June 5, 2014 Share

Which Rods? When?

Originally Posted Jun 1, 2012 “From the Dock” NBC Sports

I was on the phone with my buddy Bill Siemantel from LA yesterday. Bill is one of the most successful bass anglers on the West Coast. He’s known especially for catching giant largemouth (has hundreds of 10-pound plus bass) and for winning the tournaments he enters.

So I asked Bill what rods he uses for 10 of bass fishing’s most popular methods, everything from drop-shotting to working giant swim baits. He replied, “I don’t agree with the theory that you should own technique-specific fishing rods because I could never master them all. Instead, I group techniques together by tackle requirements and then get the best rod for the job. When I fish with tackle I know, I pick up things that I used to miss with unfamiliar gear. You know that little hiccup when your spinnerbait blade misses a beat? I’ve had those turn out to be 10-pound bass that have won tournaments for me!”

Here are Siemantel’s breakouts:

1. Cranks, lipless cranks, spinnerbaits–7-foot, medium action, long rod butt

2. Alabama Rig, big swimbaits, flippin–8-foot, fast action, long rod butt

3. Drop-shotting, small jigs–7-foot fast action spinning rods, long butt

4. Senkos, worms, Carolina rigs–7-foot casting rod, fast to extra-fast action, long rod butt

5. Topwaters, 7-foot casting, fast action, shorter butt section

“I own more than 100 rods,” said Siemantel, “but really just five types. I then use reel choice and lines to tweak them for specific needs.”

When I got off the phone with Bill, I thought back to the last time I played golf. The pros can carry 14 club with them, but I’ve yet to hear any ever say they hit all of them equally well. Everyone has a favorite club or two, one that they hit well.

When you limit the number of tools you need to master the odds are better each will work better for you.–Steve