B’n’M Pros Share Their Favorite Live Imaging Rod Picks
Show season is here, meaning it’s a great time to stock up on some new crappie rods. Here’s our pros picks on the best rods for Live Image fishing
By Phillip Gentry
Early in the year is often the best time to stock up on new crappie fishing tackle. Chances are your local boat show or fishing tackle show will be in town in the next few weeks and offer great discount prices before crappie season heats up in the spring.
One big rod-buying dilemma is what kind of rod works best when Live Image fishing for crappie. Which rod you need has a lot to do with your style of fishing. To help you break down some choices, B’n’M asked a few of their pros what rod they used when fishing with Live Image sonar.
Grenada Lake, MS Crappie Guide John Harrison: 12-foot Buck’s Best Ultralight
Harrison said his two favorite Live Image poles are a 12-foot Buck’s Best Ultralight. He fishes this rod with 8-pound Gamma fishing line in clear monofilament. He said he tried braided line for a little while when other Live Image anglers were switching over to braid, but he didn’t really see the need for it.
Because he is nearly 100% structure oriented when he’s jig fishing, Harrison will tie the heaviest jig he can get away with on his line in order to get the bait down quickly to the fish as he sees them om on the screen.
“I was very surprised at how the better fish on a stick up would spook off when you get within 12 feet of the structure,” he said. “That’s why I like the longer rod and the heavier jig head so I can pitch to the fish as soon as I see where he’s at. A lot of times on these bigger fish, you only get one chance to catch them before they’re gone.”
Guide John Harrison is known as a world-class jig pole angler and his top pick for Live Imaging is the Buck’s Best Ultralight rod with Touch System.
Texas Crappie Tournament Pro Brian Carter: Mossy Oak Brush Cutter
Carter said he’s partial to the new Mossy Oak edition Brushcutter rod. B'n'M teamed up with Mossy Oak to make this favorite look as good as it works. Featuring Mossy Oak's Agua Blacktip pattern, this respected workhorse looks great and is designed to perform in the harshest of conditions. Made with IM6 graphite for strength and sensitivity, and a comfortable EVA foam handle, the new design also has 20% more backbone that the original.
“It’s a really good-looking rod,” said Carter. “I like the 10-foot model for pitching heavier jigs into the timber on braided line.”
B’n’M Pro Staffer Kent Driscoll: 6-foot Sharpshooter and 11’ Duck Commander Double Touch
Driscoll said his preferred rods for Live Imaging are a 6-foot B’n’M Sharpshooter for casting to fish and an 11’ Duck Commander Double Touch rod for pitching corks. In both situations, he’s rigging with 6-pound Gamma High Viz line.
Driscoll suggests that Live Image anglers come prepared with several rods rigged. He keeps three or four rods rigged with different baits and will change baits and presentations on a fish to get him to bite.
“It’s a lot like the bass fishermen you see,” he said. “Keep changing things up and have a reaction bait on one rod and a more subtle bait on another till you find what they want. Most times they’ll hit the first thing you throw if you present it right.”
The type of rod you need for Live Imaging greatly depends on your style of fishing and which species you’re after.
Mississippi Crappie Guide and Tournament Angler TJ Shands: The Stick
Shands said B’n’M offers crappie anglers a great new choice when it comes to boat flipping slab crappie right out of the water. The Stick was first introduced back in 2020. It’s a 13-foot remake of B’n’M’s popular series from early 1980’s.
The Stick is a 13ft, 2pc rod that provides a super-stiff action that many crappie fishermen desire since the advent of real-time electronics. Complete with very smooth and durable stainless-steel guides and a 21” Portuguese cork handle with reinforced reel seat, the Stick can handle any size crappie you throw at it.
This heavy action jig pole pairs best with 4-12 lb test line and for all it' beef The Stick weighs just 9.6 oz in the regular version and only 8 oz in the high carbon compound version.
“It’s definitely the boat flipping king of rods,” said Shands. “I use it for vertical jigging when the fish will allow me to get within 10 – 15 feet of them.”
Redesigned in 2020, the Stick by B’n’M has become a favorite for Live Scoping really big crappie in open water.
Rend Lake, IL Crappie Guide Kyle Schoenherr: 10 or 12’ Buck’s Graphite Jig Pole
One constant in Schoenherr’s fishing from trolling to Live Scoping is using one of B’n’M’s old standby by rods – Buck’s Graphite Jig Pole or BGJP for short. Using a 10- or 12-foot pole, his clients are pitching 1 /16-ounce jigs fished under a ¼ ounce barrel weight. Most of the action is taking place right on the screen in front of them.
“The BGJP has the reach, the strength, the sensitivity, and the backbone to handle any crappie in about every situation,” said Schoenherr. “It’s probably the best all round rod on the market.”
Check out complete lineup of crappie fishing rods in the new 2022 B’n’M Fishing Catalog or visit our website at bnmpoles.com
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