Three differences with split handle bars

As with many aspects of fishing gear, personal preference plays a major role. For example, when comparing split handlebars to the standard full handlebar type, there are reasons that can affect angler’s choices. Here are some factors that can help you decide if split-handle fishing rods are right for you.

1. Weight Loss

Split handlebars are missing part of the handle and have exposed more of the “blank” (inner bar component). A full handle can weigh several ounces more, but it adds up over time and into hundreds of tosses. Rod maker Mike Woodward of Woody’s Custom Rods prefers split-handle fishing rods for almost all of their rods because “it’s easier and easier to cast and work for a long day.

2. Sensitivity

The jury is still out here. In a Bassmaster article by Mark Hicks, Kevin VanDam believes that sensitivity increases as more blanks are exposed. But pro angler David Fritts still prefers full-length handles for his fishing style.

3. Accuracy

Woodward also believes that split-handle fishing rods when paired with a bait thrower improve its accuracy, especially in situations like trying to skip bait under docks. But when he’s just throwing larger bait over long distances, he’s reaching for the full grip.

Sometimes the differences between fishing tackle can be subtle and species or situation specific. For example, I’ve read of some anglers who like the way split handle bars can be helpful when tucking under your arm for the final stages of landing a large fish. In other cases, the differences are only aesthetic. But if it looks good and you like the feel of it, keep pouring. And that’s the whole point, isn’t it?

Andy Whitcomb

Andy is an outdoor writer ( and stressed-out dad has contributed over 380 blogs to since 2011. Born in Florida but raised on the banks of farm ponds in Oklahoma, he now hunts pike, small bass and steelhead in Pennsylvania. After graduating with a degree in zoology from OSU, he worked in fish hatcheries and as a fisheries research technician at OSU, in the US state of Iowa and the US state of Michigan.


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