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3 rods reviewed / 1 reel

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After picking your brains for rod selections I recently bought three new rods. For what it's worth here's what I think about them. Everything is in my amateur opinion, what I like you may not, and what I think you may disagree with.

St. Croix Avid 6'9 medium-lite / extra-fast drop shot specific rod:

Can't say enough good things about this rod for drop-shotting. The sensitivity is amazing. It really added to my ability to read various pulls, taps and bumps on the line. It wasn't difficult to tell what was happening to my rig, and translated to what I believe was a better ability to read and react to some hard-to-discern strikes that I commonly have with this technique. It loads up well and added good casting distance for me. The rod balanced really well with my browning midas reel and was really nice to fish with, I'm a big fan of the rear handle length too. I honestly believe that I caught more fish than I would have because of the added sensitivity. If you've been toying with the idea of buying a drop-shotting rod, I'd say this is a very very good choice, especially at the current sale prices.

St. Croix Avid 6'8 medium / extra-fast

RW said these were good. He is right. This is the best all-around spinning rod I own now. Paired with a stradic, this will be my new go-to spinning combo. They're good rods, that's it. If you can still find one on sale and can spend the money, you won't be disappointed. The avid is a jump up from most of the rods in this price range I think.

Team Daiwa light and tough 7' heavy / tough TL-701-5RB worming/jiggingAfter posting some questions about similar rods, I went to BPS and Cabelas and just handled the two I had in mind. Ultimately, this came out the winner. I like that this one has a split grip. The reel seat has a good section of exposed blank as well that adds feeling for a rod this heavy. The handle has a good contour to it that feels really comfortable while palming. The rod is truly light for it's power. It's easily the heaviest powered, (read: stiffest) rod I have but the tip action picked up and fished a 3/8 once jig really well. In the common man's terms, I didn't sacrifice any sensitivity/responsiveness from going to a M/H to a H overall. I've yet to C-rig with this one (it'll be pulling double duty for me, overall it's my jig rod) but don't see it falling short for what I like in that technique. I think it's common sometimes for people to stay brand loyal to company A on this forum even if company A's rod isn't as good as company B's in some cases, but all the folks who said that these were a great value at $120 were right. I loved it after the first pitch. Speaking of, I don't know if I just fooled myself or what but I feel like the rod actually added some distance to my pitching ability as well. Maybe it's just better balanced, or it's the handle contour in my hand? Very happy with the purchase, would suggest it to others for sure.

Okuma Aveon AE20 spinning reel

After getting one of these from Okuma for a tournament give-away, I decided to buy one for myself. Lighter than what I'm used to using as I usually throw something a size up, but I didn't lose anything with the smaller size. Comparable to my Stradic, maybe, just maybe, a bit better overall. Absolutely no backplay. This reel casts a long way. It was spooled with #6 Yo-Zuri ultra soft and I was throwing a fluke. My initial reaction was actual suprise at how far it cast. Easily farther than my browning or shimano. Played fish well and has a smooth action to it. Good drag. On the spin-the-handle-see-how-far-it-keeps-spinning-on-its-own-test it fared pretty well, though not a smooth as my other two (however that translates to you). I like it, I plan on using it full time. Worth what they're asking.

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Nice review.

The reason I post on this is the spin-the-handle-test.  I think that might be a prerequisite when buying a reel.

Baitcasters, I will disengage the thumb bar and spin that spool for all its worth.

Same with the handle on a spinning reel.

Glad to see I'm not the only one.   :)


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Good job!

Very nice review.

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