Off I was again on an all too familiar route. My destination? Big Lunker Bass Dam aka Letsibogo.
Once you handle an ALX rod you will understand what genuine quality is. ALX rods are manufactured and assembled in the good ol' US of A, and Letsibogo Dam was the perfect place for me to test out my newly acquired weapons of Bass Destruction.
The plan? Flipping and Pitching at the many tress that form part of the structure of the dam, and deep cranking to haul the bass out of their deeper winter hide-outs.
Number 1 weapon of choice was the ALX Power Bolt. Weighing in at a mere 5.5oz (155g) and the heaviest rod in the ALX technique specific range, this 7'11" 7 XXhvy is capable of dealing with lures between 3/8oz all the way up to 3oz. This is no ordinary rod, this is the Mac Daddy of big boy rods. I teamed the ALX Power Bolt with a Curado 201E7 (LHD), with a gear ratio of 7:2:1 and spooled with Blue Water Gear's 50lb Maji Kamba Army Green braided line. Tied to the business end was a super sharp, extremely durable, heavy gauge Moaner hook 5/0 screw lock.
This rod did extremely well and it held up to some immensely strong steroid ridden beasts. This 1 specimen weighed in at 4,6kg's and attempted to destroy myself and tackle in the flooded forest of timber. However, everything survived and it did so with flying colours. With the extra length of the rod you can really lean back and haul the pigs out and this was done with a fairly short line. As many know, the pigs of Letsibogo do not play fairly and one needs to be on top of your game to get the job done. No quarter was given, everything was on lock down and all rules go over the side of the boat.
My second weapon of choice was the ALX grind. Weighing in at a mere 4.5oz (127g) and power rated Modfast 5Hvy and a lure rating of 1/4oz up to 1 1/4oz it is superbly equipped for deep diving cranks as well as lipless cranks. However the ALX "CRANK" is more technique specific for shallow diving crank variants. The Grind really is one badass cranking rod! I had it teamed with a Shimano 201 gear ratio 6:3:1 and spooled with 20lb fluoro. Unfortunately this tactic did not produce well thanks to the weather which had put the fishing off the reaction bite.
With deep diving cranks you need to be able to throw a heavy crank a long way to get the bait to run to it's optimal depth. But with the double split EVA foam grip's you can really launch the crank a mile. With the sensitivity of the ALX range it is phenomenal feeling every wiggle, bump, knock and grind on the structure that the crank comes into contact with. I was pleasantly surprised not to be worn out in the first hour of cranking thanks to the lightweight setup. I was able to crank with the GRIND for a full 3 days without any major fatigue which is associated with this fishing technique. Sadly the water was too cold this time, but I will be out in Spring time again to search for the next S.A. record lunker.
Over the past 6 months I have been replacing my selection of rods on my boat. First was the GRIND then the Power Bolt and recently my new go to plastics rod the Speed Fury. With spring just around the corner I will be adding the ALX Toadface frogging rod to my arsenal to take on some top water explosions.
Happy hooking and remember to Catch, Kiss and Release!