Ike Series Casting Rod
Lewis Creek Shooting School 07.24.15
The Mitchell name has meant quality in fishing since I was a boy. My first Mitchell was a 300 spinning reel on a Garcia rod, and I was amazed at the quality and workmanship that went into it. In those days, I didn’t have a wall of rods and reels and that Mitchell 300 was the only reel I used in freshwater during most of my boyhood years. I still have it, and it occupies a place of honor in my sunroom with other heirloom fishing tackle that belonged to Mom and Dad and a beloved uncle. In fact, that reel was a gift from my Uncle Gorrell.
It was and still is mated up to the same Garcia 2506 series rod that it came with, and it’s accounted for a lot of good fish and even better memories. I vividly remember the October day when Uncle Gorrell gave it to me on the Carolina Beach Pier. When I got a chance to test the Mitchell/Abu Garcia Ike Series rods, I instantly thought of the upcoming striped bass spawning run on the Roanoke River. Every year, I fish and guide the Roanoke during late April and May when schoolie-sized stripers make their run from the Albemarle Sound to their spawning grounds near Weldon, North Carolina. Anglers from all over the country come for the fishing, and I figured the Roanoke would be the perfect testing ground for the Ike Series Medium Heavy Casting rod.
I put an Abu 5600 C4 reel on and spooled up with Berkley Trilene Iron silk 10 pound test line. Typical fish on the Roanoke for the spawn run between three and six pounds, but much of my fishing is done with live threadfin shad. I chose the medium heavy because much of the fishing is drifting with 3/8- or 1/2-ounce bullet weight and a medium-sized shad.
I don’t choose fishing tackle based on appearance, but the Ike series rods are remarkably beautiful. The color is either a deep purple or dark teal green depending on the angle. The result is a stunningly attractive rod. Rated for 3/8-ounce to one ounce, the medium heavy Ike had backbone to spare, but is remarkably light and sensitive. This comes from the use of premium 36-ton, high-modulus graphite that allows both excellent sensitivity and lightweight performance. Guides are lightweight and well-spaced with 12 stainless guides on the 7’ 4” rod. There’s a Fuji reel seat and black foam handles.
Even though the Ike Series rod I chose was a heavy-rated rod, it was light and comfortable to fish with. There was plenty of backbone for the stripers we encountered and one of the larger breeding fish would have been easy to handle. Average catches on good days during the spawning run commonly reach 100 fish. I lost count of how many I caught over two days of fishing with the Ike, but I’m sure it was well into the dozens. I can’t wait to get it hooked up to a big redfish in the backcountry. Maybe I need to take it to Lake Charles, Louisiana for further testing.
High-quality guides, wrapping, and a Fuji reel seat spell quality. The 36-ton, high-modulus graphite construction provides a great feel combined with toughness.
Everything about the Ike rods spell long life and performance. Some of my favorite rods are Abu Garcia rods, and some have been fishing and traveling with me for 20 years and more.
With an MSRP that runs from $129 to $149, the Ike series represent great value as rods with everything you need. It’s truly a premium rod for a reasonable price.
Not only is the Ike rod attractive, it has everything needed for fishing heavy lures and baits on strong, fighting fish.