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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I bought a Berkeley Lightning Rod this spring and have used it both bass fishing and in the bay. I have Fireline crystal on it, and I have been very impressed with the sensitivity of the rod. I feel everything going on with it.

The question, is there a more sensitive rod for the money (<$40)? I have other rods with braid, but this is definitely the most sensitive one. I know many people like the St Croix rods, but if I can get this kind of sensitivity out of a $40 rod, why should I pay more?

Thanks for any input,
Mike
 

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I"m with you on the Lightning Rod. Thats the best 40 bucks I 've spent on fishing gear in a long time.
 

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I agree with you guys.

Capt. Tom Hughes turned me on to the lightning rods last year. I did have the tip of one snap recently. It was very cold the day it snapped and not sure if that had anything to do with it. The fish was not anything huge by any means so really not sure what happened, maybe I just suck at fishing :scratchchin3: . My only complaint about them is the guides...they suck and in the cold they are extremely brittle. If one bends, don't even think of bending it back, it will snap. Having said that, for the money they are very good and I highly recommend them as a warm weather rod. Winter rod, nahhhhh.

Shoot Capt. Tom an e-mail, I know he switched over to something else in the same price range but I cannot remember which rod it is.

BTW, you can catch the lightning rods on sale for a little less than $30 at times, NOW THAT'S A DEAL!

Thank you
 

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I have had some problems with Berkley rods in the past... the rods worked really well for a season, but after that, the guides were deteriorating and popping, and the braid was wearing a groove into the guide itself. I switched one of my rods to a St Croix and couldnt be happier. Im on my third season, with no sign of it slowing down. I guess the long and short of it is, if you are happy with the rod... keep it. I just was unhappy with how it began falling apart after one season.
 

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When I first started to use braid- my buddies nicknamed me " the rod killer " :D. I broke what seemed to be a rod every other trip.I found out that some graphite rods get brittle when cold.They also break if you try to lift a fish in the boat and the rod loads up too much.Getting snagged busted a few rods as well.

It's kinda cool when the entire butt section explodes :pp.Most times in fishing/boating- the more expensive gear holds up better.The less expensive gear works - often just as well but does not seem to hold up as long.

Biggest key is washing the rods off with soapy water after a trip.A soft mitt that is used for car washing works perfect- just watch out for hooks if the rod is stored rigged up.
 

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For my trolling rods I like my cheapo Shakespeare tidewater 3/0's. I love the action of the rod that allows some baits to swim. While I do wish it had aftco over stuart guides and it had a stiff butt, it a great rod for striped bass. Why should I pay more? Cheap rods rule! :D
 

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I used Lightning rods for years. I like them. They're very light and amazingly sensitive, just right for LTJ. Berkeley gets that by using very inexpensive lightweight materials. The better rod makers also use lightweight materials, but it's more durable, higher tech stuff. I've twisted the cork handle right off several rods in the past on big fish. The graphite/fiberglass composite is thin. The guides on Lightning rods just won't hold up to salt water use longer than a season or two. That said, if they work for you and you don't mind replacing one occasionally, rinsing well after use, no reason to change. The difference in sensitivity is very slight rod to rod. I look at them kinda like musical instruments, a good musician can make even the cheapest guitar sound good, but with a trained ear they eventually graduate to higher end ones because of very subtile differences. Differences no one else might even notice but them. Rods are like that. A good rod won't make anyone a better fisherman, practice will. I fished for 30 years before I ever spent more than a hundred bucks on a rod.
 

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Not too long ago at wal-mart, they had their one piece 6.5 foot Lightning rods on clearance for 13 bucks a piece. Thay also had 1 piece MH Ugly Stiks for 24 a piece.
 

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You can always have the guides replaced if they become a problem. Steve F did this for me on one of my BPS Pro Qualifier rods. He changed the sizes of some of the guides and they work like a champ. The price was reasonable and the guides are very good quality.
 

