Spinning Rod Selection – Choosing the right spinning rod for finesse fishing!

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In this video I talk about my favorite spinning rods and my favorite setups when it comes to spinning rods. I like the St Croix Legend Xtremes. They are by far the most sensitive rods I have every used. St Croix rods are extremely light and I can detect bites using a variety of different techniques. I generally use the Medium Light 7 Foot St Croix Legend Xtreme Spinning Rod for drop shotting straight below the boat and for throwing small finesse baits like a hair jig, Keitech finesse jigs and smaller texas rigged plastics. The Medium 7 Foot St Croix Legend Xtreme Spinning Rod is my rod of choice when I am casting a drop shot, using tubes, and largemouth fishing. These 2 models cover 90% of spinning rod needs!

I recently looked into converting over the Gary Loomis Edge Rods and I talk about why I choose not to move forward. They are not a bad rod just not the rod that I am looking for when it comes to spinning rods.

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Who is SmallmouthCrush?

Travis Manson was born and raised where the giant Smallmouth Bass of the north live…WISCONSIN. He started fishing from the bank at a young age and spent most of his childhood with a rod in his hand. Travis is primarily a self-taught angler that is always learning and experiencing this amazing sport of fishing. He started out fishing for walleyes and fishing in local walleye tournaments, but then in his mid 20’s, he caught the BASS BUG and has been hooked every since. He competed at the highest level in bass fishing on the Bassmaster Elite Series for a number of years. He is a fishing guide offering trips on the Chesapeake Bay for largemouth bass(year round), guided trips for smallmouth back in Wisconsin (during select times) and trophy smallmouth bass guided trips in Upstate New York (May-November) His Youtube Channel is named after his passion for the smallmouth bass and will be used as a platform for “how-to” videos, on the water instruction, crazy on and off the water topics and vlogs on the day in the life of a fishing addict! Hope you enjoy!

Spinning Rod Selection – Choosing the right spinning rod for finesse fishing!


Russ B says:

Will St. Croix replace the ones you have without them being broken?
Before you mentioned in the video that st. Croix change the guides I was going to suggest that you locate a local rod builder who could rewrap the rods you had with slightly larger guides and hopefully not rape you in the process..

Gary Lukas says:

Snap the rest of them and send them in. Life time warranties.Just kidding thanks for the info i bought 4 extreme rods. I’m a spin rod guy too.

Mark Marini says:

Could you do a video about your spinning reel setups reel sizes, lines etc

Larry Moffatt says:

Hey Crush: Appreciated your video because I bass fish using only spinning rods. I too am passionate about the look and feel of the handle ahead of the reel stem. Not a fan of any spinning rod made with exposed plastic threads at the front. Here’s my choice since I love to hold the rod with all four of my fingers ahead of the reel stem. (yes, I had to cut the clip off):

Joe Mitchell says:

Another quality video Travis. Keep up the good work.

Grant Loney says:

Shimano Crucial. Can’t believe they stopped making that rod. I buy every used one I come across.

Fishing Freshies says:


Cray Outdoors says:

Love my Bass Pro Shops Extreme spinning rod. It’s basically the poor-mans version of the St. Croix Extreme, but I love it! Sensitive, great action, light weight, still going strong after using almost every weekend for 3 years. I’m terrified of the day I break it, BPS discontinued it. When that day comes maybe I’ll front the money and pick of the St. Croix, I’m curies if its truly any better. I guess with the lifetime guarantee it’s worth-it.
I love my BPS extreme so much that I have since bought other BPS rods (like the pro-qualifier) and to be honest was not very impressed with them.

Upstream Outdoors - Ethan P. says:

Awesome Video!!! Very cool!

North Of 7 Outdoors says:

All the respect in the world to you, the fishing industry is so easy for someone like you that has a little piece of the pie to sell-out here and there for money, selling out the very people that made you, to get a little more $$$, anyway thanks for not being a sellout! and valuing yourself. ❤

GrandFishing says:

Hey man you should check out the New Pioson Adrena Rods which should be available after the bassmaster classic. The casting version was shown in tactical bass-sin vid. Shimano uses semi micro guides so it should be fine, but I heard there more sensitive then a glx. They are also lighter then the extremes based on the expride and zodias being lighter then the extremes. They have a carbon monoque grip for sensitivity. It is a very interesting concept being how new it is with a hollow carbon grip. I have a zodias 7ftmedium and it is 3.77 ounces to give a comparison.

