Falcon BuCoo Rod

Falcon's BuCoo-series combines custom looks and great performance.

I could feel the Carolina-rigged worm tick, tick, tick as it descended a steep, rocky slope. Then two faint but distinct taps telegraphed down the rod to my hand. Wait. A beat later the rod bent deep. I set the hook, and a smallmouth propelled itself airborne.

The exposed blank reel seat of Falcon’s BuCoo-series casting rod gave me the sensitivity to work the lure and feel what the fish was doing with my bait. BuCoo rods weigh just four ounces and have a cork-tipped belly ball on the butt, eight Fuji guides complete with underwrap and a healthy glob of epoxy sealing the threads. Rated for 12- to 20-pound line, the BCC-566 I fished proved great for tossing half-ounce lures. Yet this graphite stick has the beef to pull a bucketmouth from heavy cover.

BuCoo-series rods are available in seven casting models and three spin models and range in price from $99 to $109; basspro.com. I don't know of another rod with custom looks and great performance at such low prices.