If you’re heading down to the Fred Hall Show in Del Mar, California, this weekend, do yourself a favor and stop by the Seeker Rods booth. Darin Dohi, Seeker’s general manager, has made some changes to the company’s product line that are definitely worth checking out. I had a chance to pull on a few of the new rods during the Long Beach Fred Hall Show and I was seriously impressed.
“Seeker Rods has been around for more than 20 years and has built a reputation for producing a quality product,” Darin said. “But to stay competitive in the rod market, we had to focus most of our attention on developing our high-end rods, like the Super Seeker and Hercules lines.”
Seeker’s high-end rods are very popular among serious fishermen, but Darin wanted the company to focus some of its attention on another group of fishermen.
“I felt that we weren’t offering a lot of rod choices for entry-level fishermen or those who only fish occasionally,” he said. “Not everyone has $400 to spend on a new rod, so I wanted to come up with a value-based product line that would offer a simple, quality-made rod at a reasonable price.”
To fill that niche, he tasked Seeker’s production manager, Randy Penny, with designing the Pinhead Series of rods.
The Pinhead Series is comprised of four rods that are variations of the original Truline blanks, including the 36, D-8, BH-89 and LM-9. They also added a variation of the popular Ulua jig stick to the lineup.
“These rods are an old-school design with a simple cork-tape grip with turks head and stainless ring guides wrapped in black,” Darin said. “These are the same style of rods that I fished as a kid and at under $200, they’re an affordable choice for today’s kids as well.”
Darin’s second order of business was to revamp Seeker’s American Series. “The American Series has been around for 20 years and it’s always been a popular entry-level product, but the design was pretty dated,” he said. “So I asked Randy Penny to come up with some newer versions of the rods. Randy designed 19 different rods that cover the entire range of saltwater fishing and include everything from spinning rods to heavy roller-guide rods.”
Dubbed the Stealth Series, these new rods have similar actions to those in the American Series, but that’s about it. “We completely changed the way we made the blanks and these new rods are super lightweight and incredibly powerful,” Darin said.
I pulled on a few different Stealth Series rods and they didn’t feel much different than Seeker’s higher priced offerings. But the price tag is easier on the wallet. With most versions selling in the $200 range, the Stealth Series rods are a deal.
The final piece in the puzzle was the Rail Boss Series.
“Rail fishing has become the go-to technique for big fish on long-range trips, but most guys don’t do it enough to justify spending more than $500 on one of our Super Seeker rail rods, so we came up with a cheaper alternative in the Rail Boss line,” Darin said.
Priced between $350 and $400 depending on the model, these rods offer quality components and a blank that is designed to fish on the rail. “The Rail Boss is a tank and it’s made to hold up to some serious punishment, so you can fish it with the same confidence as you would one of our Super Seeker rail rods,” Darin said.
After talking with the guys from Seeker, I was impressed with the company’s business strategy as well as its new rods. It took a lot of nerve to try and reinvent the brand of an already successful company, but Darin Dohi did just that. And in doing so, I believe he moved a small local company one step closer to becoming a major player in the rod-building industry.
If you make it by the Fred Hall Show in Del Mar, stop by and check out the Seeker booth. And if you’ve got some money to spend, check out the Hercules Series 90H. It will set you back around $400 but match it up with a Trinidad 16 Narrow full of 50-pound spectra and it’s going to be a sea bass and yellowtail killer later this spring. I’ll probably be picking one up at the show this weekend, so maybe I’ll see you there. For more information on Seeker, you can also visit their website at www.seekerrods.com.
And don’t forget to stop by the BD Outdoors booth in Del Mar and stock up on some free stickers and take advantage of the Swag Sale we’ve got going on. The new shirts, hoodies and hats are all on sale.
New Seeker Rods