If you’ve been involved in fishing for more than a couple of years, you know that our sport is constantly changing, and equipment is always improving. It’s that way with lures, that way with lines, that way with reels, and most definitely that way with rods. In fact, rods may have undergone the most dramatic and noticeable improvements through the years.
Just 40 years ago, most anglers were making the change from fiberglass to graphite. Those graphite rods were lighter and more sensitive than glass. They cast further, and anglers gained more “feel” for their lures and baits.
Those advantages did not make graphite “better.” Sure, it was ideal for worm and jig fishing—where sensitivity is everything—but for crankbaits, jerkbaits, moving baits, and almost anything with a treble hook, fiberglass still had serious advantages. It’s softer, less likely to pull a bait away from a striking bass, and it really shines after the hook is set and a fish is on the line. The “forgiving” nature of fiberglass helps turn bites into catches.
But fiberglass was still heavy and far from sensitive. There needed to be a middle ground that maximized the lightness and sensitivity of carbon fiber with the relaxed action of fiberglass—a “sweet spot” for bass anglers who use moving baits.
Meet Tactical Glass Bass
The new Tactical Glass Bass Rods from Temple Fork Outfitters are that “sweet spot.” These glass-blended rods use a unique blend of 60% carbon fiber and 40% fiberglass to create just the right mix—the lightweight crispness of carbon fiber and the flex of fiberglass—that today’s anglers demand. It’s the perfect composite combination, and it comes at a price point that every retailer can appreciate because nearly every angler can afford it.
The Tactical Glass Bass Rods come in three lengths that cover a wide range of crankbait and moving bait needs. They feature cork handles and stainless-steel guides and retail between $149.95 and $159.95—another “sweet spot” in the bass market.
Here’s how they cover the bases.
At 7-foot-2, the shortest of the three Tactical Glass models is perfect for precision work—like throwing square bills around shallow cover. It’s long enough to make a lengthy cast in super clear water, but short enough for low-trajectory work near boat docks, laydowns, and other places where bass hide.
“That rod is a square bill angler’s dream,” says 2013 Bassmaster Classic champion Cliff Pace. “It’s short enough for tight casts to heavy cover, but long enough to allow me to steer my bait through branches or stumps. Best of all, when I set the hook, the bass stay hooked!”
Bass anglers are starting to realize that although bladed jigs have single hooks, a graphite rod should not always be your first option. When the best retrieve is one that’s fast moving or even slow rolling, a composite rod offers the ideal blend of sensitivity and the best hook-set.
Ben Nowak, host of “The Smallmouth Experience” on YouTube, chooses the 7-foot-4 Tactical Glass Bass Rod for his bladed jig fishing. “It’s just right for making long casts and for the hook-set that works best for these baits,” he says. “When bass grab a bladed jig, the rod is soft enough to ‘feed’ the bait to them so I can sweep the hook home. It absolutely increases my landing percentage!”
The longest of the new Tactical Glass Bass Rods is the 7-foot-10 model tailor-made for medium- to deep-diving crankbaits and big lipless baits. The length is just right for bombing long casts across ledges and points, but it’s the composite makeup of the rod that has pro angler, TV personality, and popular fishing guide Joey Nania singing its praises.
“The 7-10 is my go-to when throwing big crankbaits,” he says. “Not only can it launch a lure way out there so it gets down to where the fish are, but the composite blend keeps them hooked up—even on treble hooks with big, heavy baits that give bass a lot of leverage. A pure graphite rod can’t do that, and a pure glass rod can’t make the long cast I need. Tactical Glass is right in the sweet spot!”