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Thread: JB Rods product review.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    202 Norfolk Dr Ruther Glen VA 22546
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    Default JB Rods product review.

    I want to tell you what I learned on my recent visit to where the JB Custom rods are made. My friend Steve McGuire once told me it’s possible to buy a better game. I will never forget his statement and boy was he right.

    I had the privilege of accompanying Jim Sutton recently when he made a visit to JB Custom Rods in Dunn NC. I learned a substantial amount about rod building and what goes into making a superior rod but more about that in a minute.
    Jim Sutton has been on the pro staff for some time as some of you may know. Other VA Pro Staffers are Tank Mosley and Josh Wagy. Josh fished the Bass Masters Classic this year and contributed much of his success in the classic to the sensitivity of the JB Custom Rod.

    I had the opportunity to physically touch and review every model rod that JB Custom rod offers. There are two significant elements that stood out to me immediately. First is how much influence and input each pro staff member provided to John in creating a particular rod action. Mr. Ballard’s expertise in converting that information and feedback into his rod development resulted in a perfectly balanced rod blank for the technique it was designed for. To say I was impressed was an understatement. When the rod is named “Frog and Rat” or a rod by any other name or technique you can take it to the bank that it’s been highly tuned to be a perfect rod for that application.

    The second significant observation was the rod blanks. The rod blank is the heart and soul of a rod and the Mr. Ballard chooses the best engineered rod blanks on the market today. These high-end blanks are designed and engineered to reduce physical weight, add sensitivity and provide increased material recovery. The quicker recovery in the material allows proper presentation to hook the fish while providing the strength to land larger fish more effectively. They also offer tremendous strength to weight ratios ideally suited to create the ultimate in sensitivity, action, power and durability. The real seats are of the finest material available that become one with the rod blank reinforcing the sensitivity. Mr. Ballard personally cuts and custom shapes by hand each handle to ensure an exact fit to maximize and transmit vibrations to the whole hand. It’s just another reason that makes a JB Rod the most sensitive rod on the market today. It is hard to explain the level of sensitivity that I am talking about until you have personally experienced it. It might be a stretch to say you can feel a bass looking at your bait but that’s a pretty close description.

    The Guides are a stainless steel alloy, light weight, coated and have no inserts to chip, fall, or get knocked out. Never satisfied, Mr. Ballard continues to find ways to improve on his line of rods. A new improvement made recently was to reduce the overall size of the guides. They are larger than micro guides but slightly smaller than the traditional size. It was an impressive improvement that helps reduce line slap and increase casting distance. The Guides are individually hand wrapped fore and act then meticulously finished providing years of usage without working loose or pulling out.

    When you first look at these rods you immediately know they definitely aren’t a traditional looking rod. The handles are different and the placement of the guides is definitely different. The placement of the guides is called Spiral Wrapping. Each guide is custom placed and matched perfectly to each individual rod blanks power curve making it a perfectly balanced rod. Spiral wrapping the guides around the rod blank first and foremost keeps the rod from twisting out of shape when working a big fish to the boat. It helps keep you in control of the fight. I have personally seen my Diawa’s get twisted out of shape on big fish before so I know this is true. Spiral wrapping also helps reduces stress and fatigue on muscles and joints.

    I was asked by Mr. Ballard what I like about these rods the best. I answered, besides helping me catch more fish; they are blast to fish with. These rods aren’t lacking anything and the actions are so tuned in and perfectly balanced that fishing with them is just flat out fun to do.

    JB Custom Rods will have a booth at the Richmond show this year. I will be assisting Jim Sutton where and when I can. This year show prices are 169.00 plus tax for the ESP series and FOM members will pay 140.00 dollars each plus Tax.


    SO, as my friend Steve would say; sometimes you can “buy a better game”.

    PS: If you have questions about Anna, James, or anywhere else I fish bring your maps and we’ll have a chat lol.

    See you guys on the water!
    2010 VAO Polar Bear Overall Winner
    2010 VAO Polar Bear Big Striper



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    Blacksburg, VA (for now)
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    For the record, I am not on pro staff. I have three JB rods - the Snake (I use it for t-rig), the frog-n-rat, and the Huntin' Stick (c-rig). Everything Jim says about sensitivity is true. He doesn't say enough about the power and muscle these rods have. The best $169.00 you will ever spend. John does superb work.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    Not trying to beat a dead horse here but Brian 31 is 100 % correct. The power and muscle of these rods are convincing. I have witnessed Jim Sutton haul in a massive drum and a 20+ pound carp using the 7 foot “Snake Rod”.

    A couple of years ago Steve and I, AKA Squire; were fishing together in Mar if I remember correctly. We were having a pretty good day with Jigs and some big bass. One of them 20+ pound kind of days. At the time I was using my Diawa Tough and Light HVY action Rod flipping a bluff wall not ten feet from the boat. I got thumped pretty good and the bass moved out to deeper water right to the boat. I let it come, taking up the slack as it came, and when it was darn near right next to me I reared down and set the hook as hard as I could. It was a big bass in the upper seven pound range or maybe even in the low eights. I seen it up close and it was a good one. I was playing the bass near the boat waiting on the net and gave it a little too much slack and it just came unbuttoned. Bottom line is I didn’t get a good enough hook set.

    Jim Sutton has been trying to get me to try JB Custom rods for over three years. Obviously I have been hard headed about it. Well he gifted me a JB Custom Jig Rod last year and after using that rod I will never use anything else for Jigs period. The action, power and muscle of the JB Jig Rod and Carolina Rig Rod is why Jim and I were able to amass a 21+ pound bag in the Lake Anna FOM this past year. I was setting the hook on some big bass that were a good 40 to 50 feet away from the boat and ten feet deep using jigs with that rod. After that Jim let me try out all the other rods he owned as we fished together throughout the year. And every rod I tried had the same thing in common: Power, perfect actions, etc, etc. I borrowed his Frog and Rat Rod for a Potomac River tx that Steve and I partnered up in too. I have never been a big fan of throwing Spro frogs because I could never find a rod that would work for me that wouldn’t wear me out after using it for an hour or so. Lord what a difference a good rod makes! I did pretty well that day too using it. Easy on the joints and powerful hook sets. In the Iron Man Tx on the river I lost a monster bass using a chatter bait on my Diawa too. I am convinced that if I had been using a JB Rod I would have put that bass in the boat: there is no doubt in my mind about it either. Eric, AKA BigE, lost a big one too on a Spro frog in the same TX. Eric, you need to give the Frog and Rat Rod a try lol.

    So now I am 100 % all in. And at 140.00 each for FOM members I can budget in a few rods to help me in areas where I am lacking a good rod for; like chatter baits (Eric wore me out on the river this year throwing chatter baits lol), a replacement rod for C-Rigs, and one for spinner baits. There is one in particular called the “Sword”. It was designed by Josh Waggy. I like that rod! It will be an awesome “Do Everything” kind of rod.
    I have already won one free rod and Mama put into the budget one for our anniversary, one for Christmas, and I am going to try and convince her to give me an advance on my birthday and fathers day ha-ha.

    By the way; Steve wore me out on them jigs that day. He showed no mercy lol. Maybe he’ll give me a chance at redemption this coming spring from the back of his boat ha-ha.
    2010 VAO Polar Bear Overall Winner
    2010 VAO Polar Bear Big Striper



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    Whiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiin nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnneeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee eeeeeeeeeeeee!!! Typical Marine. Beating his meat before he eats it.

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