Bassmaster's 2006 Tackle Guide:
Rods: Fish sticks

Updated: November 30, 2005, 10:22 AM ET
By Steve Price | BASSMASTER Magazine, December 2005
For bass fishermen, it sometimes seems that rod building has evolved into the highest levels of rocket science, because there's nothing simple about it anymore. Not only has the composition of our favorite sticks changed dramatically in the past decade, so has the way the resins and glass/graphite/titanium are mixed. Every year new terminology is invented just to describe these changes.

Most bass fishermen don't pretend to understand the technicalities of how their favorite fishing stick was created. A rod becomes a favorite for a lot of reasons, most of which occur on the water rather than in a lab.

Still, it is the lab work that in the end allows a rod to perform to an angler's particular needs, and at this year's ICAST Show in Las Vegas, a lot of intense lab work for the past year was highly evident. It's hard to imagine, for example, a flipping stick that weighs just 3 ounces, but it's here, and it's a beauty. Remember the earliest titanium rods just a handful of years ago? Those first ones were stiff, heavy and expensive, and few thought they'd survive. Now, the lab techs have figured out how to integrate titanium with graphite — producing rods that will unquestionably become personal favorites on the water in the months ahead.