Back in 1978, Eagle Claw released a line of trolling rods called the Starfire. The Starfire series of trolling rods were enormously successful and served trollers well for decades.
Recently, Eagle Claw approached Mark and Jake Romanack, the guys behind the popular Precision Trolling Data phone app, to help the company design a series of trolling rods with some modern touches. That line of rods includes two telescopic in-line planer board rods, a telescopic bottom bouncer rod, a two-piece downrigger rod, and an industry-first telescopic diver/copper/lead core rod. Known as the Starfire X, these new rods are widely distributed and available to tackle dealers everywhere.
“When Eagle Claw offered Jake and I the opportunity to design a series of trolling rods, we jumped at the chance,” said Mark Romanack, an avid troller with more than 30 years of experience. “The problem with trolling rods is that many are too delicate and expensive. Even worse, many don’t offer the proper actions for serious trolling. We set out to design affordable and functional trolling rods that are made to last for years and years.”
In-Line Planer Boards
The Starfire X series includes two telescopic in-line planer boards rods including a 7-6 and 8-6 model. The 7-6 model is ideal for anglers targeting walleye, especially those who fish from smaller boats. The shorter overall length makes it easy to grab the fishing line at the rod tip when putting in-line boards on the fishing line. Also, when telescoped down, these rods are short enough to fit in the rod locker of even modest boats.
The 8-6 model is perfect for anglers who target trout, salmon, and steelhead using Snap Weights, segmented lead core line, and deep-diving crankbaits. The slightly longer length gives more control over large fish, yet when telescoped down this rod fits neatly into the rod lockers of multi-species boats.
Both the 7-6 and 8-6 models are stout enough to handle the weight and resistance of in-line boards, deep-diving crankbaits, trolling weights, and stubborn fish, while performing flawlessly year after year.
Bottom Bouncer Rod
Fishing a bottom bouncer correctly requires a rod that has a soft enough tip section to visually telegraph bites, yet enough backbone to handle the weight of large bottom bouncer sinkers and stubborn fish. The goal when fishing a bottom bouncer is for the fish to grab the bait and swim off without feeling the resistance of the rod. Meanwhile, when the tip bends from the weight of the fish, the angler recognizes the strike, lifts the rod out of the rod holder and comes tight on the fish all in one smooth motion.
The Starfire X bottom bouncer rod is 8-6 long and features a telescopic design. Perfect for fishing walleye with bottom bouncer and spinner rigs, this rod is also ideal for fishing slow death and three-way swivel rigs. Light enough to hold all day in your hand, but tough enough to handle even the largest bottom bouncers, this may well be the best bottom bouncer/live bait trolling rod ever produced.
Downrigger fishing requires a rod that features an ultra-slow parabolic action, yet it needs to be tough enough to stand up to years of hard service. The Starfire X 8-0 two-piece downrigger rod is ideal for targeting fish big and small with downriggers. Stout enough to handle bruiser chinook salmon and trophy lake trout, this same rod is perfect for coho, steelhead, brown trout, walleye, ciscoes, and anything else an angler wants to target using downriggers.
Call it the all-purpose downrigger rod, this one action handles everything to do with downrigger fishing without breaking a sweat or the bank.
Telescopic Diver Rod
Diver rods are historically long, heavy, cumbersome and a bear to store in a fishing boat. The Starfire X telescopic diver rod is 9 feet long, making it long enough to handle all divers including magnum sizes, yet short enough to be a joy to use.
An industry first, the telescopic design makes it easy to store the rod in any rod locker. Not only is this rod ideal for fishing diving planers of all sizes, it doubles as the ideal choice for fishing trout and salmon using copper line or lead core line. This rod is also perfect for trolling magnum sized in-line planer boards and can even handle large Snap Weights, musky-sized plugs, and double cowgirl bucktail spinners.
A Word On Price
All of the Starfire X rods are priced to retail for $45-$65 each, making them one of the best values on the market for a trolling rod.
“When it comes to trolling rods, an avid angler is going to own a bunch of them,” said Romanack. “That’s why it’s so important to select rods that are not only 100 percent functional, but affordable. The Starfire X series from Eagle Claw has something for every trolling situation and trolling enthusiast.”