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Cranking it up with the Shimano Zodias Series


Date: 6/2/16
Tackle type: Rods
Manufacturer: Shimano
Reviewer: Team TT

Introduction: A little over a year after the debut of the Zodias and Shimano is now introducing new application specific cranking rods to the lineup. Ahead of ICAST the company is adds three new rods to its existing 14-model Zodias bass rod line-up with the new ZDS 170M-G, ZDS 176MH-G and the ZDS 175H.


The new Shimano Zodias Rods are designed for cranking but share the same CI4+ reel seat as the original rods

Shimano’s Zodias line of rods have become popular among anglers looking for a high quality rod at the 200 dollar price point. Originally introduced alongside the G.Loomis E6X rods these similarly priced rods offered anglers JDM style flair versus the E6X’s more traditional American styling.

Shimano Zodias Cranking Rods Specifications

  Length Power Action Line Wt. Reargrip Guides
ZDS170M-G 7' M MF 1/4-1 10.3" Alconite K (8+Tip)
ZDS175H 7'5" H F 7/16-1 1/2 10.8" Alconite K (8+Tip)
ZDS176MH-G 7'6" MH MF 3/8-1 1/2 12.7" Alconite K (8+Tip)

While the current Zodias series provide anglers with rods designed to perform as needed with all types of lures – be it worms, jigs, crankbaits, spinnerbaits and jerkbaits, the new Zodias rods are constructed for specific cranking applications.

The new rods feature longer rear handles for more casting leverage for today's popular big cranks

The 7-foot ZDS 170M-G and 7-foot-6 inch ZDS 176M-G crankbaits rods all feature longer reargrips for long casting leverage, and include glass composite material within their Hi-Power X blank for a softer action which is preferred for not only fishing crankbaits but keeping fish pinned on treble hooks during the fight. A heavy power, 7-foot-5-inch ZDS 175H is good for handling today’s giant cranks but can also pull double duty with braided line applications, including launching frogs into heavy grass.

The Hi-Power X construction features a cross weave to eliminate blank twist

Though the new Zodias cranking rods infuse glass into their construction (G models) they all still feature Shimano’s Hi-Power X construction, which is designed to eliminate blank twist for both better casting distance and accuracy. Hi-Power X is a unique process to support the lightweight blanks, with carbon tape added in a 45-dgreee ‘X’ pattern on the outside of the blank. The tape process provides what is called ‘torsional rigidity’ to keep the blank from twisting during the cast, which is designed to improve casting distance and accuracy.

The Hi-Power X weave is visible above the fore-grip and helps give the Zodias rods their signature look. Two of the new rods also feature glass infused into the blank for a softer more forgiving feel and medium fast action

These new Zodias rods also include the CI4+ material reel seats and lightweight semi-micro guides which add to the light overall balance of the rod and improve sensitivity. All three of the new cranking rods will retail for $199.99 and are becoming available at retailers and e-tailers this week. The Zodias line now covers almost the complete spectrum of applications for bass anglers with these new rods, and all they really need now to complete the range is a swimbait rod capable of handling big baits from 1-3oz., wishful thinking? The way the Zodias family is growing who knows what could come in the future.


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