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Smug

Help me pick a finesse baitcasting rod!

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Hey guys and gals, been lurking the forums for a while now and figured I could use some advice, so this is my first post.

To start off, I am a big fan of finesse fishing.  I usually throw my finesse stuff on spinning gear, however I much prefer fishing with a baitcaster.  I recently sold off my Quantum EXO combo (which was a 7'MH/F), because it was too much rod for the kind of fishing I was doing.  After a little digging, I was able to snipe a mint condition Shimano Aldebaran on ebay for a little over 200 bucks(Score!).  I have ordered some BFS Air bearings to put in to help with casting my light tackle. I am now looking for a rod to pair it with and i am down to a few;

St Croix LTB - 6'10" ML/XF

  • Line Weight: 6-10
  • Lure weight 1/8-1/2

Kistler Helium 3 - 7'0" ML/F

  • Line Weight: 6-10
  • Lure weight 1/16-3/8

Kistler Helium 3 - 6'6" M/XF

  • Line Weight: 8-12
  • Lure weight 1/8-1/2

I would like to keep the rod between 6'6" and 7'0"(most managable for the pond fishing that I do) as well as around the price point of the above rods(≈$250).  The reel will most likely be spooled up with an 8 strand braid in #10 test or lighter fluorocarbon.  I throw alot of weightless plastics and light t-rigs.  I also tend to dabble in lighter topwater lures(spro baby popper, duo realis shinmushi, etc.) as well as some lighter squarebills like the molix fc45.  Largest bass I have seen in my area ponds has been about 4 pounds, so don't foresee any issues as far as fish being too big for the tackle.  I am slightly concerned about the Kistler's lack of warranty, especially when compared to the lifetime warranty on the St Croix offering.

Well, I think that covered all the bases.  If there is something I missed or you have a better suggestion please let me know!

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That is what I'm leaning towards. I prefer the fast action on the kistler over an extra fast, and the fact that if can throw lighter lures. I've seen alot of love for kistler rods on theae forums,  so I figured maybe somebody could point out something I missed before I pull the trigger on a $270 rod.  Thanks for the input! 

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49 minutes ago, Smug said:

That is what I'm leaning towards. I prefer the fast action on the kistler over an extra fast, and the fact that if can throw lighter lures. I've seen alot of love for kistler rods on theae forums,  so I figured maybe somebody could point out something I missed before I pull the trigger on a $270 rod.  Thanks for the input! 

Yeah, I have zero experience with Kistler rods so I can't help you there. I've always been a big fan of St. Croix though...although they do tend to be "stiffer" than their rating (i.e.: their M tends to be more like a MH as an example).

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St. Croix for the win!!

 

Love my LTB and my LTE 

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Choose a rod based on the weights of what you're using. Phenix makes a nice light and medium light rod. I have both a 6'8 light and a 7'1 med/light. I use the 2 power for true 1/8oz baits like the #5 yozuri pins minnow,Ned rig, and things up to 1/4oz. I use the 713 for weightless senkos and similar things around the 1/4-3/8 range. 

image.jpeg

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Im a huge fan of the St. Croix, they are legendary for a reason...

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I have a ML Shimano Compere . I have lost so many fish with that thing I quit using it . 

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Since a Dobyn's isn't on the list, I'll have to say SC. 

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At that price point I very strongly suggest giving Mike from Delaware Valley Tackle a phone call, I'm currently in the works of replacing two of the three rods you listed with rods from DVT.

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I have no experience with the Kistlers...but I do have a number of St. Croix rods, including the ML LTB rod you listed. It's a nice rod, sensitive, good workmanship, looks good, catches fish. It DOES have a somewhat short rear handle however...

LTB6-9ml-1.JPG

2013-08-30 18in 2.59lb LMB Pomeroy.JPG

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3 hours ago, Robert Riley said:

Since a Dobyn's isn't on the list, I'll have to say SC. 

I looked at the Dobyns, however they don't make a rod that throws anything lighter than 3/16oz lures in the champion hp series.  They do make one in the extreme series that looks awesome, but it's a little more than i'm looking to spend.

