Gear Review: Carrot Stix Wild Black
t seems as if every time I meet someone, and that someone finds out we do bass-tackle reviews, the first question is: "What's the deal with the E21 Wild Black Carrot Stix rods?" Well, that's a bit of an exaggeration, but it is true these rods are riding a crest of momentum and they're highly talked about. Not all of the talk has been good, because some were reportedly prone to breakage. All the more reason to test the new gen-two Wild Blacks.
I finally got my hands on one about a month ago and wanted to give it a good long test before I gave my opinion on the product. I decided not to do this review until I'd caught 250 fish on the Wild Black using many different baits. Here's how the testing turned out.
To be totally honest, yes there were some problems with the first run of these rods. But to be fair, E21 did everything possible to my knowledge to take care of its customers who had issues. The company's warranty policies are solid. While doing research, I found that over 50% of the negative online comments were made by people who never even had any personal experience with the product. My review will be based solely on my personal experience with the product, which includes seven tournaments and 10 practice days.
The rod I've been using is a 7-foot medium-heavy casting rod with microguides – the workhorse rod for all my bass and northern pike fishing. On first inspection, the balance of the rod is exceptional and the eyelets lined up perfectly. The wrapping's precise and the handle's comfortable.
We outfitted the rod with a BPS Pro Qualifier reel and fluorocarbon line to make it useful for any subsurface technique. Then we got to the fun part of the testing – the fishing.
The first technique I tried was casting and ripping a PK Lures spoon in deep water, and the casting distance was impressive. There's simply no substitute for casting distance in a clear-water environment.
I'd barely had a chance to get a feel for the spoon when large bass and pike started testing the strength of the Wild Black rod. With several bass up to 3 pounds and even a pike that taped 35 inches, the rod handled the fish and my monster hooksets with ease. After just 1 day of fishing with the Carrot Stix Wild Black, I'd made up my mind it would be in my hands for my next tournament day.
I next tested the Wild Black with a technique known to be torture for rods – ripping heavy rattlebaits through weeds. The control of the rod with this technique was exceptional, but it also maintained a great feel for the bait. In my opinion, this Wild Black Carrot Stix rod is among the best in class for this popular type of fishing. Even with smaller rattlebaits, the feedback into the rod gave me confidence that I'd feel every strike. From square bills to deep-divers, this rod's sensitivity was noticed and appreciated.
About the microguides: With less line slap and smaller oscillations comes a smoother and more accurate cast. That's why I wasn't going to complete my testing until I threw some worms and jigs around heavy cover. After just a few casts I knew I'd needed a worm rod like this for quite some time. Accuracy around cover will absolutely help you catch more fish.
Don't let the $129 price tag fool you: The Wild Black from Carrot Stix is a professional, tournament-quality rod with no compromises. Nanofiber and microguide technologies are no longer the future of fishing. The future is here now.
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about the author
Bad Poncho Outdoors was started in October of 2010 by Robert Taylor III and his father. Both avid sportsman, the duo writes about their experiences and opinions of products and how they use them.