Stick Jackets: Put a stick in it!

Stick Jackets are some of the latest fishing rod covers to hit the world of bass fishing tackle.  They are reaching a point of  popularity that a spawn of similar products are already beginning emerge to gain a share of the market.  I have to admit the first time I saw Stick Jackets I thought the whole concept seemed rather conspicuous and gimmicky.  However, it is only after repeated use can you really come to appreciate what this product  has to offer.  These relatively new style of rod “socks/covers” differentiate themselves from your typical rod sock in that they are made from a polyethylene filament that is woven into a Chinese “finger trap” pattern.  This braided construction allows the sleeves to grip your rod when pulled tight offering protection to your blank and guides. They come in eight different colors (black, blue, yellow, green, red, neon-red, purple, and patriotic) and three main sizes (Casting , XL Casting, and Spinning ) to accommodate the needs of most bass anglers.  The casting versions come in two main lengths approximately 62.5″ and 75” with a standard width of approximately .875″ that expands to about 1.25″ to accommodate typical baitcast rod guides.  The Spinning rod version is similar in length to the casting style but has a larger diameter 1.75″ that expands out to 2.5″ to accommodate larger guides.

Perhaps, the main reason I like Stick Jackets is their ability to be easily slipped on and pushed off of a rod.  Their “horned” out ends facilitate this action in a matter of seconds.   Other rod socks I have used (particularly Cabela’s Advanced Angler rod covers) have been rather annoying to take on and off some of my light to medium action rods. Trying to cover/uncover a light action rod with a rod cover that catches on every guide is not only annoying but a downright wreckless effort.

The idiosyncrasy of  “pushing” them off your rod as opposed to pulling them off like other rod socks takes some getting used to.  I’ve grown accustom to pulling multiple combos out and grabbing the tips of rod socks and getting a them all off in one shot. However with a stick jacket, as expected, pulling from the tip end, more times than not, cause the material to grip your rod tighter (like a finger trap). This characteristic is beneficial, however, in that the stick jackets are outfitted with a grommet at the top that allows these to be hung for storage. I personally don’t use them for this application but I do like using them with multiple rods in my rod storage tube. While this isn’t as ideal as using a full length sock it still provides some peace of mind.

One qualm that I have with the Spinning rod version is that getting the “horned” end over the last large guide on many rods takes some finesse.  None the less, the speed and ease of use of the casting rod models is hard to beat.  In my mind this will ultimately cause them to be used more on and off the water and isn’t that the whole point?  Of course I must mention that their breathable design allows a wet rod to dry out and not retain water. Also, the fact that they come in multiple colors allows one to color code combos for organization and efficiency. Furthermore, unlike a standard rod sock you don’t have to finagle with it much if you should happen to pierce it with a treble hook. Lastly, they are a little more expensive that your off the shelf BPS offering however I think the convenience they offer offsets the delta in price.

In summation, I’ve come to like stick jackets the more Ive used them  and will ultimately replace the majority of my standard  rod socks with them.

G.C.

 

StickJackets
Stick Jackets Ready for Testing

 

Stick Jacket Opening
Stick Jacket Spinning Rod Model on Left, Casting Models on Right

 

 

Stick Jacket Width
Casting Rod Model on Top, Spinning Rod Model on Bottom

 

 

Stick Jackets and Combos
Stick Jackets offer cheap and easy to use protection for your favorite combos

 

Preston Clark with Stick Jackets at ICAST 2008
Preston Clark and Stick Jackets at ICAST 2008

 

You can find Stick Jackets at:  Tackle Warehouse