Advice for a 1/2oz jig rod and some long-winded musings.

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Houndfish
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Advice for a 1/2oz jig rod and some long-winded musings.

Postby Houndfish » Thu Mar 29, 2018 8:11 am

“When Alexander saw the breadth of his domain, he wept for there were no more worlds to conquer.”

I know it’s a misquote, but I am now forced to admit that the last rod conspicuously missing from my from my collection is a dedicated heavy jig rod. I am looking to rectify this situation in the next few months.

The rod I am looking for will fit in, power-wise, above a MRB783 GLX that I use for, among other things, 1/4oz jigs and smaller swimjigs. With trailers, I find that most of my “1/4oz” jigs weigh in around 1/2oz to 3/4oz, and the 783c maxes out around there. I am looking for a rod to primarily throw 1/2oz jigs, which end up being around 1oz total weight. I will also use the rod for large worms in the summer and maybe some lighter Carolina rigging as well. I will use this rod when bankbeating and I only carry a single rod, so I need one that will let me use “something” topwater, but I think most J/W rods will do ok throwing a buzzbait, but that is a tertiary use for sure. My preference is for shorter rods, so something in the 6’8” to 7’3” range is what I am looking for. I also prefer full grips and cork, but that is not a must-have. I am more concerned with balance rather than lightness, but would prefer a lighter rod.

Currently I am throwing these lures on an Orochi XX Tour Versatile. It works well enough, but I like it a lot more for single hook moving baits and want to move it over to handle those almost exclusively. I am looking for a jig rod that is at least as powerful as the TV but with an action more suited to bottom contact. The new rod is going to get a sv103 7.9 that I already have and I am looking to give braid a try, which so far I have never been able to stand on a casting reel.

Right now I am looking at two rods with a third as a wildcard choice.

1) Destroyer FMJ – This rod is the front runner, all the reviews I have found are very positive and I have been pleased with all the other MB rods I have. It also seems to be a good balance of sensitivity and versatility. I am looking primality for a bottom-contact rod, but I prefer versatile rods in general. My main concern with this rod is sensitivity, my GLX was a real eye opener in terms of “oh yea, I can feel my jig hit individual sticks in this laydown” and I want something at least as sensitive. But at the same time, I know at some point it’s all just angels dancing on the head of a pin and I think I value a “complete package” over just straight sensitivity. Maybe.

2) NRX 873C CRR – I have wanted to try an NRX for a while now, mostly to see what the fuss is about. But my desire for shorter rods has stopped me, as it seems like the shorter NRXs are not as well regarded as the longer ones. The CRR seems to be universally loved and at 7’3” it is at the max length that I want. I have read that the balance on it is not great and while I am not opposed to adding weight to the butt, it seems annoying to do so on a $500 rod. I am open to any of the shorter NRXs, but I have not read any glowing reviews of them so far. I kinda think I should get this one as the NRX is used as a standard so often it would be nice to have experience with one.

3) '18 Orochi XX Prefect Pitch – This is the wildcard rod. I know it’s not out yet but the buzz over the old model was so intense that I really regret not picking one up when they went on sale. It has the length and grip that I love and I don’t think I could justify buying one in addition to a high-end jig rod. If I ignore my “no combo over $400 on the kayak” rule, it would make a great heavy rod for that application, but I think I could be convinced that max-sensitivity is overrated and that it would make a fine dedicated jig rod. I think it could be the most versatile of the three, assuming the new one has a power and tape to match the old model. People seem to like it as a frog rod, which would really make it a versatile rod for my bankbeating needs.

That is a lot of rambling about rods, but I am really of two minds about what I really want or need. I strongly seem to prefer versatile over technique-specific and my one attempt at trying a technique-specific rod (an XX Dropshot) didn’t work out as well as I had hoped and I went back to a more versatile rod for that application already. But at the same time, I think if there is an application to go specific for, jigs would be it. As I said at the start, this is the last rod I think I really “need”, so the urge is to go big on it as anything past this point is going to require me to fully accept that I am just buying tackle for it’s own sake and I am not quite there yet.

I would love to hear any input about this or suggestions of a rod I have overlooked.

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Re: Advice for a 1/2oz jig rod and some long-winded musings.

Postby papabassin » Thu Mar 29, 2018 12:59 pm

The FMJ is a helluva 1/2oz jig rod in my opinion. It's a special rod in my arsenal...one I find myself reaching for often. Extremely sensitive in my hands. I can't imagine you'd be left desiring much more.

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Re: Advice for a 1/2oz jig rod and some long-winded musings.

