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Just played with the 2018 lightning rod at my local academy next to a dobyns fury and a daiqa tatula xt. All 7' mhf casting rods. Noticeably lighter than the fury and just as light as the daiwa, nice crisp action on par with both, power rating seemed accurate. Nice composite full grip with a double locking reel seat that was pretty comfy. Still the same old $40 they've always been. I know this rod has always been though of as a good value, back in the day I through plastics on one and always caught a  bunch, but seems they've really upped their game in 2018. Anyone actually fished with one of these new ones yet?

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I've got the 66M casting.  It has a nice soft tip that loads really well at the low end of it's rating.  It reminds me of a jerkbait specific taper.  The new rods also have ceramic guides now unlike the previous rods.

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My fishing partner and I are using the new Lightning Rods spinning rods on our guide boats.  I am not sure how they will hold up over time but,  they are like sissystick said,  light,  crisp and strong.  Customers are loving them and for the price,  so are we.   For $40,  if they don't last forever,  we'll buy more.

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I haven't fished them but have been impressed with how tip light they are.  Compare the reel seats to Fenwick HMG and it will become obvious that they come from a common source.. Both are Pure Fishing brands.

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Berkley rods are underrated, if they made a decent spinning reel all my setups would be berkleys

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I have a couple sitting here still with the tags on them that I haven't fished yet. I agree they seem "better" than previous generations of regular Lightning Rods. I'll eventually work them into the rotation.

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I've got one, 6'6 mh-f casting. Works pretty good, I've used it twice throwing TX rigs and swim baits at the pond. Good sensitivity, especially for it's price. Feels very stiff for a MH though, kinda like the Abu veritas. 

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Where can I get one of these rods and how are they distinguished?  Are they labeled “2018”?

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2 hours ago, Happybeerbuzz said:

Where can I get one of these rods and how are they distinguished?  Are they labeled “2018”?

No, they had them out in 2017 too.  Visually they have a rubberized cork full grip and a dual lock on the reel seat. There is also a carbon fiber X wrap on the blank and ceramic guides.  

1447330_F_IS.jpg

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I've had several versions of the lightning rods, all have fished well above their price range, I'm sure these will be no different. 

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'Budget' rods have completely elevated their quality yet sell for the same price.  'High end' rods have stayed the same yet completely elevated their price.

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10 hours ago, ClackerBuzz said:

'Budget' rods have completely elevated their quality yet sell for the same price.  'High end' rods have stayed the same yet completely elevated their price.

This is a fascinating observation.

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13 hours ago, ClackerBuzz said:

'Budget' rods have completely elevated their quality yet sell for the same price.  'High end' rods have stayed the same yet completely elevated their price.

That's the "trickle down" effect. The tech used in high end rods has been around a while now, and has paid for it self several times over. As a result, those of us with limited means to spend on gear get the benefits of some of the higher end technology on lower price point rods as mfgs. incorporate it into low to mid price ranged stuff. Which has always been the most popular selling tackle. Only a low % of people, can afford or are willing to buy an arsenals worth of  $200+ rods, most everyone can afford a boat full of sub $100 rods, and the MFG. who offers the most bang for the buck in that price range is going to sell A LOT of rods. Berkley has always been very good at selling a high performing rod at modest prices.

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Berkley rods from a budget or starting out stand point are highly underrated. I have had a lot of Berkley rods over the last 8 years.  My favorite spinning rod is a 7ft Berkley tactix wacky worm style rod Paired with a Quantum Accurist.  I think they were closing them out as it was with a bunch of other ones in a barrel for $29.99 and I jumped on it.  The rod has a medium heavy rating but, I think it is actually to me it seems like a medium though. The rod Has it has enough back bone to get fish out of some nasty stuff with a nice faster tip.  However, it is still sensitive enough to be my main creek/river bass rod and I have caught a lot of bass on it.

 

I just bought the Berkley lighting casting rod with the shock absorbing tip about 2 months ago.  So far I have no complaints.  I have that paired up also with Quantom Accurist pti casting reel.  I am using this rod for jigs and heavy t-rigs.  

 

They are not a st.croix or other higher end rod but, they are a preatty good buy for the money.  I don’t feel ripped off after purchasing them. 

 

 

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