Casting Rod Choices
By John Neporadny
Even though he excels with any rod he picks up, bass-fishing superstar Kevin VanDam relies on certain rod lengths and actions whenever he applies a particular technique.
While rod manufactures continue to offer a variety of rods for special tactics, there are some models that still handle multiple tasks. VanDam’s multipurpose rod is a 6-foot, 10-inch high-modulus spinnerbait model he designed. It allows him to make accurate pitches in tight places but has enough length to cast long distances with topwater and jerk baits.
Other high-modulus graphite rods VanDam selects for specialized techniques are models measuring six and a half feet and seven feet, two inches. Both models have extra fast tips but plenty of backbone for power lures. The Michigan pro uses a 6 ½ foot-medium-heavy action rod for throwing ¼ – or 3/8-ounce spinnerbaits in tight places or targets such as thick bushes, laydowns, and boat docks. He prefers the 7-foot, 2-inch medium-heavy rod for burning ¾-ounce spinnerbaits, fishing ledges with ¾- or 1-ounce spinnerbaits, dragging football jigs or Carolina rigs, and working small to mid-size swim baits.
For all of his cranking tactics, VanDam favors rods constructed with a combination of E-glass for limberness and graphite for increased sensitivity. VanDam chooses a 6 ½ foot cranking model with medium action for tossing small topwaters and crankbaits around boat docks and other small targets. He moves up to a 6-foot, 8-inch model with a little stiffer action for casting larger crankbaits.
The most versatile crankbait rods in VanDam’s rod box are 7-foot medium and 7-foot medium-heavy models. He favors the 7-foot medium for cranking small to medium diving plugs and relies on the medium-heavy action for running lipless crankbaits through grass.
Two other cranking rods VanDam chooses are a 7-foot, 4-inch version for mid-size crankbaits and a 7-foot, 10-inch model for cranking large deep divers along ledges in the summertime.
For more Bass Fishing Tips, visit John Neporadny’s website to purchase his book, 101 Bass Fishing Tips, at JNOutdoors.com