Best of 2010: Rods

VendettaAs you can imagine, choosing only three reels out of hundreds on the market, and highlighting those three as 2010’s best, was a daunting task. I’m sure there are those of you who may disagree with me on the selection, but I did my best to highlight the models I thought to be pioneers of the industry, in terms of features and efficiency, as well as popularity among consumers. Now, as challenging as choosing reels was, deciding on three rods that stood out from the crowd was, honestly, harder to do. After much thought, though, I think I’ve narrowed down 2010’s best rods to arguably, the cream of the crop for the year.

Seeing as how one of my first articles for was an extensive review of Bass Pro Shops’ Carbonlite rod, I won’t go into too much detail on it. I will, however, cite the rod’s strong, lightweight material, its PVD-coated titanium carbide guides, and bridgeless reel seat as some of the reasons this rod holds a place at the top of every angler’s wish list, and why it was a no-brainer when I found myself in need of a new rod last year. Such an affordable rod, with strength and quality that rival rods twice its price, the Carbonlite flew off the shelves almost overnight. I urge any angler shopping for a new rod to check it out and find out why.

Last year, Abu Garcia, a company well-known among the bass-fishing community for its renowned Revo series baitcast reels, released its Vendetta line of rods, which anglers instantly fell in love with. Tuned and balanced to mesh perfectly with the company’s Revo and Soron reels, the Vendetta rods are comprised of 30-ton graphite, high-density EVA foam grips, Fuji Soft-Touch reel seats, and even a convenient hook keeper. To improve upon such impressive features, the rods also boast one-piece machined, double-anodized aluminum foregrips molded to fit your fingers perfectly. Each of these factors, along with the affordable price tag, are what enabled the Vendetta rods to gain such popularity throughout 2010.

Last, but not least, is a rod made by Wright & McGill, endorsed by an angler who needs no introduction: the Tessera Skeet Reese Signature Series. This rod stood out among others, not only due to its bright, yellow finish, but because of its S-Curve technology, which combines T-Glass with graphite, as well as a mixture of carbon yarn, PBO fiber, and glass fibers, to make the core of the rod blank. Reese also designed the rods to include split grip, molded rubber handles with a large fighting butt, so that users can always have the extra leverage needed to muscle large fish to the boat.

Step into the fishing department of any outdoors retail store, and you’ll notice the hundreds of rods available on the market today. 2010 saw an influx of new material, such as carbon fiber, as well as an ushering in of the split grip handle as the standard design feature for future generations of rods. These three rods exemplify such ground-breaking concepts perfectly, and customers throughout the last year couldn’t agree more.