Over the past few weeks I’ve been fortunate to acquire and fish some new “budget” sticks whilst enduring the atypical cold spell that enveloped much of South Florida. One such rod I’ve been toying with comes from the new Bass Pro Shops Carbonlite series. This series of rods (and baitcast reels) just so happens to be replacing the now defunct ProLite Finesse lineup. An aesthetic and stylistic departure from the standard BPS rod offering; The Carbonlite rods features split grip construction with rubberized foam grips. This grip material is harder to the touch than your typical EVA, yet tacky enough to ensure a solid grip while fishing. Noticeably absent is the usual BPS screw on buttcap that would accommodate their XPS balance kit.
The Pac Bay guides at first glance look almost as if they are missing inserts, but rest assured they are there. Logo screams “Robotech” albeit compliments the overall color scheme. Adorned with a “Made in China” sticker, the rods fit and finish is on par with other BPS rods though I did notice a few models on the shelf that shouldn’t have passed QC inspection. None the less, lightweight is the name of the game with the 6’9” MH model I’ve been fishing with coming in a svelte 3.94oz. This is a nice departure when compared to more expensive rods such as the popular Daiwa zillion 6’9”MH at 4.29oz and Bass Pro Shop’s own high end offering the JM elite series, whose 6’8”MH rod comes in at 4.62oz.
Sensitivity is certainly appreciable for a rod of this price and power rating is comparable to other Bass Pro Shops medium heavy rod offerings (no surprise over or under rating). The extra fast action rating seems about right with majority of flex in the upper 1/4 of the blank whilst under load. Over the past few outings, I’ve found that this stick is at home throwing traps, jigs, and typical soft plastic offerings. Palmability with the latest and greatest low profile reels feels on par with Shimano’s Cumara lineup, though I do wish the foregrip allowed more contact with the blank. Minor qualms aside, I, thus far, have a “good” impression of this budget stick. Of course only time will tell if it stays that way. Overall, I look forward to putting this stick through its paces this season to see how it stacks up against the competition.
Like most BPS house brands these new rods can be found on sale on a pretty regular basis at Bass Pro Shops