Review of Okuma Guide Select Swimbait RodsReview of Okuma Guide Select Swimbait Rods Looking for a swimbait rod to handle your big swimbaits that catch big bass? We tested this one out, and reveal the results inside.
By Jeff Howell
Search the BassResource.com forum for one of these terms, "Recommend a starter swimbait rod." "Want to throw swimbaits, what rod on a budget.” “Need a rod to handle baits that my normal gear won't.” Results are many.
Well I think I might have found the swimbait rod everyone here is looking for, and if not, one of the rods in this lineup will work. I have tested the Okuma GS-C-7111XHa for a little bit and am very impressed with it. This is the newer version of the Okuma Guide Select rods and this one is rated for baits between 2-10 ounces. I have spent the majority of the time with this rod throwing the new Savage Gear 3D Bluegill line through that weighs 4 ounces and this rod handles it well. The rod loads appropriately and makes the cast seem somewhat effortless. I have tried several different swimbaits on this rod. As you get to the lower end of the ratings, the rod doesn't seem to be as efficient, but will work. I think 3 ounces is where the rod starts to really shine.
Now let me tell you where this rod really shines! I have found the rod for the 8” Hudd. A staple in every swimbait angler’s arsenal, and a bait that has accounted for hundreds of bass greater than 10 pounds. I am starting to think, the designers of this rod took out a handful of 8” Hudds and designed a rod around it. What geniuses if this is the case! I have thrown both the ROF 12 and the ROF 16 on this rod and since then have not taken one off. Both baits are right around 5 ounces and this must be the sweet spot of this rod!
Now, I hear so many people not wanting a “technique specific” rod in their arsenal and wanting rods that can be used for multiple applications. And then you see the label on this rod as being a “swimbait rod” and that is truly what is excels at, but I think this rod would also be a nice rod for an umbrella/Alabama rig. Once you think about the weights of an A-rig with a 3/8oz head and then 3-5 different swimbait heads, plus the weights of all the plastics getting to 3 ounces is not only quite easy, but also very common. This rod will handle an A-rig for sure.
This rod is a broomstick. Do not think this rod is going to throw your 1 ounce swimbaits. This is not the rod for a 4” plastic swimbait on a 1/2oz jighead. But if you are looking for a rod to throw the big baits, that catch the big bass, this could very well be the rod for you. There are a couple other rods in this lineup for people wanting to thrown a bit smaller or even a bit larger swimbaits, so if you think this rod isn't exactly what you are looking for, make sure to check out the others as well.
For under $130 at most retail outlets, I am very impressed with the rod and even though I started this review as a rod for “starter swimbaiters” or “budget swimbaiters” I think this line of rod has proven itself over time to be a winner and many swimbaiters of all experience either already have this in their arsenal or will have them in their arsenals once they try them!
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