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Penn Rampage Jigging Rod Review

If you are in need of a lightweight but sturdy rod to slay your favorite larger species such as Grouper, AmberJack, Snapper, Redfish, Snook or even if you are chasing Yellowtail, Dolphin or Seabass, the Penn Rampage Jigging Rod can prove to be an excellent choice.  I chose to review the Penn Rampage Jigging Rods as I find them to be a versatile rod that can handle a variety of fishing conditions and provides an excellent value.  As usual, Penn has put together quality components that include a 1 piece graphite composite blank, Fuji aluminum oxide guides, heavy duty reel seats, rubber gimbals on the butt and a triangular torque grip which just fits in your hand nicely.

The Penn Rampage Jigging Rods were released to the market in the fall of 2013 and are available in two styles the Rampage Jig Spinning Rod and the Rampage Jig Casting Rod.  Both rods retail for $79.95 and provide you with an excellent value based on the quality of construction.

Features

Designed specifically for vertical jigging – While the Penn Rampage is designed with vertical jigging in mind you will come to discover that the rod is versatile enough to use for other techniques such as free lining bait, or sight casting to snook, big reds and cobia.

1-piece graphite composite blank – The graphite composite blank is made of a combination of both graphite and fiberglass to provide strength from the fiberglass for pulling power and to still be lightweight.  The addition of graphite to the mix also provides a level of sensitivity that makes it easier to detect when you have a fish taking your bait or lure.

Fuji aluminum oxide guides – The guides on these rods are made by Fuji and are aluminum frames with an aluminum oxide insert.  The aluminum oxide inserts are a very smooth and hard material that is both smooth as well as durable.  Having a smooth guide system is important as it will work equally well for both monofilaments as well as braid lines.

Graphite reel seat – The graphite reel seat is sturdy and will hold your favorite reel tightly to the rod without any play. One of the things that I always want to make sure of is that the reel is securely locked onto the rod, there is nothing more disturbing than feeling the reel loosening from your rod in the middle of fighting a fish.

Torque EVA foregrip – Penn has a unique foregrip that is triangular in shape called the torque grip.  The advantage of the torque EVA triangular foregrip is that when you are fighting a fish the rod is less likely to turn in your hands.  The triangular shape also conforms to your hands so that you do not need to grip the handle with as much pressure to still feel as though you have control of the rod.  After a long day on the water with the Penn Rampage, I do not tend to get cramps in my hands as I often do with a standard round handle design.

Slimmed Rear grip – The rear grip is slimmed down so that it will not grab your shirt or other items when you are jigging.  Basically, this design eliminates chafing from a consistent up and down motion of jigging.

Rubber gimbal – There are several advantages of the rubber gimbal design that is located on the butt of the rod.  The first is that when you place your rod down maybe harder than you had anticipated on your boat deck it is soft and will not mark the decking or possibly even crack the gel coat.  I know that every time I hear someone slam the rod to the floor of my boat when they are baiting the hook,  I cringe.  The other advantage is that if you are fighting a big fish and you place the butt of the rod on your hip or thigh without a fighting belt, it is much more comfortable.

 Features at a Glance

  • Designed specifically for vertical jigging
  • Versatile enough for various techniques
  • 1-piece graphite composite blank
  • Fuji aluminum oxide guides
  • Graphite reel seat
  • Torque foregrip
  • Rubber gimbal

You will notice in the image above that the Penn Rampage Jigging rods have 2 different types of handles.  The spinning version has a straight handle as would be expected, this is referred to as a Handle Type A and the casting rod has a finger or pistol grip which is referred to as a Handle Type B.

Penn Rampage Jig Spinning Rod

For those of you who want all the details, I have provided the chart below.

ModelRod LengthRod ActionRod PowerLine RatingLure RatingGuidesHandle TypePieces
RAMJG3080S666'6"Moderate FastMedium30-802-5 oz8A1
RAMJG50100S646'4"Moderate FastMedium Heavy50-1004-7 oz8A1
RAMJG80130S606'Moderate FastHeavy80-1306-10 oz7A1

Penn Rampage Jig Casting Rod

For those of you who want all the details, I have provided the chart below.

ModelRod LengthRod ActionRod PowerLine RatingLure RatingGuidesHandle TypePieces
RAMJG3080C666'6"Moderate FastMedium30-802-5 oz9B1
RAMJG50100C626'2"Moderate FastMedium Heavy50-1004-7 oz9B1
RAMJG80130C585'8"Moderate FastHeavy80-1306-10 oz8B1

For a field test, I paired the 6’6″ jig casting rod model RAMJG3080C66 with a Penn Battle II 6000 and loaded it up with 400 yards of 40 lb spiderwire braid.  We took my buddies 26′ Stamas the Del Rio out to one of our favorite spots for grouper about 50 miles off the coast of Cape Coral, FL.  I found that pairing the Penn Rampage with the Battle II provided for a well-balanced setup.  I was able to fish both cut bait and live pinfish equally well which to me makes this a very versatile setup.  We landed a few nice grouper in the 10-15 lb range and one that was 22 lbs.  All in all, it was a great day on the water and the rod performed well.  For a rod with a moderate fast action and a medium power rating, I found that it was lightweight but still had the backbone to bring the larger fish in easily.

I am looking forward to taking this setup down to the Keys in a few weeks to chase some Dolphin and hopefully get a chance at a few Cobia as well.  Based on my experience so far with this setup, I am thinking that I am going to be very pleased with how it handles the fast hard fighting fish.

Pros

  • Price
  • Durability
  • Grip
  • Weight

Cons

  • Can be a bit stiff

Alternatives

A few of the other rods that I would suggest you take a look at in this category would be the Penn Bluewater Carnage II Jigging Spinning rod or the Ugly Stik Tiger Elite Jig Casting Rod.

The Penn Bluewater Carnage II Jigging Spinning rod is going to be about twice the price but is an exceptional rod which is lighter weight, more responsive and uses an SLS3 carbon blank.

The Ugly Stik Tiger Elite Jig Casting Rod is well, an Ugly Stik and we love our Ugly Stik’s don’t we.  For a similar price point at the Penn Rampage, you get a great rod that is super durable.

In Conclusion

Overall I was impressed with the Penn Rampage Jigging rods and I think that I will be keeping at least one of these around for my grouper fishing and when I get a chance to get down to the Keys.  What I like is that for less than $200 I can have a reliable and durable setup when pairing the Rampage with a Battle II.

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