Give Me a Break! Fishing Editor John Merwin Tortures Seven Rods Until They Snap

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The Test: What It Takes to Snap a Rod
I built a fixture to clamp the rod grips rigidly at a 45-degree angle above horizontal. This is about the same angle at which I’d hold a rod to fight a big fish. I strung each rod with parachute cord, tying one end off at the reel seat, and the other to a bucket a few inches from the rod tip. By my side I had a pile of assorted lead ingots (for molding sinkers and jigs), and I dropped them in the bucket, one at a time, putting a bend in the rod that grew deeper with every step. Adding each weight was like tickling a dragon’s tail, and I found myself wincing until, finally, KA-POW!-“the butt would snap. This was great fun. It was also dangerous, so don’t try it at home. Then I weighed the bucket and its contents to determine what weight caused the rod to break. What breaks a rod Field & Stream Online Editors
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Shakespeare
Ugly Stiks have been among the world’s bestselling rods since they were first introduced in 1976. Built of a graphite-fiberglass mix, they are unbelievably strong and tend to be heavier and use lower-end components than premium all-graphite rods. If sheer pulling power is your primary concern, this is your rod. shakespeare-fishing.com Rod Tested: Shakespeare
Model: Ugly Stik SPL1100
Price: $28
Length (ft.): 6
Lure Rating (oz.): ¿¿ -” ¿¿
Line Rating (lb.-test): 8 -” 20
Break Strenght (lb. deadlifted): 55 (unbroken) Spencer Jones
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Browning
With first-class components and based on a medium-stiff graphite fiber, the powerful Medallion GT is an exceptional value at $50. browning.com Rod Tested: Browning
Model: Medallion GT MD66MHS
Price: $50
Length (ft.): 6¿¿
Lure Rating (oz.): ¿¿ -” 5/8
Line Rating (lb.-test): 6 -” 17
Break Strenght (lb. deadlifted): 39.5 Spencer Jones
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Bass Pro
This Bionic Blade spinning rod uses a higher-modulus graphite than most of the others tested and has a reinforced butt section. Notably, its butt cap is threaded to accept balance weights, a worthwhile feature. basspro.com Rod Tested: Bass Pro
Model: Bionic Blade BNC60MHS
Price: $60
Length (ft.): 6
Lure Rating (oz.): ¿¿ -” 5/8
Line Rating (lb.-test): 6 -” 17
Break Strenght (lb. deadlifted): 31.7 Spencer Jones
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Cabela’s
The Fish Eagle II graphite spinning rod is the most nicely finished of the bunch, with an attractive green blank topped by premium guides and a full-cork grip. cabelas.com **Rod Tested: Cabela’s **
Model: Fish Eagle II GS665
Price: $80
Length (ft.): 6¿¿
Lure Rating (oz.): 3/8 -” 1
Line Rating (lb.-test): 8 -” 20
Break Strenght (lb. deadlifted): 30.6 Spencer Jones
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Berkley
The Lightning Rod ProLite graphite spinning rod has an unusual Qwik-Lok reel seat that slides and locks in place to hold the reel. www.berkley-fishing.com **Rod Tested: Berkley **
Model: Lightning Rod ProLite LPLS601MH
Price: $50
Length (ft.): 6
Lure Rating (oz.): ¿¿ -” 1
Line Rating (lb.-test): 8 -” 17
Break Strenght (lb. deadlifted): 23.1 Spencer Jones
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Falcon
The rod I tested is part of the company’s Original series, which features 100 percent graphite construction. The medium-heavy-power model feels light in the hand relative to its strength, which enhances sensitivity in fishing. falconrods.com Rod Tested: Falcon
Model: FS-5-166
Price: $70
Length (ft.): 6¿¿
Lure Rating (oz.): ¿¿ -” 5/8
Line Rating (lb.-test): 10 -” 17
Break Strenght (lb. deadlifted): 22.4 Spencer Jones