Magnum Rods for Jumbo Plugs - Major League Fishing

Magnum Rods for Jumbo Plugs

Image for Magnum Rods for Jumbo Plugs
Magnum crankbaits call for a magnum rod to throw these new jumbo plugs comfortably.
November 24, 2014 • Jesse Schultz • Archives

With the magnum crankbait craze spreading in 2014, it makes sense that rod companies would start building rods specifically for fishing jumbo plugs. We analyzed three tournament-worthy rods built for launching crankbaits ranging from standard deep-divers such as the Strike King 6XD up to today’s true jumbo plugs like the Strike King 10XD. Here’s how they fared.


iRod Genesis 2

iRod Genesis 2

Fred’s Crank Launcher // 1RG7113CC-MH // 7 Feet, 11 Inches

iRod is the brainchild of Rayovac FLW Series pro Matt Newman, who created the company in 2010 and has since expanded from a small business in southern California to a national brand. Newman works with professional anglers such as two-time Walmart FLW Tour Angler of the Year Andy Morgan to build the perfect rods for specific techniques.

This 7-foot, 11-inch crankbait launcher is not your standard cranking “noodle” rod that some anglers might be accustomed to. In fact, the first time I picked it up, I thought it felt as stiff as a common flipping stick. Don’t be fooled, however, this rod is designed to have a strong lower section for driving big treble hooks into a fish on a long cast. Meanwhile the upper section has a moderate taper to allow the fish time to fully inhale the bait before you set the hook. It’s a careful blend that really works on jumbo plugs.

The magnum crankbaits being made today are surpassing most of the lure weight recommendations on many crankbait rods. However, Newman assured me that the iRod is a perfect fit for crankbaits such as the Strike King 10XD or the Lucky Craft SKT Magnum 120 Mag DR. These baits weigh between 2 and 3 ounces, which is decidedly more than many “standard” deep-diving crankbaits on the market.

Best Uses: Strike King 8XD and 10XD, Nichols Magnum Spoon, Lucky Craft SKT Magnum 120 DR, small and medium size swimbaits

Price: $149.99

More Info:


Lew’s Custom Speed Stick

Lew's Custom Speed Stick

Magnum Crankbait Rod 2 // LMCBR2 // 7 Feet, 6 Inches

Lew’s has been crafting top-of-the-line rods and reels since the 1970s. The company continues to raise the bar with its reels each year, and the quality of the product shows in the number of anglers toting Lew’s baitcasters to boat ramps in recent seasons. Just this year Lew’s brought a new lineup of rods to the table that is turning a few heads with it’s affordable price and high-end performance.

With 31 rods in the Custom Speed Stick line, there’s a choice for every technique. For cranking, this 7-foot, 6-inch medium-heavy-power rod is the shortest of the three rods I reviewed. For this reason I believe it is better suited for the new oversized square-bill crankbaits on the market than the 20-plus-foot deep-divers.

The Magnum Crankbait Rod 2 has a moderate-fast action, which transmits every wobble of the crankbait and every bit of contact. This is important when fishing shallow cover or around grass beds where just the slightest change in bait movement could mean a fish has made a swipe at the lure or the hooks have grabbed a blade of grass.

Best Uses: Strike King 8.0, Strike King 6XD and 8XD, 1/2-ounce bladed jig

Price: $149.99



St. Croix Legend Tournament

St. Croix Legend Tournament

Magnum Cranker // TBC710MH // 7 Feet, 10 Inches

This last rod is a doozy. Have you ever heard of a heavy-power rod with a moderate action? I had to see it to believe it.

The Magnum Cranker from St. Croix, which is part if the company’s expanded Legend Tournament bass-specific rod series, is the most unique rod in the review lineup, and it proved to be something really special. For starters, it’s jammed-packed with top-of-the-line components and graphite technology for a highly sensitive stick.  

The Magnum Cranker is the perfect choice for the crankbait specialist who likes to chunk and wind all day long, albeit with more traditional deep-divers that hit that 15- to 18-foot range. The moderate action allows the top half of the rod to load up for a springboard-type cast that propels the bait to extreme distances, and it also helps to thwart head-shaking attempts to throw the hooks near the boat. The extra backbone afforded by its heavy-power build allows for full control, and, given the distance that you can throw a 1-ounce bait with this rod, it is important to have that heavy power to drive the hooks into the fish. A SPRO Little John DD is a great match for this rod.

Best Uses: SPRO Little John DD, Strike King 6XD and 8XD

Price: $260