Terry Bolton has been the bass business for a long time. The Paducah, KY native first honed his fishing chops on the ledges and endless offshore structure of Kentucky Lake, and has moved on from there to win over $800,000 from FLW competition alone. It’s that kind of experience that a rod company can really use to help with product research and development.
As such, it was really a no brainer that Denali would turn to the experienced Bolton as they looked to expand upon their Signature Series rod lineup that began with the Michael Murphy Jerkbait rods and the Mark Tyler Multipurpose rod. Bolton’s new 7’2” Worm and Jig rod is the latest addition to the fold, and will offer consumers a great rod designed to handle a variety of tasks without breaking the bank.
Being from Kentucky, Ledge fishing is never far from Bolton’s mind, and he initially designed the rod to handle the techniques commonly utilized in dissecting offshore structure. “One of my favorite things to do growing up was to throw a big worm or a jig on offshore structure, and I wanted this rod to be able to handle a 3/8 or ½ ounce weight, or a ¾ to 1 ounce football jig.” Bolton mentions.
Though the offshore stuff figured heavily into the initial design, Bolton and Denali’s rod design team quickly decided that they didn’t want to make a rod that was limited to doing only one thing well. He explains that the design team “was cognizant of the fact that today’s anglers need to be versatile, and it was important to make the rod as versatile as possible, without sacrificing the ability to excel offshore.”
Through the testing phase, Bolton has found a multitude of other applications in which the rod excels. “I’ve been absolutely killing them using it as a swim-jig rod, and it is also an ideal finesse jig rod for fishing around rip rap, docks and other shallow cover. I have even been using it to throw smaller worms and plastics around grass and it fishes great.”
About the length, Bolton felt that the ideal rod would be a little longer than 7 feet. “I had always used 7 foot rods growing up fishing offshore and they did alright, but I knew that we could get improved hooksetting capabilities if we added a couple inches. At the same time, it was important to still keep it manageable, so we ended up at 7’2”, which I think is really ideal.”
The Design Process
Bolton and Denali Rods President Scott Estes first started tossing around the idea of a signature series rod in late winter, and the first prototype was delivered to Bolton a couple weeks later. “The design process was really cool.” Bolton explains, “The first prototype needed some more backbone, but after we got that figured out, we had a pretty good working model. After that, it was just testing until the final change, which was to decrease the handle length a bit to make it easier to manage. After that last change, it was about perfect.”
Once the final prototype was approved, the rod was put into production and it is now available to all Denali retailers as well as through direct purchase from the Denali Online Store. The rod retails for $209.00, a similar price point to all the other Denali Signature Series rods.
Bolton thinks the design process has been a great experience, saying “I have a ton of respect for Scott and the Denali Rods team as they do an amazing job giving the anglers the green light as far as product development and it feels great working with a company that pays such close attention to the details involved in fishing rod performance. This whole process was a breeze, and I hope anyone that loves to fish offshore takes a look at the rod. I promise they won’t be disappointed.”