Fenwick Eagle GT’s are almost a staple of the local fishing market in the Ely, Minnesota area and there is a reason for that: They are consistently well-made, good quality rods at a great price. Are they as lightweight as the next models above them like the Fenwick HMX, HMG, and Aetos? Well, no – but if you pick one up and heft it, the first thing you notice is how lightweight it is. I witness customer upon customer who do this right in the store, here. They pick up a GT and tell their buddy how light the rod is until they pick up the next higher model and then, that’s the really light rod.
I’ve been fishing for years with the bulk of my heavy-duty fishing during the 23 years I guided fishing trips. The rod I used for the first fifteen of my professional years was a Garcia Conolon, 6′ med. light fiberglass rod. For those 15 years, I only owned that one rod to my name. It was a lot heavier than a Fenwick Eagle GT and I somehow managed to catch enough fish on it to sink a small battleship. How is that even possible? That Conolon had no (zero, zip, nada) graphite content in it and I managed to bring in a 9 pound walleye, a 22 pound northern pike and a zillion fish in between. The fishing industry would now have us believe that if the rod doesn’t have IM6 , IM7, or IM8 graphite, one will not be able to feel the fish and thereby never catch a fish EVER. I finally retired that Conolon not because it broke or was failing. I just wanted to try something different out because I was selling rods and thought that I should have some working knowledge about the product lines we stock.
Over the years, I’ve fished everything from moderate but good to expensive ($350+) and so-so. The $389 St. Croix I used on one trip caught the same fish that I caught on a $60 Fenwick Eagle GT. Both rods trolled the same, cast the same, and jigged the same. The St. Croix weighed like a duck wing feather, the Fenwick felt like an eagle wing feather in weight comparisons. In the end, the stringer of fish produced with both rods was about the same each time with similarly sized fish. Funny, but based on price, one would think that the expensive St. Croix would have produced bigger fish commensurate with the price of the rod. I do know that if I broke one (which I have yet to do in my entire life), the St. Croix would make me cry and the Fenwick would result in my buying another one. Granted, they have pretty spiffy warranties on the high-end rods, but neither of the companies will warrant a rod snapped off in car door or while removing a snag no matter how hard the customer insists that policy is rotten and declares they will never, ever buy that rod again – after snapping it off in a screen door. Rod companies usually also won’t cover a carbon fiber rod that has been nicked because unlike fiberglass, a nick in a carbon fiber tube is where the tube is going to cleanly break off. Upon examination, the rod companies can determine that about the rod’s breaking even if one has “no clue” as to why the rod “just broke” – “for no reason”. And, of course, that could never, ever have happened because they always tuck their fishing rods in at night while singing them a gentle lullaby. In all the brush that I have carried my rods and all the different water craft they’ve been dropped in and shoved around, I’ve often wondered how it is that I’ve never experienced all of the “absolutely inexplicable” warranty issues that so many other fishermen experience. (I have a pretty good idea after witnessing how people handle their equipment. There is no lullaby – sometimes no thought, either.)
Long story short, there is a real advantage to owning a good, more affordable rod. It costs you less money, you catch the same fish with no doubt whatsoever, and if you snap it in two, you don’t have to rob a bank to get another one. Fenwick Eagle GT’s feel good in your hand when you initially pick one up and then later when you get a 20 lb. northern pike lighting your drag on fire. For the money and the so-called “performance”, I easily give it high marks and can recommend it with confidence to my customers.
What size should you buy? That depends on the boat. Big boats with wide gunwales need a longer rod. Smaller fishing boats and canoes, a shorter rod. Somewhere in the 6 foot to 6’6″ region for most fisherfolks seems to do well. How about the action of the rod? For general purpose fishing, I’d say medium light to medium will cover a broad spectrum of freshwater species. You’ll read “Fast” or “Moderate” on the rod. This references the speed in the tip or top 1/4 to 1/3 of the rod. For a fast tip rod, the tip end of the rod bends quickly like a shock absorber but the lower part of the rod has backbone in it. This is good for general purpose setting of hooks on a fish strike. A Moderate rod will be more noodly from the handle to the tip with a more flexible backbone that extends throughout the rod, not just lower 2/3’s section . When you set a hook, it is not as fast as the a fast action rod and this particular rod works better for using crank baits and casting, particularly when spooled with braided line on your reel. Braided line has no stretch, and when casting lures with a fast action rod, when you feel a bump and set the hook, you can be a bit too fast for the fish. You end up pulling the hooks away from it during the hookset. A moderate rod puts in a millisecond delay in your hookset and you sink into more fish. Sounds goofy, but it does actually work. When using monofilament line, this is less of an issue because there is stretch in all mono lines.
