Rapsody Rods is a fairly new kid on the block when it comes to bass fishing rods. Hitting the market in 2009 after three years of research and development, Bob Penicka introduced the first in the Rapsody’s line of rods, the Maestro and Overture series. Rapsody Rods has continued to develop these rods by listening to their pro-staff and customers. Even today, Rapsody looks to its anglers to help them build a new rod series, the Maestro 2, which is expected to fill a gap between the current lines.
I was fortunately given the opportunity to use Rapsody Rods from the Maestro and Hot Rod series. Both rods performed well above their price based expectations. Using the Maestro RMBC701HF Casting rod and the Hot Rod RHS601MFH spinning rod, I put both these rods through my normal regiment of bass fishing and was very pleased with their performance. At first glance, these rods have “different” qualities that I thought were good ideas. After fishing with them for a while, I found them to be, not only good ideas but enhancements.
The Maestro Series is at the top of the Rapsody Rods line-up. Priced under $200, the Maestro Series performs as well as some rods that cost twice as much.
When you pick up the Rapsody Maestro Bass Series rods, you will notice that its lightweight, has a beautiful red finish, and uses REC Recoil guides. Many Anglers will see the guides on the Maestro line of rods and raise an eyebrow, noticing the guides do not have inserts. Before you jump to any conclusions, this is actually an ingenious concept for several reasons. First, Rapsody used a high quality titanium metal wire that transmits vibrations to the bank very well. After investing the money in the guides, why would you want to dampen the transmitting capability of the guides with a ceramic insert? Even the smallest tick on your line is felt in the blank with unimpeded transmission. Second, when you’re trying to build an extremely light rod, guide inserts, although not necessarily heavy, add overall weight. REC Guides weigh a third less than traditional ceramic inserted guides. Finally, and probably the biggest reason I like the concept, REC Recoil guides flex. If I step on a guide and flatten it, I can simply bend it back. With no insert to pop out or crack, the guides are flexible and very user friendly for a clumsy angler like me. For a co-angler or shore angler that transports rods in a variety of ways, these guides are a life saver. Whether putting your rods in a vehicle to transport, or trying to navigate down a brushy path, you won’t have to worry about damaging the guides before getting to the water.
Rapsody has also taken rod balance into consideration with the Maestro Series. Using a very light reel seat that gives your finger accesses to the blank, and a hollowed out the reel seat trigger, they have reduced even more weight on the handle end of the rod. By using a reel seat that has every possible gram of weight removed, building a balanced set up is easy.
The sensitivity of the Maestro Series is excellent. Detecting the difference between a strike, a leaf, or a limb was obvious. Combining an excellent blank with the REC guide technology gives an angler the ability to dissect cover and easily determine strikes. While using jigs and Texas rigged soft plastics, the Maestro telegraphed strikes without hesitation allowing quick and solid hook sets.
The heavy action Maestro RMBC701HF loaded well when casting and battling bass. Many times, a manufacturer’s heavy action rods are not capable of casting baits long distances because there is no tip action. When tossing hollow body and toad type baits over heavy mats, I like to make very longs casts. Most heavy action rods can be too stiff to cast these type baits effectively. I had no problems launching a hollow body frog with the RMBC701HF Maestro Series. My hook to land ratio was very good lending credence to its backbone. Using braided line, I was able to pull bass from hydrilla, milfoil, and your standard nasty slop.
The Rapsody Hot Rod Series, while a less expensive rod priced under $100, is not lacking on quality. This is a fantastic rod that gets anglers into a sensitive, quality rod on a budget. The Hot Rod Series I used was the RHS601MFH spinning rod. With a variety of shakey head and flick shake sizes, I hit my favorite dock filled lake. Fishing finesse style baits around docks presents a unique challenge for a rod. The rod has to be limber enough to successfully manipulate lighter lines with side arm and skipping casts, yet enough back bone to maneuver angry bass from under docks and around pylons. The RHS601MFH spinning rod did both very well.
Priced under a hundred dollars, I am amazed at the quality built into the Hot Rod Series. Using Kigan guides, a Fugi reel seat, and all the technology that goes into the Maestro Series the Hot Rod Series is a home run.
With enough tip action for easily skipping baits several feet under docks, the Hot Rod Series also has the back bone to manhandle larger bass. After strikes, the rod loads up quickly and puts a lot of pressure on bass to move them clear of the dock. Once you have the bass in open water, the rod starts to shine again. The same action that allowed you to make the perfect cast now works on a bass and wears them out, without wearing out your drag. This means you can use lighter lines with confidence and know the rod has the ability to handle surges both at and away from you. The flex in the rod will unload as a bass surges towards you, preventing slack line. When a bass runs from you, the rod loads up applying even, steady pressure against the bass, giving the angler the upper hand without ever turning the reel handle.
Rapsody’s quality is seen in everything they build, to include their website RapsodyFishing.com. Very clean and easy to navigate, yet jam packed with information about their rods. Graphics load quickly and links throughout the site are relevant. Their Technology page will overload an angler with technical facts about rods. One of the neatest features of the site is at the bottom of the Technical Page, it’s called “What You Should Know…” and has some great information about the terms we commonly hear with regards to rods. The site is definitely worth a few minutes of your time; I assure you that you will increase your knowledge about rods.
Thinking out of the box, Rapsody Rods and their Pro Staff have put together three lines of rods that will fit any angler’s budget or expertise. Check them out—you won’t be disappointed.