The New Review Major Craft Corkish CKS 652L


New member
Oct 17, 2014
Major Craft Corkish CKS-652L 2pcs Spinning Rod

I've been a fan of JDM fishing tackle for a long time. It started with reels like Shimano's Scorpion and Antares and then the Aldabarran. It slowly progressed to Japan only soft plastics from companies like Osprey, Ever Green and Lake Police......(Jackall for you tackle noobs). In the last 3yrs my appetite has grown to cover light tackle spinning rods.

I have become a huge fan of Major Craft rods. See the review of their BassPara 662 I did a while back. My quest to “lighten up” brought a Corkish CKS 652L to my door from Japan for 100.00 shipped. My initial thought was that I hoped it could do the job my Dobyns 681 was currently doing with wacky rigged senkos. But then the Ned Rig happened and started encompassing my fishing exploits. Oh man, have I caught a ton of bass on that rig in a short time and some real bruisers as well as you will see.

The 652L Corkish is a light action rod. It has plenty of backbone and a fast tip. It really is perfect for chucking the 1/8oz baits that I normally use but it can also handle lighter weights as well with relative ease. It is rated for 3 to 7lb line and 1/32oz baits thru 1/4oz. I have to be honest, anything above 1/8oz and the rod feels a little wonky. You can get away with 3/16oz but 1/4oz would be pushing it.

The space between the reel seat and the butt of this modified split grip lights up when the sun hits it.

The Corkish features 6 guides plus a tip top on its stunning metalic olive brown blank. It glistens in the sunshine and is a very pretty rod. It features a modified split grip, it does not expose as much blank as traditional split grips. I like this type of grip for long accurate casts I need to make in clear water. The reel seat features an inlay of a wood grained composite on good quality cork. The butt features a unique Major Craft Badge that distinguishes the Corkish from other models.

The badge on the butt end is a nice touch than many rods lack.

As with the BassPara, you can unscrew the top of the reel seat screw down to accommodate a wide range of reels. Sitting above the reel seat are clean checks and beautiful graphics that I have come to expect on Major Craft rods.

Nice graphics and labels come to life when in the sunlight.

As I acquire higher quality models in Major Craft's line up, I continue to be dazzled by what they put into their rods in both quality and asthetics.

The tiny ferrule makes me forget this is a two piece rod.

The Corkish sports a set of Fuji SiC guides. I can say the rings are about the thinnest and smallest I've seen on a spinning rod. Line flowed smoothly through them. The frames are small and placed out of the way and didn't impede the line in any way.

On the water Performance:
This is what it comes down to after all, how did this rod fish? The Corkish was a monster and dominated bigger fish as well as made smaller fish sporty. Right out of the gate I got into some big fish when testing this rod and took several in the 4 to 6+ pound class.......that is right......4 to 6+ pound bass on light tackle. That Ned Rig, if you don't fish should.

The tip of the rod is relatively fast and loads of nicely to flick or skip casts as I need it to. It is extremely sensitive and allows me to feel pick ups and even the bottom when using flourocarbon InVizX line. When the rod loads up signaling a fish has taken the Ned rig, a small pop of the wrists sets the hook. The rod has plenty of backbone to handle giant fish but still makes the smallest fish fun.

The Corkish has that same successful small ferrule/friction joint as the BassPara and feels like a 1pc rod both in weight and how it fishes. I matched it up with a CI4 Stradic 1000 and 6lb InVizX and it preformed perfectly.

The Corkish handled big fish better than just about any light tackle rod I've ever relied on and is on par with my beloved Dobyns 681 Champion. There is no doubt a lot of thought goes into the design of these rods. They are simply not what most would expect when handling a light action rod.

We can just get this out of the way now, this rod is fully capable of handling giant bass.

There is no denying that Major Craft has scored a giant win with this series. The light action rod proved itself to me more than capable of handling big fish and light lures which is my forte'. It is simply a tough combination to find in lighter gear. Normally anything with a light or ultra light designation is a buggy whip rod with no backbone, the wrong number of guides or just cheap. That all goes out the window with JDM rods and especially Major Craft which I have noticed seems to be very fairly priced.

I didn't experience a single negative with this rod. It looked perfect and it fished perfect. It handled big fish perfectly. Its action makes it a very good rod to use for fishing soft plastics like wacky rigs, slider rigs, shakey rigs, split shot and drop shot rigs as well as the Ned rig.

This is what I think of when I think about light tackle success. It is fun to catch any fish but “Enormous basses” are the target for me and the Corkish was more than up to the challenge.


Another big bass for the Corkish and Ned rig.

I had to put some muscle to these fish at times because this is a river and has a pretty decent current. If these fish turn sideways, it feels like you are fighting a garage door. The 652L Corkish allowed me to do that.

This fish almost pulled my Corkish off the deck as I was helping my son with a tangle in his line.

These fish were from my last two trips out in June and July. For whatever reason the larger fish were “on”. I normally experience bigger bites in the fall but this year the bass have been averaging a lot larger than normal.

The despite a light designation, the Corkish 652L handled everything I and these bass threw at it. It has solidified its place in my line up.

To catch big fish on ultra clear water like this, I've learned you have to use stealth and can't get too close to them. The modified split grip helps me make longer accurate casts. A lot of people don't care for split grips, I love them!


I've taken some pretty good sized bass on the Corkish to know it is a solid rod.

In all the Corkish is another great rod from Major Craft. For about 100.00 bucks, you can't go wrong with it if you are a serious light tackle angler.


Active member
May 22, 2012
Nice write up EW - always fun to work big fish on a L powered rod