FTR got our hands on a fascinating new product—a rod that claims to generate a fish-catching "pulse." Our staff spent two weeks testing it out in the not-so-secret, non-exclusive FTR testing grounds near Memphis. On the last day of our test, we passed the stick to Tennessee fishing guru, writer and FTR father-figure, Joe Sills, Sr. to see what more than six decades of angling experience had to say about the decidedly new-school technology.
[dropcap size=small]A[/dropcap] talking rod? Well, not exactly, but a rod that can increase your odds of hooking fish by a good measure.
As a lifelong bass fisherman, I have always been on the lookout for the latest innovation that might give an edge in tournaments or just plain old fun fishing. So when FTR approached me about testing their new-found gadget, I was all for it.
The rod I tested is called the Seidler Sonic Pulse Rod in the seven-foot two-inch length, medium heavy action. FTR digital editor (and son) Joe Sills, Jr. had already been using the rod for a few weeks with an old Daiwa Procaster. “I think it works,” he said, noting that the notoriously impatient angler was hooking more fish than usual.
Even without the new “gimmick,” the feel of the rod was as light and strong as any other premium model. Before I reveal the secret of its success, let me tell you what happened on a Saturday morning in late April.
This was one of those days when I had to choose between yard work and bass fishing. No Contest! But both just had to be accomplished, so I stayed close to home and went down to the Hatchie National Wildlife Refuge. I chose a secluded 20-acre lake on the backside of the refuge and was surprised that no one was there—nor did anyone show up that morning.
It was one of those picture-perfect spring mornings with little wind, enveloped by light fog and the sounds of song birds and wildlife. The water was somewhat stained and looked like ideal spinnerbait water. As I slowly worked the shoreline, I noticed a small island in mid lake that appeared to have a spawning bass milling around it. As quietly as possible, I trolled over to it and cast a a spinnerbait at it from every direction. No taker.
Maybe it was just a big bluegill?
It was then that I picked up the “Seidler Super Sonic” rod.
For decades, the industry has attempted to create products that attract more fish to a lure. There have been vibration lures, such as the Heddon Sonic and Cordell Hot Spot. There have been lighted lures like the Optic and Tailighter. Rattling lures are too numerous to name and more recently, lures with built in fish or crawdad sounds like the Bassmaster Classic winning Livingston.
Now, there is the Seidler Sonic Pulse Rod that allows the angler to control both vibration and sound from the rod itself. It’s a situation rod that is extremely effective on spawning bass.
Under the fore grip is a small button that, when depressed, activates a AA-battery-operated mechanism that vibrates the rod handle and sends sound and vibrations down the line to the lure.
To be effective, a taut, fluorocarbon line is essential. I chose to bait up with a Zoom 6 inch, black and blue lizard and try for spawners; then, I followed the directions that came with the rod…
”Cast the soft plastic lure into the suspected bed and press the button in a series of dashes. Let it lie and repeat. When the bass takes the lure, press again and hold the button for a few seconds on a taut line as the fish swims off the nest. Then set the hook.”
Two factors are in play. The first is the subtle sound and vibration that attracts the bass to the lure which can be left in the bed indefinitely with no rod action required. The second is the live feeling of the lure that stimulates the bass to hold onto it longer for a good hook set.
Results of that three-hour morning trip? Eight largemouth caught on the same lizard, the largest four weighed in at 19 pounds 4 ounces.
Made me a believer!
The manufacturer recommends several other uses other than spawning season. It can be effective with techniques such as drop shot, whacky rigs, jigs, and even with top water frogs. The frog will actually send off small ripples as the button is activated and can up the percentage of hook-ups—a universal problem with frogs.
It claims to be just as effective in salt water.
Swim baits and flukes can also become more effectively used. Even live bait anglers can benefit as the pulse sent down the line can cause movement by the bait attracting fish. Crappie fishermen would be wise to adapt this to their jig presentations as well.
The Seidler Custom Rod Company of Texas has been owned by A.H. Seidler for over 25 years. The Seidler Sonic Pulse Rod was designed by an engineer from the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland who was also a Commander in the U.S. Navy.
Fishing has always been an industry filled with innovation and gimmicks, and Seidler is quick to say that their rod is not a magic solution. “All of the fish in the lake will not automatically start swimming to your lure,” says the documentation that comes with each rod.
However, if my results and the two weeks of testing the FTR staff conducted hold true, the Seidler Sonic Pulse Rod is definitely one that can increase your chances of a successful fishing trip.