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Berkley Lightning rod

8'6" medium weight trolling rod

It boasts a firm backbone, with a fast action tip for those soft-mouthed kokanee

I have been searching for a good kokanee rod for some time now. Something with lots of flex in the tip for the kokanees' soft mouths, but with some backbone at the base of the rod for more control. I find some kokanee rods to be too flexible and don't allow for much control, especially when catching 2+ pound kokanee.

I came across the 8' 6" medium-action Berkley Lightning rod. This rod is light weight (weighing in at 187 grams) and the action is perfect. Light action at the tip that tapers to medium action at the base. The price was good, too! I bought a pair of matching rods and paired them with my Abu Garcia level wind reels. I was very excited to try them out!

The Pros

  • light weight

  • perfect flex

  • low cost

The Cons

  • you may get one that breaks easy

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I had a couple of great days with these rods. They are sensitive enough that you can feel every nibble and bump. I caught several small kokanee and was loving the rods. In June, I went to Stump Lake where the kokanee have been fairly consistently 2 to 3 pounds. I caught two kokanee, both 2.5 pounds, on one of my rods and the rod performed beautifully. It had good flex at the tip to keep the kokanee hooked and still had enough backbone to maintain good control of the fish. It was going great until I hooked a 2.5 pound kokanee with my second rod. The fish took a run by the boat and it snapped the tip off my rod. I was very disappointed.

Monte Lake kokanee.jpg

Berkley offers a warranty that covers manufacturing defects, so I completed the necessary steps and submitted my warranty claim. So far I have been less than impressed with Berkley's customer service. When I first submitted my claim, I got a bounce-back message that their email box was full and they could not accept emails at this time. I tried again in mid-July and this time the email sent. I followed up with multiple FB messages and phone calls (some of which resulted in being on hold for an hour) but was told only that they had received my claim and would get to it. On August 20, Berkley agreed to replace the rod. Unfortunately, the rod I ordered was no longer in stock and so I have to wait until October when they will send me a different rod.

While I was waiting for a response from Berkley, I managed to reattach the rod tip. Unfortunately, on my very next outing, the rod broke at a different point about 9 inches from the tip while fighting another nice kokanee.

I was curious as to why the rod had broken twice in a relatively short period of time, both times while fishing. The rod tip is hollow and when I examined the broken pieces closely it seemed that the thickness of the fibreglass tubing is uneven, resulting in thin parts along the shaft. I suspect this is why the rod snapped repeatedly.

The Berkley Lighting rod is a great rod- when it doesn't break. I had bought two rods, and I still use the second rod on a regular basis (knock on wood that it continues to hold up for me). Hopefully my replacement rod isn't a lemon.

For more reviews on fishing gear and accessories check out Chrome Catchers product reviews.