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Janderson45

8’6 MLXF Legend Tournament - Drop Shot

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Recently picked up one of the new model St Croix legend tournament spinning rods.  The 8’6” MLXF Dropshot/Hair Jig rod.  I paired it with a Shimano Sustain 4000XG spooled up with 10lb braid to 6lb tatsu leader.

 

I’m excited to try it out dropshotting some fall smallies this weekend.  My current dropshot rod is a 7’6 MLXF Avid, and I’ve really grown to like the extra length... I decided to push it even further with this new offering from St. Croix... will be interested to see if there’s a point of diminishing returns on rod length for this application.

 

My first impressions are that it balances quite nicely with the 4000 size reel, but I think it would be too tip heavy with a smaller reel.  

B172EFE9-0DF1-49DD-B209-688DB0E1A1DB.thumb.jpeg.0775946db34971553a424dda355326c2.jpeg

 

Anyone had a chance to fish this rod yet?  If so, what were your impressions?  I’ll report back with more thoughts and a more thorough review if people are interested.

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I find it interesting that the length of bass rods has been creeping up to salmon/steelhead lengths. 

 

Not sure which aspects might suffer from the point of diminishing returns but I do like the increased line control and casting distance attained with longer rods. One thing that might is in close quarter combat, but that would be might. It is quite easy to underhand cast, even with a rod that long. 

 

Rod looks very nice. Is it a one or two piece rod?

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One piece rod.  I’ve now got 5 rods in my rod locker that are 7’6” or longer for various techniques.  This one is the longest.  

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Depends on what type of Dropshotting you do.  When in Michigan, many times we are drifting and if I'm dropshotting, it's with a 7 foot or under.  Longer rods don't have the manners I need for dragging.  

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That is a long stick.  I like my 6'2" MLXF over any of the longer rods I've tried.  It's usually a fairly vertical game, so I don't need any length.  If you're a braid with leader person, the longer rod might be nice - no need to pass a knot.  It would also be a sweet float 'n fly rod, too.

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I’m a braid with leader person, but my leader is usually 20-30 feet 😂, so no benefit there.

 

There was an adjustment period when I went from my original 6’8 dropshot rod to a 7’6 stick.  There may be a bit of an adjustment here as well, we will see.

 

For me, despite the sometimes vertical nature of dropshotting, the long rod is still a bonus.  I cast and drag my dropshots fairly often, certainly more than I see most guys doing.  I’ll fire it up on a hump or point and creep it back to the boat positioned in deeper water.  As the weight falls off the ledge I’ll sometimes get fish hanging right off the ledge to bite it while it’s falling down.  

 

Other benefits I’ve noticed are that it’s much easier to see minor deflections in the tip on a long rod, indicating a soft bite that you wouldn’t otherwise feel or notice.  This has helped me quickly get hooks into deep bedding smallies who picked it up off the bed and tried to spit it.  If I waited until I felt a bite it would be too late, if I ever even felt a bite.

 

Another benefit of dropshotting with a long rod is when a charged up smallmouth shoots up towards the surface in an attempt to jump and spit the hook.  Once you feel them start to rocket up if you stick the tip of a long rod in the water they are not going to clear the surface, no matter how determined they are.

 

Like many things in fishing it might just be personal preference, but I’m a firm believer that a longer stick has improved my dropshot game.

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Son of a.......  I didn't even know I needed another dropshot rod!

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1 hour ago, S Hovanec said:

Son of a.......  I didn't even know I needed another dropshot rod!

 

Glad I could be of *ahem* service..

 

Its due to get its first test run this Saturday on some fall New Hampshire smallies, I’ll be sure to update with my honest first impressions.  It’ll be interesting to see how crisp the blank is and whether or not it will wear on me fishing with it for hours on end.  

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I would love to try out a super long spinning rod, but I don't think I would take the leap of faith to buy one blind though.

I fish a lot of spots with long riprap dams and have very good luck fishing small paddle tails or flukes like 3-5' off of them.  I think I would get a kick out of a super long rod that would let me cover a ton of distance per cast so I could give each area more attention.  

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4 hours ago, Janderson45 said:

 

Glad I could be of *ahem* service..

