I have been curious about this rod for quite awhile. I like the price ( $137 shipped ) and the hardware. The fact that it has a screw-down handle is a bonus.
We finally had the time to go fishing this morning so I took this rod along to test out. I paired it with the Shimano Stradic FL 1000 and I think they compliment each other quite well. It is a 2-piece rod with 6 eyelets and it casts as expected. The reel seat and handle consist of nice hardware and geometry.
We managed to catch 11 bass but didn’t bother taking pictures since they were only about a pound in weight. The rod performed well and I really liked using it. I am impressed with the Tailwalk quality and might look into some of their other offerings.
When I got home from work Friday, I was chatting with the wife trying to figure out what we were going to do this weekend. She wanted to go fishing on Saturday and I reminded her that it was going to be 95F and sunny. I mentioned that Sunday was supposed to be cooler with a high of 82F. We both decided to go fishing on Sunday! What we didn’t count on was a thunderstorm Saturday night. As we went to bed, I was checking the stream gauges and noticed the river was rising. Outside, thunder was booming and lightning was flashing. Rain was coming down in sheets. But it was moving fast so we called it a night. I decided to check in the morning to see if we could actually fish this river.
Upon hearing my alarm at 0430 I immediately grabbed my phone and checked the stream gauges. The water had risen but was dropping fast. Sunday was a GO! After a 2 hour drive we were standing on the riverbank by 0720. Temperature was at 69F with a slight fog. We were the only ones there.
I’m going to diverge a bit here and try to explain this river. The last time we were here we noticed that everything was different. Looking back over my notes I noticed that on May 28th, 2021 the water level in this river was almost 18ft high. That amount of water and flow drastically changed the riverbed. I mentioned that in a previous post. So I had the wife take a photo to give you an idea of what occurred.
We stepped into the river and began casting and trying to locate some fish to develop a pattern. It didn’t take long and we had 5 fish to hand. They were in their summer pattern so would be hanging out in pocket water amongst current. If there are stretches of slow water you might catch some little ones, but generally, only perch and gar are hanging out there so we skip those sections.
We fished for 5 hours and covered 3 miles of new water. Last Spring we did a reconnaissance trip to this area and realized we would be swimming a lot to cross several sections. This time, we were able to wade across everything so it was a lot more enjoyable.
All told we caught 101 Neosho-strain smallmouth bass on this trip which is a new record for us (We are 100% Catch and Release and use barbless hooks) I would estimate that about 40% were dinks, 40% were decent and the remaining 20% were above average. We were very happy and had a great time. The only downside was that we noticed the Owner Cultiva JH-85 and JH-86 2.2 and 2.0 gram jig heads didn’t seem to be as sharp as we prefer and we ended up losing quite a few fish. Definitely considering switching to the Gamakatsu Round 211 3/32oz jig heads.
I have tried several different makes and models of pack rods through the years and have settled on the MajorCraft Finetail Trekking and Traveler series of rods.
The species of fish I’m chasing (Micropterus dolomieu velox…Neosho-strain Smallmouth Bass) do not require heavy tackle so these rods are more than adequate. I wanted something compact that I could stow in one of my packs and these are perfect for my needs.
I chose the MajorCraft Finetail Trekking and Traveler Switch Style FTX-46/505UL and the baitcast version, the FTX-B46/505UL. MajorCraft does make shorter or longer versions of these rods.
As you can see, they come in a heavy duty zippered pouch which thoroughly protects the rods. However, that comes at a significant weight- 12.1 ounces for the spinning rod and 13.1 ounces for the baitcast rod. So I opted to ditch the zippered cases and just stow the rods in the cloth sleeves they come in thereby reducing the weight to 3.6 ounces for the spinning rod and 4.1 ounces for the baitcast rods.
I find this setup suits most of my needs for the small streams I have been fishing lately. As of yet I haven’t felt underpowered and have all the leverage I need and my casting distance is on par with other JDM rods I have. As a bonus, all of my gear fits inside my pack during transport so I rarely worry about the rods being broken.
For open stretches of a river I prefer the spinning rod but when things get tricky with overhanging trees and such, I prefer the baitcast rod since I find it to be more accurate. Plus, it also depends on what type of lures I’m using at any given time. Since these are 5-piece rods, I have the option to remove the 6 inch insert section and go with a shorter rod if necessary. I have yet to have one of these rods come apart while fishing, but I do check the sections periodically to make sure they are still in place.
I’ve caught quite a few fish on these and have been very pleased with their performance.
