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Finally, The Perfect Fishing Rod!
By Mike Frisch

Let me start by making one thing clear, I am a "fishhead"! My full-time career involves fishing and I am also a part-time multi-species guide and fish bass and walleye tournaments. And, during my free time, I go fishing! Another confession is also in order, I'm a "rod guy," always looking for the best fishing rods available. And recently, I think I have found the best rod ever.

In my opinion, several things make the perfect fishing rod. First, a rod must be sensitive, must be made with quality components, and must have the right action and power for the particular method being fished. It must also be light enough so it doesn't wear me out during a full fishing day. It also should be durable so I do not have to worry about the rod breaking in a guide client's hand or when tournament money is at stake.

Finding a rod that accomplishes all of this is truly a tall order. During my fishing career I have been fortunate enough to fish lots of rods from lots of manufacturers. Being somewhat of a hard-sell when it comes to my fishing equipment, I never really found a rod brand that accomplished all that I needed in my rods. All that changed this year!

2011 saw me trying a new brand of rods called Carbon X developed by long-time fishing industry leader, David Gray. Gray is a "fishhead" also. He has owned a successful marine dealership, a tackle store and, several years ago, launched the Ardent Reel company, making the industry's only 100% American made fishing reels. David combined his tackle industry knowledge with his "fishhead" passion and developed Carbon X rods.

The Carbon X rod brand is, like they advertise, Made in the USA to the highest standards of performance. And the rods perform like no others I have used. They are very sensitive, come in just the right actions/powers, and are very, very light in weight. Also, though at least a couple rods break in my boat every year, I have yet to break a Carbon X rod which speaks volumes about their quality.

A unique feature of the Carbon X design is Gray's Action Forward Design which makes Carbon X rods have more power than rods of similar design. This design puts more of the rod ahead of the reel seat where it delivers more power and reduces the overall weight, while increasing the rod's sensitivity.

Not only do the rods perform the way a premium rod should, they also look great. Some of today's rods come in a variety of colors and feature "decorations". Gray, on the other hand, prefers traditional colors on rods of his design, with catchy, but not overdone graphics. One of my fishing buddies described the rods eye-appeal well, with his enthusiastic first impression. "Sweet" was the first word from his mouth when handed a Carbon X.

A final quality that makes Carbon X rods very attractive is their price. The rods come in two series, Carbon X1 and Carbon X2 that retail from $139.99 to $189.99 in price. You cannot buy a high end rod for less money. Especially when you consider that the Carbon X gives you more performance than rods costing $250 and up.

The rods are available in a variety of spinning and casting models. I have absolutely fallen in love with the 7'2" C5 heavy power casting model. Much of my summer bass fishing involves making short pitches with big jigs or Texas-rigged plastics to heavy cover. A 7'6" traditional flippin' stick was usually used. Now, however, I use the C5 because it gives me the sensitivity to feel the lightest of bites, yet has the power to horse a big bass up and away from heavy cover. Not only that, but I can fish the C5 all day long without experiencing the fatigue felt in the past when fishing a flippin' stick.

The other rod that really has caught my fancy is the C7 crankbait rod. Casting crankbaits has become a big part of my fishing arsenal recently when targeting walleyes and bass. The C7 has a nice soft action allowing me to make long casts, yet retains enough power allowing me to snap a crankbait loose when it hangs on a weed. Like the C5, the crankbait model is very light allowing me to throw cranks all day without undue fatigue. Five-pound largemouth bass, walleyes to 8-pounds, and a pike pushing 12-pounds came in my boat using this lightweight gem recently!

Carbon X rods will soon be available to all anglers thru an internet tackle store called Fishing Tackle Junction, Also, check out the Carbon X brand further by going to the Carbon X website at The only bad news may be that Carbon X is selling some models faster than they can make them. Not surprising as more and more "fishheads" find out about them.

Nothing is perfect, but I've spent a 40-year fishing career trying to find a fishing rod that does everything needed. The Carbon X series finally does all I ask in a rod. From a lifetime "fishhead" that's pretty high praise!

Mike Frisch is a multi-species fishing guide and tournament angler from Barrett, MN. Frisch is also a noted outdoor writer and television and radio personality. Frisch's Fishin' Schools have proven extremely popular in his home state, Minnesota.

Reprinted with permission from Mike Frisch

I wanted to take the time to tell you how impressed I am with the New 7' Carbon X2 Rod. To say the least, the rod is an engineering marvel. The Action Forward Design concept is truly a brilliant well thought out concept. The rod I have now is a 7' rod the fishes like a 7' 2" rod. This may not sound like much, but when you are fishing boat docks and low hanging brush the new Carbon X rod allows me to make more accurate flips and pitches while the boat is positioned very close to the cover because the forward action which offers a shorter handle allows a more vertical rod angle for the pitch. In addition the rod still allows plenty of power for good hook sets and moving power for those short, quick strikes. The Carbon X blank and action is equal to or better the G-Loomis rods I currently fish. My current ½ jig rod is a 854, 7' G-Loomis Mossy Back. My Carbon X 7' is a fill one ounce lighter than the Loomis. One ounce makes a huge difference when you are pitching and flipping docks all day. I could go on and on about your rods but I will tell you I will be replacing my G-Loomis arsenal with Carbon X.

James Hardy,
Huntsville, Alabama

I have really given my Carbon X C7 crankbait rod a workout the last few weeks. The fish have moved up on the flats chasing shad, making it perfect crankbait conditions. I have thrown spinnerbaits, burned lipless baits, small square bill crankbaits, large deep diving ledge baits and even a little topwater spook type lures with this one rod. I'm sold on it. I have the split grip model and it's light-weight, well-balanced and it will throw baits a mile. I have been able to keep excellent contact and feel with my lure while reeling which is very important. This is a perfect crankbait rod with more than one way to use it, which I think really adds to its value.

Keith Monson, Tournament Angler
Burgin, Kentucky

It's hard to get excited about the next new rod on the market - ads for lighter and stronger rods has meant you just pay more but don't get more. Carbon X has provided me with light-weight, sensitive, fishability at $100 less than than the brand of rods I was using. Carbon X rods cost less but deliver more, and they have exceeded my expectations in all tournament and fishing conditions. Great job in building a new line of rods that are simply better and more affordable.

Jeff Green, Tournament Angler
Osage Beach, MO

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