37 minutes ago, Goose52 said:

I have no experience with the Kistlers...but I do have a number of St. Croix rods, including the ML LTB rod you listed. It's a nice rod, sensitive, good workmanship, looks good, catches fish. It DOES have a somewhat short rear handle however...

LTB6-9ml-1.JPG

2013-08-30 18in 2.59lb LMB Pomeroy.JPG

I am glad to hear you're happy with it!  I do mostly one handed casts and pitches unless I'm really trying to bomb the bait, so I'm not super concerned about the shorter grip. Any problems with larger baits or pulling larger fish out of cover?

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9 minutes ago, Smug said:

I am glad to hear you're happy with it!  I do mostly one handed casts and pitches unless I'm really trying to bomb the bait, so I'm not super concerned about the shorter grip. Any problems with larger baits or pulling larger fish out of cover?

I can't really answer your question - I don't use a medium-light rod for heavier baits or working in any substantial cover. I have other tools for that...;)

I use 8lb test on this rod, typically toss baits that are 3/8 oz and under, and usually in open water.

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31 minutes ago, Goose52 said:

I can't really answer your question - I don't use a medium-light rod for heavier baits or working in any substantial cover. I have other tools for that...;)

I use 8lb test on this rod, typically toss baits that are 3/8 oz and under, and usually in open water.

I gotcha. I tend to throw finesse  stuff around the edges of pads and laydowns, unfortunately I've had larger fish pull drag and get me all tangled up more than once haha

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46 minutes ago, Smug said:

I looked at the Dobyns, however they don't make a rod that throws anything lighter than 3/16oz lures in the champion hp series.  They do make one in the extreme series that looks awesome, but it's a little more than i'm looking to spend.

My $0.02, I have a Dx745c and Ive gotten away with throwing 1/8oz on it in a tournament. So just remember that those are just numbers. 

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5 minutes ago, Robert Riley said:

My $0.02, I have a Dx745c and Ive gotten away with throwing 1/8oz on it in a tournament. So just remember that those are just numbers. 

Duly noted, thank you

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Hi Smug,

I can highly recommend the Kistler KLX Finesse Jig, Worm, Tube rod.  It is rated for 1/8th to 3/8ths and weighs 3.3 ozs.  My favorite Kistler rod especially for the price.  Kistler has the 6'9" on sale right now for $189.95.  You won't find a better rod at this price.  Very similar to the Helium rod you are looking at with good sensitivity.  I fish in Florida over grass a lot and my Finesse Jig rod was just what I needed.  Light tip to throw lighter stuff but good back bone for setting the hook in the grass.

Frank 

 

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  I have the ltb mlxf with a abu ltx reel.  I use 8lb mcoy line and toss just as far as my other tackle.  With a rod like that it worked okay but not great till I bought a finesse type baitcaster.  Just a point to ponder.  Have even fished for trout with this combo.

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Don Iovino Major Craft bait casting rod is designed by the father of finesse fishing. Signature rod is available from TW.

Tom

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MajorCraft for me, too. There are many varieties. For under $200 including shipping from Japan, you can get quite a few really nice rods. Here's the place to look, and the search is already done for you.

http://global.rakuten.com/en/search/?tl=201899&k=majorcraft+bfs&l-id=search_regular

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I like the Kistler helium rods, but major craft and Jackson both make some killer bfs rods

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11 hours ago, Goose52 said:

I have no experience with the Kistlers...but I do have a number of St. Croix rods, including the ML LTB rod you listed. It's a nice rod, sensitive, good workmanship, looks good, catches fish. It DOES have a somewhat short rear handle however...

LTB6-9ml-1.JPG

2013-08-30 18in 2.59lb LMB Pomeroy.JPG

Is that a 50 conquest?

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1 hour ago, clh121787 said:

Is that a 50 conquest?

It is indeed.

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I have a MLXF LTB never thought much of the rod. Its rated 1/8-1/2 but it didnt load well with small bitsy minnow cranks, actually fairly stiff rod. Its on the tip heavy side and that short handle digs in my palm. The sensitivity never wowed me either for its price point. If wanting croix save cash and get an avid or splurge on an elite or one of your other choices.

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I use the Lamiglas Infinity 723 for weightless and I really love it. It's rated for 3/4oz but it has a really soft tip which let's you cast a mile and has the backbone for solid hook sets. 

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