The 10-Foot Rod Debate

Fishing Reels, Fishing Rods, and Casting Videos
We asked top bass pros what they thought about using extra-long fishing rods. Wow! We didn't expect THESE answers! Post a comment below after watching this one. We want to know YOUR thoughts!

Glenn: Hey, folks, Glenn May here at, and today I'm asking the Elite Pros questions that you submitted on our forums. Let's see what they have to say.

This comes from Keith Hatch from Abington, Massachusetts. He says, "What, if any impact, will the new 10-foot rod length have on techniques? And will you be using any of those rods?”

Chris Zaldain: That's a good question, and Skeet Reese was the biggest proponent of that rule change. You know, I was out on a lake the other day, where the fish were way... I call them tules, or were way back in the reeds. And it's really hard to take a standard 7.5-foot or even an 8-foot flipping stick, or a pitching stick and pitch what, you know, 20, 30 feet back into that stuff. If you have a 10-foot rod, you could literally old school flip, like crappie fishing, and flip that jig way back in that stuff. And when that fish bites, you have a more upwards hook set, instead of, you know, a side, or if you've got a small pitching stick, 7.5-foot or 8-foot rod, you don't get the hook penetration like you would with the 10-foot flipping stick. So I think that's the biggest impact.

We had a tournament early in the year where a Float n Fly could have played, but I think the biggest impact would absolutely be flipping.

A secondary note on that one, maybe deep cranking, we go to some of these lakes in Tennessee, Alabama, where these giant, giant deep-diving crankbaits play. You know, eight feet, an eight-foot rod isn't enough for those giant running crankbaits. I mean, the longer the rod...think of it like surf fishing. The longer the rod, the longer the cast, the deeper that crankbait's gonna go. And that's what you want when you're deep cranking.

Glenn: This is from Keith Hatch, from Abington, Massachusetts. He says, "What, if any impact, will the new 10-foot rod length have on techniques, and will you be using any?"

Justin Lucas: Zero. I just don't see it, you know. I mean, I'm not a big guy, but I can feel it in my arm, you know at 30 years old after using seven and a half footers all day. I have zero intention to use a 10-foot rod, or 9-foot, any of that. I think it might have just been put out there in the off-season for something to talk about. Who cares?

Glenn: Even if it gives you like extra casting distance or anything?

Justin: Don't care. I don't care. I can cast far enough with the equipment that I use. Not interested in using anything longer than eight foot.

Glenn: Can you be honest with me?

Justin: What's that?

Glenn: I'm just kidding.

Justin: Oh, yeah, yeah. I'm telling you straight up.

Glenn: Be frank, man. 

Justin: I mean, yeah, you know, I used a nine and a half footer, prototype, for a Float n Fly, but that's really something we're never gonna use in a...You know, I was just testing the rod out. We're never gonna use that in a tournament. If I was a Float n Fly guy all the time, sure, I'd probably use a nine and a half footer, but I wanna use what makes me most efficient. And if I'm using something that doesn't make me comfortable and efficient on the water, then no sense in using it. 


Justin: I'll be honest with you. I'm not trying to BS with anybody around here. It's all good. 

Glenn: What if any impact, will the new 10-foot rod length have on techniques, and will you be using any of those rods this season?

Brandon Palaniuk: You know, that's a question that's really came up a lot of times since that rule's been changed from the 8 foot to 10 foot, and for me it does not apply as much as people thought it would. You know, a lot of guys thought, "Oh man, having a 10-foot flipping stick would be great," but when you really think about it, speed is as much of a factor as having leverage in a flipping bite. You know, you gotta be quick on that hook set, and the longer that rod you go, the less speed you're gonna have. And the less accuracy you're gonna have. Yes, you're gonna gain more leverage, but it's also gonna become more tip heavy, so you're gonna have to balance that rod to keep it sensitive. And then you have overall weight, and you're gonna have more strain on your body throughout the day, so there's only a very few techniques where I see that being a big player. 

One, possibly a big, large swimbait, you know, seven, eight, nine-inch swimbait-type of stuff, where you need the extra rod to throw that bigger bait and get the leverage. Or possibly deep crankbait, just to gain a longer cast…really is all you’re gaining there. That's really the only techniques that I found where I feel like a longer than eight-foot rod is going to apply.

Glenn: Do you think physique comes into play here? If you're like a really tall guy, say 6'5", 6'6", he might feel more comfortable with a rod that long, versus, well, guys like us who are a little shorter, right?

Brandon: I think they're probably more comfortable with it and can get away with it a little bit more, but I still don't see the advantages of it. You know, just because a guy is seven foot tall, doesn't mean that he can set the hook any quicker than a guy that's five foot tall. You know, so, from a flipping aspect, I don't see the advantages yet, but like I said, there's a certain technique that it could possibly come into play.

Glenn: And will you be using any 10-foot rods at all?

