Finding the right bass fishing rod can be challenging. An angler has to decide on blank action, power, rod components, reel seat , rod grip and price. It can be overwhelming, but how far would you go to find the perfect bass fishing rod?
For most anglers it’s just a matter of checking out different rods online or going to several stores before settling on a fishing rod. That isn’t the situation with Shane Cox. As fate intervened and his destiny changed forever after a chance encounter.
It all started with Cox going over to pick up a fishing rod being donated by the previous owner of Hammer Fishing Rods Carl Graham. “I knew it was a good rod and it had been around for awhile, but the next thing I knew after visiting with him, I ended up buying Hammer Fishing Rods,” said Cox.
Cox had obviously gone as far as an angler could go when it comes to buying the perfect bass fishing rod. It’s been over two years now and Cox couldn’t be more excited about the changes made to the design, construction, sales and direction Hammer Fishing Rods are going. However, it’s just the beginning as Cox continues to build Hammer Fishing Rods into a nationally known fishing rod company.
Building the perfect bass rod doesn’t just happen. There are so many different factors playing a part. Anglers make a decision on buying a fishing rod mostly on power and action.
Power is defined as strength required to move a lure or fish. Rod blanks are built from a number of different blends of material and rated to indicate its power rating. Power ratings are designed to assist anglers with selecting a fishing rod according to size of fish and fishing conditions like cover or structure. Common rod powers include UL-ultra light, L-light, ML-medium light, M-medium, MH-medium heavy, H-heavy, XH-extra heavy and XXH-extra extra heavy.
On the other hand, action is described as where the rod flexes during the cast and retrieve. Action and power rating determine how the rod is going to perform. Technique specific rods are built to have the correct action and power without the angler having to decide the right action and power to get.
Action also describes the flex in a fishing rod. A fishing rod that flexes in the middle section would be slow. As the flex point moves towards the rod tip it changes to medium, medium fast, fast and extra fast where just the upper rod tip flexes. Common rod action includes S-slow, M-medium, MF-medium, F-fast and XF-extra fast.
Components are another factor in the overall quality of a fishing rod. Fishing line guide rings, rod grip and reel seat are major components. Prices and quality depends on materials and craftsmanship which is different for every component.
Fishing line guide rings are mounted to the blank keeping the line in place and away from the rod blank. Hammer Fishing Rods feature a micro guide system although the first two fishing line guide rings are #6 size ring to reduce line drag when casting. “Hammer Fishing Rods use micro rings because it makes the rod lighter and increases the angler’s casting accuracy,” said Cox.
One of the biggest changes to Hammer Fishing Rods since Cox took over was the rod grip. Except for the spinning rods, Hammer Fishing Rods have Winn Grips. Winn Grips are built with superior Advanced Integration technology. “The change to Winn Grips was a no-brainer, I had fished with a custom built fishing rod and could just feel how much more comfortable it was along with gripping the rod so much better,” said Cox.
All Hammer Fishing Rods (www.hammerrods.com) feature the Winn Grips except the spinning rod models with EVA foam handles. “Everyone loves the Winn Grips. Of course, I have to admit the pink Winn Split Grips was my wife Sandie’s idea. It’s without a doubt the most popular rod we sell to female anglers,” said Cox.
Another change Cox made was with the rod blanks. “I completely redesigned our rod blanks. Our focus now is on building and selling the perfect bass rod. For us that means long rods and actions that can stand up to big bass in aquatic vegetation to fishing offshore structure, but also be lightweight and extremely sensitive,” said Cox.
Currently, Hammer Fishing Rods are available in local retailers across Southern states like Texas, Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky, Louisiana, Tennessee and South Carolina. “Our goal is for Hammer Fishing Rods to become a nationally recognized company with fishing rods made in America,” said Cox.
Managing a profitable, growing fishing rod company is impossible for one person. “It’s a family run business. I rely tremendously on Sandie. If it wasn’t for her doing the paperwork and social media,” Shane continued, “we wouldn’t be where we are right now.”
However, Shane is also looking to the future. “I’m hoping my son Ty will come and take over the business one day,” said Shane.
Ty is currently a high school senior. He is infatuated with the sport of angling and fishing bass tournaments. Last year, Ty proved his angling skills by finishing as the top student angling team in the Alabama Bass Trail circuit. Only time will tell if Ty takes over, but for now Hammer Fishing Rods will continue on course.
Finding the perfect bass fishing rod is challenging. An angler has to look at all the factors from power, action, rod components, rod blank composition to cost before making a final decision. In the end, it usually comes down to the angler’s preference and fishing conditions.