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Are you really stuck on getting Loomis rods? If not then take a look at the St. Croix PM66MHF for the bass fishing. My buddy(s) use this "Muskie" rod on my boat for everything from Bass'n with bucktails in the Gut to Clam chumming in the back bay in Wantagh to Codfish at Coxes to Blackfishing at 17 Fathoms. This has got to be one of the most versatile rods out there and a good match for your 975. That's what my friend Mikie uses on it. Around $120.

If you want a Loomis - try their Muskie 6'5" "Bucktail" rod or their slightly stiffer 6'6" "Jerkbait" rod - the first is $150 and the second around $190.

Or go nuts like I did and have a rod made up using the St.Croix 2M76MHF blank cut to 6'4" FROM THE TIP. This will cost considerably more than any store bought version, but it absolutely kicks butt in the applications above.

rgds, Leprechaun
 

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I believe that the wide #-test spread is just another indication of just how versatile that rod really is. Like I said, my buddy has made this rod his "Go-to" stick and uses both Ande 30 and now 30# PowerPro braid on it for blackfishing with me on my boat at 17. (After I beat him over the head for years about braid's advantages and finally bought him a spool to try). Anyway, he uses the heck out of that rod and while he is fastidious about taking care of his tackle, he absolutely is the hardest at hitting a fish that I've ever seen. Swings so hard he gets a pair of lips if he misses the hit or rolls over the fish. The point is that if his rod can survive what is now about 4 seasons of "High-stick" striking from him, I think that is proof enough of the strength and quality of the blank. Enough to convince me to committing major bucks towards having a custom rod made up using a similar blank in the St. Croix line.

Try it, you'll like it.

Now that I've clarified - let me cloud it up a bit - If you want something a little more beefy, try the PM69H - that rod is REALLY powerful - no problem pulling 20# cod at Block or Coxes, but it lacks the tip action of the smaller rod. Not what you'd want for Bass.

Another of my favs is my trusty Lamiglas IC66XH - another powerhouse that can set the hook like no other rod on a deep water blackfish - like at 17. It IS the best at sensitivity and hook-setting I've ever used. (And that includes 2 VERY expensive custom Cape Fears - they excell at other things) The problem is that once the fish is hooked, and particularly with braided line, that rod doesn't allow any cushion for the fish to pull against so you've got to back off the reel drag a bit after hooking. I personally tends to drop too many lip-hooked tog on the Lami, but I always take it with me nonetheless. It's just a fish killer.

After all that and in the price range you mentioned, for all around excellence in a store-bought factory rod - go with the St. Croix PM66MHF - you won't be disappointed.

Note: Not affiliated with St.Croix, or anybody else for that matter, unfortunately.

But that Capt. Neil makes a mighty fine rod, as I saw at the Lindenhurst Flea Market. ;)

rgds, Leprechaun













This message was edited by Leprechaun on 1-1-02 @ 1:32 PM
 
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