Sometimes it may seem my search for the perfect jerkbait rod will never end. I’ve been close, but I have not found a rod I would call the “jerkbait rod to end all rods”. Doybns Rods Champion 635CB Comparison are difficult as I seem to always find the Dobyns to be a superior product. But lets see what I come up with this time?
I have been fishing jerkbaits for six years. Next to jigs, a jerkbait is my favorite bait to throw. I have spent several hundred dollars and several years finding the prefect reel for throwing jerkbaits, but my search continues for the perfect rod. I want to share my latest comparison between the two latest rods in my search; the G. Loomis JBR753C and the Dobyns Champion 635CB.
While reading this comparison, please keep in mind this is a search for the rod that will be perfect for me. I have very unique tastes and wants, which will differ greatly from others.
My criteria for a jerkbait rod are as follows:
1. The rod must be of high quality
2. The rod must have a full cork grip
3. The rod must have a short grip
4. The rod must be no longer than 6’5”
5. The rod must be lightweight
Doybns Rods Champion 635CB Comparison
Two years ago, I made the switch to the G. Loomis JBR753C. MSRP on this rod is 250 dollars. Not a cheap piece of equipment by anyone’s standards, but it fit all my criteria. This rod is listed as a three power, or Medium Heavy with a Fast Tip. It fishes closer to a medium power in my opinion. The JBR753C will handle Pointer 78’s and other jerkbaits in the 3/8-ounce range with ease. I tried the JBR752C and it felt too light for the larger 1/2-ounce jerkbaits. I preferred the stiffer backbone of the JBR753C vice the JBR752C.
I am unsure of the grade of cork G. Loomis uses on this model, but it does have pits and imperfections. However, after being sealed in U-40 cork sealant, it actually gave the rod character! The handle on the JBR753C is nice and short measuring less than 9 inches from the back of the reel to the butt. The JBR735C weighs 4.2 ounces. I used this model with a wide variety of jerkbaits.
My only complaint with the JBR753C was the balance. The rod felt tip heavy. I put several different reels on it weighing between 6 and 8 ounces, however the rod never felt like it balanced out like it should.
I sold the JBR753C and decided to try the Dobyns line of rods. Over the last three years I have been slowly phasing out my rods for Dobyns. It started with the Champion 733FH. The price point of the Dobyns Champion line is well under that of the G. Loomis line. They have a better grade of cork and a better balanced feel in my hand.
The Champion 635CB was the only rod in the Dobyns line fitting my criteria. This would be my first time using a Moderate Fast tip to fish jerkbaits. The 635CB came highly recommend by members on the Ultimate Bass Forum, Valley Sports and Dobyns themselves.
Dobyns lists the Champion 635CB as a five power rod or Medium Heavy with a Moderate Fast tip. The Champion 635CB matches the weight of the JBR753C at 4.2 ounces. Both rods are 6’3” long, but the Champion 635CB balances much better than the JBR753C. I used 3 different reels on the Champion 635C ranging in weight from 5.4 to 7.3 ounces and all balanced out extremely well.
The cork on the Champion 635CB is listed as AA and looks like it. The cork is very smooth and has less pitting than the JBR753C. The Champion 635C also has a tapered handle. The handle is 8.5 inches from the back of the reel. The half-inch difference makes the rod feel perfect for me. The butt cap fits comfortably in my elbow, where as the JBR753C feels like it’s poking my bicep. In the picture below you can see how much difference the length actually is.
In this photo you can see how much difference the length actually is.
With the Moderate Fast tip, the Champion 653CB loads really well with a Pointer 78. My casting distance gained over the JBR735C was very noticeable. I did not measure this, but a good guess would be an increase of ten feet. The same reel and line were used for this test.
As you can see in the pictures below, the JBR753C (left) has a much faster tip. The Champion 635CB (right) is much slower yet has a strong backbone. Both rods had plenty of backbone and flex for using baits with treble hooks.
My first jerk with the Champion 635C felt very awkward. I did not anticipate the rod tip moving that much on the jerk. As I stated before, my past experience with jerkbaits has always been with a fast tip. I wanted to give this rod all the benefit of the doubt I could. Except for the speed of the tip, this rod was a perfect fit for me.
Unfortunately I could not get used the Champion 635CB’s tip. It didn’t have the bounce back I was use to. I read several articles on the different tip speeds for a jerkbait rod to gather opinions. Basically you have your fast guys and the slow guys. I don’t personally think one is better than the other. It’s more of a personal preference, and I just couldn’t get used to the Champion 635CB’s tip action.
On a positive note, I did happen to find the perfect top water Pop-R rod in the Champion 635CB. I had been in search for the perfect top water rod for a few years. My search has ended with the Champion 635CB!
I have reached out to Dobyns Rods several times in hopes of seeing a 6’3” Champion or Extreme with a full cork handle and short grip, but have always been told no. Basically the demand is just not there for these short rods. I have not given up hope yet though. Dobyns is adding new models to each line all the time. If you look at all rod manufactures as a whole, there are more and more short rods being added to their lineups. I do believe the demand is slowly coming back.
Until my perfect jerkbait rod is built by Dobyns Rods, I will have to settle with my G. Loomis JBR735C which I had to repurchase. The search will continue!
Rock Chalk Hawg Hunting
Richard W. Gulloto
The Dobyns Champion Series rods in the Crank Bait additions (CB) have all been perfect. From Squarebills to jerbaits to deep divers. Purchase the correct length and action for your desired technique and I know you’ll be as pleased as I have been.