Advanced ICAST Review – Ardent Denny Brauer Pro Series Rods

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Power Pole
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Lews Fishing
Lews Fishing
Strike King

by Dan O’Sullivan

Denny Brauer at the Ready

Denny Brauer at His Craft – photo by Dan O’Sullivan

The marketing model of fishing industry has long been to rely on the expertise of professional anglers to help develop products.  When any angler who makes their living casting for cash has the opportunity to develop products that makes their job easier, it can also enhance our enjoyment of the sort as well.

The amount of credibility that a product gains from being designed by a tour level angler can be invaluable.  When that same type of product is designed by an angler who is categorized as a legend, the credibility of that product can go through the roof.  When a product is designed by an angler who has defined his career by a single technique for more than 30 years – that product has something special.

Such is the new line of rods designed for Ardent by bass fishing legend Denny Brauer.  The Denny Brauer Pro Series was built to

Ardent Denny Brauer Pro Series Rods Handles

Ardent Denny Brauer Pro Series Rods – Handles

provide everyday anglers the tools a bass fishing legend would need to base a career off of, but do so at an affordable price.

Product Line
The Denny Brauer Pro Series consists of 10 different rod models; nine casting and one spinning rod, that give anglers the ability to

have a specific rod for just about every technique that they might encounter on any fishing trip.

The Denny Brauer Pro Series is constructed on Ardent’s high quality IM8 rod blanks that feature Brauer’s signature black and

bright blue color scheme with a carbon fiber pattern finishing the blank from the stripper guide to the butt.

Ardent Denny Brauer Pro Series Rods Length Markings

Ardent Denny Brauer Pro Series Rods Length Markings

The rods all feature split Fuji reel seats that leave the blank completely exposed under the reel which reduces the overall weight of the rod, and increases the sensitivity of the finished product as well.  Each of the rods are equipped with cork grips that are clean, and provide plenty of comfortable, secure grip.  A nice touch on the rear butt grip is a nice rubber butt cap that protects the cork from damage while setting the rod down or storing in the garage.

Ardent also utilized proven guide technology with Fuji’s Alconite guides with a Fuji Concept guide layout.  Brauer opted for the standard sized guides as opposed to a set of micro guides that have become en vogue in today’s marketplace.

The best part of this new series is that each model sells for a retail price point of $99, making an affordable purchase for the majority of the consumers in the market today.

Real World Application
We got the opportunity to test three of the models recently, and fittingly, it was the three Flippin’ and Pitching models.  What we

Ardent Denny Brauer Pro Series Rods Umbrella Rig - Heavy Flippin

Ardent Denny Brauer Pro Series Rods Umbrella Rig – Heavy Flippin’

found were a trio of rods that were more than serviceable, and in fact were quite remarkable considering the fact that they retail for such an affordable price.

We tested the 7’5″ medium-heavy Flip – Pitch rod, the 7’6″ Flippin’ Stick and the 7’10” Umbrella Rig / Heavy Flippin’ rod.  We used the rods themselves with Ardent’s Denny Brauer signature F700 Flippin’ Reel, so we were able to utilize them exactly as Brauer intended when he designed them.

Each of the rod blanks has a fast taper design which makes them great platforms for Flippin’ and Pitching rods.  The 7’10” version is designed to handle heavy weights and bass in heavy

vegetation; which also means that it is capable of handling bass in heavy, matted vegetation.  The 7’6″ Flippin’ Stick is a bread and butter Flippin’ Rod built for Flippin’ in and around reeds, boat docks or brush, and the 7’5″ Flip and Pitch rod is designed for an angler who needs to sit back off of cover and make longer presentations.

Ardent Denny Brauer Pro Series Rods Rod Taper

Ardent Denny Brauer Pro Series Rods – Rod Taper

We caught keeper largemouth bass on each of the rods and found them to be plenty sensitive and powerful.  We caught some on the Flippin’ Stick on a jig with fluorocarbon line and the hooksets were firm, driving the hook through whether it was on a sharp snap or the type where the bite is recognized late and the angler is forced to pull a taut line high into the rod movement.

We caught fish using the 7’10” Heavy Flippin’ Rod and a 3/4-ounce weight and 80-pound-test braided line penetrating heavy matted vegetation with a creature bait and found that we were able to set the hook well and pull solid keepers out of the grass quickly.  We caught fish on the 7’5″ model while tossing a frog with a standard casting reel and 65-pound-test braided line, and it handled them well.

The one thing we think we would do is pick two out of this three rod set.  Because the Flip and Pitch and Flippin’ Sticks are so close to the same action and only one-inch in length, we would select the 7’6″ version as well as the 7’10´heavier one as well.  Those two rods would give us the ability to handle any of our heavy cover needs.

Our conclusion about this set of rods is that we were very impressed by the construction, the components used, the finish and cosmetics of the set and most importantly, how they handled.  They weigh a little bit more than some of the higher priced models on the market, but for a $99 rod, these

Ardent Denny Brauer Pro Series Rods The Results

Ardent Denny Brauer Pro Series Rods The Results – photo by Christina O’Sullivan

are still light, well balanced rod and durable, and carry a one year warranty against manufacturer defects.

These are certainly worthy of carrying the Brauer name, and kudos to him and Ardent for working to develop a rod line that is capable of competing on the highest levels and doing it affordably.