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'Light' Pitching Baitcasting Rod

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Yesterday, I had a huge blue cat grab my structure bug, and dive under my yak; I didn't react quick enough and snapped my favorite rod: Fenwick Elite Tech Smallmouth 6'10 MF 1/8-5/8.  I nearly cried.  Now, I get to shop.  I called it light pitching, but not at all BFS

 

That ETSM had the perfect action for 1/16 to 1/8 Rage rigged plastics; the handle was shorter than average which made it a perfect kayak rod; the reel seat was problematic, but nothing I couldn't work around.   Typically, I used 20# braid for this rod.  Unfortunately, Fenwick quit this line years ago. 

 

I have two other rods rated identically, but they fish very different: Rage, that has a slower tip and fishes traps and squarebills like a champ, and a Fantasista with a stiff tip that works for jerkbaits and walkers, but is not nearly as accurate for pitching as the ETSM was. 

 

If you have a baitcaster that you use and love for light plastics; target casting, please let me know why you'd recommend it.  I haven't established a budget yet, but I'm unlikely to go very far north of $200.....way south would be better....I think that ETSM cost me about $80 five or six years ago. 

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Zodias 1610ML maybe?  I have one and it is a fine rod for lightly weighted plastics.  It's a 6'10" ML casting rod that fishes slightly heavier than most ML rods.  I like it for 4 inch Senkos and 1/8 weights with small plastics.  It handles 1/4 oz hardbaits well too.  They are a little hard to find but I got mine from The Tackle Trap.

 

Edit: I did a lot of dock skipping with it but replaced it with a Daiwa Steez Skyray rod to pair to the Daiwa Alphas SV I was using.  The Skyray is way lighter but the taper of both rods are very similar.  The 1610ML Zodias did a good job as a finesse dock skipper rod.  It has a lot of power for a ML.

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That sucks man, I have a pair if the ET Smallmouth MH/F rods and I wish I had two more, they are great rods and their short handles are perfect for kayak use.  

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6 minutes ago, BaitFinesse said:

Zodias 1610ML maybe?  I have one and it is a fine rod for lightly weighted plastics.  It's a 6'10" ML casting rod that fishes slightly heavier than most ML rods.  I like it for 4 inch Senkos and 1/8 weights with small plastics.  It handles 1/4 oz hardbaits well too.  They are a little hard to find but I got mine from The Tackle Trap.

 

Edit: I did a lot of dock skipping with it but replaced it with a Daiwa Steez Skyray rod to pair to the Daiwa Alphas SV I was using.  The Skyray is way lighter but the taper of both rods are very similar.  The 1610ML Zodias did a good job as a finesse dock skipper rod.  It has a lot of power for a ML.

Thanks.  I'll look at the Zodias. 

 

Man.....I wasn't even thinking about the skipping.....that was, by far, my best skipping rod..

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I would have cried too.

 

Is the Rage an MF also? I would have suggested an MF premier, but if you think the tip on the rage is too slow, the premier is probably more so.  The best choice for similar action may just be one of the newer fenwicks, ETB or Aetos lines, if you don't mind the longer handle.

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If you are looking for short handles, try and find one of the old Loomis Classic Bass and MBR rods.  Most of my kayak arsenal is made up of them.  Great versatile power/taper combos and nice short handles.   

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Kistler Helium 3 Light Medium Heavy.  Anywhere from 6' 8" to 7' 3" 

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2 minutes ago, dave said:

Kistler Helium Light Medium Heavy.  Anywhere from 6' 8" to 7' 3" 

I’d recommend the same but even with a sale it’s a bit over the Ops budget. 

 

Id check out the newest Tatula series with cork grips given your budget. Heard great things about them but no personal experience. 

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7 minutes ago, kschultz76 said:

I’d recommend the same but even with a sale it’s a bit over the Ops budget. 

 

Id check out the newest Tatula series wit h cork grips given your budget. Heard great things about them but no personal experience. 

He and I are close by.  I bet if he was able test drive my 6' 9" HE3 LMH,  the budget may change a bit...

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You're probably right, @dave.  I absolutely love my MHXF HE3 jig rod.  We ought to get together some time.

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Lews makes a 5'9 medium heavy tp-1 speed stick. Although I dont have experience with this exact rod, ive had a few of the other lengths and tapers and have been satisfied.

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I use a medium action 6foot rod gander mountain advantage series. with 12lb mono and a revo s reel to pitch all the time. Its my lightweight pitching setup wheb cover isn't heavy...i can pitch all day no fatigue and the rod was only like 30 bucks. I love it.  EVERYONE WENT AWAY FROM SHORT RODS BUT MAN THEY SURE FISH GOOD. Specially with the new rod materials .  i get great hooksets. And the shorter length really helps with fatigue.

Also they are easier to swing with trees overhead or tight spaces. Another plus. I recommend you find a 6foot rod of your choice and try it...the revo S is the best light cheap comfortable baitcaster.. YOU DO NOT NEED 7 FOOT PLUS RODS ALL THE TIME TRUST ME.   

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@dave, thanks for the suggestion!  I blew up the budget and got the 6'8" LMH HE3.  Broke it in yesterday and absolutely love it.  It is exactly what I wanted....casts beautifully, feather-lite, with surprising backbone, skips like a dream.  That tip is crazy-perfect.  Cast flex is just right for the weights I wanted to use it with -- but will snap a hookset perfectly

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I'd cry too. My 6' 10" MF Smallmouth is currently my favorite MF rod.  I do have a couple new rods (different brands obviously) to try.  The Smallmouth series rods were way under priced.

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I’d look at the Tatula 6’10 MH/F or the Zodias 6’10 M/F. If you wanted to spend a bit more the Expride 6’10 M/F would be excellent. 

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