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So after this most recent episode of missing/losing good fish on a lipless bait, it's time to switch rods. I broke my favorite rod for the job in my rod locker, a 7' MH Ethos that fished kind of in between a M and MH and had good backbone but a soft enough tip to not pull hooks. The rod I bought as a replacement felt good in the store, but it has zero backbone to drive a hook into the tough mouth of a big bass, especially on the long cast I'm usually making. Want to keep it under $150, under $100 would be even better. It needs to have regular sized eyes because I fish them a lot during the winter months when micro guides are a nightmare when my guides are icing up. Prefer EVA, but doesn't really matter either way and I don't care about brand. 

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I got on well with a 7'4" St Croix mojo glass rod before I broke the top 3" off the tip.

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Been very pleased with my 7'5 MH cabelas zx crankshaft. It fishes like a true medium heavy. It is a longer rod than I really prefer but with a longer handle that helps me with longer casts. The winn grips are nice. Use it for 1/2 and 3/4 lipless baits, 1/2 spinnerbaits and chatterbaits in deep water as well. 3/4 of an ounce is the sweet spot for this rod. Also use a 7'6 mh denali rosewood cranking rod. It fishes between and m and mh. Amazing for 3/8 up to 3/4 ounce cranks. 1/2 ounce sweet spot. Wouldn't push this one as high on the lure rating as the previous rod I mentioned. I bought it used off eBay from American legacy fishing for around $60 Even though it retailed for triple that I believe. 

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The best rod I've used is the falcon trap caster 7MH-MF. The bucoo sr is $99 I think.

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Believe it or not, my Bass Pro Shops medium heavy IM6 seven-foot baitcaster is great for lipless crankbaits.

 

Coming in second is my David Fritts 6-foot 6-inch Medium Speed Stick Cranking series rod.

 

For tournaments I use my G. Loomis CBR 873 7-foot Medium Crank Bait Series rod.

 

All three work lipless crankbaits beautifully as the hooks seem to set well when I pull the rod left or right when seing the hook.

 

I also take one or the other of the Fritts or BPS crankbait rods for tournaments.

 

Other than for the G. Loomis, the other two were priced at a fair level.

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Academy still sales Ethos 😉

 

I throw an All Star Pro series which I think has been replaced with the Classic series...$49.99 at Academy.

 

For Traps/Spinnerbaits I prefer an extra long handle, when I set hook the handle is against my forearm.

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I am not as keen on dropping a ton of money on rods that aren't bottom contact presentations, so I went with a St. Croix BXC72MHM.  I throw almost all of my teble hooked lures with it and it works for me.  Really a nice for for 100 bucks.  

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I use a Tatula 7' medium regular which is a moderate fast. I really like it for fishing traps. It can be found for around 100 bucks if you look around. 

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Love my Tatula rods.  :teeth:  Maybe a Fenwick HMG 7'2" Med.- Moderate Fast?

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My fav is the 845 cbr, but noticed your price range...

1)73 mmf Ike series lipless special

  (Abu) $149 my second fav.

3)falcon trapcaster bucoo $99

4) medium heavy crankin stick (bass    

    Pro) 

5) the slim grip bionic blade in the

    medium fast fishes more like a

    medium moderate/fast and is

    overlooked for lipless baits. 

    Especially in grassy areas. $79

- another overlooked one is the falcon Jason Christie crankbait/spinnerbait model I think they sell at Walmart for under a Hundred bucks. I nabbed one for less than 30 one day and it does really well for traps as well. I hated the color though.. But very functional 

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I just started using one of the new Curado Rods.  7'4" MH/M.  It love it.  Perfect length and nice tip.  They can be had in your price range.

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I use the 7’2 MH Shimano Zodias Glass and the 7 M Daiwa Tatula XT Glass. Love em both. The Tatula XT’s go for $100. The Zodias might be a little too much as it goes for $200, but it’s a great rod

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I actually prefer a fast action rod.  I use an LTBC70MF for them. 

