If you are in the market for a budget friendly rod that is light, powerful, and sensitive, look no further than the Falcon BuCoo SR series of casting rods. At the $100 price point, the rods are tough to beat.

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The old adage goes, “you get what you pay for.” Obviously many people apply this to all things in their life, whether buying something as small as name brand toilet paper or something larger…like a new bass boat. 

On the bass fishing scene, the same can be said for rods, reels, tackle, or line; you get what you pay for. Some guys can take this to the extreme and we have all seen them, know them…or are them. A $60,000 truck towing an equally as expensive boat with an extra $10,000 in electronics, and all rods on deck totaling in excess of $500 a piece with who knows how much money in tackle in the storage compartments.

We know what you are thinking, “don’t let my wife see this article,”; but in all seriousness, bass fishing is pricey, period. This all goes back to getting what you pay for, but we all want the best deals, right? For a budget friendly option, consider looking into the Falcon BuCoo SR. 

What is the Falcon BuCoo SR Casting Rod?

Falcon has long been a BIG name amongst the bass fishing community for continuing to produce a high quality rod year after year. Made in the USA, rod series like the Cara and Lowrider have been hugely popular for their construction, components, sensitivity, and performance. 

In 2009, Falcon launched a new rod to their already impressive lineup, the Falcon BuCoo Series. This rod in particular has been widely accepted as one of the best value rods for the money and Falcon continued this tradition in 2016 with the release of the Bucoo SR. 

Many anglers were wary of the SR due to Falcon outsourcing the rods construction to China, but not everything “Made in China” is garbage. For either $100-$110 (depending on rod length and action) you can own one of the best value rods on the market today without compromising performance. 

The rods foundation is still built upon Falcon’s FXB blank which is still made here in the USA. The blank in of itself is a legend for sensitivity, and lightweight construction. For the BuCoo SR, Falcon incorporated a multi-directional carbon fiber wrap with their trademarked “Cobra Cloth”™ to achieve one of the lightest and strongest rods they have ever produced. By utilizing the carbon fiber, Falcon is able to drastically trim the fat on this blank. By not using materials like Permagloss, Threadmaster light, Flexcoat light, diamondite, or any other rod blank coating, Falcon has diminished any extra weight without compromising strength. However, do not let the rods lightweight construction fool you, this rod packs some serious power. Available anywhere from 6’6” moderate, medium action up to a 7’5” extra heavy, fast, this rod is able to cover all of your patterns needs.   Further to note is the lack of discoloration you will see in the rods lifetime by NOT using a finish like these mentioned on the rods, the carbon fiber will not discolor or fade!

Like all of Falcon’s rods, only 100% Fuji components are incorporated into the rod. Fuji aluminum oxide guides are strategically placed along the rod blank for maximum castability and fish fighting power. Continuing the line of Fuji products, a genuine Fuji exposed rod blank reel seat is integrated into the rods construction. We  believe in having direct contact with the rod blank for maximum sensitivity for those light bites that could make the difference between cutting a check or going home empty handed.  

Lastly to note is the EVA split grip the Falcon has utilized, further decreasing the weight of the BuCoo SR series. EVA (Ethylene-vinyl acetate) foam has quickly become a favorite for rod grips here in recent years due to its durability, lightweight, and gripping characteristics. Though many of us refuse to let go of our cork (We prefer full cork on all my rods), we were quite skeptical of the split grip and the EVA foam getting wet and slipping. Truthfully, it took some getting used to, but we are slowly becoming accepting of the new grips. It is worth mentioning that the new BuCoo SR series has a grey EVA foam grip which is susceptible to dirtying over time compared to the earlier model BuCoo series which had a black EVA grip. The split grip definitely took some time getting used to for full cork guys, but we found that after some break in time (mostly me just getting used to the split grip) we did not notice a negative impact on casting distance due to the split grip. We truly believed the split grip would inhibit the power we could apply to the butt of the rod to really launch whatever bait we were throwing. This fear was quickly alleviated due in part to a 15” handle length standard on all rod lengths 6”10” and greater (13.75” for 6’8” and shorter), that really aided in giving some leverage to hurl the bait a mile (maybe not quite that far).  

What We Liked About It

The guides are straight, the wraps are clean, the branding looks fantastic and the open hook keeper was a greatly appreciated addition and with a 5 year warranty from Falcon, what more could you ask for? We understand that this is not the greatest rod ever constructed, but would not venture to say that it is one of, if not the best rods for the price. 

We chose the 7’0 medium which is a moderate flex that they have appropriately called their “cranker.” We grabbed this rod specifically for throwing mid-diving crankbaits (very specifically and exclusively, Wiggle Warts) and have been more than pleased with the performance of this rod in spite of the $100 price tag. The rod is comfortable in the hand, light enough to chuck and wind all day without fatigue, sensitive with a solid backbone and enough action to not rip the bait out of the fish’s mouth. If we’re being totally honest, the rod went above and beyond our expectations for a $100 rod. Falcon really has achieved an incredible feat with this new BuCoo SR, giving the budget angler, or high school angler or new angler who isn’t quite ready to drop $500 on a rod/reel combo, a chance at fishing a phenomenal rod at an unimaginable price point. 

Suggested Improvements

The only two cents we have to put in, just because our OCD, into improving upon the BuCoo SR would be making the move back to the black EVA grips. The gray, though aesthetically pleasing, is too light to keep from showing dirt and grime that accumulates over the time of use. Otherwise we found the minimalist approach to color and styling really work well for the rod. Many may have reservations about the rods being made in China, however, as Falcon rod owners; we can honestly say that we did not notice any compromising characteristics that would lead us to believe that this rod is any worse than an American made Falcon. 

Closing Remarks

Despite not being an American made Falcon and being a “budget” rod, the rod is surprisingly well constructed and truly exceeded our typical expectations of a $100 rod. Offered in 14 models to fit any application you may need. This is an excellent choice for the budget angler or a new angler looking for their first baitcasting rod. The rod retails for $99.99 for the 7’ and less rods and the rods exceeding 7’ retail for $109.99.

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