When it comes to equipment, I believe kayak anglers may inflict slightly more abuse on their gear than anglers in traditional boats. It’s just the nature of the sport really. Kayak anglers often have rods standing up behind us that get tangled in overhanging trees or get smacked in the back swing of a cast. As anglers we ask a lot out of our equipment, and when it comes to fishing rods durability is just as important as weight, action, and sensitivity.
In this article I want to give my honest and full review of the Proteus line of rods from Little Miami Outfitters.
Owned by kayak pro Brandon Palmer, the Proteus line of rods were created with a goal to make high quality rods with actions that offer anglers multiple presentation opportunities. In today’s market you often find companies that build their rod lineups to offer very technique specific options resulting in a slew of rods for the consumer to choose from. Deriving from his experience in a kayak he found this can often result in overcomplication and lead to excess clutter in an already confined space to work in. This doesn’t just apply to kayak anglers either. Many bass boat anglers have no desire to own 30 rods to choose from and prefer a more simplified approach.
Built on a 30-ton Mitsubishi Japanese Carbon blank these rods offer durability, sensitivity, and lightweight handling that are true from cast to catch. The blanks offer strong backbones which give you the power to drive those hooks deep, and with a fast/ moderate action tip you can be rest assured those fish have the give they need to inhale your bait while still giving you the sensitivity to detect it. I have found this type of action to work very well with moving baits such as chatterbaits, spinnerbaits, and buzzbaits. However, the 7ft MH has become one of my favorites for skipping jigs under boat docks as the action is perfect for this technique, and the 7’3 MH is fantastic for dragging Texas rigs through brush piles offshore.
I have come to find that these rods work very well with baits from ¼ oz. up to ¾ oz. which offers the angler a wide variety of lure options. I was particularly impressed with the fact that I can still throw a ¼ oz spinnerbait and the rod does not feel overpowered for this lighter presentation meaning the rod works in my favor in making precise casts to targets.
The Fuji ceramic guides result in smooth casting and excellent line protection and in my opinion are the perfect size. Not too large of guides which can increase coil memory and not too small which can be damaging to braid to leader applications where the knot needs to move freely through the guides. The spinning rods utilize the microwave guides which increase line flow and casting distance.
The American Tackle reel seat offers excellent sensitivity that can be felt with the lightest bites while also boasting an attractive carbon fiber look for the overall appearance of the rod. I absolutely love the reel tensioner. Its big enough which provides you enough torque surface to hand tighten and loosen easily while others that are smaller have you reaching for the pliers to release your reel.
Personally, I’m typically partial to cork or WINN style grips but the customized split EVAs that come on these rods are comfortable and allow the angler functional control of the rod during wet and dry conditions. The engraved LMO logo in the grips are a nice touch as well and to me just say they put thought and time into these rods.
Rounding out the design is a solid hook keeper positioned on the backside of the rod which in my experience presents as a better placement than on the front especially for those larger sized lures.
Weight and Durability
When it comes to the weight of a rod this can be a big deal breaker for me. I want a rod that is lightweight but not so much that I feel like I may snap it with a good hookset. The Proteus line of rods hosts a perfect balance. They are lightweight which make them comfortable to fish with all day and not fatigue, but the feel of the rod in your hands demands respect. The high modulas graphite blank feels of quality and gives me the confidence to lean into them when I need to.
Going back to the topic of abuse, I have personally put rods in places they were not designed to go. I was fishing the Hobie BOS tournament at Pickwick lake this September. The water levels were down a little and in the fall time I love throwing a spinnerbait around docks. I had made a cast under a dock and got hung up on the opposite side in a support board. There was enough space for me to go under the walkway of the dock in my Hobie to retrieve my lure, but as I started my ascend to the other side, I realized one of my Proteus rods was still standing up behind me. There was no backing out or grabbing it at this point, and I was sure the rod was about to snap in half as it was bent over more than halfway down the rod. To my surprise it didn’t but instead found a crack in the bottom side of the walkway and sprung back up into place without damage. I was completely shocked but in awe at the durability. These rods are tough.
Wrapping It Up
Fishing rods are one of the most important tools we have between us and the fish were chasing. Sensitivity, durability, weight, and rod components are all aspects that differentiate one rod from another. The Proteus line of rods have checked all those boxes for me this year and honestly, I’m glad I’ve had them. I caught my personal best (10lbs) on the 7’3 MH throwing a lipless crankbait in the spring, and I won the last tournament of the year securing Angler of the Year throwing a buzzbait on the 7’0 MH. If you are in the market for a high-quality rod that you can count on, I would recommend the Proteus line. You won’t be disappointed. Check them out at or www.LittleMiamiOutfitters.com.