Bryan Thrift of Shelby, N.C., is one of the most-accomplished pro bass fishermen in the country, and an awful lot of the $1.6 million he’s won in tournaments has come from doing the thing he likes to do the most: skipping a bait back under a dock.
Thrift, who is ranked No. 2 in the world by Bassfan.com, said he was looking for the perfect rod for that technique when he got together with Trevor Fitzgerald, a bass pro and rod manufacturer from Florida.
The results is a 6-foot-9 baitcasting rod built specifically for skipping, one of five rods that Fitzgerald debuted at this past summer’s ICAST show that bear Thrift’s name. The series also contains a 6-foot-3 rod for fishing topwater baits, a 6-foot-6 rod for fishing crankbaits and/or jerkbaits, a 6-foot-9 rod for fishing Chatterbaits and a 7-foot-2 rod for fishing frog baits in heavy cover.
“Everybody knows my favorite technique is skipping a jig or Chatterbait under a dock,” Thrift said. “Trevor built these rods to the specs I wanted – just the right amount of tip and backbone you need to skip a bait back under a dock.
“A lot of people think you have to fish a jig with a 7 ½-foot pool cue, a stiff rod,” he said. “Maybe that was true 20 years ago, but with the evolution of fluorocarbon and hooks, you don’t need as a stiff a rod as you once did. The hooks are so sharp and the line is so good, you don’t need a stiff rod to get the hook to penetrate.”
All five of Thrift’s signature series rods come with heavy duty micro guides and a full-sized tip guide that won’t ice up in winter the way a micro guide will. Grips are split EVA.