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Rod Review

A Big Stick for Big Fish, Dobyns Gen 2 Mike Long Edition 795 Swimbait Rod (continued)


Real World Tests: To test the 795MLSB I threw every swimbait I had over the course of an entire year, everything from small line-through swimbaits to heavy multi-jointed hardbaits saw plenty of time with this rod on a variety of different bodies of water including Clear Lake, the California Delta and Lake Falcon, Texas.


The 795MLSB Gen 2 feels lighter and more responsive than the original


Casting: The first thing anglers will notice when they pick up this particular rod is how light it is for a rod of this size and power. The new rod weighs in at 7.1oz. which is 1.4oz. lighter than the previous gen rod. It doesnít sound like much of a delta but the weight difference is absolutely noticeable. Because the rod is so light it is easy to cast all day long with medium sized swimbaits and is more comfortable than many other big bait rods that I have fished when it comes to throwing the really big stuff.


The long rear grip is now ergonomically shaped as well making it more comfortable to tuck under your arm during retrieves


Though rated for 40lb lines this rod feels best with mono and fluorocarbon lines between 20-30lbs and can handle thinner diameter superlines without issue. One of the most interesting things about this particular stick is the rodís ability to cast a wide spectrum of swimbaits. The rod is rated for 1-5oz. but I found that I could cast sub one ounce paddletail swimbaits with no issue at all.


The rod also paired well with the Shimano Calais 200ASV


The rod handles big swimbaits at the opposite end of the spectrum equally well and this rod can be used to toss all but the most mammoth swimbaits, if youíre looking to launch a 8oz. bait youíre going to want to move up to the 8 foot Mike Long Stick which in many ways is a better swimbait rod for shore fishing as the extra leverage really allows you to catapult those baits a good distance.


The new rod is still able to cast lures up to 5oz. but is really good at tossing the lighter swimbaits


These extra long handles may look weird but once you start casting with them they really shine when it comes to casting distance. After fishing with the 795MLSB for an extended period I felt myself longing for that extra leverage when fishing with other more traditional swimbait rods. When comparing the new rod with the previous generation I found that both rods were able to toss the same type of lures but the Gen 2 does feel a little lighter in action which makes it feel more at home with swimbaits from one to four oz. while the original seemed better with lures two to five oz.   


It doesn't matter if it is a soft or hard swimbait this rod is able to toss and retrieve both well


Retrieving: Once your bait is in the water you will want to keep a little tension in the line so that you can detect the most subtle bites, especially if youíre fishing a soft plastic swimbait like a Huddleston or Jerry Rago branded Generic bait. I found that I could quite easily perceive bites with this rod and while fishing with fluorocarbon was good hollow braid with a fluorocarbon top shot was better. Either way the rod does a good job transmitting everything from subtle pickups to aggressive strikes as long as some amount of tension is kept on the line.


The extra handle provides extra casting leverage


When retrieving hard swimbaits that are being swam through the water the strikes are a lot more obvious and the rod demonstrated the ability to load up quickly and keep fish pinned. I caught bass up to seven pounds with this rod and stripers up to ten and neither species could do much to stress this stick. The interesting thing about this particular rod is that even though it is obviously designed to take on big baits and big fish it doesnít feel overly heavy or sloppy, quite the opposite in fact, the 795SBMT feels light and crisp for a rod that can toss baits up to 5oz. in weight.


The Mike Long Edition's extra long 13.5" rear grip, love it or hate it


This light crisp feeling is immediately obvious when you compare this stick to many competing rods and if you fish them side by side the other rods can sometimes feel downright heavy in comparison. When compared to the original the new Gen 2 rod feels almost as powerful with a fish on the line but definitely lighter and more responsive. 


Fishing topwater swimbaits like the AC Plugs AC Minnow are no problem but fish spook type lures that require side to side movement can be more challenging as the long rear grip can get in the way


The one area of concern for anglers when it comes to retrieve is that long handle when fishing topwater lures. While I did get used to it I did have to adapt my fishing style to properly work big swimbaits. Other editors that fished the swimbait also noted that they preferred shorter rear handles for fishing mag topwater lures like Punkers. So if youíre really into fishing topwater big baits versus subsurface ones the standard (non Mike Long Edition) stick will probably suit you better. 


The long rear grip made it easy to make accurate lob casts in high wind



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