or the beginning or mid-level tournament
angler, building an arsenal of rods that’ll keep
you covered in competition can be a daunting task. Does more expensive equal better catch rates?
Do you need a specialized stick for every niche
presentation? How many is too many?
Western legend Gary Dobyns, owner of his
eponymous Dobyns Rods company, can obviously have
any rod he wants, but when he hits the lake, he keeps it
relatively simple, and said that you should, too.
“You don’t have to spend $500 to get a great bass
rod,” he said. “I could be totally happy fishing with rods
from our Sierra and Kaden series.”
Both of those lines retail in the sub-$200 range, and
he wouldn’t hesitate to recommend other rods from his
Colt and Fury groups, both of which are in the double digit
price category. What’s important, he said, is making sure
you have your bases covered. For western anglers, that
means certain key sticks should always get the call.
ONE OR TWO SPINNING RODS
Dobyns doesn’t dropshot, but he realizes that most tournament anglers do. Nevertheless, a spinning rod plays a key role in his day-to-day angling for a wide variety of techniques, and it’s an arena where he’s recommend not skimping.
“You’re usually using light line and doing a lot of deep water fishing,” he said. “With a casting rod you could be eight or 10 percent off perfection, but with your spinning rods you can really only afford to be one or two percent off. It has to be really sensitive and really dialed in.”
His choice for all of his spinning needs it the Xtasy 753, a medium-action rod at the highest end of his
offerings, but he noted that if you want a dedicated drop shot rod, he’d recommend the DRX 722, an inch shorter and one power lighter.
While you’ll need multiple casting rods to be an effective tournament angler, the next place where Dobyns aims high on the totem pole is for one particular technique: “You’ve got to have a jig rod,” he said.
“It doesn’t have to be an Xtasy, but this is another place where I’d buy high-end. The 754 Xtasy is our number one seller in the West. Either way, get as much as you can afford.”
Then, to the possible delight of your wallet, he announced, “Now I’m done with Xtasy.”
GET READY TO FLIP
“I can grab anything I want off the shelf, but I use mostly our Champion series because that’s what I started off using. You can get by with the Kaden and Sierra series very easily.”
No matter where you fish, but particularly if you’re likely to hit Clear Lake and the Delta, you’re going to need a good flipping stick. Once again, Dobyns simplifies the system. He uses a 766 for all of his flipping, pitching, and punching needs, everything from a ¼-ounce weight up to two-ounces.
“If you’re picking out a rod in the store, be sure you bring a reel along to test out the balance. A versatile flipping stick won’t be tip-heavy or react like a broomstick, advised Dobyns.