By G. Wayne Byrd
First Impressions/Technical Specifics:
Gary Loomis and TFO have teamed up and put together yet another great versatile rod called the C695-1. A few of the first things that come to mind are …lightweight, balanced, tough-as-nails, clean and precision crafted with attention to details.
In The Field:
I have used the C695-1 for everything from worms, stickworms, tubes, small jigs, spinnerbaits, jerkbaits, cranks and lipless-cranks. This stick has performed remarkably well in all areas, but I really would have to call it my go to rod for spinnerbaits. Most manufactures these days label their medium heavy rods in the 6’6” to 6’10” range as spinnerbait rods. To me, 6’9” is the perfect length for spinnerbait usage and TFO has one again produced a rod to fill in that important niche in their Tactical Series line-up. The rear grip/handle section is the perfect length and it’s long enough to get the leverage you need when throwing deep pockets but not so long that it will catch on your jacket or shirt when retrieving and putting action on the lure. The Tactical Series guides are exceptionally smooth and slick guides and perform very well and they are nice and quiet. I have used everything from 8lb P-Line Floroclear to 20lb line and have even used 20lb braid on the C695-1 and had great results.
@Temple Fork Outfitters
Casting the aforementioned lures with the C695-1 is very pleasurable. I was more than able to throw the lures out there as far as I needed to with ease. During a typical day of practice or tournament fishing, I usually make over two thousand cast and a rod that loads properly and is easy to cast is a huge advantage. The C695-1 loads up from the tip and becomes progressively stiffer the more it loads. Being of a lightweight nature, this rod is an ease to cast and feels great in my hands. I would put this rod on the “must-have” list for all bass anglers arsenals!
Sensitivity is very important when throwing spinnerbaits and more important when trying to detect the subtle hits you often receive when rolling lightweight spinnerbaits over weed beds. Many times, you don’t actually feel a hit on your lure, but you can feel the extra weight when you lift the tip. When running spinnerbaits over weedbeds you can feel the hook and trailer hook grazing over the top of the grass which is exactly what you want to feel. As you run your spinners through sand or bounce them off rocks, wood and structures, everything can be felt through this extremely sensitive blank and these factors in turn mean more hook-ups for you the angler. The C695-1 is one sensitive rod!
The C695-1 is rated as Medium Heavy power and I feel that it’s rated properly even though it seems to possess a bit more power than your average Medium Heavy power rod. I would not call it a Heavy power by any means but maybe somewhere between the two such as a Medium Heavy and a 1/2. When throwing lures in the recommended weight range or slightly over and under, this rod performs impeccably well. If you are trying to horse a heavy fish out of cover, the C695-1 has plenty of backbone to get the task accomplished. The rod is rated for 3/8 to 1-ounce lures and my findings reveal that the sweet spot for this rod is right around the 1/2 to 5/8-ounces range for my spinnerbaits although I have thrown 1-ounce spinnerbaits and done so with great sensitivity, power and outstanding results.
If you are looking for a rod that has an abundance of sensitivity with a great dose of backbone, give the C695-1 Tactical Series casting rod a try! Another great feature on all GTS casting rods is the placement of the hook keeper. It is located and set on the bottom of the rod between the split grips and allows you the angler to keep your rods from getting tangled up especially when storing rods in a boat’s rod locker.
G. Wayne Byrd is a Professional Angler/Outdoor Writer & Seminar Speaker sponsored by the following manufactures: BassWax, Buckeye Shad, Cablz, Gamakatsu, HooRag, Keen Footwear, P-Line, Rat-L-Trap, Reel Grip, Rudy Project Sunglasses, Shark Tooth, SmartShield Sunscreens, TackleTech, Temple Fork Outfitters/TFO Rods, Tuf-Line and Wave Spin Reels.