HomeblogsLefebre Blog: Hartwell Wrap-Up I finished 8th at Hartwell this passed week. That last day of practice was the key day for me basically because I finally got a bite on a jig. I obviously tried it many times the previous days but the fish seemed to want a minnow imitating bait only, like a spinnerbait, fluke, or Rattlin Rap. I was comfortable with all of that, but for some reason when I got those first couple jig bites I really started to think that this could be a good event for me. I caught them on the TABU OW jig (Chameleon) the first two days, then a Kinami D-Bug and Brush Hog on day 3, and finally a 5” Yamamoto Cut-tail worm on a Giggiy Head on the final day. Hartwell is a great lake, a perfect place for a big tournament actually, and hopefully we’ll come back in the future. Great fishing fans too! We picked up our new trucks from Chevy while we were in South Carolina, a new Silverado HD (dually) and a Suburban. Anne came down for the day 3 weigh-in to drive one of them home. She brought her Mom with her, and the kids of course. The drive home was weird because we hit a snow storm in North Carolina of all places, it looked like home. It lasted about an hour and then it was smooth sailing the rest of the way to Erie, PA. The next afternoon, after getting home, I called a couple buddies to see if they could help me test some rods. I got another shipment of Dobyn’s rods (my newest sponsor) and still haven’t had the time to fish many of them. Most of the ones I needed to test out were crankbait rods and various glass models. We put reels on them and hit the bay with a pile of square bills, jerkbaits, spinnerbaits, and rattling baits. It was a very productive 6 hours for sure, we only managed to catch 7 bass, but I really got a good feel for exactly what the rods perform like and which ones I would be needing to add to my arsenal. This may all sound like over-kill to some of you reading this, but for me it is so extremely important. I’ve been using the same rod actions for 15 years now, they were good rods, but throughout the years I have lost about 2.5 million fish. I always wrote it off because of my success, thinking that nothing was wrong. But I’ve since found out and proven to myself that my old way of thinking was completely wrong. Since switching to faster, less moderate sticks I have simply not been losing any fish. This was my third event with the new rods and the difference so far is blatantly obvious to me. You will never catch every bite you get, but I notice many things, most of them subtle, that are making a difference for me and I believe that these new rods are making me perform better and making a huge difference. I’ve been preaching moderate for so long to so many people and in so many articles over the years, it feels bizarre to be totally abandoning those beliefs. I believe there is still a place for moderate action rods with specific techniques, mainly involving treble hooked baits, spinnerbaits, and buzzbaits, but for everything else you can call me “Fast Man” from now on, lol. I’m finding out there are a bunch of Dobyn’s rods fans out there and for the last several months you have all been asking what rods I like and why…Well, I’m still putting it all together, but these are the casting rods I will definitely be using so far, I still haven’t played with any spinning rods yet but plan to this weekend: DX795: Heavy matt flipping, extra heavy baits DX745: My main jig rod, skipping, pitching, deep structure DX744: All-purpose rod, smaller jigs, Texas rigged baits, swimbaits, heavier spinnerbaits, Carolina rigs DX743: All-purpose rod, Swimming open water series jigs, smaller swimbaits, spinnerbaits, light jigs, flukes, buzzbaits DX742: Perfect for the Sworming Hornet Fish Head Spin, wacky rigged Senkos, Shakey heads DX705: Frog with braided line DX704: Normal sized spinnerbaits, flukes, accurate short casting DX703: Skipping Senkos, accurate casting smaller spinnerbaits and buzz baits DX702: Jerkbaits 704CB Glass: Tiny top-waters, crankbaits, jerkbaits 705CB Glass: Rattling baits and shallow square billed baits 804CB: DT 14, 16, 20, long casting deep crankbaits 764CBRM: Long casting rattling baits and shallow crankbaits Hopefully this helps someone out there with your rod selections. I also appreciate all the feedback and recommendations from many of you too..thanks! I mistakenly forgot to register for the PAA event at Lanier this week…major bumage. So I’m home now catching up on emails and other things. I’m looking forward to our next Major on Lake Chickamauga, TN in two weeks. I’ve never been there either, but I’ve heard a lot of good things about it. Andy Morgan told be I will like it a lot, so I think I’ll take his word for it and go get me another top 10! Oh, by the way, Gramp’s cane came in the mail, lol. He will surely cry when we give it to him when we see him. I’ll talk to you next week; in the meantime look me up FaceBook and Twitter!