Justin Owen says:

You have to at least look at alpha angler. Honestly for 250-300$ they are every bit as good as glx’s maybe even better as far as build quality. I can’t speak on the legend extreme but I do own some legend elites. Alpha anglers are a flat out steal

wdaniels87 says:

Alpha angler spinning rods and Dobyns casting. Love my AA DSR and tac mag. They are perfection for drop shotting and throwing a tube.

ShakeyHead 007 says:

I hear you Travis. I got rid of my Legend Elites because of the micro guides. I may go back now if guides are now bigger. The LE blanks are great.

Dual Threat Outdoorsman says:

Can’t beat those CI4’s! Favorite spinning reel hands down

igot nothing says:

I guess your going to be breaking all your rods lol

M Jones says:

Bringing the truth as always, I don’t use spinning rods to often but I just purchased an extreme rod because you say it’s the deal, if not then I’ll send it to you, I’ll let you know. What’s the best rod for ball head finesse jigs like a 3/8. Need 1 for a new curado k I bought.

Tim Kelly says:

You really should do yourself a favor and learn to tie and use the FG knot. It is a pain to learn and will take longer to tie on the water if you need to, but the knot never breaks, so with a long leader you can just keep cutting it back and not worry about it. If you have to re-tie, no more than 4 or 5 minutes once you get it down. I promise you, it is worth it. I’m a huge St Croix legend fan too, though I have to strip the factory handles and re-build them in my preferred handle design.

mr me says:

Im a fan of dobyns champion extreme rods. How does the st Croix legend extremes compare?

Neng Yang says:

Surprised you didn’t choose the St. Croix Legend X as your favorite spinning rod. It’s amazing how much they did to this rod.

MyTopSpinner says:

i don’t think those st croix is as light as those phenix feather rod

Top Dawg says:

Dobyns all day

Angler Atlarge says:

After a lot of trial and error in the last few years I went to Diawa Tatula’s spinning rods, specifically the 7′-3″ drop shop series. Really like the feel of the blank and I am partial to real cork reel seats.

BJC Counter says:

You should check out the new line of rods. Favorite rods got me sold.

punchfishing says:

Have you played with the legend x or legend Elite yet? With the torzite guides. Same price as the extremes but obviously a guide upgrade.


I hate my edge rod not spinning but a special order 7.3 mh and the thing is a serious broom stick and at 450$ I’m supper disappointed. Sucks cuz I was really excited to get it. I could have pitched three rods for what I paid for this.

TOP GUN - BASS says:

Not sure what the line test rating is on those st. Croix but when senko fishing I like a MH power rod. Thanks for the video

Musky Hunter says:

Great vid. Honest opinion is what we all appreciate.

David Good says:

St. Croix is the best for the money

Langdon Holmes says:

I have used many brand rods over the years and I exclusively use StCroix Avid X now. I have recently looked at the new Bass X rods and am really impressed at the price point. As far as the knot problem I’ve switched to straight Seaguar invis x florocarbon or stealth braid. There really isn’t any situation you can’t cover with the proper # test.

Scott Van says:

Hey Travis I fish the, Enigma EHPT611SJ-M-S its a ML great drop shot rod at a good price. SC is to expensive for me.

J Lee Chronicles says:

Not a fan of those microguides either. Marketing hype… St C and the older Carrot Stix are my favs. A good budget rod (surprisingly)is the Abu Garcia veritas, just dont like the handle ends tho. But for 69$ on sale…

Eric Mayernick says:

love my older crucials where there is a spot cut out of the cork for your finger

Justin Collins says:

Seems a bit harsh to completely denounce a rod, that you have not so much as made a cast with.
Kinda makes your opinion void in many aspects.


These rods are built for west coast salmon fishing.

Blueflash 717 says:

ledgend extreme is where its at and all I use for spinning even have 2 casting rods. You ever try throwing straight floro? I use seaguar invisx with no issues tying leaders is wasted time! They aren’t the best rods on earth for no reason lol. Hands down best warranty in the rod game.

Kyle Whittaker says:

I love my Temple Fork Outfitters 7’3 ML drop shot. I use it for all things smallmouth. Lifetime warranty for around 150

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