Building with American Tackle Moving Bait Series Blanks

Building with American Tackle Moving Bait Series Blanks

In rod building we are spoiled to be able to build a fishing rod to our exact specifications. We get to choose length, action, power, handle length, guides…etc. Along with choosing the components we have blanks that are specifically designed to handle certain technique and lures. Yes, we have all around blanks or inshore blanks but in recent years manufactures have been blending materials as well as utilizing different materials in different parts of the rod to get a desired action. Yes, I know not all of that is new but to the level of performance and build quality, that has been quite a leap.

For years the fiberglass blanks were king when it came to throwing a crankbait or rattle trap. The softer action allows the bait to swim properly as well as cushions the aggressive headshakes of a big bass trying to throw a lure with treble hooks. The main gripe is that those blanks are heavy. They do perform well but if you get to the point where they wear you out, it isn’t fun for long.

Next came composite blanks. When you see composite, you are typically handling a blank that has a mixture of fiberglass and graphite throughout its construction. These blanks tend to deliver a similar action as the fiberglass blanks, but they do solve a bit of the weight issue.

Full disclosure, I do not particularly like the fiberglass or the composite blanks but there are plenty of those who do. I gravitate to a full graphite blank but when a particular strain of graphite and resin system is used you can achieve the desired power and action for baits like the vibrating jig, lipless crankbait, or diving crankbait.

The newest offering from American Tackle does have me excited. The Bushido MBS (Moving Bait Series) blanks have graphite in the butt and mid-section but fiberglass in the tip section.

These have been uniquely designed to provide a dynamic action not often seen in rod blanks. The MBS features a merging of materials that gives anglers improved fishability while keeping the rod light and extremely responsive.  

This series features three blanks that cover typical moving baits, from the vibrating jig to a square bill, and lipless crankbaits up to the deep diving ones. To give us more info and insight to building on the MBS blanks, we recruited Alex Funke of Foundation Outdoor Group, our resident tournament bass angler who had a hand in putting these blanks together for American Tackle.

Let’s dive in and go over each blank model and give you a few suggestions on building one for your front deck.

BMBS68/8-16 Bushido Moving Bait Series

There are very few places that you cannot catch them with a small square bill crankbait. From shallow grass lines or shell bars in Florida to rocky shorelines from Alabama to Wisconsin, every bass angler has their favorite square bill. Alex built his using the G2 Split Grip Carbon Handle Grip Kit for Casting Rods and an American Tackle G2 P-Seat with CCT with uni-lock hood.  For the guides Funke suggests the American Tackle Microwave Casting guides with Nanolite ring or splurging and running the Titanium TiForged Guides with Pentalite ring.

Specifications: 6'8" | 8-16 lb. | 1/4 - 1/2 oz. | Mod-Fast Action | Medium Power

“I find myself leaving this rod on the front deck no matter where I fish. It always has a squarebill tied on, I just change the color" said Funke. 

BMBS74/10-20 Bushido Moving Bait Series

Unless you have been under a rock for the last 12 years you know a vibrating jig or “chatterbait” accounts for an incredible number of fish caught all over the country. Whether you are a professional or a weekend warrior, you probably have a specific rod for your vibrating jig. Well, you might want to have a look at this 7’4” from the Bushido MBS line of blanks.  Yes it has the moderate-fast action everyone wants but this blank features a fiberglass tip that allows the bait freedom of movement that no other rod can produce. Alex, being a creature of habit, wanted all his MBS custom builds to match so he used the G2 Split Grip Carbon Handle Grip Kit for Casting Rods and an American Tackle G2 P-Seat with CCT with uni-lock hood.  For the guides Funke used the American Tackle Microwave Casting guides with Nanolite ring.

Specifications: 7'4" | 10-20 lb. | 3/8 – 3/4 oz. | Mod-Fast Action | Medium-Heavy Power

“Is there anyone out there bass fishing that doesn’t fish a vibrating jig? It is everywhere and one of my go-to baits. We do fish it a little different here in Florida and I think that is where these MBS blanks excel. Yes, a slow soft blank might be good when fishing open water but we have vegetation in every lake we fish. The graphite butt and mid-section give us the power to pull fish from heavy cover but the soft tip keeps the bait lively”, Funke explained. 

BMBS710/8-17 Bushido Moving Bait Series

No moving bait collection would be complete without the deeper diving crankbaits. Whether you prefer a classic Norman crankbait or a Strike King 6XD this 7’10” Bushido will get it done. Do not let the medium power fool you. The mid and butt section still hold the same characteristics as the medium heavy but this power and action combination allows you to make long casts to maximize the crankbaits depth range. As with the other build Alex stayed with the same setup but in chatting with him and laying one out for myself, I actually chose to go with the G2 8-15" Adjustable Full Length Carbon Handle Grip Kit since the blank is 7’10” I wanted a particular rear handle length but like the look of the full length rear grip. In addition, I am going with a Fuji ECSM reel seat because they fit my hand the best and I know you can spend long days of casting and winding when they are eating a crankbait well. For guides, I am going to use Hunter’s credit card as we do so often on Mud Hole Live and going for the Titanium TiForged Guides with Pentalite ring.

Specifications: 7'10" | 8-17 lb. | 3/8 – 1-1/2 oz. | Mod-Fast Action | Medium Power

“Some of my best days on the water have been with a crankin’ rod. We have a prominent river system here in Florida as well as some deep lakes that feature brush piles and shell bars. All of these bodies of water and structure hold big fish and they do not see many deep diving crankbaits”, said Funke.

Without a doubt these Moving Bait Series blanks from American Tackle will shake things up in the rod building market.  From the materials used to the baits they are designed for, it is a huge part of the bass fishing world. 

For so many anglers that fish crankbaits, vibrating jigs and other moving baits their rod choice is always a compromise. It either has the right action and too heavy or the action is not quite right but the blank is light. The MBS Series throws compromise out the window. Fish the action you need, all day and enjoy more bites and bigger bags! 

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