I had the opportunity to fish with Dave McKenna from Douglas Outdoors and try out some of their bass fishing rods for the first time. We took the day to fish in Lake Mohawk of Sparta NJ a 800 acre private lake filled with largemouth, smallmouth, pickerel and hybrid striped bass. Our strategy was to locate and find some of the bigger fall bass with football jigs. Being the air temperature had recently dropped to its lowest temp of the year we knew it could be a tough bite to locate. Not only did we have the severe temperature change we were battling 13 – 15 mph winds from the south.
Dave set me up with a 6’8 Douglas LRS C685XF medium heavy fast action casting rod and the LRS C715F medium heavy fast action casting rod. The first advantage i noticed about the rods was the sensitivity to help feel the bottom and structure. This was extremely helpful especially with the high winds and deep structure we were targeting. I credit the rod to helping land a quick hookset on a soft bite from a smaller bass while swimming the jig over a rock wall about 12ft down. The sensitive tip allowed me to determine the bite and give a quick hookset to land that specific bass. It is difficult to find a jigging rod that is sensitive, but has enough backbone for a deep hookset. The LRS X-fast rod gave me both!
As an avid bass fisherman finding quality rods at an affordable price is not always easy. One thing I always say is “maybe I do have more fishing poles than my wife has shoes but every rod as a purpose.” You need the right rod to fish a bait correctly. The Douglas rods we fished delivered the key characteristics of a top level rod at a mid level price point. The LRS series includes top grade components and reel seats that are extremely comfortable and ergonomic. I loved the detail and construction put into the guides to help keep them from bending or breaking when traveling or storing in your rod locker. Also there were significantly more guides on all their rods compared the other rods I use regularly. Their attention to detail and craftsmanship separates Douglas LRS rods from others in their class.
We also got a chance to test their spinning rods The LRS S6103F specifically to try a little drop shot action. Although the drop shot was not successful at catching fish the rod was no disappointment. The comfort and sensitivity helped control the bait and bounce it off rocks and hard bottom even though we were being pushed all over by the wind. One aspect of the spinning rod that stood out to me is the comfort of the handle.
All the rod combinations and applications used that day, the consistency of comfort, durability and sensitivity was outstanding. It is tough to find all those characteristics in a rod for under $200 but the LRS series delivers. I am looking forward to trying their DXS series rods and to see what they have to offer. When looking for a new fishing rod or multiple rods that won’t break the bank but deliver tremendous quality Douglas rods is a great choice.
Click here to check out the rods from Douglas.
WHAT IS IT?
LiveTarget Hollow Body Craw
WHAT SETS IT APART?
It’s a craw bait that looks amazingly close to the real thing. Known for ultra-authentic designs, LiveTarget gave this craw a hollow head and midsection with a set of hollow pinchers that create a snag-resistant profile. An extra strong hook is anchored by the weighted abdomen sculpted to resemble a craw’s tucked-under tail. With the hook eye situated atop this abdomen section, retrieves pull the Hollow Body Craw in a natural reverse orientation. The bait’s pinchers and silicone skirt flare upward to mimic a craw on high alert.
HOW DO I USE IT?
The Hollow Body Craw’s internal jig head weight attracts fish with it’s tapping, clicking, and clacking sounds. For greater appeal, the body accommodates inserted rattle tubes, as well as scent paste. Sizes 1 1/2-inch (1/2-ounce), 1 3/4-inch (5/8-ounce) and 2-inch (3/4-ounce). Eight color schemes (725 Grey/Brown, 723 Natural/Brown, 144 Brown/Red, 306 Red, 145 Olive/Orange, 146 Green Chartreuse, 147 Mud/Blue, and 148 Junebug/Chartreuse), allow anglers to match regional and molting variations.
$9.99-$11.49 (Includes one fully assembled body and one spare pincer.)
So much of what we flip and pitch is intended to mimic the popular freshwater crustaceans, but doing so has typically required pairing bait with weight and hook, or bait with jig. This bait simplifies the operation with a streamlined package that falls and flees with a fish-fooling ruse. Effective for rock/shell bottom, as well as heavy cover, this one should interest largemouth and smallmouth bass.
WHAT IS IT?
Yeti Panga Waterproof Backpack 28
WHAT SETS IT APART?
Yeti expands its lineup of durable, submersible gear bags with the introduction of a spacious backpack built to protect your belongings from dunks and downpours. DryHaul Straps and QuckGrab Lash Points on the sides and top make for easy transportation, while a removable chest strap and waist belt offer added stability when you need it. Yeti’s high-density, puncture- and abrasion-resistant ThickSkin Shell and HydroLok Zipper fend off the elements, while an interior sleeve and mesh stowaway pocket allow for easy access and organization.
HOW DO I USE IT?
Measuring 12 1/2 inches long, 7 inches wide and 20 inches high, the Backpack 28 offers 1,700 cubic inches of storage space. The Backpack 28 sits upright, thanks to its flat bottom edge, while maintaining a streamlined shape. Both points promote convenient storage in your tackle room in the tow vehicle, along with a dependable and spill-free posture on your boat deck. The Backpack 28 has no exterior pockets or secondary compartments, but attaching the optional Yeti Sidekick Dry, which easily connects via hook-and-loop straps to the HitchPoint Grid, adds a dedicated waterproof space for valuables and smaller items — all protected by a magnetic Hydroshield Closure.
Yeti proved its design prowess by blending a comfortable form with real-world function. From transporting tackle and graphs from the truck, to neatly storing foul weather gear and a change of clothes, to fishing on foot with a day’s stock of snacks and essentials; the backpack form made with Yeti’s dependable material will handle an array of fishing needs. This pack also makes a handy carry-on bag for flights to/from your angling destination.