Don't Sleep on These Three "Niche" Bass Rods

April 12, 2024

Just a handful of lengths, powers, and actions seem to get the most attention from bass anglers because they execute a lot of presentations well. But that doesn't mean they're the BEST tool for any one job. Consider the following three SLEEPER rod models - less popular, but masters of their game.

PHXS73MHF: Finesse presentations get bit, but trouble creeps in when employing these tactics in and around heavy cover. The PHXS73MHF is a 7’3”, medium-heavy power, fast action spinning rod rated for heavier 5/16 to 1-oz. lures on 6 to 20-pound line. Built for power dropshotting in the thick stuff, it excels in deep-water bottom-contact presentations and is highly capable with medium swimbaits, spinhead jigs, swimworms, goby-style baits, and tubes. It's a also the right choice for live-sonar presentations around trees and brush.

PHXC72MHMF: The DT Series is one of the most popular cranks on the planet. Found in most anglers’ boxes – even those with other lure sponsors on their boats – the DT6, specifically, is a staple from coast to coast and north to south. St. Croix came up with the C72MHMF when developing its Victory Series and considered it a “miss” until Rapala and Bassmaster Elite Pro, Bob Downey, told them they had unintentionally created the perfect DT rod for anglers struggling to throw light-statured 4’s, 6’s, and 8’s from that series. The 72MHMF has now become the “official” DT6 rod across all St. Croix series. It also works a jerk bait well in cold water when faster rods are too much, as well as oversized spy baits, spinhead jigs, swimbaits, poppers, and surfacing topwaters like the Jackall Riser.
PHXC73HMF: Nicknamed the junk fisherman’s dream by MLF Pro, Stephen Browning, the 73HMF is one of the most versatile, heavy-duty rods ever made by St. Croix. From magnum shakeyheads and buzzbaits to chatterbaits and Carolina rigs - in and around the heaviest of cover - this unique rod has a powerful backbone paired with a forgiving tip and a more moderate action. Many St. Croix tournament anglers are cashing checks with the 73HMF in close-quarters heavy-cover situations where abundant power and parabolic flex combine to preserve hook penetration and control big fish in sloppy applications like punchin’. Want proof? The C73HMF is one of St. Croix’s top three L/P/A’s sold in the state of Florida.