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I recently received a sweet, and very unexpected, Abu Garcia Revo Premier as a gift, from a very special friend and fellow TFer.........Now I face the daunting task of pairing that fine reel with a suitable rod. I say daunting because these kinds of purchases "Drive Me Nuts". I mull it over and mull it over......read reviews after reviews and any other info I can get my hands on.

My basic criteria was: Sensitivity.......Light Weight..........6'6"-7'.......M-MH Fast action .......Guides that will hold up.......and a price range between $150-$250 give or take.

Some things I like: Split grips.......no foam/cork above the reel......2 piece reel seats.

My price range put me out of a Daiwa Steez(400-500) and alot of G-Loomis'. I initially took a liking to the BP Johnny Morris Elite.....what got my attention were the Recoil eyes.....A titanium guide that can be every which way but loose with no ill affects. I liked the feel of this rod in my hand.......one downfall for me, was a solid cork handle grip(verses split grip).

Heres the line-up of rods I considered: BP Johnny Morris Elite($220), E21 Carrot Stick($150), Shimano Cumara($220), St Croix Legend Tournament Series($220), St Croix MoJo($100), Powell, Kistler.

Unfortunitly, most local tackle stores do not carry top end rods......Tochtermans carries a few but even then, they have very few $200+ rods floating around giving inventory taxes coming up.........so off to BP. The saleman though I was nuts, but I brough along my digital freon scale that measures tenths of ounces for some rod weight comparisons:yes: What I found was suprizing........

I asked to use an Abu Garcia Revo Premier(just as I have) and tried the reel on about 8 different rods. BP is also low on inventory and at times selection was tough......but even if the rod was a little longer than I wanted, I could still get a feel for reel seats, feel, ect.

What I found was that all the rods felt pretty good in your hand........it seems that all major brands take ergonomics into consideration. The major differences on feel were where your hand could contact the rod blank. The distance from the front of the reel to where the rod black was exposed varied as well as the amount of exposed rod blank in forward of the trigger(anywhere from 1/2"-2")

As far as weight, all rods ranged between .200-.300lb........that equates to 3.2-4.8oz....no huge difference. Actually, the E21 Carrot stick was the lightest at 3.2 oz.......Most others where 4oz for a medium action and 4.8 in the MH action.

How I narrowed it down......... As I said, all the rods felt nice.......The Johnny Morris, I love the recoil eyes but I dont like the full cork grip.......review on BP.com rated the rod good but not great.......also, the saleman said that JM products are changed every year:wacko: if a product is good, why would a company keep changing things......dont sound kosher.......the Johnny Morris would have the best over-the-counter no-hassels warranty though.

The St Croix MoJo, I pretty well imidiatly rejected........for $100, its a great rod, but more in-line with a BP Extreme.

The Shimano Cumara are very very nice......2 piece rod butt grip.....2 piece reel seat and very small connection point in the front of the reel......All there was in stock was 7'2" MH fast and MH xtra fast....these rods both weigh in at 4oz....not bad giving they were 6" longer that most rods I looked at.

The St Croix are also very very sweet........only downfall(and a small one)was the exposed rod blank area in front of the trigger was small compaired to the Carrot and Cumara that have 2 piece rod seats. I looked at the 6'6"M at 4oz and the 7'M at 4.8oz.

In the end, I went with the Carrot.........the rod felt better or equal to the other rods.......the 2 piece reel seat leaves a full 2" of exposed rod blank obove the trigger for added sesitivity.......having no grip infront of the reel, allows me to place a finger on the rod blank without trying to reach for it........the eyelets look very stong.....looks like the stainless rings were installed, then flared around the guide frames and I dont think it is possible for them to come out.......the rod got 5 out of 5 stars on BP reviews.....one guy even said he puts them right up there with his $450 Steez rods......At $150, the rod is $70 cheaper than the others(except the MoJo)..........And......and, it just happens to be my favorite Color:thumbup: It will match perfectly with my Orange Crocs(Mike Rose, that ones for you buddy:D)

End result, non of these rods are inferior. What I ended up with though is a rod/reel combo MH Fast tip with a total weight of 9.6 ounces:eek2: and a reel with 24lb of drag. Now all I have to do is sink a jig in a fish over 37" to beat my PB LTG fish:thumbup:

Bill.......Hope you can use this info
 

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FWIW, Recoil guides are durable, but noisy with braided line. I have a Legend Inshore that I really like except for the racket the guides make on retrieve.
 

