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#11891956 - 10/20/16 11:57 PM testing out rod sensitivity with my smartphone
Tony from Oak Point Online   content
Extreme Angler

Registered: 01/23/05
Posts: 2118
Loc: DFW, Texas
Well I sort of had a day off today but with 20+ MPH winds from the North and a sore throat I didn't bother to hit the lake. Lately I've got a few new fishing poles bought at a discount and also a few poles that I've been debating to get rid of. So with a bit of time on my hands I played around with my Smart Phone and an app "Vibrometer" to see if those bargains were really bargains and if the old work horse rods need to be put out to pasture?

Setting a 1/2 dozen rods in a rod holder and dropping various small beads from the end of the rod tied on with light line while the phone was perched on the front of the reel seat, I was able to get a pretty good idea how each rod compared. I was trying to simulate the lightest detectable bite and this worked best dropping a small plastic bead from the rod tip tied onto 6 inches of very thin braided line. Using alarm and multiplier settings in the Vibrometer app, I could get a comparison of how well each rod registered the force of the bead dropping. I also tested each drop holding the rods by hand to sanity check the results. In the end the "least sensitive" rod didn't surprise me. However the most "sensitive rod" was a surprise. I put "least sensitive" in quotes as each rod has it's sweet spot registering a bite and this isn't the most scientific analysis.

Anyone want to try to guess which rods were "better" or "worse" as far as sensing a tiny bead falling 6 inches?
The rods were:
1) Allstar Classic Medium casting 1 piece 6' ~2010 (Chinese)
2) B&M 5' ultralight slabtail fiberglass casting 1 piece 5'10"
3) Pflueger Microspin PMSP43501L IM7 1 piece light 5' light action
4) Pflueger Razor Tip casting RTCA45562L IM8 graphite 5'6" Light 4-8Lb 2 Piece
5) Tica Medium Heavy WDVA Medium Heavy casting 6' TC4 (IM9?) graphite 1 piece
6) Allstar dropshot spinning (ASTS763DS) 1 piece 6'4" 1/32-3/8 Fast Light





Edited by Tony from Oak Point (10/20/16 11:59 PM)

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#11892023 - 10/21/16 06:03 AM Re: testing out rod sensitivity with my smartphone [Re: Tony from Oak Point]
Dbonz Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 03/26/10
Posts: 46
Loc: Azle, TX
1. Tica
2. Pflueger Razor Tip

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#11894102 - 10/22/16 12:20 PM Re: testing out rod sensitivity with my smartphone [Re: Tony from Oak Point]
Tony from Oak Point Online   content
Extreme Angler

Registered: 01/23/05
Posts: 2118
Loc: DFW, Texas
1) Allstar Classic Medium casting 1 piece 6' ~2010 (Chinese)
2) Pflueger Microspin PMSP43501L IM7 1 piece light 5' light action
3) Tica Medium Heavy WDVA Medium Heavy casting 6' TC4 (IM9?) graphite 1 piece
4) Pflueger Razor Tip casting RTCA45562L IM8 graphite 5'6" Light 4-8Lb 2 Piece
5) Allstar dropshot spinning (ASTS763DS) 1 piece 6'4" 1/32-3/8 Fast Light
6) B&M 5' ultralight slabtail fiberglass casting 1 piece 5'10"

Listed with most "sensitive" first. This is only one measure of a very light "tap" which is why I put sensitive in quotes. #1 was also the least expensive to me as I got it on sale lol.

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#11894190 - 10/22/16 01:39 PM Re: testing out rod sensitivity with my smartphone [Re: Dbonz]
Tony from Oak Point Online   content
Extreme Angler

Registered: 01/23/05
Posts: 2118
Loc: DFW, Texas
Originally Posted By: Dbonz

1. Tica
2. Pflueger Razor Tip


Dbonz, you were thinking what I was before testing. After seeing the results my guess is that any MH or heavier rod starts to see a disadvantage registering a very light taps simply because there is some sort of initial inertia that needs to be overcome for the shockwaves to reach the reel seat in a stronger rod???

On the flip side the Pflueger Razor Tip has two draw backs in that it's a two piece rod and although classified as light strength it's on the ultralight side of light. The action is also slower than the other shorter 1 piece IM7 Pflueger rod that ranked better. The Razor Tip is a decent crappie rod though.




Edited by Tony from Oak Point (10/22/16 01:39 PM)

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#11895021 - 10/22/16 10:57 PM Re: testing out rod sensitivity with my smartphone [Re: Tony from Oak Point]
HOGON Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 01/07/12
Posts: 507
Loc: McKinney, Texas
ACC CRAPPIE STIX/ $51

They come in Green and Red.

I've got 3 Green Rods in 8 Foot.