Postby Houndfish » Fri Mar 30, 2018 8:28 am

papabassin wrote:The FMJ is a helluva 1/2oz jig rod in my opinion. It's a special rod in my arsenal...one I find myself reaching for often. Extremely sensitive in my hands. I can't imagine you'd be left desiring much more.


I have read a lot of posts like this about the FMJ which is why I am leaning towards it. What would you say is it's comfortable lower limit? I like to pitch weightless Fat Ikas into pads that are between 0-20' of the bank, landing the lure on a pad, twitching it a few times, then hopping it into the water. Right now I use the TV, but it does not load a lure that light very well for pitching so hitting specific pads is a challenge.

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Re: Advice for a 1/2oz jig rod and some long-winded musings.

Postby DavidSA » Sat Mar 31, 2018 3:04 am

I think you would like the NRX as well. I own the longer and slightly stouter 894 cousin of this rod. Even with stouter 894 I've had good luck using it as a buzzbait rod and burning speedworms right under the surface over grass. Further, I pitch and cast total weight 1/4oz rigs on this set-up into grass with a MetMGL using 30# braid with ease.

My team does not include the NRX in a 7'3 because I have two different Kistler rods in that length that I considered better choices for what I was looking for. The Kistler HE3 7'3 H exfast and zbone 7'3 H exfast. The zbone is the most sensitive rod I own even edging out my NRX rods but the tip is pretty stiff. I would pick up the Helium 3 for a buzzbait or popping a surface plug and I don't feel the loss of sensitivity would impact bottom bouncing. It can be custom ordered in full rear cork if that was your desire. I don't use any counterbalance kits on the Kistlers, I do on my NRX 894. I don't think I'd counterbalance the 873 if I owned it.

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Re: Advice for a 1/2oz jig rod and some long-winded musings.

Postby wilddog66 » Sat Mar 31, 2018 4:24 am

As a full time bankbeater I use the NRX 873 as my 3/8 and 1/2oz jig rod. It also works great with 1/4 to 3/8oz t-rigs and any single hook moving bait. It is perfect for those apps. Balance is subjective, the rubber chair leg protector-no quarters works for me.

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Re: Advice for a 1/2oz jig rod and some long-winded musings.

Postby surf n turf » Sat Mar 31, 2018 4:51 am

I ran a Destroyer FMJ for the last half of my season last year and it was mostly my dedicated 1/2oz jig rod but did frequently handle down to 3/8oz with no problems. It's got sensitivity. It's got power. And it balances nicely. I paired mine with an OG Zillion Type R. I don't have any personal experience with the other two you listed besides them being on my "want" list at one time or another. Still may get the PP for slop and frog duty. At that jig weight I'd also give the NRX 854 a good look too.

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Re: Advice for a 1/2oz jig rod and some long-winded musings.

Postby papabassin » Mon Apr 02, 2018 7:51 am

Houndfish wrote:
papabassin wrote:The FMJ is a helluva 1/2oz jig rod in my opinion. It's a special rod in my arsenal...one I find myself reaching for often. Extremely sensitive in my hands. I can't imagine you'd be left desiring much more.


I have read a lot of posts like this about the FMJ which is why I am leaning towards it. What would you say is it's comfortable lower limit? I like to pitch weightless Fat Ikas into pads that are between 0-20' of the bank, landing the lure on a pad, twitching it a few times, then hopping it into the water. Right now I use the TV, but it does not load a lure that light very well for pitching so hitting specific pads is a challenge.


I've never fished the TV and I've never thrown Fat Ikas before (I know, I know) but the lowest I've taken the rod is a 3/32oz weighted belly-weighted 5" Senko. I was pitching and fan casting it on grass flats last summer with good success. For this app, I had it paired with a Zonda Green with a Zonda Honeycomb Spool and 15# InvizX. I was targeting pockets in the grass and felt accurate and in control, especially when one decided to bite. I was very surprised and pleased by the distances I was getting with little effort. The taper is pretty unique.. It's a fast action, but it loads deeper into the rod. It feels very stout through the tip and yet it still has enough tip to cast/pitch lighter lures well and with good accuracy.

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Re: Advice for a 1/2oz jig rod and some long-winded musings.

Postby spookybaits » Mon Apr 02, 2018 9:33 am

Over the past 10 years or so on TT, I think "the best 1/2oz jig rod" might be one of the most asked about, debated & uncertain of all the topics in the rod subforum.
:lol:

My rule of thumb for jigs is 'double it'. If using a 1/4oz jig, get a rod thats good with 1/2oz. For a 1/2oz jig, look for a rod that handles 1oz. Etc.
Because you have to account for 2 other factors: cover and a trailer.

