Growing up, I was crazy about catching bass. Right up until I went off to college, I’d be out fishing every chance I got. As the years went on, I drifted away from bass angling. I mean, if I caught one when I was fishing for something else, it was cool, but I just wasn’t excited about it. Then a few years ago, I caught the bug again. My friends got me back to targeting bass, but the real driving force is my son. He gets more excited than I ever did when he catches a bass of any size. His enthusiasm got me gearing up for bass and I have to admit, I’m really enjoying fishing for bucket mouths.

Bass fishing gear has come a long way in those years and that is helping boost the enjoyment factor even more. The rods are light years better than what I was using just a few years ago. My new favorite bass rod is the Fenwick Elite Tech Bass casting rod. I used to go at the fish with a “shock and awe” strategy. Lately I’ve done way better with a more finesse type presentation. The Fenwick is the perfect rod for this type of fishing.

Specs

  • Length: 7 feet
  • Power: Medium
  • Action: Fast
  • Lure rating: 3/8-5/8oz
  • Line rating: 8-14lb.
  • Weight: 4.37oz.
  • Guides: 9
  • MSRP: $149.95

The seven-footer

I selected the seven-foot rod. There are two characteristics that are important when selecting a fishing rod—action and power. The action of a rod refers to the blank and how quickly the rod will return to zero when bent. I went with a fast action that has more flex yet retains sensitivity. After a hookup, the more flex gives me a better fight with the fish. The length of the rod combined with the fast action means I can feel every nuance of the presentation and battle, yet still have enough “oomph” in the rod to pull a big bass out of the weeds.

One of the great features of the rod is its slim, well-thought-out handle. It gives you feel and control, two of the main things I look for in a fishing pole.
One of the great features of the rod is its slim, well-thought-out handle. It gives you feel and control, two of the main things I look for in a fishing pole.

So if the fast action is the rod’s reaction to flexing, the power refers to the rod’s resistance to that flex. A lot of guys go with a heavy power rod for bass, but for this rod, I wanted a medium power rod blank. I think a medium power blank lets the fast action help bring fish to the boat with as little trauma to the fish, but the most enjoyment to me. This is an area the Fenwick Elite Tech Bass rod excels.

Can you handle this?

One of the standout features of the rod is the TAC handle. One of the many things I am happy to see developing in the fishing industry is an understanding that huge-handled fishing rods don’t work. I want a sure grip so I know the rod is going to stay in my hand, and I want to feel what’s going on. Fenwick blended different types of cork and other materials, as well as keeping my hand connected with the blank in the right spots to combine for a great handle that expands the control and balance of the rod when fished.

Even at seven feet in length, the Fenwick is extremely castable. Its light weight doesn’t fatigue on long days on the lake.
Even at seven feet in length, the Fenwick is extremely castable. Its light weight doesn’t fatigue on long days on the lake.

I got exposed to Titainium line guides a few years ago and have come to really like them. Not only are they compact and light, they are also virtually indestructible, something that is pretty important in my household. While I do love that it is a one-piece rod, part of me wishes it was a two-piece, just so there was a reduced chance of breaking it in my garage. I can’t tell you how many times my wife has accidentally broken one of my fishing rods. She has a taste for the expensive ones, too. It’s an accident though, I’m sure. I mean, she wouldn’t do that to me, right?

When it came time to select a reel for the rod, I had a few particular things in mind. Of course, then I had to hand over my credit card to my wife. Then, one day, I happened to get an email with a “Catch of the Week” deal from Bass Pro Shops with their Extreme Baitcast reel. I have some experience with these reels on other rods and have been pretty happy, so it wasn’t a hard decision. Besides, my wife loves their clothes, so I let her shop too. Ok, she was shopping and she let me buy the reel. The 6.3:1 gear ration, low profile design and 6+1 bearings make it a great choice for the Fenwick. I spooled it up with some 10-pound Berkley IronSilk line.

Why did I have to let my buddy take a few casts with my new rod? And why did this have to be the only picture to make it off the lake that day? I may never live this down. At least he’s probably going to buy his own Elite Tech Bass rod.
Why did I have to let my buddy take a few casts with my new rod? And why did this have to be the only picture to make it off the lake that day? I may never live this down. At least he’s probably going to buy his own Elite Tech Bass rod.

For my first serious fishing trip this year with the Fenwick, I went out with my good friend Josh, who happens to manage a fishing lodge. He took a few casts with the Elite Tech Bass rod and agreed that it is very well balanced and extremely sensitive. It is one of those special rods that you can really feel what’s going on at the business end. As it would happen too, he caught a decent bass on my rod. Adding salt to that wound was the added stress of dead camera batteries for the fish I caught after he brought one to the boat. I doubt I’ll live it down this summer, but it’s worth it.

Images by Derrek Sigler

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