Jason Christie: I won't be this event. I think 10 foot is pushing it, but I think we can see a lot of 8 to 9 footers. I think you can know, I'd like to see an eight and a half cranking rod, maybe an eight and a half swimbait rod, you know. Just some of the bigger, long cast techniques, you're gonna see maybe some bigger rods.

And the one thing I'd like to see, for Falcon, honestly is maybe like an eight and a half foot-spinning rod. Almost like a fly rod, you know, where you can make those long casts, and more importantly, when you get that wild, crazy fish on, you have a lot of rod just to let him fight and stuff like that. But, I think, like I said, I think you'll see a lot more of the 8 to 9, than the 9 to 10.

Glenn: Do you think the boat manufacturers are gonna change if this becomes a popular trend?

Jason: Well, it's hard to change a boat, you know. Add two foot to every rod locker, but, you know, I think I can get a nine in mine now. So, I think what'll happen before the boats change, one is they're gonna make sure that those rods are here to stay, a 10-foot rod. And I think what'll happen is, those people that make that are probably gonna have to make a telescopic rod. You know, where it’ll fit in the rod lockers, and, you know, I...

Glenn: Because not everybody's gonna go out and buy a new boat just because they're getting a new rod. 

Jason: Exactly. I mean, not everybody has that kind of money. But I think you'll see some, you know. And it's good for the industry. It's good for the rod manufacturers. It gives them, you know, another avenue, you know, to build some rods. And I don't think it'll be great demand, but I think you'll see some guys...I'm actually kind of surprised in the first two tournaments, you know, going to Okeechobee and having a big flipping event and then going, starting on that Smallmouth, that we didn't see a couple nine foot, nine and a half-foot rods. I'm sure they were out there, but, you know, didn't see it on the show or anything. 

Glenn: But you won't be using any this season?

Jason: I won't be using any. I can't say this season, but I won't be using it this event. Yeah, you know, I don't think we are gonna have any deep cranking events, but we get up there to those Smallmouth venues, and you know, my boat wrap is Falcon rods, and I wouldn't be surprised if there's not a big spinning rod in the boat by then.

Gerald Swindle: It will have zero impact, and I will never be fishing a 10-foot rod. It's absolutely the most hideous think I ever heard in my life.

Glenn: Why is that?

Gerald: Who's big enough to throw a 10-foot rod? How do you ship it? Where do you store it? How do you lip a fish with a 10-foot rod? Nobody's thought about that. You got the reel down here, and the fish is way out there. It's not what we're accustomed to. I think maybe on paper it might have looked good, but it's not gonna be in my boat. I'm very comfortable with a 7.5 or 7'10" or something, but I think when you get to 10-foot, man, you're just doing something that’s a novelty item.

Glenn: I have to agree. My longest rod’s 7'11", and that's kind of a beast.

Gerald: Yeah, I mean it...because the rods are so much higher quality. You can get a 7 foot 10 rod with the same backbone. They say, "Well, maybe you could cast farther." I can cast plenty far enough with a 7'10", you know. I get tired of reeling that cast in anyway. Why would I want to throw it any farther?

Glenn: Yeah.

Gerald: So, it's not gonna make a difference.

Kevin VanDam: Well, it is definitely gonna have an impact. I can tell you. Already, I have a new cranking rod coming from Quantum, and it's not 10 foot, but it is 9. And I've actually used a laser range finder to mark the distance, you know, of different crankbaits with it, so. We're really gonna use this for the really big crankbaits, like a 10XD. You know, I took a 10XD and with my current 7'11" Quantum Tour KVD Cranking Rod, my longest cast was 75 yards with that, with a Quantum 200 series reel, 17 pound fluorocarbon on it. I took this new 9-foot rod and it improved my distance to 85 yards. So I get an extra 10 yards. That bait, that's another three, four feet of depth on a cast. So that's a big, big deal.

So, you know, for deep cranking, for heavy flipping applications and I'm gonna tell you too, I've got a spinning rod for Great Lakes Smallmouth-fishing. It's just gonna really increase your casting distance, your control and power on your hook sets and things like that. So, they are definitely gonna play in a lot of situations. They're very specialized, but for certain techniques, they're gonna be a very important tool.

Glenn: You have one on your boat now?

Kevin VanDam: I do not. I'm not planning on doing that this week right here. And that's the challenging thing with the 9 or 10-foot rod, is being able to store it.

Glenn: Right.

Kevin VanDam: So, you know, I don't have any of the long rods with me this week at the Classic.

Glenn: But if the need arises, you can bet there'll be one on your deck.

Kevin VanDam: Next month, when it gets hot, and cranking season really starts, we'll have a full arsenal.

Glenn: And there you have it. Great questions from the pros answering your questions that were submitted on the forums on For more videos like this, check out our YouTube channel, or visit