Dobyns Rods has a reputation for quality rods and great customer service. Jordan Catala is a Dobyns Rods pro staffer. But he was a user of their rods and fan before joining their team. Jordan breaks down his Dobyns rod arsenal for us in this interview.
How long have you been fishing with Dobyns Rods?
I started fishing with Dobyns Rods around 2009 and slowly started switching out all of my rods to Dobyns Rods. What initially attracted me to the brand was a few things:
#1 – I was able to call and get Gary or Rich on the phone and pick their brains about helping me choose the right rod for a given technique, What other rod company can you do this with? And talk to the person who designed the rod?
#2 – Dobyns Rods offers the best warranty in my opinion and a no hassle warranty in the event of accidental damage. We’ve all been careless from time to time.
#3 – My ability to detect bites and land fish has increased substantially since switching over to Dobyns Rods due to the high quality and technique specific actions and power.
#4 – Since joining their Pro-Staff I have made some great friends and have learned a lot about becoming a better angler, we call ourselves a cult but its more like an extended family.
#5 – I have helped countless anglers select the right Dobyns Rod for a given technique and have never had someone tell me they were unhappy with their purchase or that I steered them wrong. Most anglers do what I did shortly after buying one and start to change out all of their rods to Dobyns Rods and that level of confidence and satisfaction they provide for me and their customers is priceless.
Why is The DX795 FLIP HP is a beast for flippin’?
The DX795FLIP is the best rod I have ever used for flippin due to several reasons. The rod is very lightweight for a 7 feet 9 inch rod and balances so well in hand. It is very sensitive and has a great combination of a strong backbone with a soft tip that allows for pinpoint casting and a quiet presentation into the water.
I use this rod primarily for pitching heavy t-rigs, punch rigs and jigs into heavy cover and land every fish that bites. I’ve only lost a few due to using the wrong size hook with a particular bait. This rod allows me to swing for the fences and know that I’m bringing every fish into the boat. If you’re in a tournament that is priceless.
If you have ever spent a day flippin/pitching into grass you know that it can wear you out and with the 795 this doesn’t happen. The first time you boat flip a 4 or 5 pound fish with this rod you’ll be sold!
When are the times that you like to fish a Carolina rig? Why do you like the DX745 HP for this rig?
I like to fish the C-Rig during post spawn conditions or when we get a high pressure system, Blue Bird Skies, moves in. The DX745 is my favorite rod for this technique due to the fact it is very light and sensitive with a strong backbone allowing for a good hookset with a sweeping motion.
The DX745 is a rod I think everyone should own as it is a tremendous rod for fishing Jigs and Texas Rigs too. I like to use creature baits primarily when using the C-Rig like a Sweet Beaver or Brush Hog. This is a technique that I would like to utilize more this upcoming season and plan on experimenting with different baits and leader lengths.
I am actually looking for a glass rod. Why should I consider the Dobyns Rods Paul Mueller 805CB Glass?
I could discuss crankbait rods all day…lol. I have owned over a dozen different crankbait rods over the years and utilized the 765CB Glass before Dobyns released the 805CB Glass. What I will share about the Paul Mueller Glass rod is that it was refined several times before the final version was released to ensure it has the perfect combination of length, weight, action and power.
This rod has exceeded my expectations and really shows you how good glass rods have become. Building a glass rod is no easy task as you can buy one that feels dead, lacks sensitivity or one that just doesn’t have enough backbone to drive the hooks home on the end of a long cast. I used to fish the 765CB Glass exclusively for deep diving cranks and the 805 has taken its place. The 805CB Glass is extremely sensitive and is the perfect rod for throwing Strike King 6XD’s, Lucky Craft D20’s, Duo G87’s, or DD22’s.
This rod loads very well, casts crankbaits a mile and during the retrieve, due to the great sensitivity, I can feel any subtle change in bottom composition like grass, rocks, shell beds, etc. I can then adjust the speed of my retrieve accordingly.
I prefer to set the hook very hard when fishing crankbaits to make sure I drive the hooks through the fishes jaw to keep them pinned. I have caught a majority of my biggest largemouth to date fishing deep diving crankbaits with the 805CB Glass and cant remember ever losing a fish.
Lastly a premium rod will outperform less costly options where it matters most, overall weight, balance and sensitivity. My 805CB Glass balances out about an inch above the reel seat and is easy to fish with when you’re chucking and winding a big crankbait all day long. If you enjoy deep cranking and are looking for a rod to improve your game and confidence the 805CB Glass is the perfect solution.
You caught a beautiful smallmouth on a DX683c. When does this rod excel?
