A couple of months ago I began talking with Brett Hinson - owner and operator of Carolina Custom Rods based out of Chapel Hill. Although he is a Tar Heel fan, he makes up for it by making awesome rods - a craft he has been at for over 20 years. Brett and I have decided to team up and get some rods publicized both in the kayak bass fishing world and in the collegiate fishing ranks.
I picked up my first two rods from Brett last Friday. They are a 7'10" deep cranking rod and a 7' jig and worm rod. Both have cork, split grips, spiral wrapped microguides, custom wraps, and are Duke themed. They certainly passed the looks test...and I couldn't wait to try them out, so the jig and worm rod came along for the Carolina Yakfish tournament on Shearon Harris.
Immediately, I noticed how light the rod was. It is significantly lighter than my 6'6" St. Croix Mojo Bass rod, which I had been using to fish jigs and worms. The first test was a casting test. I texas rigged a 1/8 oz bullet sinker above a 4/0 Gamakatsu hook and 5" Yum Dinger. I was casting the bait further than I have ever thrown that light of a bait and in windy conditions at that. I was quite impressed and I really think the spiral wrapped microguides help. The accuracy, although mainly a function of the caster, was also impressive.
Now the two biggest things I demand from a jig and worm rod are sensitivity and fighting power/back bone. And again, I was really impressed. The rod was really sensitive and I could feel the worm pull through small clumps of weeds and over rocky points. Unfortunately, I only landed one fish on the rod, a 17" pickerel. But, I handled the fish with ease and can't wait to hook into a big bass!
If you want to get in contact with Brett (and trust me, if you are a serious fisherman you do), he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (919) 240-5422. You can also check out his website (currently being built) at this link: Carolina Custom Rods. He will build you the exact, custom rod you want. And he can do saltwater rods and fly rods too! Do yourself a favor and give Brett a call.....Tight lines!