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Daiwa makes a pretty decent rod that is a little better quality than the lighting rods, but also costs more.

Do some searching for a Daiwa Tierra. They are listed as "freshwater" rods however i've been using mine since the spring on the bay with no signs of weakness. I have a 6' MH with a fast action and it is a nice rod for about $50.

Lightning rods are great, sometimes BPS has them on sale for like $20 bucks. Buy them, use them, break them, replace them.

My go to rods are the BPS extreme series, 6' MH spinning stick. Great sensitivity and great backbone to handle big fish. The tip is a little stiff but i still like them. They are $100 unless you get them on the spring sale @ half price :)

-Mike
 

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Tom Hughes Guide Service
410.744.2351 OfficeFull Time443.690.3164 Boat
Fly & Light Tackle Fishing Guide

I did recommend the Lightning Rods, but that was before I had any broken guide problem. The blanks are strong and very light, but the guides usually break the first time if you try to bend the back in place.

I no longer recommend these rods, especially after talking with Berkley and they wanted me to send the rods (4) back, pay for the postage, and a $9.99 repair charge, to send me back the same rod&#8230;.bad idea.

You don't have to spend top dollar to purchase good rods to catch striped bass. I have tested these rods for the last 9 months and they work just fine. The eyes are large enough for the double uni knot tied between the fiber & fluorocarbon leader to pass through with no problem. They have a fast tip and that's a plus when fishing for striped bass.

Bass Pro Shop:

Rod - 6', lure wt.1/4 to 5/8 oz., Power Med-Heavy, Fast Action, #TYS60MHS, IM7, one piece-$39.00
Rod - 6', ditto, #GS60MHS, IM6, one piece-$30.00

You can cast lures up to 1 ounce with no problem and jig lures up to 2 1/2 ounces.

Team these rods up with a Daiwa 2500 Series reel, 30# Power Pro, and a 6' quality 30# fluorocarbon leader, a BFG jighead, and a 6" BKD and you on the way to catching some nice fish.

_____________________
Tight Lines,

Capt. Tom Hughes
Fly & Light Tackle Full Time Guide
3 CBBT Trips Left
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Rod - 6', lure wt.1/4 to 5/8 oz., Power Med-Heavy, Fast Action, #TYS60MHS, IM7, one piece-$39.00
Rod - 6', ditto, #GS60MHS, IM6, one piece-$30.00
Tom,

I have a few tourney special rods as well, but they don't seem as sensitive to me. Thanks for the input.

Mike
 

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Dicks had these on sale this summer for $14.99. I bought 1 for my 4 year old. I tried it 1 time and it was junk, it was like a noodle. Gave it to him thinking he would not know the difference. The reel had so much play that he would get jammed going back while he was trying to reel forward. After about 5 minutes he became so frustrated :mad: he threw it over board and went back to his old zebco spincast :clap: . It was actually funny as sheeeeet. :hysterical: .
 

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I have been using LTJ rods by Sea Striker. They are inexpensive, tough and snsitive.. 6.5 and 7 footers..really nice action made for LTJ

The rod action actually says "For jigging and plugging":thumbup:
 

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I have had a few lightning rods over the years. I think I still have three or four in my basement.

The are OK. They are pretty sensitive and light, and for the money I think it is a good price, but, overall I would never rely on them.

Personally, at 100 bucks, I think the BPS Extreme rod is the best overall rod bargain on the market. If money was not an issue, wll my rods would be Loomis GLX's.
 

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The lightning blanks are ok, but the guides are total a$$, and the grips and reel seats are what you'd expect from a $39.99 rod. My "Its ok that you threw that overboard" setups are Dick's IM7 rods, with abu 5500, and Epixors (I of course would never be caught dead...:D) They sell the rods at year's end at 50% off, plus $10 off a $50 purchase, comes to like $17 per rod, and they aren't half bad. The winter shows are also great places to get good deals on rods. I don't usually get enamoured with rods, most lite salt setups only hold up for like a couple of seasons at most.
 
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