Level Fishing Rods - ICAST 2015
See the new line of fishing rods from Level Fishing, introduced at the 2015 ICAST show.
Glenn: Hey, folks, Glenn May here at BassResource.com. I'm here at the 2015 ICAST show with FLW reigning champ, Anthony Gagliardi, who's got a line of rods made exclusively from Batson Enterprise products. Anthony, you want to tell me a little bit about this?
Anthony: Well, yeah, absolutely. It's been in the works for quite a few months now. I've learned a lot about the rod-building business, I'll tell you that. It's been a lot of fun. I've learned a lot. And I feel like I've developed a rod that meets what I feel a rod needs to have. It's durable. It's a sensitive rod. It's a light rod, and it's comfortable. And I'm going to be able to offer it at a price that a lot of people can afford. So basically, you're going to be getting a full-custom rod. Each one of these rods is hand built here in the United States of America, so you're able to get a full-custom rod at a really affordable price. And pound for pound, this rod is going to probably outperform anything in its price category, so I'm really excited to get it out there.
Glenn: Well, tell me a little bit about this spinning rod here that you have. I have the spinning rod. Tell me a little bit about this.
Anthony: Yeah, absolutely. This is 7'0", and it's a 7'0" medium, a medium fast blank. This blank, this particular model would be what I would throw a shaky head -- any type of shaky head -- on. You could throw a weightless soft plastic like a fluke or a Senko. And as far as spinning rods go, this would be an all-purpose type rod for me. Seven foot, like I said, and one of the first things that you'll see when you look at this rod is the number of guides. And the more guides you can put on a rod, the better it's going to fish. It really affects how a rod fishes. So I run 12 guides, not including my tip top, and what that does is it keeps that line close to the blank. When you're loaded up on a fish, it keeps that line very close to the true arc of the blank. It allows the rod to realize the true power of that blank. So you can fish a lesser power blank and it'll actually feel stronger than a rod that has fewer guides. And it lets the line skip between the guides. It fishes a lot better. That's one of the first things that you'll notice.
And the reel seat, obviously, you can see it's a very clean and crisp reel seat. It's really comfortable on your hand. It has a soft touch grip. A lot of times you're fishing for eight hours in a day with a rod like this, it's just going to wear on you. You're going to get a little pressure points on your hand. But now I made sure when I did these rods that everything was comfortable, and the reel seats were chopped so that you don't feel any threads. And once you put a reel on here that you have a nice winding checks. You have a good transition from your reel seat down to the blank, because a lot of people are going to put their fingers, like I do, up and front of the reel seat where they're actually contacting the blank. So you have a good transition area there. It's just a super lightweight rod. It's very balanced, I could say. We got 12 guides. It fishes really good. I'm excited for people to have them. . .
Glenn: It sounds like you actually had a lot of input in this rod. You're not just sticking your name on it. You designed this for how you like to fish.
Anthony: Right, absolutely. There's a few guys out there that maybe you hear are doing something like this, but there's not a lot of pros that are actually having this much control over what they're putting out. There's not a lot of pros that actually own their own rod company like I do with Level Rods. They may endorse a certain product and they may have some say-so as far as how they want a certain thing built. But from top to bottom, from concept to the design of how I want the blank to flex, the reel seats, the grips, I have my hands in all of that for each and every single model. And I think that's really cool. I think that's unique for the rod business.
So that's one of the things that I think sets Level Rods apart is that I have 16 years of professional experience. And I've fished with a lot of rods over those years, and there are certain characteristics of rods that I liked and some that I didn't. And I've been able to pull from that experience and blend all the things that I like about a rod and get one like this that I truly feel has everything the way I want it. And that's where I am right now. I feel like I have accomplished that.
Glenn: So how many different rods do you have in your line-up right now?
Anthony: I have seven rods available right now. I have five casting models and two spinning rods. And within probably the next month or so, middle to late August, I'll add three more. I'm going to add three more casting versions. That's another thing is as much as I fish, techniques are going to change. We're going to have new techniques, new presentations. And with me being basically on the front lines of bass fishing, I'm going to be one of the first guys to see these things as they come in. And as technology changes, I'm going to see that, and so I'll be able to incorporate that into my rods seeing those. So as times change and as technology change, Level Rods will be able to change with that, and we should be at the forefront of those changes.
Glenn: Now, these sound like they're really expensive. What's the price range we're talking about here?
Anthony: Most of my casting rods are going to retail at $179. I wanted to keep it under $200. And I feel that that's a really good rod. That's a really good value at $179. The spinning rods are $189, and my flipping stick will retail at $199. So I was able to keep the whole line-up under $200, which I think, like I said, is impressive value.
Glenn: Wow, keeping it down underneath $200. Guys, if you're looking for a new rod, this is definitely within your budget. Go check them out, LevelFishingRods.com