Now, if you don’t have a moderate action rod while casting crankbaits using braided line like Cortland Master Braid or Power Pro, will your world come to an end? No. Should you lose sleep over it? No. While different actions are helpful, I don’t believe they are that hugely significant in bringing home the bacon. Again, all of these variations and “important” features come from the fishing rod companies and fishing experts coming up with a new “schtick” to catch your attention. And, sometimes, the competition actually produces a better products and innovations. Other times, it just distracting fluff.
One more consideration: One piece or two? If you don’t need to haul it in a car, get a one piece. If you need/want to break it down and still have it be usable afterwards (every rod is a two-piece technically – some are just one-time-use models, however) , get a two piece. To those who INSIST that sensitivity is lost in the ferrell of a two-piece rod, I say to you : Bulls***! I can VERY easily disprove that rod sensitivity crap right here in the store. Ask for the demo. I’ve dazzled and dispelled the baloney that comes out of the big box retailers with their “trained” expert staff many times over the years. You’ll be amazed.
You’ll be happy with an Eagle GT from Fenwick. They are good rods.
Classic Fenwick® performance at an entry-level price. Now any angler can step up to a performance rod. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned angler, the Fenwick® Eagle® GT IM6 graphite series is built with the same legendary philosophy as the HMG® series. With an action tailored to the application, it’s a rod whose performance far exceeds its price. The Fenwick® Eagle® GT is also constructed with Hard Chromium SS304 Guide System which is 20 times tougher and up to 55% lighter than conventional aluminum oxide guides. Soft, sensitive tips detect even the slightest takes, while powerful butt sections help gain an advantage over any fish.
|Model No.||Line Lb/Test||Lure Wt/Oz||Rod Length||Rod Pieces||Rod Power||Price|
|EGTS 60ML (1160778)||4 to 10||1/8-5/8||6ft||1||Med Light||59.95|
|EGTS 60MH (1160860)||8 to 17||1/4 to 1||6ft||1||Med Heavy||59.95|
|EGTS 70ML (1160864)||4 to 10||1/8-5/8||7ft||1||Med Light||64.95|
|EGTS 70M (1160865)||4 to 12||1/8-3/4||7ft||1||Medium||64.95|
|EGTS 49UL (1160775)||1 to 6||1/32-1/4||4ft 9in||1||Ultra Lite||59.95|
|EGTS 59M (1160777)||4 to 12||1/8-3/4||5ft 9in||1||Medium||59.95|
|EGTS 53L (1160776)||2 to 8||1/16-3/8||5ft 3in||1||Light||59.95|
|EGTS 66M (1160862)||4 to 12||1/8-3/4||6ft 6in||1||Medium||59.95|
|EGTS 60M (1160859)||4 to 12||1/8-3/4||6ft||1||Medium||59.95|
|EGTS 66MH (1160863)||8 to 17||1/4 to 1||6ft 6in||1||Med Heavy||59.95|
|EGTS 66ML (1160861)||4 to 10||1/8-5/8||6ft 6in||1||Med Light||59.95|
|Model No.||Line Lb/Test||Lure Wt/Oz||Rod Length||Rod Pieces||Rod Power||Price|
|EGTS 66L-2 (1160881)||2 to 8||1/16-3/8||6ft 6in||2||Light||59.95|
|EGTS 66M-2 (1160882)||4 to 12||1/8-3/4||6ft 6in||2||Medium||59.95|
|EGTS 60L-2 (1160880)||2 to 8||1/16-3/8||6ft||2||Light||59.95|