Series Two Crankbait Rods - Crankin’ Corner
Over the last couple years, I've spent a considerable amount of time throwing crankbaits. Square-bills, medium-divers, deep-cranks, all of it. Building the right rods for crankbaits is something I really dove into and want to share my findings with you. Today, we are digging into the world of Series Two Crankbait Rods.
Doctor G: 6’8 / Medium / Moderate Fast
Quick Draw: 7’0 / Medium Heavy / Moderate
Gunslinger: 7’4 / Medium Heavy / Moderate
Big Iron: 7’8 / Heavy / Moderate
Series Two Doctor G
We’ll start off with the Series Two “Doctor G”. A 6’8 jerk bait rod that continues to show how versatile it is. With a medium power and moderate fast action, this rod provides the angler with the ability to use it for so many different techniques. Its origin is a true jerk bait rod. The 6’8 length allows you to rip and slash any jerk bait, without driving the tip of the rod into the water (or side of your boat). A shortened overall handle length helps with steering clear of those thick winter outer layers, something we Texans only experience one to two days a year!
In addition to being an excellent jerk bait rod, it is also perfect for topwater poppers and walking baits, and even weightless Senkos. It’s not quite a BFS style rod, but it makes for a complete casting finesse rod. Below is a video showing the Doctor G in action. The topwater bite was tough the day we filmed, but we were able to find success with a weightless Senko (wacky rigged), showing the rods versatility.
Series Two Quick Draw
Next, let’s take a look at the Series Two “Quick Draw”, a 7’0 medium heavy shallow cranking rod with a moderate action. Typically, my personal Quick Draws are usually linked up with a Rapala BX Brat or a Strike King 1.5 Squarebill. Recently, I’ve found the Quick Draw to be a fantastic match for the junior sized Strike King Hybrid Hunter, along with a large variety of lipless crankbaits. Additionally, if you like a longer jerkbait rod, these rods fill that need as well. While I mostly throw 3-5' diving square-bills on these rods, I also love them for a Rapala OG Slim 6, Rapala DT 6 and Strike King Series 3.
Regardless of the bait, my go to reel for these applications has been the relatively new Shimano Curado 150 MGL, geared in 6.2:1. 99% of the time, they're spooled with 12lb Seaguar Invis-X. For me, this combination offers the best in the categories where you need it; casting distance & accuracy, diving depth & sensitivity. Below is a video showing the Quick Draw in action (apologies for the wind).
Series Two Gunslinger
The Series Two “Gunslinger” is 7'4, medium heavy power, moderate action rod. I call it a medium-heavy but it really should be a "heavy-medium". If there was a line between a medium powered rod and a medium-heavy powered rod, this one would fall right in the middle. The length gives you ability to make incredibly long casts, which is wildly important the deeper the water you're fishing. The baits usually tied on this rod, for me, are Rapala DT 8, DT 10 and DT 14. Additionally, I use this rod for Strike King 3XD and 5XD. Recently, I've really liked using the same reel mentioned above, Shimano Curado 150 MGL, geared at 6.2:1, with 12lb Seaguar Invis-X.
Series Two Big Iron
For the deeper crankbaits, the go-to rod is the Series Two “Big Iron”. This rod is 7'8, heavy power, moderate action. The casting distance of this rod is second to none when we talk about the bigger, deeper crankbaits. Baits like a Rapala DT 16 & DT 20, along with Strike King 6XD, 8XD and 10XD are perfect matches for the Big Iron. I typically use two reels, depending on a few variables. I'll match the rod with a Shimano Curado 200 K, geared in 6.2:1, or a Shimano Curado 200PG K, geared in 5.0:1 (the "PG" stands for Power Gear, hence the gear ratio being 5.0:1, which offers incredible power). Again, my go to line here is Seaguar Invis X, usually 12lb.
When utilizing a deeper crankbait (16 + feet), a rod too far on either end of the spectrum will do one of two things; too soft of a rod requires a lot of work, creating unnecessary "drag" when retrieving the bait. This is best described by having to fight the bait as you're bringing it through deep water. Too stiff of a rod will typically result in baits getting snagged or losing fish due to the stiff nature of the rod ripping the hooks out of the fish's mouth. The Big Iron is a perfect blend of power and forgiveness.
Regardless of the bait, one of the most important things a rod has to do is get the fish to the boat. This is especially true when talking about crankbaits. We want rods that offer a "parabolic" deflection, which means the rod loads deeper into the blank. In addition, a rod that loads properly will allow you to achieve a longer cast and help the bait deflect off of cover. Longer casts mean more time spent in the strike zone and more water covered.