Fenwick – The LUNKERSTIK

The first Fenwick LUNKERSTIK ad from 1972.

The first Fenwick LUNKERSTIK ad from 1972.

We’ve talked about Fenwick here a number of times but most of those discussions have either been about their development of the graphite rod or Flippin’ Stik – both concepts worthy of talking about. What we’ve failed to mention, though, is arguably the most popular rod of the timeframe from 1972 through easily 1976 – the Fenwick LUNKERSTIK.

Debuted in 1972, I would hate to try and guess the number of LUNKERSTIKS that were produced and sold. At a cost of $40, they were an expensive choice but the best money could buy. Today, though, if you frequent the online auctions, you’ll find they range anywhere from $200 to over $600 depending on year made and model. I wish I would have kept mine.

At the time it was the lightest factory-rod made available and had a new collet system that did away with that nasty handle rattle. The original rods came with the best guides of the time, made of carboloy, and were made of Fenwick’s new glass, Fenglass and weighed about 12 ounces, handle and all. Put a ABU 5000 on the rod, at roughly another 12 ounces, and you had 1-1/2 pounds of rod and reel in your hand. It’s hard to imagine what today’s angler would do if all the new fancy rods and reels were outlawed today.

The ad shown at the top of this article is actually Fenwick’s first ad introducing the LUNKERSTIK. A great rod that changed a lot of the way we looked at rods. Fortunately, a couple years later, Fenwick came out with a much better rod, the one that really changed the game – the HMG graphite rod.

  • Robert Uhrig

    I used the old Fenwick Lunkersticks from1972 to 1977. I loved the old 1200 series with it’s larger handle that used a “v” ferrule concept to attach it to the rod. The 1256 and 1257 were my favorites and I believe the originals one used carbide guides. The 1400 series changed the guides which had alconite inserts. The 1256 was the multipurpose work horse of the day and was used for spinnerbaits, Snagless Sallies,Hot Spots, topwater, and big worming. The 1257 was limited to just big worming. The standard worm in North Central Florida in the 70’s was a nine inch Fliptail or Jelly worm. We would often use worms in the 10″ to 13″ range including the original J.W. Hawghunter worm. We used 20 and 25 lb. blue Stren.
    We fished sitting down in a Terrry Bassboat with stick steering. Most casts were less than 35 feet – you didn’t get much distance out of a 5.5″ rod
    We used them with the old red Ambassadeur 5000 abdthe old black Ambassadeur 5000c with their 3.75:1 gear ratio,
    The rods were gone in 1980 as graphite became the dominant player in the rod market

  • Terry Battisti

    Great look back on your times fishing Robert!