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The 3 Rods Every Bass Angler Should Own

Posted by 
January 3, 2016
Published in News & Tips > Fishing > Bass
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Peek into Bassmaster Classic Champion Chris Lane’s rod locker prior to derby day, and you’re likely to find a dozen or so Bass Pro Shops CarbonLite rods and matching reels.  But he has a secret...

There might be one or two more—or maybe just 11—but it always hovers around that even dozen. Look in his truck and you’ll probably find the same number once again. Some of them are doubles, for when the bite is hot and heavy on a certain technique. Others are custom suited to presentations that won’t come into play that day. No matter what, you can never accuse him of being underprepared. He always has the right tool for the job at the ready.

Tournament fishing has increasingly become a game of specialization, with particular rods for everything from shakey-heading to Alabama Rigs, and it’s easy for the newcomer to quickly get overwhelmed by the available variety, as well as the array of optional components and features.

Rods Feature

That’s where Chris Lane’s dirty little secret comes in.

You don’t have to have 20 or 30 or more rods to be a successful tournament angler, he said. In fact, while sometimes a particular length or action is critical, other times you can use the same stick for multiple purposes. The key is to find the ones that are right for you. “Not every fisherman is the same,” he explained. “There’s a huge variety to the end user.”

That’s why he likes the CarbonLite rods.

“They hold up well and they’re sensitive,” he said. “Most importantly, the offer options to choose what is most important to you, whether that’s micro-guides or titanium guides or something else.”

That said, he thinks that most tournament fishermen can get along with a limited sample of sticks for a wide variety of applications. Here are three he never leaves home without:

1.  7’3” Heavy


“You can use it as a frog rod or a flipping stick,” he said. “Even as a long rod for a topwater bait.” When it’s time to make big fish eat steel in heavy cover, this is the rod you want to call on.

2.  7’ Medium-Heavy


“This is my all-around rod. I use it for a spinnerbait, a worm, and a jig,” he said. “I think you can use it on anything that’s not truly heavy.” It can also be used for a chatterbait, a swim jig, or a soft stickbait.

3.  6’6” Medium

“I’ll use this one with a jerkbait and fluorocarbon, or with a smaller topwater and monofilament. It’s your all-around rod that you pick up when you want to fire a bait out there. It gives you tremendous versatility with smaller lures, especially when you want to change back and forth.”

Of course, this leaves out some of his specialized tools, like a 7’6” flipping stick, which many consider his bread and butter. Lane has those in his boat and truck to be sure, but for the starting angler—or even the intermediate—you’re better off getting a few rods that can handle multiple tactics, and then expanding out from there.

Click here to see Edwin Evers' rod recomendations for anglers on a budget and click here to learn Josh Bertrand's 3 Favorite rod & reel setups.

Tagged under Read 46851 times Last modified on August 30, 2017
Pete Robbins

Veteran outdoor writer Pete Robbins writes primarily about bass fishing for a wide variety of magazines and websites. He has provided on-the-water tournament coverage for every Bassmaster Classic since 2010, and has been known to bring bad weather with him to venues that have not previously experienced any. He's blogged for Gary Yamamoto's Inside Line since 2008, where he explores issues related to fishing, food and popular culture, with a particular interest in the intersection of those three seemingly unrelated topics. He has not yet been featured on "Hoarders," although his tackle collection is beyond extensive, with a particular focus on rare Japanese hard baits.


Pete calls the Potomac River his home water, but has made multiple trips to the Amazon in search of peacock bass, and tries to make at least one trip per year to Mexico to chase big largemouths and drink margaritas.


He lives in Vienna, Virginia with his wife Hanna and their precocious Australian Shepherd Rooster, who has been known to herd small animals and children.

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