Monday, June 22, 2015

Why Spinnerbait Fisherman Choose Dobyns Rods

Who doesn't love to fish spinnerbaits? next to a top water strike there is nothing that comes close to watching your spinnerbait disappear into a fishes mouth while your rod buckles over. I'm getting excited just talking about it!

Like most other techniques if you are going to be successful with a spinnerbait it will take more than just tying one on and casting away, you need the right gear, and what better place to start then with the right rod, and for me that always starts with Dobyns.

For about 4 years now I have been using a Dobyns DX744c as my spinnerbait rod, and that's its only job, not once in that time have I ever used it for anything but spinnerbait fishing, and never in that time have i cheated on it with another rod. I chose the  DX744 because it offers me the right balance, power and tip I need to bomb, flip and roll cast a 1/2oz spinnerbait into and over any cover in any condition.

Trust me, at the end of a long day of spinnerbait fishing you are going to know if you have the right rod, but don't take my word for it.. I've rounded up four guys who know a thing or two about fishing a spinnerbait and they're not afraid to share...

 West Coast Pro

It seems that spinnerbaits have taken a back seat to baits like vibrating jigs, swimbaits and square bill crankbaits and many anglers can’t tell you the last time they caught a bass on a spinnerbait.

Here in the West that is also true but anglers are finding out that to be versatile on our different waters from clear deep lakes to shallow dirty water with vegetation the spinnerbait is still a bait that I have tied on year round.
The rods I fish a spinnerbait on vary quite a lot and for many years I was one of the diehard fiberglass rod guys for reactions baits. After getting away from the glass rods for a couple years I have recently added them back into the mix and the Dobyns Champion Series 705CB has become one of my favorites. This is the rod that I fish baits up to ½ ounce and 12-15 pound Trilene Flourocarbon.
When I am fishing the spinnerbaits with heavier line 17-20 and fishing a heavier bait into deeper water I then go to a graphite rod for sensitivity. My first choice for this type of spinnerbait fishing is DX744 and a 7.0 gear retrieve reel.

Both of these rods can be left in the rod box with a spinnerbait year round and ready to go but you will find they are also great rods for squarebills, topwater and jigs with the DX744.

If you are working with a limited budget and want to narrow down the cost of a rod give the Savvy Series a look where the SS734 is one of the most versatile rods I carry and often rigged with a spinnerbait, vibrating jig or walking topwater

JJ Patton

Eldridge, Iowa

Spinner baits and the Upper Mississippi River go hand in hand.   Most of the year, a spinner bait is a valuable tool for locating and catching large and smallmouth bass in the shallow, stained (to downright muddy) water.  Almost every time I launch the boat you will see spinner bait tied on to one of my Dobyns champion 734c rods.
 All of the pools of the river forming the Eastern border of Iowa contain backwaters with woods, weeds and rock.   In addition, main river cover and structure forms current breaks allowing fish to wait in eddies for an easy meal to pass by.   A spinner bait is a great option for covering water to determine the always changing patterns as it can mimic shad, sunfish and shiners that the bass feed on.   My bait of choice is most often War Eagle spinner bait, either in ¼ oz or the screaming eagle which is ½ oz bait built on a small frame.    When targeting shallow weeds or wood I turn to the ¼ oz so it can be worked slowly through the off-colored water allowing fish time to locate it and eat it.   When working current or covering water the screaming eagle allows the bait to get down in the current, or it can be burned across flats or near cover to illicit a reaction strike.   Most of the time, a bait with some chartreuse in it will stand out more although plain white can be great at times, or black seems to work well in low light conditions.   As far as blades, I think it comes down to personal preference.   A single Colorado blade with its slow thumping action works well early in the year and when the water is muddy, but willow leaf blades allow a faster retrieve, less drag in current, and may better simulate the small baitfish present much of the year.   Painted blades seem to have a place and time as well- from plain white when the sun shines to bright orange when the water is dirty, experimenting can yield more and bigger bass.   

As far as equipment goes, any reel in the 6:1- 7:1 speed should work,   most of the time a fast retrieve is nice so you can hit the key spots or current breaks, and then burn it in for the next cast.   Most of the fish are target oriented so not wasting time through unproductive water can increase success.   Because of the heavy wood and weed cover and reduced clarity, I prefer heavier line- 20 lb fluorocarbon or even 30-50 lb braided line.   My rod of choice is pretty simple- the Dobyns 734 champion!  This rod is extremely versatile and can do most things on the river, and it shines in the ¼- ½ oz lure range.   A 734 loads well for longer casts,  provide sensitivity so you can feel the blades and know if there are weeds fouling them or a fish has inhaled it, and provide the necessary power to pull fish away from cover when they strike.   See your local dealer and try the 734, you will not be disappointed.

