The Fishing and Marine Industry Daily News Feed

Mustad Presents Brandon Lester on Simplifying Bass Rods

Given the depth of options, opportunities, and specific presentations, a professional angler needs a wide array of rods to cover everything a day on the water may present. Bassmaster Elite Brandon Lester exemplifies this preparation, but he has a word of encouragement for beginners and casual anglers — it’s okay to start small.

Equipping yourself with a few functionally diverse rods and expanding as your budget and experience allows makes a better game plan than overwhelming from the get-go.

A longtime rod builder, Lester partnered with Mustad to create his BLF Instinct signature series rod line. Undoubtedly, he covered the bases with models that handle anything he needs to do to tempt the next big bite. However, during the Bassmaster Classic, held March 24-26 on the Tennessee River, he broke out a trio of models that will get the job done on similar river system reservoirs anywhere in the southern U.S.

Mustad Presents Brandon Lester on Simplifying Bass Rods 02

Starting with a 7-0 medium-heavy baitcasting rod, Lester stresses this model’s utilitarian nature. Think of this one as your Christmas gift model — the one a family member unfamiliar with bass fishing could buy for their favorite angler and never go wrong.

“You can do a ton of different things on that rod,” Lester said. “You can throw worms, jigs, squarebill crankbaits, lipless crankbaits, bladed jigs.”

When you move toward flipping and pitching techniques, Lester suggests his 7-6 heavy baitcaster. More length and backbone — this rod gives the angler better reach and the power to separate a big fish from the cover. Most of all, this is a rod that will serve you for long periods without fatigue.

Mustad Presents Brandon Lester on Simplifying Bass Rods 03

“That rod has a good weight; it’s not too heavy, and it’s easy to fish,” Lester said.

From there, Lester turns to the lighter presentations. He’s well known for using many power fishing techniques, but Lester has also earned his marks with a spinning rod.

“The 6-10 medium is my favorite; that’s my all-purpose spinning rod,” he said. “I throw shaky heads, dropshots, all different (finesse baits). I love that 6-foot, 10-inch length. That’s what I’m comfortable with.”

As for line selection, Lester keeps it simple and offers these suggestions:

  • 7-0 medium-heavy baitcasting rod: 15-pound fluorocarbon
  • 7-6 heavy baitcasting rod: 20-pound fluorocarbon
  • 6-10 medium spinning rod: 10-pound high-vis yellow braid with 6 feet of 6 to 12-pound fluorocarbon leader.

Mustad Presents Brandon Lester on Simplifying Bass Rods 04

“The conditions and what I’m doing would determine which leader size I would use,” Lester said. “If I’m fishing heavy cover, it’s going to be a 10- or 12-pound leader. If I’m fishing for smallmouth up north, it’s going to be 6 or 8.”

Lester’s closing advice bespeaks a key attribute inherent to his Mustad BLF Instinct signature series — consistent attention to detail.

“When you’re choosing a rod, hold it out in front of you and look down the blank,” Lester said. “If all of the eyes line up, you know you have a well-made rod.

“You can catch fish on a rod with crooked eyes, but when they’re all perfectly straight, that tells you someone took the time to get it right. And you can expect the same quality throughout the entire rod.”

Mustad Presents Brandon Lester on Simplifying Bass Rods 05

About Mustad

Mustad has led the global hook market since 1877. Mustad’s mission is to create a comprehensive multi-brand company that leads the fishing tackle industry, while focusing on innovation, employee and customer satisfaction, and sustainability. With the addition of TUF-LINE and LIVETARGET, Mustad continues to solidify its position as a complete sports fishing brand family.

Keep your finger on the fishing industry pulse

The Definititive News Source of the Fishing & Marine Industry