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As a fisherman, if you have spent enough time in the hobby, then it wasn’t long before you realized that there are many more variations to fishing than what the beginner might notice. Indeed, there are many different ways to fish, including the utilization of many different baits.
Of course, most people simply just use live bait, but with all due respect, others realize there is a whole world of fishing that these individuals are missing out on. Indeed, there are fishing hobbyists who have worked for years perfecting different techniques to get finicky fish to come out of their shell and bite their bait.
This is especially true for bass, who is known for being one of the smarter varieties of fish. Of course, this is a good option for those who want a challenge. Moreover, one of the best ways to land this elusive bass would be through the discipline of finesse fishing.
Finesse Fishing Explained
What is finesse fishing, you ask? Well, it’s simply yet another method in the fisherman’s arsenal for coaxing out finicky fish. Of course, it takes some practice to get it right; it’s not something where you can go out immediately on the lake and do it absolutely right. Finesse fishing is all about attention to detail. It’s all about finding the correct placement for your bait and the correct location for your rod and reel. It is basically about finding a certain specific way to present your bait to the fish. Naturally, this method of fishing is very detail-oriented, and proponents of this fishing method are very careful about every item within their fishing equipment.
Of course, this all begs the question: which rod is best for this type of fishing? Well, that is definitely open to a lot of debate among finesse fishermen, so here is some extra information regarding the discipline of finesse fishing:
Finesse Fishing: A Brief Introduction
We’re getting down to the nitty-gritty here, but first things first: you have to understand what the word finesse means and what “finesse” means in relation to fishing in the first place. The word “finesse” is defined as “intricate and refined.” Thus, when it comes to fishing, this simply means that no detail is overlooked. Take a look at some of these extra considerations.
Finesse Fishing is More of a Small-Handed Fishing Version Rather Than a Heavy-Handed One.
What do we mean by that? Well, the best explanation is that finesse fishing for such species as bass will entail utilizing such equipment as a spinner with smaller action, a soft plastic that is much thinner than normal, and a spinning action with a subdued action that will still feature a good spinning gear.
This is in direct contract with the normal heavy bass fishing methods, which usually feature such things as a huge, bulky lure, a fast-moving production, and a bait casting operation with a lot of heavy action. This is all well and good, and it does catch a lot of bass throughout the year. However, these methods do not allow
for such things as the clear water, cold fronts, or the fishing pressure scaring the bass away. If you want to fish for bass all-year-round under most circumstances, you will need to have more than one fishing method in your arsenal. This is where finesse fishing methods come in.
Now that you’ve realized that finesse fishing DOES have a purpose, let’s have a look at some of the best rods for the practice:
So Just What Makes a Good Finesse Bass Fishing Rod Anyway?
Now that we’ve laid the groundwork for those who are beginners in finesse bass fishing, it’s time to discuss the importance of using the right rod for this type of fishing. Either way you slice it, selecting the best rod for finesse fishing is a topic all to itself, and there is naturally a lot of debate regarding which one is best.
The job of this blog entry is not to promote one rod over the other, but whichever brand you select, there are some must-have characteristics and attitudes you need in order for you to have the best finesse fishing experience:
When it comes to the bass fishing old-timers, take their views of finesse fishing rods with a grain of salt,
Chances are, anyone who has been bass fishing out on the lake for any length of time has either considered or went ahead and tried finesse bass fishing. This discipline is like everything else; some have tried it and liked it, but some have tried it and not cared for it.
Those who don’t care for finesse bass fishing will usually immediately criticize the rods that are used for the finesse strategy. Their complaints will usually go something like, “Well, these finesse bass fishing rods are good for nothing whippy spinning rods that only work part of the time. Seriously, you need to have a tight line paired with a tiny bait, or it’s nothing more than a piece of junk!”
Yes, they will get THAT adamant about it. However, this description isn’t necessarily true, and you owe it to yourself to decide on your own what you think about finesse spinning rods. Of course, this leads us to our next point.
Finesse bass fishing rods are actually quite versatile and durable.
Naturally, when it comes to finesse bass fishing rods, not all of them are created equal. When selecting the best finesse fishing rod, it will often boil down to four words: shock absorption and backbone.
That’s right: if you are looking for the best way to catch these stubborn basses out of season or in less-than-perfect weather, you need a rod that can withstand just how tough these little creatures can be!
