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McMike``

pros or cons... M/F vs ML/XF for finesse

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What would likely be the benefits or  concerns I should be aware of for this scenario... Med/Fast vs MedLight/ExFast. Both rods are closely weight rated (from 1/8 to 1/2 oz), and primarily used for tubes, dropshot, ned and t-rigs... I've narrowed down my rod  choices to either the St Croix Avid X or Fenwick Aetos. Now, just trying to determine power n speed of rod... Would greatly welcome and appreciate any thoughts, insights or personal experience...  Thanks!  Mike

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I have two similar rods that are similar, but a little lighter.  My ML is rated for 1/16 to 3/8 and my M is rated 1/8 yo 3/8. I find that my ML is great for exposed lighter wire hooks but I prefer the M for standard wire or weedless presentations.  If I could only have one, I would choose the M because it could do both. However I like the ML because of how well it throws really light baits. 

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I use ML-xf rods (an LTB and an *** Black) for drop shot, ned rigs, sliders, and small keitechs and grubs (3 inch), usually with weights 1/8oz or less.

 

My M-F rods (previous gen Aetos and silverhawk) get main duty for shakyheads and jigworms over 4", tubes, finesse jigs, and slightly larger swimbait and grubs, usually with weights 1/8oz or more.

 

Generally, though, I think you can make a M-F work for most spinning jobs if as long as the weight isn't too small.  Otherwise, if you're going to do more dropshotting and ned consider the ML. More tubes and t-rigs, get the M.

 

I do have a current gen Aetos and and Avid X, but they are different models. The Avid X is M-XF, and it use it for weightless plastics, like stickworms and flukes.  The Aetos is an MH caster; don't know what the new spinning models are like. 

 

Given the choice between an Avid X and an Aetos, I'd pick the Avid X, but I like them both. 

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Mentioned elsewhere in another post, I picked up two rod and reel combos from St. Croix around Christmas to fill some voids in my collection. The rods are Reign rods and I don't know what makes them different from other St. Croix rods using SCII material. They look and feel identical to me, just much less expensive.

 

Well, back to ML versus M. I just love the feel of this new ML. It is a 6'6" stick with nice casting ability, rated for 4 to 10 lbs. line and 1/8th to 1/2 lures. Since I fish a fairly taut line on most finesse apps, say drop shots and lazy slow retrieved Keitechs, I have found the hook-ups to be very good. Whatever an ML gives away in rigidity, it makes up for by bending farther under the same loads. So, for easy sweep sets, it might even be better in the sense that it takes a bit longer sweep to arrive at the same force at the hook. Less lost fish?

 

Anyway, I love this new ML. I also prefer an M over a MH for casting gear. If I hate anything, it is a rod that is too stiff for its intended purpose. Second, of course, is one that is not up to the task and casts spongy if the lure is over-weighted. That's no fun.

 

Brad

 

 

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I use an old black BPS Carbonlite 6’9” ML Fast 1/16-3/8 for Keitech 3.5” Swing Impacts and a St Croix Legend 6’10” ML Extra Fast 1/8-1/2 for 1/16 Ned Rigs (with the TRD it gets to 1/8) and small jigs like a Bitsy Bug. It would probably be nice with a 4” weightless Senko too. 

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M/F serves your needs and many more.

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Dobyns 702SF (ML / F) versus 703SF (M / F) : Dobyns has nice suggested primary and secondary applications for their ML & M action spinning rods for comparison and consideration ... Many good comments here  on Dobyns rods for finesse applications .

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Welcome aboard, Mike!

 

Both rods will suffice for those techniques, just set drags appropriately.

 

That said, I agree with @NHBull that the MF will be a do-all/most rod.

 

I've got a MLXF St. Croix Legend Tournament 6'3" (now about 5'9 or 10")

and it is a little stiff at that length for Ned, but I've used it. My Premier is

also at 5'9", MLF and a sweet spot for me doing Ned, Drop, wacky, etc.

 

An older Compre is MXF, but is more like a MF in Croix's lineup. Suitable

for many techniques.

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4 hours ago, McMike`` said:

What would likely be the benefits or  concerns I should be aware of for this scenario... Med/Fast vs MedLight/ExFast. Both rods are closely weight rated (from 1/8 to 1/2 oz), and primarily used for tubes, dropshot, ned and t-rigs... I've narrowed down my rod  choices to either the St Croix Avid X or Fenwick Aetos. Now, just trying to determine power n speed of rod... Would greatly welcome and appreciate any thoughts, insights or personal experience...  Thanks!  Mike

It's gonna come down to the size of fish you target and area you fish. Being Ontario angler we have big bad smallies and I found a ml extra fast drop shot rod wasn't making the cut. I was loosing way to many big fish. I switch to a gloomis med xf and I hardly loose any. My ml xf set up is basically for smaller profile baits like trd or spy baits. I have a 7' med fast for pretty much everything else, wacky, neko, tubes, small swimbaits. 

