F vs XF

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F vs XF

Post by zelmo » Sun Jun 26, 2022 5:57 am

What applications would you use a Xtra Fast action rod for instead of Fast? Does it matter to you?

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Re: F vs XF

Post by Drakestar » Sun Jun 26, 2022 8:44 am

It used to matter more to me than it does now. XFast for long distance or deep water hooksets, and things like frogging where they spit the bait right away. But it makes the rod less versatile and makes it harder to keep fish pinned, so I’ve gone back more to fast rods, even when jigging.

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Re: F vs XF

Post by SSS » Sun Jun 26, 2022 1:02 pm

I don't like XF. Its only more fragile from my experience, and i am not a fan of the rod tip exploding.

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Re: F vs XF

Post by hoohoorjoo » Sun Jun 26, 2022 2:26 pm

I have no personal preference. I have noticed, however, that xf rods typically feel overloaded before you actually reach their upper rating.
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Re: F vs XF

Post by Hogsticker2 » Sun Jun 26, 2022 2:45 pm

I only like EXF with some light and medium light powered sticks. When a fish loads up on a light presentation, such as a weightless plastic, drop shot, finesse worm/jig, etc. I can just reel up and the hook will usually penetrate without much of a swing.

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Re: F vs XF

Post by dragon1 » Sun Jun 26, 2022 5:50 pm

I have owned about a half dozen XF rods in my 40+ years of bass fishing...and only one was even close to being "fishable" and usable for it's intended purpose and for how I was using it. That rod was a Major Craft Speed style 642UL BFS with a tubular XFast tip.

I have learned to really dislike most XF tapers per what has already been stated, from tending to be more fragile, to not properly loading the entirety of the blank's backbone for better hookset penetration and lifting power, or the innate ability to allow feesh to leverage against the taper/tip and throw the lure, to really limited usability in most of the casting techniques I prefer, or that it is just not a "good taper" for most open hook moving bait presentations...

The cons far outweigh the pros with an XF blank for all my fishing regardless of whether it is for panfish, trout, bass, walleyes, stripers, and whether I am using spinning or baitcasting, mono/co-poly/fluoro or braid.

YMMV...good luck.
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Re: F vs XF

Post by GOOD YEAR 71 » Sun Jun 26, 2022 6:52 pm

Some who know me understand why I'm writing this, and I'm going to be nice about it, but the only reason to use a true rated XF is light wire single point presentation. Literally no other reason on Earth. The feedback is amplified, if ever so slightly, but everything from playing to landing is somewhat hindered (admit it or not) as compared to a centralized build. Frankly, save for deep jigging, there is not one single presentation that can't be fished effectively on a quality mod/fast assembly. There. Off my chest. Thanks for reading.
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Re: F vs XF

Post by dragon1 » Sun Jun 26, 2022 7:08 pm

GOOD YEAR 71 wrote:
Sun Jun 26, 2022 6:52 pm
Some who know me understand why I'm writing this, and I'm going to be nice about it, but the only reason to use a true rated XF is light wire single point presentation. Literally no other reason on Earth. The feedback is amplified, if ever so slightly, but everything from playing to landing is somewhat hindered (admit it or not) as compared to a centralized build. Frankly, save for deep jigging, there is not one single presentation that can't be fished effectively on a quality mod/fast assembly. There. Off my chest. Thanks for reading.
Yeah, that makes sense, hence why it can so effective for drop shot and BFS with light wire hooks, where sensitivity is crucial, and immediate/minute imparting of action on the presentation is key, as well as the ability to help the light wire hooks sink and bite in with just the lifting of the rod tip.

Still, tussling with a big hard fighting fish, especially one that runs and jumps a lot, is not well served on any XF taper.
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Re: F vs XF

Post by Bronzeye » Sun Jun 26, 2022 7:20 pm

XF tapers can be good for situations in which one needs tip flex but a lift point far from the reel. Examples not mentioned yet: dapping into holes in vegetation and pulling fish over tough weeds ringing the lake when one is fishing from shore.

