The Eagle Claw Featherlight rod series is certainly not the most advanced spinning fishing pole with oodles of advanced technologies refining and reinforcing the product.
Instead, this spinning rod series aims to provide the bare minimum necessary for anyone to pick it up and begin fishing without having to worry about the investment.
That said, most experienced fishermen would balk at the idea of choosing a fishing spinning rod that sits at the $20-$30 price point, but everyone needs a spare rod or two.
That’s why this Eagle Claw Featherling review breaks down the spinning models to figure out if the value is worth the ridiculously low cost or if it’s better left in the bargain bin.
- Very durable blank
- Fairly durable rod guides
- Comfortable cork handle
- Not the most sensitive
- Not the smoothest casting
- Can feel “floppy”
Construction (craftsmanship, make quality)
From an overall design perspective, there’s not that much different from the Eagle Claw when compared to most of the competition.
This rod features a silhouette that looks like any other fishing pole, but some of the subtler design choices have a massive impact on how this fishing pole performs out on the water.
For starters, the Featherlight series eschews the common carbon fiber graphite or even composite build popular with most other fishing models and instead opts for fiberglass rods.
This choice saddles the Featherlight with some notable differences in the fishing experience with the primary one benefiting the pole’s durability.
One thing to keep in mind is that even with a two-piece fiberglass blank, this series still employs fiberglass throughout the entire blank construction– including the ferrules that connect the blank pieces.
On the surface, this would seem like a questionable choice, but when it comes to durability, it turns out to be an excellent one.
You can see a similar approach taken with this spinning fishing pole’s choice of rod guides which employ a stainless steel ring held in place with a fiberglass insert.
That said, this choice doesn’t actually provide the same level of durability for this part of the rod as it does for the rod’s entire blank– though it’s not a weak or fragile design.
This spinning series also takes a slightly different approach when it comes to the handle, though it would otherwise seem to be identical to many others.
The main difference comes with the handle’s shape which is more ovular than cylindrical which impacts how ergonomically it sits in your hands– though it might not sit the same for all users.
Of all the places to find a fishing pole lineup that truly stretches the limits of length offerings, a budget-friendly option is not where you’d typically expect.
However, the Eagle Claw Featherlight spinning series breaks that preconception by offering not only far more model lengths than is commonly found on almost any rod lineup but offering a wider range of lengths.
For starters, these spin casting models come in six different lengths which already positions this option with more choices than most angler-friendly and even most mid-tier models.
However, the first five length choices follow a fairly common standard, starting at 5′ and working its way up every 6″, with models at 5’6″, 6′, and 6’6″.
However, these spin cast poles skip the 7′ step, jumping all the way up to 7’6″, but the real surprise comes when the series makes another jump (this time a big one) up to 9′.
It should be worth noting that this lineup also comes primarily in a two-piece style, with the only one-piece rod offered in the 5′ length.
The only real note to make here is to highlight that the fiberglass material is an unusual choice that adds a lot of flexibility and durability to the rod.
However, fiberglass is not a great material for transferring vibrations, and with few other features improving this lineup’s sensitivity, that lack is definitely the pole’s main weakness.
Like with many of the choices made for this spinning series, the Featherlight spinning pole bucks the trend followed by most of their competition with the action.
Whereas you would normally expect a fast action taper, this fishing pole series instead sports a moderate action taper which imparts some important qualities.
For starters, the fact that this lineup already has some sensitivity issues due to the fiberglass blank only suffers further with the moderate action.
On top of that, the moderate action decreases casting accuracy, which can be real trouble for the longer models.
However, the boost to casting distance is real and allows you to fish for extremely skittish species from a good, far distance away.
Because of the choice to use fiberglass for the blank without reinforcing it with carbon graphite fibers, you shouldn’t come to this pole expecting a legendary backbone.
In fact, the backbone of the Eagle Claw Featherlight series could be described as disappointing, though it’s better understood as a specialized design.
Basically, these rods come in one of two different power settings, either ultra-light or medium-light, with both designed for similar purposes.
All of the rods in this spinner series that are 6’6″ or shorter have an ultra-light power rating while the 7’6″ and 9′ rods employ a medium power rating.
That said, any of these configurations are still designed to handle soft-mouthed fish species to prevent you from accidentally tearing the hook through their soft mouths.
As the name suggests, these rods are extremely lightweight, owing to their svelte profile mostly to the fiberglass blank.
Aside from making these spinning poles extremely flexible and difficult to break, the fiberglass blank also significantly reduces the weight of this rod.
While the taper gets primarily covered with the discussion of the action, it’s worth jumping in to note that Eagle Claw went make and redesigned the older version of this rod.
So for those of you who may have tried this series a decade ago, you no longer have to worry about the dead zone along the taper.
This rod lineup employs stainless steel guides which are extremely durable and allow you to use braided lines and heavier lures without the worry of breaking the rings.
However, the inserts are nothing special, using your standard epoxy guide wraps, which can be messy, though the thread wraps at least seem to hold up well.
Handle (material, shape, etc)
The Eagle Claw Featherlight spinners don’t offer tournament-grade performance in too many places, but the handle might actually be one of them.
For starters, the handle is made of cork, though you can expect the kind of pitting that’s common among average-grade cork.
However, it’s the contoured shape that’s more important, fitting comfortably in most people’s hands.
Uses (Who is this good for)
If you ask a competitive angler, there’s a good chance that they won’t even look at a fishing pole that sits in this price range, comparing it (unfavorably) with any budget rod sold by a local retailer.
However, that’s not to suggest that the Eagle Claw Featherlight spinning lineup is at that low of a level, and those detractors likely never even bothered to hold it in their hands.
While this spin caster lineup certainly has some issues, depending on your style of fishing, it’s not without its merits either– merits that extend beyond its bottom-barrel price.
But for an experienced angler, this series likely works best as a backup fishing pole that you use in those lighter, “tweener” situations where no other rod really hits that sweet spot.
Specifically, most rods that favor soft-mouthed fish species come primarily in smaller builds and designs, but this often limits the waters where such a rod is suitable.
Thankfully, these spinning fishing models provide a similarly gentle experience, without sacrificing casting distance, regardless of the size that you choose.
However, there’s no getting around the fact that when you combine the beginner-friendly price with the spinning casting design, this rod makes a lot of sense as a starter model for novice fishermen to learn from.
It also doesn’t hurt that the fiberglass blank can handle all kinds of mistakes without snapping, affording some cushion while a beginner develops.
Reel and Real Seat Compatibility
While certainly not top-tier performance, this is still probably the closest in terms of premium components that you’re liable to find on the Eagle Claw Featherlight.
In fact, this is the part of these spinning rods that use a significant amount of carbon fiber graphite, making them more durable as well as increasing the rod’s sensitivity.
Keep in mind that the boost to sensitivity will hinge just as much on your selection of fishing reel, so choosing a reel with an aluminum body will dampen that benefit a bit.
Conclusion (Wrap Up)
The Eagle Claw Featherlight spinning series is definitely an unusual choice with one of the most angler-friendly prices that you’re liable to find.
Granted, the company can only manage to keep the price range so low by substituting some of the common materials and designs for those on the lower end, but this lineup does so without any major detriment.
Sure, the use of a completely fiberglass rod blank may not provide this series with exceptional sensitivity– something that’s not really helped with the other specs and features– but it ensures a surprising level of durability at this price point.
When you add in the carbon fiber graphite reel seat and contoured cork handle, this fishing pole is a bargain, if not an outright steal.