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If you want an accurate answer then we need accurate inputs.  What does that really mean, i would ask what the real power in grams each rod has and the line/hook combination along with the cover your facing and your fishing style.  No plain answer will really cover your question but generalities can be used.  A st croix mlxf will have in general the power of any other manufacturers medium.  So in that case it might almost be a direct or very close power comparison.  I fish a fenwick mlxf that has good power and compared to my 702 dobyns champion i would say is a much better choice for dropshot and weightless 5" stick worms.  Your stated tactics have some very different power requirements based on how you rig them.  Is this a weedless tube or exposed on a standard jig head.  Are we deep water fishing or target fishing.  I would be comfortable saying a 7' medium power st croix spinning rod would cover you in the power department but i have no idea if the rod would load properly for a good cast.  if I were looking xf speed i would be gunning for a longer rod to help casting and a good tip.  The tip is not described at all in rod statistics but is very important for casting ability.  Seemingly simple questions are not always simple

 

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2 hours ago, ChrisD46 said:

Dobyns 702SF (ML / F) versus 703SF (M / F) : Dobyns has nice suggested primary and secondary applications for their ML & M action spinning rods for comparison and consideration ... Many good comments here  on Dobyns rods for finesse applications .

What he said. I own two Dobyns fury’s 702 and 703 and haven’t found a finesse technique I can’t do with these rods. The 703 is also good for light finesse jigs and senkos

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All the terms are too subjective for raw analysis. Best you can hope for is to find someone with hands on with both models. Barring that, if you can handle either prior to purchasing I'd do that. On the water performance is the only true barometer. 

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On 1/9/2019 at 1:09 PM, McMike`` said:

What would likely be the benefits or  concerns I should be aware of for this scenario... Med/Fast vs MedLight/ExFast. Both rods are closely weight rated (from 1/8 to 1/2 oz), and primarily used for tubes, dropshot, ned and t-rigs... I've narrowed down my rod  choices to either the St Croix Avid X or Fenwick Aetos. Now, just trying to determine power n speed of rod... Would greatly welcome and appreciate any thoughts, insights or personal experience...  Thanks!  Mike

Some great insights, Thanks! In response to some of the comments, I realized I failed to share the general usage particulars... Most of my fishing is in waters (typically) less than 15t., with few to no weedless applications (apart from a transposed hook while fishing a Texas Rig).  I'm predominantly targeting smallmouth in the 2-6lb range (a 6lbr would be considered ginormous in these parts). This rod will be throwing 1/8 to 1/4oz finesse (mostly Ned Rig style presentations). 

 

I only thought of getting a ML/XF because I already have a couple M/F's and thought it may be a good addition cause I also own a ML (no action indicated on rod) but it lacks the sensitivity (especially for the wintertime "soft bites" that can be so hard to even detect at times), but mostly lacks the backbone for a good hook set. This new rod would basically be bumping up in rod quality by 2 typical price points for anything I own, along with the hopefully added sensitivity that comes with a higher end rod...

 

Well heck... after typing that last paragraph I may have answered my own question, at least in regards to my "power/action" dilemma... kinda like going golfing without carrying a 7 iron...LOL!  So if anyone has happened to fish BOTH the newer AVID "X" series, or the newest version (w titanium guides) Fenwick Aetos in the ML/XF,  Id love to hear from you. Thanks for your help AND indulgence... again!   Mike

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23 hours ago, Jcj90 said:

What he said. I own two Dobyns fury’s 702 and 703 and haven’t found a finesse technique I can’t do with these rods. The 703 is also good for light finesse jigs and senkos

Jc90 : I got the Dobyns (Sierra 703sf) recently for shakey head ,  senkos and light jigs (mainly) - very versatile rod . I played with a 702sf at the same time and my gosh is it a nice rod too ! ...I already have a Cabela's Ned rig ML / F rod and a Shimano drop shot rod (ML) with a great tip - however I liked that 702SF so much it will be the next rod I buy for sure as it is such a nice rod for finesse . *Buy once cry once - launder money away from your wife and buy the 702 AND the 703 at the same time ... Life is too short !! (lol)

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Both of my finesse rods are medium powered. I don’t like feeling underpowered and they are more versatile. The light wire hooks I use are a bit on the stouter side.

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On 1/9/2019 at 12:09 PM, McMike`` said:

Med/Fast vs MedLight/ExFast.

My finesse rig splits the difference - ML/F

 

It's a spinning setup so I don't know how much that'll affect your choice.

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All rod power and actions are not created equal. Opinions might get you close but you have to get to a place that has a good selection and feel them for yourself. You’ll get close in the shop to find what you are after. The water will be the true test but you’ll be satisfied if you are satisfied at the shop. Good luck. 

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