Derek Hudnall will rely on Avid X casting rods for his flippin' chores at the Bassmaster Classic.
Park Falls, WI - Like many bass anglers, Louisiana-based bass pro Derek Hudnall has dreamed of fishing the Bassmaster Classic since he was a kid.
"In 1989 I can remember sitting with my dad watching Hank Parker hold up that Classic trophy on TV and ever since then I wanted that opportunity. Not a day has gone by that I didn't think about the Bassmaster Classic as a major life goal," says Hudnall.
Nurturing the competitive side of his personality through pre-Classic Elite events and other opportunities to practice, Hudnall is ready to strike when the opportunity matters on the biggest stage in bass fishing. But that's not to say it's going to be easy. For starters, the Tennessee River isn't one of those locations anglers are super familiar with, as Hudnall points out.
Equipment-wise, Hudnall chooses from a vast array of St. Croix rods depending on the presentation.Mojo Bass series. I have four or five medium power, fast action 7'1" models I really like for throwing a little deeper crankbaits. But that Legend Xtreme casting rod, I'll probably have five or six of them on my deck with different jerkbaits at the Classic and they'll play out big time."
He's also prepping an extensive arsenal of flipping gear for the event should the weather push fish shallow, which he's hoping for. "I'm a shallow-water guy; I'm a flipper. My main rods for flipping are the Avid X and the Legend X. I spend a lot of time with them in my hands."
Asked why he's such a big fan of St. Croix rods, his response fits with his overall goal to win the event, not just fish.
"In our industry, you have to trust your equipment. If you don't trust your equipment you're greatly reducing your chances of success. And I absolutely trust every St. Croix rod that I put in my hand. St. Croix has the tools that continue to prepare me for the moment when opportunities… and fish… strike," says Hudnall.