This is a picture of my wife’s stream fishing rod. It is the 2020 TenRyu Rayz Super Yamame RZ6102S-LML spinning rod. As denoted on the blank, it’s a 6 foot 10 inch Light-Medium Light action spinning rod. Max Lure Weight is 12 grams and Max Line Weight is 6 pound Mono or 0.6 #PE.
Fit and finish on this rod is excellent with minimal filler in the cork handle. It is paired with the 2020 Shimano TwinPower C2000S reel and balances perfectly. I think it is a beautiful rod and I jokingly refer to it as “her Yoda rod” since it has some quirky inscriptions on the blank.
-“A Thing Good Commonly”
-“Learn A Lesson From The Past”
That being said, the action is amazing and it fishes very well…
The wife and I took a quick trip to one of our local lakes this morning. We counted 6 boats on the lake with more arriving when we left. All told, we fished for 2 hours before the wind kicked up and it got kind of crowded. We walked to the opposite end of the lake and in no time we had 5 boats up on us. Guess that happens when you’re catching fish. There was no ill will amongst anyone and I think everyone was just glad to be out fishing and trying to get out of the wind.
Today was the first time I was able to use my Major Craft Finetail Area Stage FAX-B642UL baitcast rod. I LIKED IT! It was a little more limber than I was expecting but worked very well. I ended up catching 6 largemouth bass. Conditions weren’t great due to all of the recent rainfall. The lake was about 4ft high and stained. It was a day of catching “salad” as we call it. Almost every cast forced you to pick grass, weeds or algae off of your lure. But like I tell the wife, “if you aren’t fishing in the weeds then you aren’t where the bass are.”
I took the GoPro this time and tried to shoot some video for the blog. The wind made it tough due to where we were positioned on the lake (facing into the sun)
I managed to catch 2 of the 6 fish on video. Because of the wind, the GoPro wasn’t able to pick up my voice commands very well. The sun felt great and we had a blast just getting out there and relaxing and catching fish…
I wanted to try an “Area Trout” baitcasting rod since I already have a “Native Trout” baitcasting rod. The difference is that “Area” designated rods tend to be a bit more limber. They are whippier and have more of a parabolic bend in the blank. In theory, it should be easier to use the rods inertia to assist in casting a light lure.
I have a cheap BPS Sensilite fiberglass rod that I practice with and kind of liked the action…hence getting this rod. As soon as I can get some free time I will definitely give this rod a shot.
Major Craft Finetail Area Stage Rod FAX-B642UL specs…
-6ft 4in- 2 piece rod
-lure weight 1.0-5.0 grams
-line weight 1.5-5 lbs or 0.2-0.6#PE
I definitely like the low profile and minimalist rod handle. I am excited to try this one out…
We waited for the temps to climb this morning and then headed to a local lake. I wanted to take my Shimano Calcutta Conquest BFS reel and my Major Craft Finetail Stream FSX-B502L rod. I figured that the only way to become proficient with it was to use it for several hours. I only experienced one minor backlash in 3 hours of fishing so I was pretty happy. I managed to catch 6 fish, 5 Largemouth bass and 1 Warmouth but I didn’t get a single picture. As anyone who is familiar with Oklahoma knows, wind is always a factor and today was no different…it was blowing at 20+mph today.
Due to previous commitments, we had to cut and run after 3 hours.
For the last several years I have noticed that Major League Bass fisherman from the US head to Japan to learn new techniques that the Japanese use to catch big bass in heavily pressured waters. I’m not a diehard Largemouth Bass fisherman by any stretch of the imagination, but I like learning new things.
One day while going down the YouTube algorithm generated “rabbit hole,” I stumbled across Randy G. at TroutMagnetMan, and he was fishing with Japanese ultralight fishing rods. My curiosity was piqued and I began researching JDM tackle.
I look for “Quantum Leaps” when it comes to gear. Kind of like the Bamboo rods versus Fiberglass rods. And let me warn you now…if you get into this JDM gear, you will be doing a TON of research and language translation.
The Japanese are “Graphite Wizards” when it comes to graphite fishing rods.(For you golfers out there…Japanese made graphite golf club shafts are in high demand.) How they create these rods is impressive as well as the technological advancements that go into them. I used to think my fishing rods were light but I was wrong. My St. Croix 6ft 6in ML tips the scale at 4.5 ounces while my TenRyu 6ft 10in ML comes in at exactly 2.0 ounces. That’s amazing to me. And the sensitivity is off the charts!
Will all of this High Tech Wizardry help me catch more fish? I hope so. But I do know that shaving ounces will help me fish longer so the odds are in my favor.
I haven’t tried JDM BFS (Bait Finesse Style) fishing where they use baitcasting gear. But if you want to see a Master in action…that would be Angler Saito over on Youtube. His channel is named EnjoyFishingChannel.