At the beginning of this week I picked up a couple of Hook Spit Performance Rods from the Hook Spit store located in League City, TX. I’ve heard great things about these rods from a friend that uses them and of course, from Captain Mickey Eastman from the 610 Outdoor Show that most of us in the Houston area listen to each weekend on our way to the coast. I had checked out their inventory of rods online before heading to the store for the first time and had my eyes set on the T-N-T Rod. At 6′ 10″ with extra fast action, this rod seemed perfect for throwing soft plastics and Buggs, and on occasion, my topwaters. While there, I discovered another rod they had at the store that was not listed online. The Pitch Fork is a 6′ 9″ rod that is built similar to the T-N-T but with moderate action which will be perfect for launching topwaters long distances for big redfish and speckled trout. Besides rods, the store also has a wide range of lures, reels, clothing, and other fishing supplies that I was not aware of. I picked up a few shirts, hats, and buffs that I will be trying out on my next trip along with the two rods.
As a kayak angler, I like for all of my rods to be around the 7′ range. The extra length helps with casting distance while in the sitting position and the longer length comes in handy when you have a fish swim under your kayak and you need to extend the tip of the rod out past the front of your boat.
The T-N-T with its extra fast action, is going to be great as far as sensitivity goes. I should have no problem feeling the smallest bite while having plenty of power for a strong hook set and the ability to pull redfish from the shell I fish around so often. Because of the action in this rod, it will only flex in the upper 20% leaving plenty of backbone for leverage against those upper slot reds.
The moderate action of the Pitch Fork is going to be great for making those long distance casts with heavy topwaters while helping to improve my hookup ratio since it will be flexing in the upper 40% of the rod. By doing so, this gives the fish a little extra time to really engulf the lure before getting into the backbone of the rod where pressure will be applied on the hook set.
An exposed blank on the back of the reel seat has become a “must” for me when purchasing a new rod. The ability to have my fingers in direct contact with the rod blank is great for detecting when my lure gets bumped by a fish or comes in contact with some sort of structure in the water. As you can see in the picture below, the Hook Spit Rods allows multiple fingers to be in contact with the blank at all times while your lure is being retrieved. It also comes with a split grip cork handle (which I prefer) that will save a little overall weight on the rods and hook keeper for attaching lures.
The guides used on both the T-N-T and Pitch Fork rods are the REC Recoil Guides which have several benefits compared to standard guides that contain ceramic rings and iron. For starters, they are nearly indestructible to both saltwater and deformation. They are created from a shape-memory alloy using a mix of nickel and titanium which will never rust because of saltwater use. If bent, they automatically return to their original shape and are anywhere from 25 to 300% lighter than other guides. They will also enhance the sensitivity of your rod due to the direct strike translation that will run through the guides, and right into the blank. The bottom line is that these guides are made to last and will for a very very long time.
The T-N-T and Pitch Fork are definitely two of the more elite rods that Hook Spit offers, but they are not the only ones available. At $279 I understand that not every angler will be able or want to spend that much money on a rod, however, they do have several other rods available. The Wader LT ($279), The ATR ($199) , Zephyr ($159) The Croaker Cannon ($159), The Guide Series ($159), and The Classic Series ($149) are a few of the more affordable rods offered. A quick look at each rod can be seen here along with some of the specs on each of them.
Something else worth checking out is the Hook Spit Spots and Specs Tourney. This tournament which began on June 1, 2014 awards the biggest trout weighed in each month with a $200 gift card to the store. Second place receives a $100 gift card, while 3rd place receives a $50 gift card. Also, the redfish with the most spots each month will receive a $150 gift card to the store. The tournament starts over at the beginning of each month which allows several anglers each year to collect a prize. Hook Spit will also be awarding $2,000 cash to the angler that weighs in the largest trout of the year. The leaders for each month can be viewed here along with the official rules and details. The best thing about this tournament is that it is free and the only thing you have to do to enter is show up at the store with your fish.
I am looking forward to getting on the water with these rods and putting them through the abuse that kayak fishing requires. I hope to have a full review within the next month or two along with some video footage of them in action and pictures of big fish.