Bait-Casting Rods

THE RATINGS •Excellent •Very Good •Good •Fair EDITOR’S CHOICE Falcon Cenderi SCTi 76M FINAL SCORE:Excellent Retail: $200 Performance: Excellent Design: … Continued

THE RATINGS •Excellent •Very Good •Good •Fair

EDITOR’S CHOICE Falcon Cenderi SCTi 76M

FINAL SCORE:Excellent Retail: $200 Performance: Excellent Design: Excellent Price/Value: Very Good

A distance casterwith a moderate action that will not rip lures from fish on the hookset. Thisinshore rod will be at home in big open freshwater environments, too. It issurprisingly accurate despite its “noodley” action. 918-251-0020;falconrods.com

GREAT BUY Shakespeare Agility ACA6066-1MH

FINAL SCORE:Excelent Retail: $30 Performance: Excellent Design: Very Good Price/Value: Excellent

A terrific-lookingall-around workhorse rod that’s accurate and casts well at all distances. Asgood as some rods that are twice as expensive. 800-347-3759;shakespeare-fishing.com

Bass Pro ShopsWalleye Series WX66BBT

FINAL SCORE:Excellent Retail: $70 Performance: Excellent Design: Very Good Price/Value: Excellent

This is designedfor walleye bottom bouncing but will handle top water, slug baits and jerkplugs as well–and at a better price than many high-end bass rods. 800-227-7776;basspro.com

American RodsmithsTops ‘N Tails H3-TNT

FINAL SCORE: VeryGood Retail: $200 Performance: Excellent Design: Very Good Price/Value: Very Good

Should please bothtopwater specialists and anglers who want to fish plastic tail baits. Aimed atwading inshore saltwater anglers, but has crossover applications for bass andwalleye fishermen. 713-466-7849; americanrodsmiths.com

Kistler MagnesiumTS MgAPSMH66

FINAL SCORE: VeryGood Retail: $180 Performance: Excellent Design: Very Good Price/Value: Very Good

A light andsensitive rod with a powerful butt section. It will handle spinners, buzzbaits,slug lures, Texas-rigged worms, split-shot lizards and more. Unique corklessforegrip allows constant blank contact with any hand position. 281-259-8033;kistlerrods.com

American RodsmithsWorm & Jig H3T-WJ

FINAL SCORE: VeryGood Retail: $200 Performance: Excellent Design: Very Good Price/Value: Very Good

Its handle system,with exposed, flush graphite bars in the cork, provides constant contact withthe reel seat and blank. An incredibly dynamic casting tool. Good for plugs aswell as jigs and worms. 713-466-7849; americanrodsmiths.com

Quantum KevinVanDam Signature

FINAL SCORE: VeryGood Retail: $190 Performance: Excellent Design: Very Good Price/Value: Very Good

A powerhouse rod.Heaves big spinnerbaits far and sets the hook at those distances just the wayreigning bass tourney champion Kevin VanDam likes. The flat-side cork handlegives great comfort and grip. 800-588-9030; quantumfishing.com

Bass Pro Shops ProFinesse PF69MLT

FINAL SCORE: VeryGood Retail: $100 Performance: Excellent Design: Very Good Price/Value: Very Good

An extra reel seatcutaway for blank contact is nifty on this finesse-oriented rod. A good matchfor the company’s Prolite Finesse reel. Casts sweetly at all ranges but won’twin a beauty contest. 800-227-7776; basspro.com

Lamiglas InshorePoppin Travel XPC 704T

FINAL SCORE: VeryGood Retail: $230 Performance: Very Good Design: Excellent Price/Value: Very Good

Greatdistance-casting, three-piece, 7-foot travel rod. Though geared for inshorefishing, it will work great in freshwater, too. Fine for surface baits but willhandle medium cranks and soft plastics, too. Balances nicely in hand. The priceis steep but the quality hard case is a nice extra. 360-225-9436;lamiglas.com

All Star PlatinumP785C

FINAL SCORE: VeryGood Retail: $150 Performance: Excellent Design: Very Good Price/Value: Very Good

This is aworkhorse of a rod that will handle many fishing techniques. Very well balancedand a fine caster. The hourglass grip is very comfortable. You’ll either likethe rubber butt cap or you won’t. A good-looking rod. 800-347-3759;allstarrods.com

Cabela’s XML Tic562-1

FINAL SCORE: VeryGood Retail: $180 Performance: Very Good Design: Excellent Price/Value: Very Good

At 5 feet 6inches, this is a great tight-quarters rod for fishing lizards, worms,spinnerbaits. Very sensitive blank helped by the Recoil guides. Thedown-locking reel seat means no exposed threads brushing against your hand.800-237-4444; cabelas.com