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TackleTour's 2009 Holiday Gift Guide (Part 2) (continued)

Enthusiast Rod (Traditional): (Evergreen International TKLC-71MHX Super Stallion) It takes a lot these days to excite our Enthusiast Tackle Editor Cal. Even when we received Evergreen International’s submission for our 2010 themed reviews, he was in no hurry to open the rod tube. Afterall, aside from the Dengeki, given the rods’ price points, every stick from this manufacturer that he’d tested thus far performed below expectations. Then came the TKLC-71MHX Super Stallion.

Evergreen finally steps up to the plate and knocks one out of the park with the Temujin Kaleido Super Stallion.

The Super Stallion is a seven foot one inch rod with a lure rating of up to three ounces. It is a two piece rod in the tradition of the previously reviewed Balista separating (or connecting) right at the rod’s grip assembly. This assembly on the Super Stallion is a traditional full rear and foregrip made of super clean cork. It falls within their new top end Temujin Kaleido series and to sum it up in one word, this rod is exquisite. Detailing is modest. There are just enough fine touches to make the rod very intriguing, but the real story is how light the rod feels in hand given its apparent power. The taper on this stick is not soft and moderate like the Balista or regular Stallion, rather it feels like traditional fast tapered rod, and thanks to its shorter length, the rod balances out rather nicely.

The Super Stallion is everything we expected from Evergreen International from the beginning.

The only bad news thus far? This stick runs with an MSRP of 79,800 JPY. Which in the current exchange rate (85 JPY = 1 USD), equates to somewhere around eight hundred forty dollars ($840). Throw in shipping charges from Japan and we’re talking close to one thousand dollars ($1000) to get this stick to your door. By contrast, this same stick two or three years ago, when the exchange rate was a more favorable 115 JPY to 1 USD, was seven hundred dollars ($700) or right around eight hundred dollars ($800) shipped from Japan. Has the current economic climate hurt the enthusiasm of the collectors on your list? The Super Stallion would most assuredly pick them right back up. It has for Cal! Evergreen International’s TKLC-71MHX Super Stallion can be ordered through plat.co or bass.jp, but you’ll have to email them to place the order. This stick is not on their respective websites.

79.800 JPY too much? Casey was willing to forego wardrobe to hold onto this stick.

Enthusiast Rod (Value): (Lucky Craft 701MF) Who ever said that Enthusiast tackle has to be expensive? Right now, Lucky Craft is offering traditional JDM detailing and top end components on a series of rods priced to answer the current economic climate. If that isn’t reason enough to be excited about this product, how about backing all that up with a product that actually performs up to expectations? The Lucky Craft 701MF not only won our Best Value Award during our Crankbait Rod Wars, but also picked up an Editor’s Choice Award for a very rare, TackleTour double award ceremony!

Yes, thanks to Lucky Craft, there is such a thing as a value market Enthusiast Rod.

It might be a bit unexpected and against the grain to have this rod as our Holiday Gift Guide Enthusiast pick, but consider all of the above points together with the fact this rod is available domestically without the exorbitant shipping fees and itís almost a no brainer. Then realize you can actually purchase two Lucky Craft rods for the Enthusiast on your list and two MORE for yourself at the normal cost of a single rod shipped from Japan and why are you still waiting?! The LC701MF is available for an unreal $149.95 at Tackle Warehouse.

The 701MF won both Editor's Choice and Best Value in our Crankbait Rod Wars.

Enthusiast Lure: (Jerry Rago Generic Rat) Is it a crank or a swimbait? Is it a wakebait or a plug? However you choose to classify this legendary bait one point is not to be missed and that is it’s back. Never really officially out of production but formerly very difficult to come by, the Rago Generic Rat is once again occupying store shelves but no one is calling in the exterminators. Instead they’re buying the baits by the bushel like rare, fuzzy toys stuffed with beans. Make no mistake about it though, the Generic Rat is by no means a toy. On the contrary, one toss out into the water to witness its wicked swimming action and any doubts as to its fish attracting potential will be removed.

What's got Casey jumping all over the deck of the boat?

As with most products from one-person factories like Rago Baits, there’s no telling how long supplies may last, but while it is here, this bait is a natural for any Enthusiast on your list to either place on the mantle or in their bait box, and you can get it now at Monster Fishing Tackle.

It's the re-emergence of RATS! Rago's Generic Rat to be more precise.

Casey’s Pick: (TackleTour's 2010 Calendar) We cannot close out our holiday picks without asking Ms. Casey what her Holiday pick may be and as a surprise to no-one, she’s selected the 2010 TackleTour Calendar. This December 2009 to December 2010 calendar features everyone’s favorite TT Girl along with two of her closest friends, and they are now available for purchase through Tackle Warehouse and MonsterFishingTackle.com.

Casey's Pick - TackleTour's Limited Edition 2010 Calendar featuring Ms. Casey and two of her closest friends.


Conclusion: The year isn't over yet and there are more crankbait reviews to come including a deep diving crank shootout, the low speed cranking reel shootout and a handful of cranking rods still to come. Besides crankbaits there are plenty of other tackle options to pick from this season, some are affordable while others are outrageous. Whether you're just entering the sport or are a die hard enthusiast there is something to pick from this season whether you're buying a gift for that special someone or just looking to treat yourself.











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