I've got a Red Rod which is supposed to be stiffer than the Green in 7 foot, but have not fished with it yet...I just got it.

8 Foot is my personal preference. Green comes in 8 Foot.

The Red goes from 7 Foot to 10 Foot is next length.

I just landed a 30-35 pound yellow Cat on Fork this past Wednesday using the Green Rod.
I had 20 pound braid, but an 8 pound Flurocarbon leader. I never expected to land the fish. I figured my line or my Rod would have broke first. For 25 minutes that Green Rod looked like a Giant letter "U".

I landed him, took pics, and put him back.

That said I really like the ACC Crappie STIX for the price and I can say that I have not had any problem feeling the Crappie. We put 39 in the boat on Wednesday with 7 of those 2 pounds or better.

All I've used is TICA, Pro Angler, and BnM until I decided to give these guys a try.

Well I do have a couple $140 G Rods.

For a sensitive Rod that catches Crappie for the price...$34.95...Southern Crappie Rods out of North Carolina.

But that said my new favorite right now is my ACC Crappie STIX out of Illinois. I've got the 8 footer in Green.

Great thread thanks for sharing!
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#11902422 - 10/26/16 11:53 PM Re: testing out rod sensitivity with my smartphone [Re: Tony from Oak Point]
Tony from Oak Point Online   content
Extreme Angler

Registered: 01/23/05
Posts: 2118
Loc: DFW, Texas
I'll have to try that ACC rod HOGON. That's something that it handled the big catfish without snapping. The most sensitive longer crappie rods I have are the B&M Crappie Wizards but I did snap one while holding the rod at a bad angle landing a sandbass that was a pound or so. I patched it up and continue to use it, but it sounds like the ACC rods are worth checking out for sure next time I purchase a longer crappie rod. None of the rods I was testing out are bad rods, but it's still interesting to see how they shake out.

Today I tried a different test. I set a jar on a record player turn table and let a weightless plastic crappie jig tied to various combos bounce against the jar at every rotation. I started with a traditional Ugly stick which made me think the "record player test" might be a dud. I couldn't feel anything when the bait bounced against the jar on each rotation. This isn't to pick on Ugly Sticks as they are pretty sensitive rods for what they are. In the end, the results from what I felt in my hand were very consistent with the earlier cell phone test. With the test today my most sensitive "crappie" rod was a 28" ice fishing rod made out of a solid graphite. The next most sensitive crappie rod was a Quantum Response 5'6" light action rod that I picked up before they stopped making them. I am not 100% sure if it is more sensitive than my 6' Allstar Classic bass rod though? Maybe I'll put it through the same cell phone test sometime and see how the Quantum fairs.

There are some things I learned from testing out of the water that I'll share. One is that solid plastic jigs resonate better and return more vibration up the line compared to hollow plastic or feather jigs. Another is that to greatly improve the sensitivity of any rod, simply hold it with two hands where one hand is gripping the blank a foot or more above the reel seat. For one IM6 rod I tested today choking up on the rod meant consistently feeling a "bite" versus feeling practically nothing.

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#11912837 - 11/02/16 07:16 AM Re: testing out rod sensitivity with my smartphone [Re: Tony from Oak Point]
bayoubob Offline
Angler

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 404
I believe line is a much bigger factor than the rod. Example, winter time deep water crappie fishing I use a 2Lb test fireline in crystal color. I will feel strikes that you wouldn't never even known about with mono. I also believe that the fishing industry has brainwashed people so much. You look at Wally Marshall. The rods he endorses aren't super high cost but yet he kills em. Refine your abilities. It's the Indian not the arrow. I didn't write this to offend anyone just know that sometimes people get caught up in stuff that won't make that big of a difference.
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Crappie the true White meat!!!!!

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#11914393 - 11/03/16 01:13 AM Re: testing out rod sensitivity with my smartphone [Re: Tony from Oak Point]
Tony from Oak Point Online   content
Extreme Angler

Registered: 01/23/05
Posts: 2118
Loc: DFW, Texas
Everything you say is correct bayoubob. As long as you have a good brand graphite rod that is not too old, a rod like the IM6 graphite Mr. Crappie you should be in good shape in most crappie fishing circumstances. Heck I started out with the solid fiberglass rods from the 70's or older and still managed to catch a few crappie. The most sensitive rod in the test I posted originally, the 6' All-Star Classic, is on-sale at Academy for 29 bucks right now for what it's worth.

Many people may be unaware that a smart phone has in incredibly sensitivity motion detecting tool on it though so I thought I'd share if that makes sense. Also, part of me loves to see each fishing rod I own graphed out in a chart ranked on sensitivity under various conditions. It's not necessary, just the OCD part of me I guess.