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Re: Advice for a 1/2oz jig rod and some long-winded musings.

Postby bronzefly » Mon Apr 02, 2018 6:15 pm

A short winded response, FMJ running away... it's that good.
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Re: Advice for a 1/2oz jig rod and some long-winded musings.

Postby Houndfish » Mon Apr 02, 2018 7:03 pm

spookybaits wrote:Over the past 10 years or so on TT, I think "the best 1/2oz jig rod" might be one of the most asked about, debated & uncertain of all the topics in the rod subforum.
:lol:

My rule of thumb for jigs is 'double it'. If using a 1/4oz jig, get a rod thats good with 1/2oz. For a 1/2oz jig, look for a rod that handles 1oz. Etc.
Because you have to account for 2 other factors: cover and a trailer.


That is very good advice, and something that I have unfortunately discovered on my own. My first "nice rod" was a loomis cr723 imx that I bought as my do all bank-beater stick. I was very shocked to discover that even though it was rated to three quarters of an ounce, I could not tie on a half ounce or even really a 3/8 ounce jig and not have it feel wildly overloaded.

bronzefly wrote:A short winded response, FMJ running away... it's that good.


I'm leaning very strong in that direction. I believe I read on here that the real seat for the USA Destroyers was the same as the reel seet on the Orochi XXX line? Is that true or am I misremebering?

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Re: Advice for a 1/2oz jig rod and some long-winded musings.

Postby HobeyBaker » Mon Apr 02, 2018 7:19 pm

I love my 844 GLX for 1/2 oz jigs. It's worth checking out.

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Re: Advice for a 1/2oz jig rod and some long-winded musings.

Postby Samuel_b » Mon Apr 02, 2018 10:30 pm

854 GLX or NRX, 844 glx also...I’d feel is the most important thing you still can’t beat Loomis

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Re: Advice for a 1/2oz jig rod and some long-winded musings.

Postby Obz » Wed Apr 04, 2018 1:50 am

4power Loomis is light for 3/8oz jigs imo. I'd Go FMJ, kistler 7H Zbone, or 7'2" H expride. I dont really use 1/2 oz jigs but My F669 super D is money for 3/8oz, maybe something to consider.

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Re: Advice for a 1/2oz jig rod and some long-winded musings.

Postby egore1 » Wed Apr 04, 2018 5:32 am

Regarding the Loomis camp, as I have no experience with the Megabass Rods you listed, I consider the 873 to have a slightly stiffer tip than the 894 I owned. I use the 873 for jigs and it fishes with more power in my opinion than an 844, the 854 and 844 seem to be more versatile in my hands. I am more likely to run a buzz bait or swim jig on the 4 power rods but that is normally in open water so that changes the perceived power rating. The 873 would be fine for all the applications listed if fishing around cover and is a great jig rod. There is a lot of buzz circling around the FMJ and I have almost pulled the trigger on purchasing it this spring too. Either way you’d have a great rod.

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Re: Advice for a 1/2oz jig rod and some long-winded musings.

Postby evilcatfish » Wed Apr 04, 2018 5:44 am

Houndfish wrote:
spookybaits wrote:Over the past 10 years or so on TT, I think "the best 1/2oz jig rod" might be one of the most asked about, debated & uncertain of all the topics in the rod subforum.
:lol:

My rule of thumb for jigs is 'double it'. If using a 1/4oz jig, get a rod thats good with 1/2oz. For a 1/2oz jig, look for a rod that handles 1oz. Etc.
Because you have to account for 2 other factors: cover and a trailer.


That is very good advice, and something that I have unfortunately discovered on my own. My first "nice rod" was a loomis cr723 imx that I bought as my do all bank-beater stick. I was very shocked to discover that even though it was rated to three quarters of an ounce, I could not tie on a half ounce or even really a 3/8 ounce jig and not have it feel wildly overloaded.

bronzefly wrote:A short winded response, FMJ running away... it's that good.


I'm leaning very strong in that direction. I believe I read on here that the real seat for the USA Destroyers was the same as the reel seet on the Orochi XXX line? Is that true or am I misremebering?


Yes, the reel seat on the USA destroyers is the same as the one on the xxx and new xx line. Personally, I really like this seat

Oh and +1 vote for the FMJ, it's a fantastic rod. I always liked Megabass rods, but my previous experience had been with their lower end models. The FMJ made me see the light


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