 

Its due to get its first test run this Saturday on some fall New Hampshire smallies, I’ll be sure to update with my honest first impressions.  It’ll be interesting to see how crisp the blank is and whether or not it will wear on me fishing with it for hours on end.  

 

I don't know how I missed that one in the blank catalog.  Think I'll hold off and see if they offer it in a SCV next year.  I'm not a big fan of the Cobalt blue, but the blue/green flip or forrest pearl would be acceptable to me.  If they don't make it, then I'll order the SCIV.

 

I have a 1pc 76mlxf SCIII that I'll be selling as soon as I build the 2pc SCV.  The 2pc has a touch more power and it travels better when I'm not in the boat.

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If recent history is any indicator I doubt they’ll offer this stick in an SCV, if it does end up being offered in the LE or LX series that would be awesome though.. I own 4 SCV rods currently and this will only be my second SCIV rod... not entirely sure what I think of my other one at the moment, it’s the sweeper spinnerbait 7’MHMF model.  

 

Im with you on the Cobalt blue finish, and usually I don’t like split grips on my spinning (or really any) of my rods, but in this case I thought the split grip might help to off set the 4000 size reel I planned to use, at least a little.  People will probably think I’m nuts for using a 4000 size reel too, but I think it has some fantastic benefits that most people completely overlook.. 

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That would be a float n fly rod looking for another presentation to label it with.

Tom

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4 minutes ago, WRB said:

That would be a float n fly rod looking for another presentation to label it with.

Tom

 

While I don’t disagree with you, I don’t think that’s exactly what’s going on here.  

 

No doubt it would make a great float n fly rod and will get the nod for me for that technique, I think it’ll be an asset in a couple other categories as well.

 

The timing of this rods release and the new Legend Tournament Bass series directly coincides with B.A.S.S. loosening their regulations on rod length.  Until 2018 the maximum allowed length was 8’ - now its 10’ max allowable in competition.  In response to this, st. Croix released a number of very long sticks in their LTB lineup, including a 9’11 flippin/punching stick. 

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There is also a LTB walleye version 8'6" mlxf with a little less lure rating 1/8-3/8.

Most feel a FnF rod should be more moderate action not XF.

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Long rods dampen feedback the opposite I want in a drop shot rod. Mine drop shot rods are under 7'. It's looks like a long rod looking for a place to be used.

Tom

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19 minutes ago, WRB said:

Long rods dampen feedback the opposite I want in a drop shot rod. Mine drop shot rods are under 7'. It's looks like a long rod looking for a place to be used.

Tom

Read my third post.  Rod deflection can be a key factor.  That “dampening” works both ways, fish have less time to feel you as well.  

 

Due to the limber tip my 7’6 dropshot setup was more sensitive in my hands than the shorter 6’8 rod was.  Don’t see why this would be any different if the blank is constructed appropriately.

 

Why do you reckon there were restrictions on rod length in competition in the first place, because it was a disadvantage to use a longer rod?  

 

Again, I’ve yet to field test this stick, so we will see...but at the very least it’s food for thought.  If you’re going to take the “get off my lawn” approach this stick clearly isn’t for you, and that’s fine.  I’m excited to try it out. 

 

Joel

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14 minutes ago, Janderson45 said:

Read my third post.  Rod deflection can be a key factor.  That “dampening” works both ways, fish have less time to feel you as well.  

 

Due to the limber tip my 7’6 dropshot setup was more sensitive in my hands than the shorter 6’8 rod was.  Don’t see why this would be any different if the blank is constructed appropriately.

 

Why do you reckon there were restrictions on rod length in competition in the first place, because it was a disadvantage to use a longer rod?  

 

Again, I’ve yet to field test this stick, so we will see...but at the very least it’s food for thought.  If you’re going to take the “get off my lawn” approach this stick clearly isn’t for you, and that’s fine.  I’m excited to try it out. 

 

Joel

Dee Thomas

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Some guys watch the tip for the bite, some feel the bite.  This rod would have been heaven back in the 80s and 90s when we dragged soft shell crabs (freshly molted crayfish to non Yankees) for smallies in Lake Ontario.

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