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For many years, I carried a 5'6 med/hvy pistol grip casting rod on board. A composite rod with a slight tip flex, for fishing a Zara Spook. My old rod finally broke in June this year after many years. An older friend recently gave me an old rod he hadn't used in many years. A Fenwick 5'6 pistol grip casting rod, probably made in the early 90s. I cleaned the rod up good, swabbed the guides for grooves or nicks, and all is good. With a good cleaning, the rod looks almost new. This style of rod, though unpopular now, works excellent for fishing a Zara Spook. The shorter handle length never gets in the way when you work the lure, and the shorter rod never contacts the water, either elevated in the boat, or bank fishing. It also helps with the ages old problem many guys have with topwater lures: Jeking the bait away from a bass before he actually has the lure in his mouth, and missing fish on the hookset. The shorter rod can't take up as much slack as say a 6'6 or 7 ft rod, and can help give you those 1 or 2 seconds to. actually feel the fish before you set the hook. Hall of Famer Charlie Cambell of Forsythe Mo, is an expert with a Zara Spook. I was lucky enough to meet him many years ago at a fishing expo at BPS in Springfield Mo. He outlined his tackle for Spook fishing, and always used a 5'6 pistol grip casting rod, 14lb mono line and a high speed reel. Does anyone else like a shorter rod for Spook fishing? If not a pistol grip, than a short handle style? This fall, I'll be throwing some Spooks on my new "old" pistol grip rod. It works the best for me.

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I totally agree with you.  I have kept one just for that purpose.  I’ve known Charlie for a long time.  However, what I learned about a spook came from a little known spook guy by the name of Dean Dyrum.  He said he could do 17 different things with one.  He showed me 5 and said when I had them down that he would show me 5 more.  I only was able to get 4 of them.  I never got the fifth to work.

 

I mostly fish a lake with no vegetation and little timber so the spook isn’t real productive there so I have about quit using it.

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I use a 6-2 Avid rod for spooks.  The rear grip is not much longer than a pistol grip.  I had a BPS Bionic Blade from the early 90s that was 6' and had a sweet cork pistol grip with the power bump.  I NEVER should have sold that rod.

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50 minutes ago, J Francho said:

I use a 6-2 Avid rod for spooks.  The rear grip is not much longer than a pistol grip.  I had a BPS Bionic Blade from the early 90s that was 6' and had a sweet cork pistol grip with the power bump.  I NEVER should have sold that rod.

I just bought a 5'6" Bionic Blade the other day from a lady selling rods on Craigslist.  $3.  Cleaned up the cork, added wood filler, and lighted sanded the excess.  Looks new!

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I have a 5'6" Bionic Blade that I haven't used in years but I don't throw topwaters as much as I should. I agree it is a good rod for these type baits. I guess I need to get mine out and start using it again.

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I just dug mine out and put a spare Curado on it.  I leave Sunday for a week long fishing trip.  With it rigged and in the boat surely I will use it some.

 

Mo thanks for the journey down memory lane.

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Having learned to cast in the 70's, I still prefer a pistol grip except when doing techniques when I need to bomb the casts and want to use two hands.  I use pistol grip rods for topwaters, squarebills, spinnerbaits, its just a matter of preferring the different feel.

 

Bass Pro Shops Bionic blade is one of the few rods that still offer a pistol grip.

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I'm not a fan of the pistol grips, or as I call them "wrist killers".  I agree with using shorter rods for throwing spooks & other walking baits, because I'm not slapping the water or the side of the boat as much.  I use shorter, straight handled rods.  I have a couple of old Mitchell Fulcrums on the bench right now, 5'9" and 6".  My current favorite is a close out from Academy, a 6' All Star Top Water Special.  All the benefits of the pistol grip, with the benefits of two handed casting available - overhead for distance and/or  two handed side arm or roll casts.  I have a few of the older pistol grips, but just so that I can say, "Yep, I got a few of those old rods." and not that I'd ever use them seriously.

Begs the question, "If you don't like the pistol grips so much, what are you doing with several of them?"   Well, hey, in my youth, rod options aren't what they are now, AND my wrists didn't hurt after a short while of fishing with the pistol grips, so I used them.  I used them for cranks , spinnerbaits, worms, whatever.. .  These days, I got better rods, more suited to each approach.

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10 minutes ago, Fishes in trees said:

I'm not a fan of the pistol grips, or as I call them "wrist killers".  I agree with using shorter rods for throwing spooks & other walking baits, because I'm not slapping the water or the side of the boat as much.  I use shorter, straight handled rods.  I have a couple of old Mitchell Fulcrums on the bench right now, 5'9" and 6".  My current favorite is a close out from Academy, a 6' All Star Top Water Special.  All the benefits of the pistol grip, with the benefits of two handed casting available - overhead for distance and/or  two handed side arm or roll casts.  I have a few of the older pistol grips, but just so that I can say, "Yep, I got a few of those old rods." and not that I'd ever use them seriously.

Begs the question, "If you don't like the pistol grips so much, what are you doing with several of them?"   Well, hey, in my youth, rod options aren't what they are now, AND my wrists didn't hurt after a short while of fishing with the pistol grips, so I used them.  I used them for cranks , spinnerbaits, worms, whatever.. .  These days, I got better rods, more suited to each approach.