The shock absorption on your finesse rod will allow you to withstand an incredible fight from even the most stubborn bass. Moreover, the shock absorption on a fishing line will also help you be able to land this bass without the hook being torn straight through the little one’s mouth entirely.
Naturally, it can be difficult to find a finesse fishing rod with the right shock absorption or backbone, but like everything else in life, it pays to read the fine print. Much like you read the small details on all your grocery store items in order to prevent an allergic reaction, you should do the same with your fishing rods to make sure they can handle a stubborn bass.
Finesse rods need to have the right configuration for your needs.
Along these same lines, you should go with a rod that is precisely calibrated for this bass fishing strategy. Many anglers have found success with a rod that has a 70/30 calibration.
That is, the rod will have a 70 percent backbone, which means that the rod will remain stiff and continue to hold up even under the immense pressure of even the strongest and most determined bass. Simply put, even though bass might appear to be small, there are some of these creatures that are so ripped that they have been known to break many different fishing rods.
This is why you want a rod that is 70 percent stiff, if just for the purpose of having the strength to control that fish in his watery domain. Moreover, you have to realize that you are trying to fish for these basses in the same place that you would normally cast a regular spinner or a jig.
Hence, yet another reason why you need a rod with at least a 70 percent stiffness. However, do be aware that even if you keep in mind getting a rod with this degree of stiffness, we still aren’t done yet.
That’s right: we also need a rod that has the 30 percent calibration as well. Having a rod with a 30 percent tip means that you are able to withstand a lot of shock to the bottom part of the rod that usually comes with casting all of these light lures. This also means that your rod will have the flexibility to keep the line strong even when you do encounter a stubborn fish.
Of course, there is no question that this rod is very versatile. However, there is definitely one small problem: if you aren’t an experienced angler, how can you tell if you are handling (or planning to buy) an appropriate 70/30 rod? Usually, a good rule of thumb is to simply just know how to properly handle the rod.
For starters, you should simply just test the model yourself. You would do this by holding the rod with your left hand, and then run your fingers along the handle by the reel seat. At the same time, you should also pull down on the rod tip with your right hand.
Watch carefully, seeing just where the tip begins to stop flexing. If you have an authentic 70/30 fishing rod, you will immediately notice that it stops flexing just about a third of the way down the shaft of the rod. The beauty of this method is that you can employ this practice with just about any rod you are considering buying in order to fully determine the true action of the piece.
While 70/30 is a good calibration to keep in mind for those just starting out in finesse fishing, this calibration is by no means the only model that you can use.
After you have gotten some practice with finesse fishing under your belt, you also could consider a 60/40 model, simply because many finesse fishermen do not like to stick with just one calibration. Additionally, some finesse guys like a 60/40 rod because it will usually hold up better for a litany of light wire fishing activities.
Many finesse fishermen also like this model because it is great for either split shotting, drop shotting, or any other occasion where you might be fishing with a smaller hook.
The length of your rod is important too.
Of course, you also should pay attention to the length of your finesse rod as well. Interestingly enough, there really isn’t any one length that will work best; it kind of depends on what goals you have in mind. For example, you might want a rod that is 6 1/2 feet if you are fishing in a tightly covered area or if you
are putting your bait out in an area that has a lot of debris, such as boulders, rocks, branches, or dock beams. Alternately, you might want to go with the slightly longer seven-foot finesse rod model if you intend to make longer casts out into the water.
A seven-footer is also good for finding the bigger fish that stay further out and might normally be more easily spooked.
Find your own “lingo” for what kind of finesse rod you are looking for.
When you are shopping for a finesse rod for the first couple of times, one of the things you immediately realize is that there is no such thing as a “one-size-fits-all” description among rod and reel companies.
Simply put, it varies. Some companies will say their rod is “medium”, and that’s all well and good, but you could take that exact same rod to another company and they might classify it as “medium/heavy” or even “medium/light” with another company!
This is why it is so useful for you to simply go with the 70/30, 60/40, or 80/20 method. Yes, it might sound like you are talking about motor oil calibrations, but it’s a lot less confusing and much easier to get the rod you want that way.
Don’t be afraid to experiment!
Finally, there is no getting around the fact that you might need to go through some trial-and-error before you find the best rod for this type of fishing. This means being patient and trying out different rods until you find the one that is best for your own unique finesse fishing situation. Simply put, the best rod for finesse fishing is the one that fully meets your unique finesse angling expectations. There is no “one-size-fits-all” variety. Just try everything out until you find the right one for you.