I originally bought this rod as a dock rod to throw senko’s and light jigs. During a trip to the St. Lawrence River a few years back I was getting manhandled by those big Smallmouth using lighter action rods and began using it to throw jerkbaits like Vision 110, LC, and Duo. I found that the rod gave me way more leverage to bring those fish to the boat.
The DX683 has become a rod that I use for jerkbaits, which is one of my favorite ways to catch them, along with topwater poppers like the Megabass Popmax and finesse jigs between ¼-3/8 of an ounce. The DX683c is kind of like the Swiss Army knife of rods as it can be used for many different techniques. Too bad this rod is no longer in production.
What are your other favorite baitcasting rods from Dobyns?
My other favorite or must have rods from Dobyns Rods would be the Champion 704CB and the Champion 734C. I have a 704CB on the front deck of my boat all year long and has become a favorite for throwing jerkbaits, small crankbaits and inline spinners. The 734C is probably one of the most versatile rods in the entire lineup and one that I have used for Spinnerbaits, Vibrating jigs, Blade Baits and believe it or not throwing a Spook, for real!
Are there any that you haven’t tried yet that you would love to fish?
The next rod on my short list is the 736CB Glass that was released last year. I really want to pick this up to use with Vibrating Jigs and Square Bills. My good friend bought one last year and absolutely loves it.
How about when you go with spinning gear?
I am a power fisherman by heart so I tend to switch to spinning gear out of necessity. My favorite rods have been the DX702sf, DX743sf and the Champion 702Sf. I pretty much use these rods for when I Drop Shot, Tubes, Blade Baits, Ned Rigs and small swimbaits. The DX rods excel when you are using light line on highly pressured waters. I primarily use 10-12lb braid with a fluorocarbon leader between 6-8lb test and need a rod that is light in action but also has a strong enough backbone to keep a fish hooked with small hooks.
If I am drop shotting for Smallmouth the DX702sf is my go to rod and one that I have the utmost confidence in. I can’t even tell you have many fish that rod has caught over the years. I once landed a 20 pound Carp on the St. Lawrence with the DX702Sf and 6lb test so needless to say this rod can handle Smallmouth all day long.
What are your favorite New York largemouth bass waters to fish with your Dobyns Rods?
Where I live most of the local lakes have been victimized by reduced access or have had chemical treatments performed to kill the grass which as you know can really mess up the Largemouth population. So for me I usually end up traveling a long distance to find lakes that haven’t been messed with and have a healthy population of Largemouth.
The tournament angler in me is going to come out now and refrain from giving up too much info about my favorite local lakes but if I had the ability to choose destination lakes in New York for an angler to target Largemouth it would be Champlain, Cayuga, Oneida and the Hudson River. My favorite technique for Largemouth is pitching grass and those lakes have grass for days, healthy Largemouth populations and set up really well for throwing a frog in the summer.
What are your favorite New York smallmouth bass waters to fish with your Dobyns Rods?
My favorite lakes to catch Smallmouth in New York are the St. Lawrence River, Champlain, Oneida and the Hudson River. As you know the introduction of Gobies into our ecosystem has greatly increased the size of Smallmouth Bass. If you’ve ever caught a Smallmouth from 30 plus feet of water in the hard currents of the St. Lawrence you instantly become addicted to brown fish for life. Smallmouth have become my favorite fish to target over the past few years and I find myself willing to drive further and further each year to catch them. Hopefully the weather cooperates with me better this year as I hope to get back on Lake Ontario to catch a giant.
Do you have any other sponsor companies?
To be honest I have never sought out any other sponsorships or pro staff deals but I do utilize a lot of great products from different companies. I have always been a Daiwa guy and that is the only reel I will use with my Dobyns Rods. Last year I switched over to using Kimura Line for all of my bait casting and spinning rod setups and had great success with their X4 braid and Fluorocarbon HP lines.
A lot of anglers now a days will push anything they get a deal on and that’s not my style. I have a successful career in retail and am married with two great kids so when get some free time to go fishing I only use what I feel is the best equipment or lures that I can afford to use and have confidence in. I think that for most anglers it is in your best interest to utilize what you are most confident in, look at each day on the water as a chance to learn and have fun. What I have gained most from my time with being a pro-staffer for Dobyns Rods are friendships and knowledge gained from some very good fishermen and that is what I am most thankful for.
Thank you Jordan. I love the in-depth knowledge you have about these Dobyns Rods. Will be following you all season long on Instagram @jordan_catala.
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Read about Dock Talker Scott Cassady who also loves Dobyns Rods.