I've heard other guys complain about wrist, forearm pain etc. Luckily I've never had any using this handle style

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Oh heck yeah . I still have three 5'6" original Lightning rods , so if you need one I have it . I dont throw Spooks much but when I do , thats the rod . Those short rods are so much easier to walk the dog with and todays handles are too long for me . I have taken a hack saw to a handle . 

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own 2 relatively old ones ... from bps ... 

 

great for when in a jon boat and you need to skip a lure under some tree branches or a pier or dock ... have a spincast on it ... and of course a baitcaster ...

 

they are accurate and good leverage ... med. and mh ... 5'6" and 6' respectively ...

 

good fishing ...

 

Image result for bass pro shops pistol grip rods

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I have an old Falcon 5'6" medium glass rod that I dearly love. I put my Shimano SLX on it with 12lb test and I use it for topwaters and small crankbaits/squarebills. I hadn't used one in a really long time, but was pleasantly surprised at how it loaded up and tossed a baby torpedo. Yes, my wrist felt it, btw. 

 

 

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Should you run into a jam again I’m pretty sure I have a couple stashed overhead in the basement from many moons ago. Maybe older than what you are using. Most likely a BPS Rods you can have. My grandsons just put a zebco closed gave on one of them. 

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7 hours ago, J Francho said:

I use a 6-2 Avid rod for spooks.  The rear grip is not much longer than a pistol grip.  I had a BPS Bionic Blade from the early 90s that was 6' and had a sweet cork pistol grip with the power bump.  I NEVER should have sold that rod.

I have one, It's one of my popper rods. I'm not as fuzzy on spook rods as I am on poppers. I usually find a 6'6" I like the action on and cut a couple of inches off teh handle.

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I want to learn to skip with a casting reel.  My next purchase is going to be a Tatula SV.  I've heard they are great for that .  I have two pistol grip rods that I honestly haven't used in years, but I was thinking a pistol grip would be good for the skipping technique as well.  Anyone use one for that?

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2 hours ago, Timberwolf530 said:

I want to learn to skip with a casting reel.  My next purchase is going to be a Tatula SV.  I've heard they are great for that .  I have two pistol grip rods that I honestly haven't used in years, but I was thinking a pistol grip would be good for the skipping technique as well.  Anyone use one for that?

Man, I can skip with every casting reel I own. Just practice.

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8 hours ago, OCdockskipper said:

Having learned to cast in the 70's, I still prefer a pistol grip except when doing techniques when I need to bomb the casts and want to use two hands.  I use pistol grip rods for topwaters, squarebills, spinnerbaits, its just a matter of preferring the different feel.

 

Bass Pro Shops Bionic blade is one of the few rods that still offer a pistol grip.

I checked the BPS website today. They no longer have a 5'6" Bionic Blade rod listed. I won't be buying anymore of them. They ruined them with the split grip handle as far as I'm concerned. I still use pistol grip rods in 6' for crank baits, spinner baits, and top water baits.

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I'd recommend the #1 grip found on a St. Croix casting rod: PC56MF.

 

I use a 5'6" spinning rod and this one, love them both.  

 

Brad

 

 

St Croix pistol grip.JPG

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19 hours ago, Mobasser said:

I've heard other guys complain about wrist, forearm pain etc. Luckily I've never had any using this handle style

 

It's called "Rogue Wrist"!

 

It comes from fishing a jerk bait like a Rogue with a Abu Garcia 5000/5500 on a pistol grip rod.

 

Weren't no palming back then 😉

 

I've never been a fan of pistol grips, felt like it was going to slip out ya hand.

 

I do however agree with the short rod for some scenarios. I have a BPS Spiral Pro Series 6' medium action that I've used for everything.

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1 minute ago, Catt said:

 

It's called "Rogue Wrist"!

 

It comes from fishing a jerk bait like a Rogue with a Abu Garcia 5000/5500 on a pistol grip rod.

 

Weren't no palming back then 😉

 

I've never been a fan of pistol grips, felt like it was going to slip out ya hand.

 

I do however agree with the short rod for some scenarios. I have a BPS Spiral Pro Series 6' medium action that I've used for everything.

Catt, to save a little weight, I'm running a Qauntum low profile reel instead of one of my round ABUs. Plus, I'll use this rod off and on over the course of a trip. I've never heard of Rogue wrist, but I could see how snapping the rod around for hours could make your wrist hurt

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I think Mr. Campbell fishes a spook on a pistol grip because that's what they had in the day and the shorter length.

If you've ever seen him fish one he palms the reel , and pulls the rod tip to the side. He doesn't hold the grip .

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13 minutes ago, Mobasser said:

Catt, to save a little weight, I'm running a Qauntum low profile reel instead of one of my round ABUs. Plus, I'll use this rod off and on over the course of a trip. I've never heard of Rogue wrist, but I could see how snapping the rod around for hours could make your wrist hurt

 

 

IMG_20190914_064823.jpg

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1 minute ago, rangerjockey said:

I think Mr. Campbell fishes a spook on a pistol grip because that's what they had in the day and the shorter length.

If you've ever seen him fish one he palms the reel , and pulls the rod tip to the side. He doesn't hold the grip .

Yes, that's correct. He does palm his reel so holding the rod at the reel point works good for him. I believe he still uses round ABU reels too. 

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Another thing to remember is back in the day bass boats didn't have casting decks the seats were on pedestals and sat down in the boat.

Most guys used actually fish sitting down that necessitated a short rod , today a five and a half foot Rod I think would be more of a hindrance than a help walking a spook.

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