Monday, June 13, 2016

MOJO Bass Fly Rod Review

MOJO Bass Fly Rod Review
Bass tournament legal at 7’11”

 First, anyone that knows me knows I’m a trout bum of a fisherman. Though I do target other fish, trout is my mainstay. Also I fly fish 99% of the time and haven’t used a conventional rod in sometime. I decided to target largemouth bass more this year and decided to purchase a fly rod specifically for bass. With that being said I decided “why not get a regulation tournament legal bass rod?” Not that I’m going to participate in any bass tournaments but I figured it would be fun just to see how a short rod would handle with bass conditions.
 There are a few manufacturers that make specific tournament legal bass fly rods and I took the time to research for what I was looking for. The couple of higher priced fly rods were too expensive for my blood. I’m sure they all work well and most likely be fancy but the price was over the top from what I wanted to spend. This left me with two choices, a Heat rod, from White River or the MOJO bass fly by St. Croix. After talking with a representative from both companies, weighing my options on weight, reliability and knowledgeable in the field of both conventional rods and fly rods I went with the MOJO bass fly.
 Being that St. Croix has been in the rod business for ever and makes both conventional rods for bass fishing and fly rods I figured it would be a good bet they would be able to produce a well refined fly rod specifically for bass.
 The MOJO rod isn’t anything fancy. In fact the fanciest thing about it is the lettering on the rod shaft. There isn’t a wooden insert in the reel seat, which I would have liked, it’s just a black machined-aluminum. The dark black cherry blank isn’t anything eye catching but I don’t buy rods because of how the blank looks. It has a gracious full well cork grip with a fighting butt and the double rings on the reel seat is a plus in my book.
 When I talked with the St. Croix fly rod rep. he told me that they use a weight forward line that matches the rod. I fitted the rod with the large arbor 7 weight reel I use for steelhead and took it out for a test run.
 My first outing I used my WF7F fly line that I use for steelhead fishing and also have used it for bass fishing on my 9’ steelhead rod. It was a windy day and I was in open water in my kayak. I have to admit the rod was wonderful to cast. I was worried, because it was stated as a moderate-fast action rod for short to medium casts. I was afraid it wasn’t going to throw a foam or cork popper well with the wind. I also was concerned about distance. Though you don’t have to be too far away from the fish when targeting bass but from a kayak it’s nice to be able to cover a wide area anchored. I’ve mentioned I haven’t used a conventional rod for some time. Well the stiff butt section and finely tuned top section of the blank was no problem in the wind. I could drop the poppers with a sharp tight loop if I wanted to or let the popper drop easy like a frog jumping onto the water with little splash. The distance wasn’t bad either. It loaded well and the forward cast had no wobble in the top section.
 When I did catch a bass I had no problem steering it my way and away from the under water lily shoots. It handled nicely with more control than a flexy longer rod. I didn’t catch any large bass in my first outing but I returned with a better set up.

  Now it was time to refine the rod with a reel and a Bass taper fly line. The St. Croix rep. also said, since I was to purchase a 7 weight rod, that a 5 weight large arbor reel is all I would need. He added that bass aren’t runners so there isn’t a need for 100 yards of backing and, because of the short rod, should balance out nicely. I took his advice, and being cost conscious I went with a 5/6 Hobbs Creek large arbor reel. I figured if White River puts this reel on their own bass fly rods it can’t be all bad. Also I checked the reviews of this reel and they were positive for the price.  A friend happen to mention that Orvis sells a Bass specific fly line. With a gift card I received for my birthday I purchased a 7 weight Hydro bass line. With my line and new reel it balanced the short MOJO rod perfectly.
 I was anxious to test it out but early trout season was still upon us here in Pennsylvania. Dry fly action took off and the weather was still a bit on the chilly side. I leaned the rod up against the wall and waited for a weekend to take it out.
 My second outing I had the rod, reel and line I thought would work the best. On a Sunday I took it out but again was a windy day. I knew it would be a struggle, kayaking in the wind, but I couldn’t wait any longer to try this outfit out.
 The bass taper line gave the rod a better feel when loading and I got plenty of distance. I also was able to sidearm cast the poppers, to cut the wind resistance, without the popper dropping too far on the back cast. I also attribute this to the shorter length. This outing I caught some heavier bass and was able to maneuver the bigger bass without too much of the bass having its way with me.

 One large mouth did make a sweeping run towards me and kept on going pass me. I didn’t have the drag set very tight. As the bass took line out, from the reel, I tested the strength of both reel, rod and line by trying to slow it down. The hook let loose and the bass kept on without a glance of the big creature. I could have played it better but I was willing to sacrifice losing the bass by seeing what would happen by trying to stop it quickly.
 Overall I feel I got a good combination and if anything I may change later is getting a better reel but for now the Hobbs creek reel works just fine. I also wish the rod came in a 4 or even a 3 piece so I can take it with me on my motorcycle but for now the MOJO Bass fly only comes in a 2 piece. I have no better reason to go back to a longer rod for largemouth.
 The MOJO BASS FLY rod also comes with a 5 year warranty. You can check out the specific models on the St. Croix web sight.



  1. Good info since I just bought this rod and really like that he said which reel worked best.
    I am a novice at this sport so really like reading reviews...thanks

    1. Glad my review helped you out. I've taken to MOJO out a few more times after this review and have not had any problems and like the set up of rod and reel. Good luck with your MOJO!