As I was about to say when I was interrupted by Shaw Grigsby—satisfying, joyous, fulfilling, and just plain fun.

Right after interviewing Shaw we made our way out to the river. And had a blast. Because using the right equipment for the job is described by all those euphemisms above, if you take the time to notice and don’t take today’s fine rods, reels, lines, lures, jigs, and plastics for granted.

My generation remembers using fiberglass rods for everything. True, fiberglass is making a comeback in crankbait rods. Pros and guides swear by them. Today’s computer-aided designs and wraps (graphite or fiberglass or both are wrapped around a mandril and baked to build a blank) make these new fiberglass rods far more sophisticated than the ones we were working with decades ago.

Today’s crankin’ crowd (following the lead of great anglers like David Fritts) likes to use 10-pound monofilament to present cranks with fiberglass rods. We have more sensitive materials. Braided lines and graphite both transmit vibration better than mono and fiberglass, and sometimes the merest cessation of vibration is all the indication you will get for strikes all day long. Sometimes lures continue to wobble when fouled with tiny bits of weed. You can feel a tiny piece of weed with braid that you can’t feel with mono. And you can snap it off easier at a distance with braid because it doesn’t stretch.

So that dynamic, retaining mono to fish cranks, I’ve never really found to be as effective in the arenas where I fish most. Yet, the fish in this photo was caught using 10-pound Suffix Siege. Some of those same cats who pitch cranks on mono probably tie braid directly to all their jigs and wonder why I’m so backwards. Maybe so. But, in my mind, abrasion resistance, drop rate, and forward speed are sometimes more important than increased sensitivity and hooksetting power. Like when aggressive smallmouths are swimming around in zebe-invested rocks. Anybody can feel them hit with any kind of line, so that’s not a problem.

But the main thing is, braid allows jigs to drop faster. Mono applies more resistance, making it easier to swim plastics without getting them trapped in a cluster of zebra mussels.—and you’re more likely to get the jig back in that instance, too.  That makes fishing more efficient and more fun. And, because mono is thicker and more resistant, it slows the swim down—and that’s what I was interviewing Shaw about: Applying weight to tweak drop and forward speeds to match the seasons, the mood of the bass, and the conditions. “Man, you’ve chosen the most complex topic in my world,” he laughed. “And one of the most important.”

For the whole story, check out the 2013 Bass Guide this winter.  In it we ask, what’s the true weight of a jig, when all the intervening factors are considered? Information from guys like Shaw, Larry Nixon and others make it a fascinating topic—one sure to help you catch more bass.







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