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It depends how you fish. I wondered why anyone would use a fast action rod for cranking then I saw something about fishing traps in heavy grass and using a fast action rod with braid to rip them clean. 

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30 minutes ago, Fishin' Fool said:

It depends how you fish. I wondered why anyone would use a fast action rod for cranking then I saw something about fishing traps in heavy grass and using a fast action rod with braid to rip them clean. 

Same deal for square bills, too.  You don't want so much bow in the rod that you can't react in time when you feel the bait hitting grass or wood.

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15 minutes ago, J Francho said:

Same deal for square bills, too.  You don't want so much bow in the rod that you can't react in time when you feel the bait hitting grass or wood.

Matt Allen had a video this year where he talks about using heavier and faster rods as the season progresses.  Early in the season he is using a moderate rod and lite line working the bait like a blade bait and at the end he is using a medium heavy or heavy fast on thick braid ripping it out of the weeds.  It may not be a one rod show but I don't know how your fishing the bait and what type of weed cover progression you have up there.

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2 hours ago, aatwofour said:

I use the 7’2 MH Shimano Zodias Glass and the 7 M Daiwa Tatula XT Glass. Love em both. The Tatula XT’s go for $100. The Zodias might be a little too much as it goes for $200, but it’s a great rod

You can get a regular Tatula rod for 100. I've seen xt's for as low as 75.

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26 minutes ago, Angry John said:

Early in the season he is using a moderate rod and lite line working the bait like a blade bait

Early in the season, I'm using a blade bait.  After that, I'm banging them off rip rap, destroying the paint, or slashing through EU milfoil beds in staging areas.  Once the spawn is over, I might do some yo-yo jigging, but mostly I'm on to other baits.

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32 minutes ago, Angry John said:

Matt Allen had a video this year where he talks about using heavier and faster rods as the season progresses.  Early in the season he is using a moderate rod and lite line working the bait like a blade bait and at the end he is using a medium heavy or heavy fast on thick braid ripping it out of the weeds.  It may not be a one rod show but I don't know how your fishing the bait and what type of weed cover progression you have up there.

 

I think this is where I got my info from but wasn't certain at the time.

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Dobyns 703c but if you want more hook setting power 763c , fury line up great rods for the price imo . 

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Ive found in the real world, slower rods dont necessarily help keep fish pinned with aero and hydronamically "tossable" baits like traps. Everyone focuses on the hooks tearing the fishes mouth- but youre also conceding a split second of give back to the fish. The key with not losing big fish on rattlebaits is controlling that head. Every decent trap fish I hook the rod tip goes down, often into the water and I lean into them when needed, especially when they come up top.

 

Had my struggles years back on a lake that didnt allow boating and there was a huge flat with a creek channel that big fish just loved to bite yozuri Vibes at the end of a long cast. Tried a few different rods including fiberglass cranking rods. Glass was in fact the worst on long casts. 

 

I have a few rods I use without a real standout but a Falcon Cara 7' H Fast Lizard dragger- that fishes much more medium heavy and Mod Fast- is probably my favorite.

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I use a MH 7' , fast action Veritas, not a crankbait rod. The stiffness of the graphite allows you to pop the lure free of grass better, and still have a little give to keep the trebles pinned. A composite crank rod is too soft imo, but a MH action that isnt' a noodle might me worth a try. I throw lipless baits from 1/4 ounce to 3/4 of an ounce on mine. Fluorocarbon line helps too. Go with 10 to 17 pound fluoro depending on thickness of the weeds and size of the bass. A composite or glass rod with 50 pound braid is great in really thick veggies where bass can get real big, in places like Rayburn, Guntersville, or any similar fishery.

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Thanks for the suggestions everyone. I have kind of a unique situation in that I'm not fishing super cold water with the power plant lakes, and I'm not really worried about fish pulling off on traps, more about actually getting the hooks set on big fish at long distances. I need a more powerful rod than what some may be able to get by, because I'm never sure if a cast is going to be a 5-7 pound largemouth, or one of these guys.

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