June 29, 2010
The biggest advantage to using a split-grip rod over other rod handles is weight savings. By cutting away some of the cork or other grip material, the rod becomes lighter and more sensitive. Tackle shops and retail catalogues offer a wide array of rod configurations and lengths for just about any style of fishing, be it drop-shot, wacky style, tube jigs, spinnerbaits, crankbaits -- you get the idea. It is full-contact between your hand and the rod for both spinning and trigger grips.
Some manufacturers have virtually eliminated the foregrip (the handle part in front of the reel)
allowing anglers more contact with the rod blank through the open handle space provided by the split- grip design. One aspect of split-grip rods that may mean changing your outfit is in the realm of reel and rod balance.
The reel chosen for the seven foot medium-heavy rod with full cork handle may be too heavy when attached to the comparable seven foot medium-heavy split-grip rod. Check the balance by suspending the rod and reel on one finger in front of the handle. The rod should hang perfectly straight.
Another technique to try for greater sensitivity with split-grip or conventional rods is gripping the rod with one finger in front of the foregrip. That finger is connected directly with the rod blank and the line. The slightest tick will radiate down the rod and hit your finger.
An inexpensive solution to weight-forward rods and reel combos is a rod butt cap. Put a few quarters in the cap and then attach it to the butt of your rod. The added weight will help balance out the rod for a more comfortable rig.