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First look inside the new Curado I baitcaster
 


 


Rod Preview


May the Swimbait rod wars begin...

 

Date: 10/15/07
Tackle type: Rod
Manufacturer: Varied
Reviewer: TeamTackleTour






Installment #1: A New Republic


Prologue:
For years bass anglers worldwide have been admiring stories emanating from the southern reaches of California where trophy bass fishing has been honed to a fine art. Only recently has the tackle industry awoken to the special needs and equipment requirements this growing movement inspires.

ICAST 2007 made it clear from an industry perspective that the movement is in full effect, but for anglers not caught up in the heart of this trend, buy-in is difficult. Perhaps more than any other bass fishing technique, success with big baits requires a singular dedication and focus. Not every angler has the necessary patience to succeed. Even fewer have the drive to continue. Yet the allure is unforgiving because for those who dedicate themselves to the training, the prize of that fish of a lifetime awaits.

Still the questions persist… Where to begin the training? What equipment is truly required? Will the prey in my region really succumb to the temptation? It begins where most adventures of this kind do, with the proper stick.
 

First up in our follow up articles is the story behind Zander's double fisted catch

The Players: Enroute to TT Headquarters are representatives from close to a dozen major manufacturers in an unprecedented show of cooperation and allegiance to this growing movement. So new are many of these products, complete specifications are not yet available. Most members of our new Republic are sending only one, but many have promised multiple representatives, and in the coming months, we will share with you, our evaluation of each representative’s capability in helping you reach your full big bait potential. Without further ado here, in alphabetical order, are the stars of our SuperCast 2008.

DOBYNS RODS
INSIGNIA
INTRODUCTION

Does the “New Rod Manufacturer On The Bow” have the right stuff to make a dent in this now hotly contested market? Dobyns Rods swings and sets hard with their swimbait stick offerings borrowing on the experience of acclaimed trophy bass fisherman Mike Long. Long’s definition of a “dink” is a 15 pounder so you know any rod bearing his name will be a heavy hitter.
Model
Length
Power Rating
Lure Range Rating
MSRP
807 Mag HSB
8' 0"
Mag-Heavy
1 - 7 ounces
$199
795ML SB
7' 9"
Med-Heavy
1 - 4 ounces
$199
 
EVERGREEN INTERNATIONAL
INSIGNIA
INTRODUCTION

You didn’t really think we were going to leave out contenders from across the pond, did you? Evergreen International may not officially be making rods for markets outside of Japan and maybe even Europe, but that does not stop us here at TT from going out to procure a stick from arguably the #1 rod manufacturer in Japan. If you’ve been following our bait reviews, you know we already have this rod in hand.
Model
Length
Power Rating
Lure Range Rating
MSRP
TMJC 74XXX Amazon Flip Balista
7' 4"
XXX-Heavy
1 - 4 ounces
$550

FENWICK
INSIGNIA
INTRODUCTION

We were happy to see Fenwick is alive and well at ICAST where they presented to us, a new line of rods known as Elite Tech. Taking technique specific rods to a completely new level, Fenwick has gone against the grain to create rods with individual personalities and cosmetics under the same umbrella including a brand new swimbait stick. So new is this line, that we do not yet, have its full specifications.
Model
Length
Power Rating
Lure Range Rating
MSRP
ECSWB 79H-F
7' 9"
Heavy
TBD
$199

G.LOOMIS
INSIGNIA
INTRODUCTION

We knew the swimbait movement was catching national and worldwide attention when rod manufacturing giant, G.Loomis finally joined the frenzy this past year with the introduction of their swimbait rod lineup. There are four rods in G.Loomis’s swimbait rod line to cover baits from half an ounce up to ten. We chose one of the sticks in the middle of this range.
Model
Length
Power Rating
Lure Range Rating
MSRP
SWBR955C
7' 11"
Heavy
2 - 6 ounces
$240

KISTLER CUSTOM RODS
INSIGNIA
INTRODUCTION

Steve Kennedy was throwing his Huddleston Deluxe swimbaits at Clear Lake, California this past spring on the He2HC711T. Maybe someone at Kistler forgot to tell him they had a swimbait stick to handle that need. Well, Kistler did not forget to tell us and we have, secured in our vault their one and only true big bait stick.
Model
Length
Power Rating
Lure Range Rating
MSRP
KBSBS80
8' 0"
Heavy
1 - 5 ounces
$180

