Fig Rig Rods…One Man’s Experience
By Craig Sandell © 2010

In 2005, I wrote this article documenting the problems that I experienced with the Fig Rig rod that I used. In 2006, message boards have had entries from folks who have experienced similar problems. According to some of the chat, Fig Rig had a bad run of blanks that caused the problem...something that Fig Rig contends has been resolved.  I would submit that it is not enough for a manufacturer to say that it has fixed the problem; confidence in a product can only be restored if, along with the cause, the manufacturer defines what 'corrective action' has been instituted to purge defective items in stock and ensure that safe guards have been put in place to prevent the problem from happening again. In addition, I have gotten first hand reports from Fig Rig users that they have had to re-attach their rod tip guide because it came loose during normal use...this would appear to indicate that Fig Rig has a larger problem than faulty blanks from their supplier. You will have to make up your own mind as to whether you want to trust your time on the water to a rod that has demonstrated a propensity to fail under the stress of Musky angling.

2007 Update
On 3/26/07 Musky America received a request via an Email from a person representing himself as Kevin Figgins requesting that we remove this article. Mr. Figgins was informed that the article was a factual account of problems encountered using the Fig Rig Rod. Musky America offered Mr. Figgins the opportunity to submit a rebuttal to this article...To date we have received no additional input from Mr. Figgins.

We have received another failure report from a person who indicated that he went through 4 of the 8 foot Fig Rig rods during the 2006 season. He indicated that when he contacted Fig Rig, he got the standard answer that they had a run of bad blanks and that the problem has been fixed...The person reporting the problem indicated that he went to using rods from different manufacturers.

2010 Update
A rose by any other name is still the same it is with rod manufacturers. Fig Rig is not in business under that name but they are still making rods. As you search for a Musky rod for next season, you might want to consider asking the rod outlet or manufacturer where the rod blank was made. Blanks from China do not have the same quality control over materials and processes as rod blanks from other countries.

In September of 2005, I participated in the Lake Chippewa Flowage Muskie Tournament. The whole experience was a great one and the event was very well administered.

I was fortunate to have won a Fig Rig 7’ medium rod as a door prize. Since all of my custom made rods are 6˝’, I was anxious to see how this 7’ rod would perform for me on the water.

As soon as I got back to my trailer at Indian Trail Resort, I set up the rod with an Abu Garcia 5500 loaded with TUF line. I planned to use the rod as a Bucktail rod when I went to Phillips, WI to fish with my good friend Rob Meusec.

The next day, I was on the water casting a 1˝ ounce Bucktail toward the deep edge of a weed line. As I was retrieving the Bucktail, a fish hit about 20 feet from the boat. I set the hook and much to my chagrin, the Fig Rig Rod that I had won and had high hope for, broke in the thick portion of the rod shaft. Well, I lost the fish as well as the use of the rod…I was not a happy camper.

When I got back to Indian Trail Resort, I was in the bar relating the sad story when another person at the bar piped up and said that he had a couple of friends who had also had their Fig Rig rods break on them.

I thought that this was something that the folks at Fig Rig should know about. I packed up the remnants of the rod and sent it to Fig Rig at my own expense, along with a note explaining the circumstance surrounding the failure of the Fig Rig rod…I did not ask them to replace the rod but I did encourage them to reassess their quality control and application engineering.

In early October, I received a new rod in the mail, along with an invoice of $25.00 for the shipping charges. They did not credit the $6.50 that it cost me to send the broken Fig Rig rod to them and provided no note expressing a concern that their Fig Rig rod had failed during the most elementary aspect of the Muskie experience…the setting of the hook.

I am sure that there are folks out there who have used these rods without having them break into pieces. Would I use this rod again?…in a word "NO". Like all of you, I spend a lot of time on and off the water working hard to locate and catch our Muskie friend. I am not about to take a chance that this same circumstance will happen again.

As a final observation, the Fig Rig rod had a Muskies, Inc. decal on it providing the perception that the rod is in some way endorsed by Muskies, Inc. If that is the case, I would encourage Muskies, Inc. to reassess its endorsement of the Fig Rig rod. If it is not the case, I would encourage Muskies, Inc. to petition Fig Rig to remove the Muskies, Inc. decal from their rod until such time that Fig Rig provides "cause and corrective action" regarding the failure of their medium 7’ Muskie rod.

Tight Lines.