The Best New Saltwater Rods

If it swims in the salt, someone makes a rod designed to

help you catch it. Here are the newest models for 2007. (May 2007)

Saltwater fishing rods were once made of bamboo with guides that rusted away after one season. Then anglers began taking modernized freshwater rods to the salt water with better results. Eventually, there were many rods claiming to serve double duty. But veteran ocean fishermen know they are better served by choosing today's rods built specifically for the challenges of saltwater fishing.

Saltwater rods are banged around in holders, perpetually soaked with seawater and spend weeks in direct sunlight. As further abused beyond the capabilities of freshwater rods, they catch bigger, faster, harder-fighting fish. Therefore, as advancing technology creates new manufacturing techniques and materials, it is applied to improve saltwater rods on which tackle manufacturers stake their reputations. Here's the lowdown on the newest saltwater rods.


TICA

(TicaGlobal.com)

Tica's new rods include BFEP, JCLA and JCLB Jig Rods. BFEP rods are 6-foot, 6-inch fiberglass with EVA handles. JCLA rods have 7-foot fiberglass/high modulus graphite blanks, with special reel seats and SIC Gunsmoke guides. The JCLB series is heavier with similar features to the JCLA series but with titanium oxide guides.


Tica Jig Rods are similar to the Boat Rods. The JCLB Jig Rod series is fiberglass/graphite composite, and the BFEP series rod is fiberglass.

Twelve new Surf Series rods include the UEHA in 7- to 12-foot lengths. These new rods have high modulus graphite blanks, heat-treated stainless steel guides, graphite reel seats and cork grips. Two new 7-foot and 8-foot Surf Series UELA rods have moderate-fast actions and EVA handles.

ALL STAR RODS

(AllStarRods.com)

All Star Rods has several new Team Inshore series rods. There are two new one-piece, fast-action casting rods, including the Special Tail Rod at 6 feet, 6 inches and the Top N Tales rod at 6 feet, 9 inches. Five new rods in the spinning category range from 7 to 8 feet: the Trout/Redfish Special, the Redfish Special, the Croaker Special, the Surf Special and the Tarpon Heavy Spin.

All Star Inshore Series Rods are designed with input from the company's pro team and feature IM 10 graphite blanks, corrosion-resistant Fuji aluminum oxide guides, graphite reel seats, SensaTouch blanks running through the reel seat for extra sensitivity, premium cork handles and a stainless steel hook keeper.

DAIWA

(Daiwa.com)

Daiwa's new line of big-game rods includes its Dendoh series in Boat Rod, Deep Drop and Kite configurations. Dendoh Boat Rods have triangular Powerlift grips, PowerSlim bias-ply graphite blanks, Fuji Hardloy guides, Double Wrapped guides with epoxy finish, high-density Duracork handles and a Black Diamond comfort grip on deckhand models.

Dendoh Deep Drop models have Fuji aluminum oxide guides and AFTCO swivel roller tip guides. The Kite Rods feature a straight aluminum butt and an aluminum reel seat with a carbide alloy tip-top.

SHIMANO

(Shimano.com)

Shimano Tiralejo surf rods won an award for Best New Saltwater Rod. They have unique "Slip 'N' Grip" reel seats. Tiralejo surf rods include nine casting and five spinning models. Casting rods and new 8-foot and 9-foot spinning rods feature Fuji LC guide frames for increased casting distance. An optional counterbalance system is offered so Tiralejo rods can be perfectly balanced no matter where anglers place their reels on the grip.

Shimano's Talavera rods' sizes and actions address most saltwater fishing situations, with specific models, actions and components for fishing techniques used along the East, Southeast, Gulf and West coasts. Talavera series rods include boat, stand-up and trolling rods with graphite or composite Aeroglass blanks, aluminum oxide Fuji guides and AFTCO roller tip guides, and aluminum reel seats and gimbals.

Two new Trevala "Long Jig Special" Butterfly Jig Rods are designed for large Butterfly jigs. The TVC-58XXH conventional and TVS-58XXH spinning rods are short, heavier-action models rated for 200-pound and 100-pound braids, respectively. When used with high-speed power reels, they impart more erratic action to long jigs.

LAMIGLAS

(Lamiglas.com)

Lamiglas has several new offerings for saltwater anglers, including the Tri-flex Graphite Offshore, the Tropic Pro Jigging and Popping, the Tri-flex Graphite Inshore, the Kayak Series and the Travel Series rods.

Triflex Graphite Inshore rods offer light handling with plenty of power. Nine new inshore models featuring cork handles and fast actions bring these incredible rods to a completely new range of anglers because they work well for every kind of fishing, from stripers to tuna and tarpon. Two models, the TFX 7020 CT and TFX 7040 CT, are especially designed for catching tautog.

Seven Lamiglas Kayak rods are offered for the needs of anglers in tiny craft. The Lamiglas Travel series includes eight new models from 7-foot casting to 10-foot surf four-piece rods.

OKUMA

(OkumaFishing.com)

Okuma's Tournament rods are hand finished, with premium AFTCO heavy-duty or SHD roller guides and detachable machined aluminum Pacific Bay channel butts. Rein

forced E-glass blanks increase lifting power and leverage. The rods are double wrapped with epoxy finish and leather foregrip. Tournament rods are backed by Okuma's exclusive lifetime warranty. Standup, trolling, chair and spinning rods are offered in the Tournament series.

Abu Garcia

(Abugarcia.com)

Abu Garcia has four new Mitchell combos, featuring its smooth, dependable Mitchell series reels mated to two-piece rods. The rods come in sizes that are staggered in 6-inch intervals from 5-foot, 6-inch to 7-foot lengths for great performance at a modest price.

PENN

(PennReels.com)

Penn's saltwater rods have been redesigned, improving upon the long-standing legacy of Penn quality and ruggedness. While they have an upgraded appearance with higher quality wrapping, the beauty goes more than skin deep.

The rods have new blank materials specific to the fishing method and the species of fish they are used for catching. The result is improved casting performance and increased sensitivity without sacrificing power.

Penn conventional Slammer rods come in 6-foot; 6-foot, 6-inch; and 7-foot lengths suitable for use with 15- to 80-pound lines. Penn Slammer spinning rods are made in 6-foot, 6-inch and 7-foot lengths suitable for 6- to 30-pound lines.

SHAKESPEARE

(Shakespeare-Fishing.com)

Shakespeare has new rod-and-reel saltwater combos. Ugly Stik Trolling combos -- the Uglytroll 2066 and the Uglytroll 3066 -- include a 6-foot, 6-inch Tidewater Rod and a T20L or a T30L reel.

Also from Shakespeare are the new Synergy saltwater spin-cast combos. The Synergy Ti14 combo features a Synergy ball bearing saltwater reel and a 6-foot two-piece medium-heavy graphite composite rod with cork grips. The Synergy 20 combo is a Synergy 20 saltwater spin-cast reel paired with a 7-foot two-piece medium-heavy tubular glass rod with EVA handles.

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