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Re: F vs XF

Post by dragon1 » Sun Jun 26, 2022 7:28 pm

Bronzeye wrote:
Sun Jun 26, 2022 7:20 pm
XF tapers can be good for situations in which one needs tip flex but a lift point far from the reel. Examples not mentioned yet: dapping into holes in vegetation and pulling fish over tough weeds ringing the lake when one is fishing from shore.
Dude...wouldn't that be XF Tip cane-poling? Haha, just jivin' man.
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Re: F vs XF

Post by slipperybob » Sun Jun 26, 2022 10:40 pm

The majority of lures I use are 1/4 oz and they're perfect for my use of XF tips Medium powered rods. I've always liked it far more for topwater lures. I can finesse the action just a bit better.
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Re: F vs XF

Post by JS8588 » Mon Jun 27, 2022 9:51 am

Bronzeye wrote:
Sun Jun 26, 2022 7:20 pm
XF tapers can be good for situations in which one needs tip flex but a lift point far from the reel. Examples not mentioned yet: dapping into holes in vegetation and pulling fish over tough weeds ringing the lake when one is fishing from shore.
And as I'm almost exclusively a shore angler, XF is what I gravitate towards more than almost anything else.

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Re: F vs XF

Post by Drakestar » Mon Jun 27, 2022 1:26 pm

I think I lost my appetite for XF tapers after fishing the NRX 852 for a while. It's an awesome rod, it's just limited in its application because it's XF. It does bottom contact well (except for dropshot, there's a reason the DSR models have a slower taper), but for moving baits the 852 is problematic.

I remember a time when I was throwing a Okashira head under a dock at Clear Lake - hadn't used the rod yet on that day and forgotten that I had tied on a 6lbs leader. Hooked into a fish right away and broke off on the hookset.

Now - in an ideal world my drag would have been loose enough to prevent the line from snapping, but that's part of the story: on XF rods, you have to be extra extra careful that everything is set up correctly.
  • A slower rod would have helped cushioning the hookset (the rod needs to be fast enough to drive the hook home, of course, but that's where light wire hooks come in).
  • A slower rod loads up better to help with casts, so your reel doesn't have to be dialed in as perfectly as it does on XF rods. And XF makes it harder to throw lighter baits.
  • A slower rod makes it harder for a fish to throw the hook, on an XFast rod you need to be even more careful than usual with head shakes.
The list goes on. XF rods are great for bottom contact and particularly for baits that make it hard to throw the hook (i.e. jigs with weed guards), and for hammering thick-wire hooks into the fish's mouth. They're good for long distance hooksets. But it makes the rods very specific and unforgiving. I used to think that was just part of the game, but I've since learned that going to a slower rod doesn't actually sacrifice hooksets etc. (unless it's a specific situation). Weedless tubes on Owner Phantom Heads? 852, those are thick hooks! Finesse jigs? 852, if I'm fishing them on such light tackle. But dropshots kinda suck on the XF 852 in my opinion, because if I set the hook too hard, the leader might break on me (and just loading up on the fish and let the DS hook drive itself? Yeah, I've lost fish that way...)

That 852 should be an awesome versatile bank fishing rod, but because it's XF I can't throw jerkbaits on it (I mean, I could, but no), and I have to be super careful throwing light-line moving baits or dropshots on it. So the 852 is really limited to single-hook bottom contact as far as I concerned. And because of that, I'd rather take a Steez 761MML or a Phenix K2 713/714 or Poison Glorious 6'10" M or Steez Universal Light with me. Those have more forgiving tapers that allow me to throw a wider range of baits.

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Re: F vs XF

Post by toddmc » Mon Jun 27, 2022 2:30 pm

Drakestar wrote:
Mon Jun 27, 2022 1:26 pm
I think I lost my appetite for XF tapers after fishing the NRX 852 for a while. It's an awesome rod, it's just limited in its application because it's XF. It does bottom contact well (except for dropshot, there's a reason the DSR models have a slower taper), but for moving baits the 852 is problematic.