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Lucky Dog! I believe that the one that feels right to you is the correct choice. Let us know how it works out. Sure looks like a great rod and it has won some nice awards. Sure it'll raise some nice fish now that its in the right hands:thumbup:
 

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Alot of good info there Bill. I was at BP recently checking out the Carrot Stix. I did not buy one, but they seemed like a pretty good bargain.

Are you turning to the dark side and fishing with baitcasters now? Say it aint so..........you've been fishing with *************** for way too long, that guy can't catch fish!!!

When are we going to CBBT?

-Mike
 

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Enjoyed reading your thought process on selecting just the right rod. I understand what you went through, I go through it too. :wacko: In my quest, I ended up with a Loomis GL3 for my 4600C4. I was searching for a 6'MH casting rod with enough butt length, most 6'ers have a real short butt section.

I contacted E21 last summer to see if they had any plans for 6' rods and they said no, so I'm now curious about their new Gold series since they offer a 6'3" stik...

Whalen fishes a Carrot Stix and likes it, hopefully it'll work out for you too!
 

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I recently received a sweet, and very unexpected, Abu Garcia Revo Premier as a gift, from a very special friend and fellow TFer.........Now I face the daunting task of pairing that fine reel with a suitable rod. I say daunting because these kinds of purchases "Drive Me Nuts". I mull it over and mull it over......read reviews after reviews and any other info I can get my hands on.

My basic criteria was: Sensitivity.......Light Weight..........6'6"-7'.......M-MH Fast action .......Guides that will hold up.......and a price range between $150-$250 give or take.

Some things I like: Split grips.......no foam/cork above the reel......2 piece reel seats.

My price range put me out of a Daiwa Steez(400-500) and alot of G-Loomis'. I initially took a liking to the BP Johnny Morris Elite.....what got my attention were the Recoil eyes.....A titanium guide that can be every which way but loose with no ill affects. I liked the feel of this rod in my hand.......one downfall for me, was a solid cork handle grip(verses split grip).

Heres the line-up of rods I considered: BP Johnny Morris Elite($220), E21 Carrot Stick($150), Shimano Cumara($220), St Croix Legend Tournament Series($220), St Croix MoJo($100), Powell, Kistler.

Unfortunitly, most local tackle stores do not carry top end rods......Tochtermans carries a few but even then, they have very few $200+ rods floating around giving inventory taxes coming up.........so off to BP. The saleman though I was nuts, but I brough along my digital freon scale that measures tenths of ounces for some rod weight comparisons:yes: What I found was suprizing........

I asked to use an Abu Garcia Revo Premier(just as I have) and tried the reel on about 8 different rods. BP is also low on inventory and at times selection was tough......but even if the rod was a little longer than I wanted, I could still get a feel for reel seats, feel, ect.

What I found was that all the rods felt pretty good in your hand........it seems that all major brands take ergonomics into consideration. The major differences on feel were where your hand could contact the rod blank. The distance from the front of the reel to where the rod black was exposed varied as well as the amount of exposed rod blank in forward of the trigger(anywhere from 1/2"-2")

As far as weight, all rods ranged between .200-.300lb........that equates to 3.2-4.8oz....no huge difference. Actually, the E21 Carrot stick was the lightest at 3.2 oz.......Most others where 4oz for a medium action and 4.8 in the MH action.

How I narrowed it down......... As I said, all the rods felt nice.......The Johnny Morris, I love the recoil eyes but I dont like the full cork grip.......review on BP.com rated the rod good but not great.......also, the saleman said that JM products are changed every year:wacko: if a product is good, why would a company keep changing things......dont sound kosher.......the Johnny Morris would have the best over-the-counter no-hassels warranty though.

The St Croix MoJo, I pretty well imidiatly rejected........for $100, its a great rod, but more in-line with a BP Extreme.

