The H3TUA-MBR’s tip loads very similarly to a traditional heavy powered rod and the rod’s backbone is more than reassuring in this role. Of course, these days, when we talk about a heavy powered rod, most people take the next step and start thinking really heavy with a rod that can support techniques like throwing swimbaits or punching mats. While the H3TUA-MBR can support these techniques in a pinch, it’s not a rod I would subject to this kind of abuse long term. It’s just not quite heavy duty enough for those applications.
ReCoil guides are used to reduce weight and increase sensitivity.
So what is the H3TUA-MBRís sweet spot? If
anything, Iíd say this rodís comfort zone lies with jigs, Texas rigged soft
plastics, and believe it or not frogs. Actual sensitivity of this stick is
decent, but I feel the overall weight of this rod impairs what otherwise might
be an inherently good material for transmitting strikes due to the blended
materials in this rodís blank. Ironically, what gives this rod a lot of its
appeal might also be the reason for its heftier than usual weight and thatís its
unique, adjustable length.
Flippin' the tules in the Delta searching for largemouth bass.
Power wise, again, the H3TUA-MBR handles fish like a true heavy powered rod no matter what length you have it extended to. It is very reassuring in this role although if you’re accustomed to propping your fishing rod’s handle against your forearm to gain leverage on good sized fish while doing battle, this stick’s shorter handle may prove a
concern to some.
The H3TUA-MBR features the same hook keeper implementation as the previously reviewed David Fritts rod.
But this stick has more attractive detailing than its cranking stick sibling.
Ergonomically the rod does have its positive points. The split reel seat, a feature growing more and more common with production rods, is very comfortable to hold. Learning from past lessons, I avoided the hook keeper in the trigger and simply used the frame of the Recoil guides. The handle material is comfortable to hold, but the overall length of the handle at only nine inches is a bit short. Another inch or two would go a long way to restoring some leverage to the stick when pitching or using two hands to make a cast.
American Rodsmiths makes use of a split reel seat for the H3TUA-MBR.
Another interesting tidbit about this rod is its tip top. Most tip top guides on bass rods feature a sixty degree angle – it is just a standard angle extended from the guides on the rest of the rod. The H3TUA-MBR’s tip top, however, is custom designed by American Rodsmith’s President, Bob Brown to be at a forty five degree angle with the idea that it gives your line (when the rod is under load) more support leading to smoother retrieves. Further, this custom angled tip top features not a silicone carbide insert, but a tungsten carbide insert making it harder, and arguably more durable than an SiC guide. These tip tops are patented by American Rodsmiths and built for them by Pac Bay.
A close look at a standard tip to (left) and the custom designed, custom built tip top for the H3TUA-MBR (right).
Did we notice a difference on the water? No. But it
is nice to see American Rodsmiths paying such close attention to details like this and it’s especially nice to see their willingness to try new materials in the inserts of the guides.
The H3TUA-MBR makes a good jig stick.
Lastly we come to the rod's price point. On American Rodsmith's website, the rod is listed at $399. We are told prices direct from the manufacturer are higher so as not to compete with the retail stores as some people insist on buying factory direct. We've heard this before so that is not a surprise.
None of the retailers we visited in California currently carry this stick though
they do carry other rods from American Rodsmiths. We did find the stick at a
Fishing Tackle Unlimited for a price of $289.99 which is a full
hundred dollars less than the factory price. At this price the rod is a lot more