One thing I always wonder though, why largemouth fisherman pay the big bucks for ultrasensitive rods when bass hit the bait like my hound dog grabs a bone? Crappie fisherman are largely content with 15-40 dollar rods and crappie bite so much gentler in comparison and the lures are so much lighter.

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#11915176 - 11/03/16 12:54 PM Re: testing out rod sensitivity with my smartphone [Re: Tony from Oak Point]
Buglemintoday Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 03/23/08
Posts: 940
Loc: Midland, Tx
I've been wanting to get a higher priced crappie rod but the BNM's I've purchased have been doing pretty good. I think the Sam Heaton one is supposed to be even more sensitive

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#11915472 - 11/03/16 03:46 PM Re: testing out rod sensitivity with my smartphone [Re: Tony from Oak Point]
bogey Offline
TFF Guru

Registered: 02/21/08
Posts: 14492
Loc: plano
This is cool information. cool
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#11917517 - 11/04/16 07:29 PM Re: testing out rod sensitivity with my smartphone [Re: Tony from Oak Point]
bayoubob Offline
Angler

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 404
I guess I stated my point the wrong way. I think there are many sub $100 rods that are magnificent. Hell I probably have 20 or so. Just got 2 new ones this week. I think above that you are in an area that I call "rods of diminishing returns". I think the rods in the $100 plus category may be a little lighter but I cannot tell enough difference to justify them.
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#11917893 - 11/05/16 04:01 AM Re: testing out rod sensitivity with my smartphone [Re: Tony from Oak Point]
Tony from Oak Point Online   content
Extreme Angler

Registered: 01/23/05
Posts: 2118
Loc: DFW, Texas
I get what you mean bayoubob. I appreciate your posts!

As I've read the experts write and agree with from experience, a good crappie rod needs a mix of qualities. The super fast action / extra stiffness needed for a rod to be extremely sensitive has a lot of drawbacks. Something like the Lews Mr. Crappie IM8 "Shooter" rod you posted today would at that upper end of the cost/benefit curve I bet.

I've not owned too many high end rods but I had an All-Star ASR rod that retailed for over 100 dollars. When I tested it the only thing that stood out performance wise was that it did best with a super light bite. It wasn't my go to crappie rod due to the extra fast action and it ended up on the bottom of Lake Lavon. I bet the typical medium light bass rod in the 100 dollar range is already probably approaching the max "efficiency" possible to register a lite bite with the current technology and any more money isn't buying much in the way of feel.

One thing about the results I posted earlier is that these are all relatively sensitive rods and the ones that didn't resonate as being sensitive weren't in their "sweet spot" with the super lite bite test. This was especially true for the B&M glass rod where a soft "bite" made the handle jump a good deal more than any other rod in that test.

However some rods are duds. I had an older model IM6 Diawa Triforce 6' light spinning rod that tested worse for all ranges of bites than my old school 90's Ugly Stick in comparison. I had a bunch of old 7' Tournament Choice "Premiere" rods that reached early retirement when testing showed they were at the bottom of performance curve. The same was true of an old 7' Berkley Bionix with a repaired tip that was my "best" rod for years when my budget was tighter and when rods weren't as good.

I've never had a name brand crappie rod test out as a dud though. Even the cheaper newer composite rods are good at registering a lite bite (some just tend to break easy). I'm pretty sure the best bang for your buck at Wally World if you need a sensitive rod at a low price for jigging is the one piece Shakespeare 4.5' UL Microseries Graphite. Sensitivity wise the 4.5' graphite tests out very good. Just be sure you don't buy the non-graphite version. Maybe because it is an UL and lacks backbone I don't use it though.

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#11918885 - 11/05/16 06:26 PM Re: testing out rod sensitivity with my smartphone [Re: Tony from Oak Point]
lmbr Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 06/18/16
Posts: 41
Loc: Lindale, Texas
Interesting info on sensitivity. Would like to add some additional thoughts. Bite sensitivity to me is only half the issue. First you have to deliver the jig. If all you have to do is drop the jig straight down, I guess it doesn't matter. But if any type of cast is involved, several other factors are involved. I started fishing back in the early 50s bass fishing on Caddo Lake. Weren't many choices back then and a BIG bass was 2 pounds. So I learned yo fish with a 5' Ultra Light spinning rod using 4 and 6 lb test line. Fished a lot of small lures back then. Lightweight lures require UL rods and small test line. I now get along very well casting 1/16 oz jigs with an UL rod. I know UL doesn't have a lot of backbone but I sacrifice that for being able to cast them easily. But for shooting docks I go to a Light action. So point being, I personally believe you have to match how you are fishing with bite sensitivity to come up with the rod you use. And normally one particular rod just won't work in every situation.
Not wanting to be critical, just offering something else to consider. hmmm

hooked
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