The Shimano Cumara are very very nice......2 piece rod butt grip.....2 piece reel seat and very small connection point in the front of the reel......All there was in stock was 7'2" MH fast and MH xtra fast....these rods both weigh in at 4oz....not bad giving they were 6" longer that most rods I looked at.

The St Croix are also very very sweet........only downfall(and a small one)was the exposed rod blank area in front of the trigger was small compaired to the Carrot and Cumara that have 2 piece rod seats. I looked at the 6'6"M at 4oz and the 7'M at 4.8oz.

In the end, I went with the Carrot.........the rod felt better or equal to the other rods.......the 2 piece reel seat leaves a full 2" of exposed rod blank obove the trigger for added sesitivity.......having no grip infront of the reel, allows me to place a finger on the rod blank without trying to reach for it........the eyelets look very stong.....looks like the stainless rings were installed, then flared around the guide frames and I dont think it is possible for them to come out.......the rod got 5 out of 5 stars on BP reviews.....one guy even said he puts them right up there with his $450 Steez rods......At $150, the rod is $70 cheaper than the others(except the MoJo)..........And......and, it just happens to be my favorite Color:thumbup: It will match perfectly with my Orange Crocs(Mike Rose, that ones for you buddy:D)

End result, non of these rods are inferior. What I ended up with though is a rod/reel combo MH Fast tip with a total weight of 9.6 ounces:eek2: and a reel with 24lb of drag. Now all I have to do is sink a jig in a fish over 37" to beat my PB LTG fish:thumbup:

Bill.......Hope you can use this info
I am speechles.
 

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I bet if this was all about the perfect togging - errr- I mean blackfish rod you would have something to say. :D
:yes: Phill, there is hope for you yet.:D And..., it just so happens I fished with such a rod last week. It was a Xmas present to my brother, I'm having a very similar one built as we speak.
 

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Nice report Bill! That's a great gift froma friend and a cool setup you now have! Good Luck on the big fish to come!

The St. Croix Tidemaster have been good rods for me...good rod in various actions and handle grip lengths with a reasonable price.

Uncle Phil - check into the Tidemaster and Legend series by St. Croix, they make a long handled models in many different actions.
 

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Nice work on the rod selection, Bill. Sounds to me like you made a good decision. Sorry I missed your call, BTW. In my opinion that type of rod is the future of jig fishing. I predict more and more manufacturers will make models in that style. There's no reason for extraneous cork or other materials on a rod. I'm not even sure you need a handle! I would guess that the rig you now have is the lightest overall outfit readily available, yet still capable of landing a 50 pound fish. Technically, way ahead of the curve. Given your LTJ talent I say we're in store for some good reports coming from your direction!
 

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That is a very impressive amount of research, and just about sums up my seemingly never ending search for just the right combo! I have way too many rods as it is, but my two all time favorites are my 6'9" Kistler helium LTA but way too spicy at $350. That being said I have caught thousands of fish on it, and have hundreds of hours jigging with it. I have it paired with a Diawa Fuego, and the whole setup is as light as a feather, I have enjoyed this setup greatly, it is almost effortless for all day, and the sensitivity is fantastic!

That being said, I tend to fish the Carrot stick all the time now, The rod is as light as the Kistler, But the Carrot stick has a real fast tip and the progressive loading is wonderful. This rod is light and tough. I used it for four days straight at the CBBT and had many slot fish, and those fish were fighters. I have caught several over 34 on it and as the fish pulls harder the Carrot Stick just shifts the load further into the butt and I have not worried about breakage since the Carrot stick warranty is great, I use a Diawa Sol on this rod.

Let me know what you think of the rod as you get more time on it! It is a very non conventional rod to say the least, but there are some wonderful rods out there and I rate this one a Ten. It is hard to go wrong at $150, My Avids just sit there with the Loomis and Tidemasters. :cool:
 

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Thanks for the info and glad you got something you like.:clap::D

Myself, I'm still using the $1 rods (that's right, $1) that a lot of use got from bps about 8 - 9 years ago. got about 9 of them. Caught a lot of biguns with them.

I have a bps extreme and another one (forget), but mostly use the old ones. Just can't bring myself to pay lots of $ for more rods.

Of course, maybe this is why I can't catch any stripers.:eek2::eek2:
 
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