LAMIGLAS
INSIGNIA
INTRODUCTION

One of the oldest rod manufacturers in the United States, Lamiglas has had several big bait stick on the market for some time now but has really laid low regarding their availability because they have a hard enough time keeping up with current demand! We have on hand, their heaviest contender.
Model
Length
Power Rating
Lure Range Rating
MSRP
XC807
8' 0"
Mag-Heavy
1 - 6 ounces
$199

MEGABASS
INSIGNIA
INTRODUCTION

What year would be complete without the requisite coverage of Megabass rods? We were a bit shy, at first, to include not only Megabass, but the afore mentioned Evergreen International, but as we’ve seen from the price of some of the big baits offered in the market, the swimbait segment of tackle is not without enthusiast appeal, so we say bring it on. Expect to see coverage of the following sticks from Megabass in this so called war.
Model
Length
Power Rating
Lure Range Rating
MSRP
F7-76RDti White Python
7' 6"
Extra-Heavy
3/8 - 4 ounces
$510
F8-78 Super Destruction 78XX
7' 8"
Extra-Extra-Heavy
1/2 - 4 1/4 ounces
$435

OKUMA
INSIGNIA
INTRODUCTION

Before we even began to assemble representatives for the Republic, Okuma was identified as the product to beat. As the most affordable rods in our shootout, the Okuma Guide Select Swimbait series sticks already have a faithful following and strong reputation for being “all that you really need”. Of course, we already know that the needs of at least one, if not more, of our TackleTour Editors far exceed, outpace, and downright mystify otherwise common sense logic. So will the contenders from Okuma ground the TT counsel or divide them? We shall soon see.
Model
Length
Power Rating
Lure Range Rating
MSRP
GS-C-7111MH
7' 11"
Med-Heavy
3/4 - 3 ounces
$99
GS-C-7111XH
7' 11"
Extra-Heavy
2 - 10 ounces
$99

POWELL CO
INSIGNIA
INTRODUCTION

We are fortunate enough to already have an article completed and published on a Powell Company swimbait stick, the SB711H, but a new year calls for a new representative and entering the fray for Powell Co this year will be the heaviest rated beast thus far.
Model
Length
Power Rating
Lure Range Rating
MSRP
800SBREH
8' 0"
Extra-Heavy
8 - 16 ounces
$199

QUANTUM
INSIGNIA
INTRODUCTION

One of the products that excited us most at ICAST were the new SuperLite PT rods by Quantum. Featuring the contemporary split rear grip, no foregrip design along with the new Fuji ACS reel seat, we were delighted to see the lengths Quantum has gone to up the ante in the rod wars. And yes, there is a swimbait stick in Quantum's new line, but like the Fenwick Elite Tech rod above, this product is so new, we don't yet have the full specifications.
Model
Length
Power Rating
Lure Range Rating
MSRP
QTC7117F
7' 11"
Heavy
TBD
$229

ST. CROIX
INSIGNIA
INTRODUCTION

Last in the alphabetical listing, but certainly not least in our minds is St. Croix. Their Legend Tournament series has been a quiet favorite amongst us cosmetically as their color scheme reflects that of TackleTour! This year, the entire line received a bit of a face-lift with a new, split rear grip/no foregrip treatment and we are anxious to get out on the water to sample the new look and feel of these sticks.
Model
Length
Power Rating
Lure Range Rating
MSRP
TBC80XHF
8' 0"
Extra-Heavy
3 - 8 ounces
$280

 

And So It Begins... It is fortunate 2008 turned out to be a leap year, because we here at TackleTour are going to need all the time we can to fish and get to know each of these beastly sticks and then cram their stories into our review box before year’s end. The competition promises to be so intense, do not be surprised if some representatives never show up for the trials, or even if previously unannounced representatives unexpectedly appear before the review counsel wanting to join in the fray. Our trials roster is open.

 

Also wrapping up, the story behind Cal's time with this surprising performer

 

Additionally, you can rest assured, that during the course of the next year, we’ll be torture testing traditional and non-traditional reels used in support of this big bait technique, and of course, we’ll be bringing you coverage of the baits and fishing line used to test these monster rods. This in addition to our traditional coverage means we may have to increase the frequency of our publication! It promises to be a ruckus ride as we cast, pitch, lob, and swing our way through the coming year. Stay tuned, our first official review from Swimbait Rod Wars is just around the corner.

May the
THE SWIMBAIT ROD WARS
begin...

 


 

 

 

 

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