I remember a time when I was throwing a Okashira head under a dock at Clear Lake - hadn't used the rod yet on that day and forgotten that I had tied on a 6lbs leader. Hooked into a fish right away and broke off on the hookset.

Now - in an ideal world my drag would have been loose enough to prevent the line from snapping, but that's part of the story: on XF rods, you have to be extra extra careful that everything is set up correctly.
  • A slower rod would have helped cushioning the hookset (the rod needs to be fast enough to drive the hook home, of course, but that's where light wire hooks come in).
  • A slower rod loads up better to help with casts, so your reel doesn't have to be dialed in as perfectly as it does on XF rods. And XF makes it harder to throw lighter baits.
  • A slower rod makes it harder for a fish to throw the hook, on an XFast rod you need to be even more careful than usual with head shakes.
The list goes on. XF rods are great for bottom contact and particularly for baits that make it hard to throw the hook (i.e. jigs with weed guards), and for hammering thick-wire hooks into the fish's mouth. They're good for long distance hooksets. But it makes the rods very specific and unforgiving. I used to think that was just part of the game, but I've since learned that going to a slower rod doesn't actually sacrifice hooksets etc. (unless it's a specific situation). Weedless tubes on Owner Phantom Heads? 852, those are thick hooks! Finesse jigs? 852, if I'm fishing them on such light tackle. But dropshots kinda suck on the XF 852 in my opinion, because if I set the hook too hard, the leader might break on me (and just loading up on the fish and let the DS hook drive itself? Yeah, I've lost fish that way...)

That 852 should be an awesome versatile bank fishing rod, but because it's XF I can't throw jerkbaits on it (I mean, I could, but no), and I have to be super careful throwing light-line moving baits or dropshots on it. So the 852 is really limited to single-hook bottom contact as far as I concerned. And because of that, I'd rather take a Steez 761MML or a Phenix K2 713/714 or Poison Glorious 6'10" M or Steez Universal Light with me. Those have more forgiving tapers that allow me to throw a wider range of baits.
You may already do this, but when you set your drag on your spinning outfits, grab your rod in your strong hand and pull the line out with the other with the rod loaded up. Your drag should start to slip slightly as you pull when the rod is fully loaded up. You should often hear the drag slip slightly on a long-range hookset with braid. Even though your drag slips, there is still plenty of power to get a fine wire hook to penetrate with a ML dropshot and braid to fluoro. I almost never break off fish on the hookset unless my line is on something sharp. Locked down spinning reel drags and braid to fluoro leader are a no-no if you are doing that. We used to have to lock down our finesse spinning reel drags with mono because you put so little pressure on a fish on a long-distance cast. Rich Tauber used to show this in his seminars. I use 2500 size Daiwa reels. I decrease my drag three clicks once I have moved a fish away from cover and it gets close to the boat. We have a lot of it on my home lakes. As soon as I land a good fish that required me to loosen my drag, I know that my drag needs to increase three clicks. This has always been a simple fool proof method for me.
Most XF rods are less forgiving as people have already said, but they are not all created equal. Many aren't really XF. Point Blank XF rods are more of a Fast taper. The couple of MHX High Mod XF tapers that I have are less forgiving. The good old Loomis MBR fast tapers are still the gold standard tapers for most styles of bottom contact fishing in my opinion. They are fast enough to get a good hookset in deep water, but cast well.

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Re: F vs XF

Post by mark poulson » Mon Jun 27, 2022 2:49 pm

I used to think G.Loomis rods were softer tipped than their rating.

Since I've switched to braid with fluoro leader, I've gone away from XF rods altogether, and fish mostly med. heavy crankbait rods with parabolic bend for almost everything. I can set the hook on a jig at distance, cast almost any sized bass lure, and keep the fish buttoned to the boat. I can keep the rod loaded at the boat, so the fish can't make a last minute run and pull free.

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