Who would have thought picking a squarebill crankbait rod could be so detailed? I recently decided I wanted to purchase a new rod for fishing squarebill crankbaits. My dilemma was the variety of needs associated with squarebill crankbaits. A squarebill crankbait rod has to be sensitive, control a fish in cover without pulling the hooks free, and cast with pinpoint accuracy.
Squarebill Crankbait Rod – The Game Changed
The old school thought process regards crankbaits as a “chunk and wind” bait and presentation. However, the days of casting a crankbait into open water and winding them in, hoping for a strike, are over. Productive crankbait fishing, especially squarebill crankbait fishing, requires a bulldozer approach. To get the most out of a squarebill crankbait, we must crash it into cover. This crashing effect generates reaction strikes from bass which would not otherwise eat.
Manufacturers have improved snagless capabilities of squarebill crankbaits with changes in the baits lip, hook placement, and wobble. A sensitive rod helps anglers pull squarebill crankbait baits through cover and detect strikes. Setting the hook when the bait bounces into brush will almost certainly generate a hang-up. With a sensitive rod, anglers can tell the difference between limbs and a strike. Reserving hook sets for bass not snags.
Squarebill Crankbait Rod – Fiberglass or Graphite
A big battle in my mind when it comes to crankbaits of all kinds is whether I should buy a fiberglass rod or a graphite rod. Graphite is more sensitive than glass, enabling anglers to feel what the bait is doing. Graphite rods are also easier to accurately cast to cover. However, a glass rod provides a parabolic bend throughout the rod helping with distance casting and fighting bass. It’s easier to keep a bass hooked up all the way to the boat with the parabolic bend of a glass rod. The flex of a glass rod helps prevent bass from pulling the treble hooks free during surges.
Gary Dobyns, owner of Dobyns Rods, has developed a process of mixing graphite and glass to give anglers the best of both worlds. The Dobyns glass rods are a 40-60 split of graphite and glass. The butt section of the rod is graphite, and the forward 60% is glass. Gary says, “I can build a lighter and smaller diameter blank, but still have glass where it counts.” My take is this combination provides very accurate casting, is light enough to use all day, and allows for the flex necessary to prevent strong surging bass from pulling hooks free.
Squarebill Crankbait Rod – Decisions
I was unsure whether I would like glass or graphite rods, so I purchased two rods. I bought the Dobyns Champion Series 705 CB Glass and a Dobyns Champion Extreme 743C. Keep in mind the Champion Extreme 743C was not designed for squarebill crankbaits. I chose it because of the action and length. Both have been very sensitive and easy to fish. Both do extremely well when battling a bass back to the boat. The Champion 705 CB Glass has a noticeable parabolic bend compared to the graphite 743C, but neither have let me down in hookset or battle. I have found the Champion Extreme 743C is more sensitive than the Champion 705 CB Glass. However, I have not felt like I’ve missed strikes on the Champion 705 CB Glass. Casting is equal between them. However, the 705 CB Glass will cast slightly further than the Champion Extreme 743C with the same bait. The Champion Extreme 743C accuracy excels when pitching a squarebill.
Squarebill Crankbait Rod – Final Thoughts
My final thoughts, because of the versatility of a squarebill crankbait, the bait requires two rods to cover all conditions anglers will face. My arsenal is complete with these two rods. When I’m pitching a squarebill tight to cover, I reach for the 743C Champion Extreme. When I’m going down a bank line casting to laydowns or stumps, the 705 CB Glass is my go to rod.
For more information about chosing a crankbait rod go to the Ultimate Bass Forums. There is a direct link to the Rod Boards. http://www.ultimatebass.com/bass-fishing-forum/index.php?board=244.0
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