Jerkbait Fishing Rods | Spinning vs. Casting Setups
Few baits have the triggering ability of a jerkbait, and thanks to the blast of forward-looking sonar, anglers now use them year-round with excellent results. So what is the best jerkbait fishing rod setup? Pro bass angler Cody Hahner shares his opinion on the best rod setups, which include spinning and casting gear. He explains when he uses each and key details about the rod, reel and line on both.
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Hahner uses a casting setup, especially for the big mouth, 95% of the time. Still, spinning plays a vital role in clear water with scary fish. The Great Lakes Smallmouth Bass is a prime example of where longer casts and ultra-smooth drag are paramount. A longer rod with a softer rod cone sinks farther while providing measured output to reduce hook snatch with an aggressive smallmouth. He opts for a larger 3000 or 4000 size reel spooled with a light braid, never exceeding a 10 pound braid paired with an 8-10 pound fluorocarbon leader. The larger spool size coupled with the smaller line diameter casts farther and deepens the bait when stealth is needed.
Casting gear gets the go-ahead in dirtier water or when the big mouth is the focus. In this situation, Hahner prefers a longer than typical jerkbait rod, which is actually a crank stick in the 7-foot range. Crank rods generally have a softer tip than traditional jerkbait rods, requiring you to slow down and keep the fish hooked better than faster, stiffer varieties. The straight Fluorocarbon in the 8-15 pound tests gets the nod based on lure size and habitat, with 10 pounds being its general choice.
The main thing is jerkbaits, and the situations in which we fish them are very varied. As such, no configuration is “best” in all cases. A mix of spinning and casting gear helps you catch more bass, depending on the target species and environment.