of good quality. A full on graphite rod will let you feel small cranks, they are smaller so they don't have the thump of larger baits so graphite here is the only way to go. As for length, as I said, the 7' medium power BuCoo will work but you'll find shad raps and other wood cranks will have a tendency to sail, that is why I believe the shorter rod is better for finesse cranking. I like to try things before I commit and I was using all of my friends different rods that fall into the finesse cranking zone, basically any medium or medium light power not rated over 1/2oz, and I have used the Tatula ML-M and it has more power than a ML, it is more of a medium in my opinion. The 7' BuCoo is what I'd go with if you have to have a 7' rod but I believe small cranks work better and cast easier and more accurately on the shorter rod but the 2 best choices are the Aetos and the BuCoo and at $75 the Aetos is a lot more rod with a lot more sensitivity, and that was the other difference between it and the BuCoo, when you get down to shad raps, you can feel it on the Aetos, not so much with the BuCoo, but most other 1/4oz on the Falcon are fine.

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12 hours ago, mojojojo said:

get yourself a GLASS rod!!. You'll never regret it. I have a ST Croix Mojo Bass Glass rod in medium that launches 1/4oz baits. Just make sure you have a good reel that can throw lighter baits without backlashing all over

 

I've got the same rod.  And I love it.  However, I still need a second rod for the crankbaits described in the OP.   My mojo does NOT work well with Manns Minus 1's or LC SKT Mini.  I currently use a Rage 7+MM, and even though that is working for me, I'm considering adding the Fenwick that Smalljaw recommended.

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4 hours ago, smalljaw67 said:

The bass pros shops ML cranking rod is ok but for finesse you want that Aetos and the reason is that the rod is all graphite. I will apologize to the person who told you to go glass now, but for finesse cranking the last thing you want is glass, they are heavy and you won't have any idea what the small cranking is doing, the only good thing is it will cast well provided your reel is of good quality. A full on graphite rod will let you feel small cranks, they are smaller so they don't have the thump of larger baits so graphite here is the only way to go. As for length, as I said, the 7' medium power BuCoo will work but you'll find shad raps and other wood cranks will have a tendency to sail, that is why I believe the shorter rod is better for finesse cranking. I like to try things before I commit and I was using all of my friends different rods that fall into the finesse cranking zone, basically any medium or medium light power not rated over 1/2oz, and I have used the Tatula ML-M and it has more power than a ML, it is more of a medium in my opinion. The 7' BuCoo is what I'd go with if you have to have a 7' rod but I believe small cranks work better and cast easier and more accurately on the shorter rod but the 2 best choices are the Aetos and the BuCoo and at $75 the Aetos is a lot more rod with a lot more sensitivity, and that was the other difference between it and the BuCoo, when you get down to shad raps, you can feel it on the Aetos, not so much with the BuCoo, but most other 1/4oz on the Falcon are fine.

Agree.  1/4-5/8 oz. is also my idea of a Medium.  I happen to have the 7' ML Crankin' Stick.  It will handle a #5 Shad Rap easily.  Don't know how it works the bait compared to the Aetos, but will take Dan's word for it.  :D

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6 hours ago, Choporoz said:

I've got the same rod.  And I love it.  However, I still need a second rod for the crankbaits described in the OP.   My mojo does NOT work well with Manns Minus 1's or LC SKT Mini.  I currently use a Rage 7+MM, and even though that is working for me, I'm considering adding the Fenwick that Smalljaw recommended.

I went through the exact same thing, the Mann's Baby 1 Minus and the Mann's Baby X, they are my best producing shallow cranks and while my regular cranking rod was working with them, it still felt as if I was overpowering them and it turned out I was right. I'm not saying to get the Fenwick but getting a finesse cranking rod will really help if you fish the smaller cranks on a regular basis, for me it opened up a new presentation entirely. I never realized how much deflection the 1 minus and the Baby X had until I started to use the finesse cranking rod, the amount of strikes and fish I was catching increased by 50% on average and I believe that is due to the fact the baits were more erratic, it was something you felt and saw right away. I think the BPS ML cranking rod will work but I prefer a full graphite rod because it will allow you to feel the crank better because the smaller baits don't displace a lot of water, they typically have a very fast, tight wobble and a lot of times when the fish track them they will hit it while swimming toward you and the only way you know they have it is the you won't feel it anymore, the same thing if you pick up a blade of grass. So if you can feel it, you can rip it and possibly get the debris or grass off were as with the glass rod you may not een realize the bait isn't vibrating anymore.

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