Adrian Smiley
Bossier City, Louisiana

Spinnerbait fishing in my area of the U.S means I spend the majority of my time being target oriented. So I tend to make repeated shorter roll casts to specific targets and cover, over and over again.  The Dobyns Champion 684C provides the perfect combination of length, balance, and strength that any hard core spinnerbait angler needs in this scenario. 

Lets expand on these three characteristics. The first is length, the 684C is 6"8' in length making it perfect for casting under tree limbs, docks and other tight places where an underhand roll cast is often needed.  These low water-skimming casts ensure you get your spinnerbait to those “unfished” areas of cover often missed or neglected by other anglers. 

Second is balance, there is not another rod manufacturer on the market that prides itself more on the balance of their rods than Dobyns. The perfect balance makes the fatigue factor of throwing a spinnerbait all day a non-issue. 

Last but not least is strength, some may think a medium/heavy to heavy rod would be too rigid for spinnerbaits but when you need that little bit of extra backbone to get those hard-fighting bass away from cover you know you will have it in the 684C.

 To make your Dobyns 684C into a complete spinnerbait combo all you need is to add your favorite 7.1:1 gear ratio reel, (like my personal  favorite a Bass Pro Shops Pro Qualifier), spooled up with a reliable monofilament. 

Outside of your rod/reel combo there are a few other must haves when building your spinnerbait fishing arsenal. A skirt machine for matching the forage in your body of water is essential. Also probably just as important as a skirt, in my opinion, is to have a vast assortment of blades and like the skirt match the hatch to improve your chances. Along with a good pair of pliers don’t be afraid to tweak your spinnerbaits to match any fishing condition you may encounter. Good fishin’ and God bless.

Mike Webster
Atkins, Arkansas

Here in Arkansas when it comes to a spinnerbait, we primarily have two ways of fishing them, shallow around shoreline vegetation and cover or deep around brush piles. These two techniques require totally different gear. I grew up fishing the many grass beds, stumps and laydowns on Lake Dardanelle and spinnerbait fishing is something I have done ever since I can remember. It is a great technique to catch numbers as well as big fish most of the year.

Throwing a spinnerbait around weeds, wood, and docks up in the shallows, I don’t think there is a better stick in the world than a Dobyns Champion 734c. I prefer the split handle model, only because it is more comfortable to me. This rod is classified as a heavy action rod, but it is not overly heavy. It has a fast action tip which allows you to just pull into the fish on a hookset, which I really like. This rod measures 7’3” so it allows you precision casting along with great distance. I primarily use a Santone Lures M series spinnerbait in 3/8 oz, this bait comes equipped with a 4/0 Mustad hook and .32 wire size. It tracks and balances in the water perfectly right out of the package, keeping you from having to bend wires or change blades. Matts Blue Herren is my got to in dirty water and I like the Mean Green in clearer water. If I am fishing pressured water or super clear water I will downsize to the Santone Lures Got 5 spinnerbait in ¼ or 3/8 oz, they come equipped with 3/0 Mustad hooks and .30 wire size. This bait is more compact and doesn’t shy fish away that are spooky. Again, I like Matts Blue Herren and Mean Green for the same reasons above.

When fishing brush piles in deeper water, I will beef up my rod a little and I give the Dobyns Champion 765CB the nod here. This rod has a lot more backbone than the 734 and with it being a moderate fast action you can let the rod load up, helping you get a better hook in deeper water. This rod will allow you to launch a heavy spinnerbait, which enables you to cast past your target and get down into it. This rod measures 7’6” but does not have the heavy feel of a bigger stick. I only throw one spinnerbait when it comes to this technique, the Santone Lures Pretender. I will throw anywhere from a ½ to 1 oz, depending on how deep I am fishing. These baits come equipped with a 5/0 Mustad hook and .40 wire size. The heads are powder coated and painted with chip resistant paint and the body features a live action silicone skirt. In clearer water I will throw the mouse color as it is more natural to the fish. When it comes to dirtier water I go with either citrus or black and red, depending on just how dirty the water is and what the fish are wanting

