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This week's Feature Blog

Presentation Specific Trolling Rods

By: Mark Romanack

The new Starfire X trolling rods designed by Jake and Mark Romanack were inspired by countless hours fishing the open waters of the Great Lakes. In any given year, Fishing 411 TV features trolling shows shot on all five Great Lakes.

​ Bass fishermen have been recommending and using “presentation specific” rods for decades. The Great Lakes troller has to a degree followed suite with Diver rods, (AKA Dipsy Rods) and Downrigger rods, but until recently not much else.

​ Thanks to Eagle Claw a new wave of presentation specific rods are on the horizon. When Eagle Claw approached Jake and myself with the idea of developing a line of trolling rods, it only took about two seconds to sign on.

​ Those who are fans of Eagle Claw may remember the Starfire series of trolling rods they produced for years. The new rods that Jake and I designed are called the Starfire X series and they are completely revamped from the ground up to not only be presentation specific, but also to be versatile enough to fit a number of other trolling niches.


​ Fishing bottom bouncer sinkers is an iconic means of catching walleye, not just in the Great Lakes region, but everywhere walleye are abundant. The Starfire X Bottom Bouncer rod is a composite design that features a moderate slow power that has enough backbone to handle all the common sizes of bottom bouncers, yet still offers that ultra soft tip that is critically important for telegraphing strikes. The key to catching fish on a bottom bouncer is letting the rod do the work. If the rod is too stiff, the fish will feel the resistance and drop the bait. If the rod is too soft, it won’t work for the larger sizes of bottom bouncers required to fish deeper water and also rivers.

The Eagle Claw Starfire X series of trolling rods were developed by Mark and Jake Romanack to provide avid trollers rods that are 100% functional and affordable. Many feature telescoping designs including an industry first telescoping Diver Rod that is spot on for anyone who fishes standard and magnum sized diving planers.

Besides being the ultimate bottom bouncer rod, this triggerstick is also ideal for fishing three-way rigs and crankbaits for spring brown trout and also back trolling plugs for river steelhead.


​ A downrigger rod takes a beating. Not only does this rod need to be capable of bending literally in half, it has to be versatile enough to serve for a multitude of species. No one is interested in buying one downrigger rod for salmon and another for coho or walleye.

​ The Starfire X downrigger rods are ideally designed from fiberglass resin to function well on all the common species targeted with downriggers including salmon, trout, steelhead and even walleye.

Mark Romanack the founder of Precision Trolling and the Executive Producer of the Fishing 411 TV series has 40 years of trolling experience to share with avid anglers.


​ Diver rods have historically been very long and very bulky. The Starfire X Diver rod is light and handy at 9’-0” long and features an industry first telescopic design making it ideal for anglers who fish from smaller boats. Designed to handle standard and magnum sized divers, the Starfire X rods feature stainless steel guides that enable this rod to double nicely for fishing stranded copper line, weighted stainless steel wire and also lead core line.


​ It seems everyone these days is fishing in-line planer boards, but no one has given any thought as to what makes the ideal in-line board trolling rod. An in-line board rod needs to have enough backbone to handle the weight of planer boards fished in combination with deep diving crankbaits and crankbaits fished with Snap Weights. That same rod needs to offer a forgiving moderate power when fighting hooked fish. On top of that this rod needs to be compact enough to easily fit in the rod locker and short enough it’s easy to reach the rod tip and grab the fishing line while setting in-line boards.

​ The Starfire X 7’-6” Telescopic In-Line Board rod is the perfect power and length for fishing crankbaits, spoons and spinners for walleye. This rod telescopes down to store in a boat easily and also doubles as a great choice for fishing boards in combination with segmented lead core for trout, salmon, steelhead and walleye.

Big steelhead like this beautiful buck are no match for the Starfire X series of trolling rods. Functional and affordable, the five Starfire X rods designed by Mark and Jake Romanack are also versatile and built to last.


​ When it comes to in-line board fishing, some guys like their rods short and others want them longer. The Starfire X 8’-6” Telescopic In-Line Board rod offers those who like the forgiveness of a longer rod the perfect option. This composite blank is lightweight, but strong enough to take a beating. The tip sections are reinforced to prevent breakage and to deliver a rod that will function flawlessly for many years to come.

In addition to being ideal for in-line board fishing, this rod doubles nicely for flatlining lead core when structure fishing with spinners and crankbaits.


​ In short, the Starfire X rods from Eagle Claw deliver a modern twist on a classic series of trolling rods. All of these rods are going to retail for $40.00 to $60.00 each making them not only functional, but affordable enough an angler can outfit his entire boat.


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