So there you have it, 4 anglers who choose Dobyns when it comes to fishing the right rod for their spinnerbait of choice. And if you were paying attention you might have noticed we all had one thing in common, and that is that our preferred power was a #4, no matter if you are fishing DX, a Champ or even the Savvy series the a Dobyns 4 power rod was built to fish a spinnerbait. 

see ya on the water

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Chautauqua Lake Photo Journal - Bass Fishing in May - 2015 Edition

This past weekend was my 4th annual Trip to Western NY in search of jumbo bass on Lake Erie and Lake Chautauqua. I really look forward to this trip and as usual the lakes and the fish did not disappoint.

Here are some pics from our adventure...

The Dunkirk Harbour on Lake Erie is always our first stop, depending on weather we either fish fish the harbour and more secluded spots, but if weather (meaning wind) permits we venture out in the big lake in search of big fish.

(Kenny's Smallie)

Unfortunately this year, a sick co-angler and a drained battery meant we were spending most of our time in the Harbour.. with that said the fish were plentiful and who can complain about catching dozens of smallies ready to fight.

Erie is loaded with beautiful fish, the above pic is my fish official bass of the 2015 Season

Chautauqua Lake is one of my favourite fishing spots I have ever had a chance to wet a line. An abundance of large largemouth and smallmouth bass as well as Walleye (that I have yet to catch), Musky, Crappie, Perch, MudCats, and more. This Lake is a fisherman's dream

Kenny and I partnered up on day 1 at Chautauqua, and as usual we started off by flipping docks. This was the first fish of the day, and a sign of good things to come.

Although we didn't smack the numbers we had in previous years, we did manage a good number of fish, most pulled out from under docks with some sort of secondary cover near by. The carp have been cutting up the shorelines and if enough weed clung to the side of the dock, you would usually find a fish under it.

The morning bite was off, so we quickly ran through the docks, and returned in the afternoon, hoping the sun would push some fish into cover. We did manage more fish in the afternoon, but still not the bite we were looking for.

This Molix Craw was one of my hot baits on this tip. It allowed me to use a large wide profile while still sliding easily through cover (Texas rigged). Typically I would have fished a jig in this situation, but the Molix craw was a nice alternative. 

Check out the secondary cover all around this dock.. stop looking at the fish... this is what we looked for all afternoon in order to find dock fish. 

Smallies were not in abundance on Chautauqua but this little guy fell victim to a spinnerbait while fishing a secluded weeded around by rock piles. I wish I could have found his bigger brother.

Whats a trip without a little food porn. The last two seasons I have been the chef for this outing and as always I made sure the BBQ got in on the action.. now back to the fish.

On Day 2 at Chatauqua I was parked up with Brian, he and I have a blast on the water and were able to find some pretty solid fish. We started on the North/East end of the lake, but high winds made the conditions tough. By moving the west end the water was more manageable and the fishing picked up. This is Brian with a nice 4lber.

Brain really had the hot stick in the afternoon, added more and more weight to our imaginary tournament bag. It was nice to see those fish under 2lbs quickly get erased from our rappel scale. 

I too contributed to our bag with this 4.29lb largemouth pull our from a windblown dock. Later on this day I was surprised by a Musky pulled out from nearly the exact same cover. 

After watching the Chautauqua Lake Major League Fishing Episode we decided to treat the day like a tournament, above is what Brian and my final bag would have looked like at the end of the day. A  very respectable 18.12lbs for 5 fish. Just need that one big kicker

Day 3 poured rain and the temps dropped by 20 degrees, so needless to say the fishing was tough and the camera stayed tucked away. We did manage some fish, the best being Ricks 4+ lb smallmouth, and the oddest catch goes to the mud cat I caught while spinnerbait fishing some timber

This is the fun pic from the trip, after a wet day one of the boys not naming any names (Kenny) took the time to dry out his tackle on the back of the toilet using the shower fan.. only time will tell if it actually worked

Weapons of Choice:

Dobyns DX746 - Daiwa Tatula - Elite Tungsten - Molix Craw
Dobyns DX744 - Daiwa Zillion - War Eagle Spinnerbait
Dobyns 734C - Daiwa Tatula Type R - Gann's Jigs
Dobyns 735C - Daiwa Lexa - Reaction Innovations Skinny Dipper