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Rod Review


 

A Cranky Honey Badger of a Stick : Ark Rods's TS74MH-G B-Hittay

 

Date: 8/5/20
Tackle Type: Rod
Manufacturer: Ark Rods
Reviewer: Cal






Total Score: 8.25 - GREAT

Introduction:
Since their debut a few short years ago, Ark Rods has done a good job making headway with affordable, smartly styled, good performing sticks. They recently upped their game by signing Pro Bass Fisherman, Randall Tharp to their team and last year, they celebrated this team up with the company's very first line of signature series of rods, Randall Tharp's Honey Badger line. Today, we take a look at an exciting member of this team, the TS74MH-G B-Hittay cranking stick.

 


Honey Badger is Randall Tharp's tour nickname hence the reference to it in his signature series with Ark Rods

 

Ark Rods TS74MH-G B-Hittay Specifications

Material Graphite/Glass Composite
Length 7'-4"
Line Wt. 8-20lb
Lure Wt. 1/8 - 1 1/2oz
Pieces One
Guides 8+Tip (Fuji F-Ring)
Rear Handle Length 10.25"
Power Rating Medium Heavy
Taper Moderate-Fast
Rod Weight 6.3oz
Origin Made in China
MSRP $129.95


Introducing the TS74MH-G B-Hittay

Impressions: The Ark Rods Randal Tharp TS74MH-G B-Hittay is a seven foot, four inch stick. The company website lists the blank as composite, but it feels like a glass blank. The stick features a silver/grey color scheme, a split rear grip made of EVA foam, Fuji K-Concept guides with the latest, F-Ring (Aluminum Oxide) inserts. It's a nicely styled stick that feels good in hand right off the rod rack, or in our case, straight out of the shipping rod tube.

 


I fished this stick on a number of trips, each time with a different reel

Real World Tests: I fished Ark's B-Hittay cranking stick during the Fall of 2018 and paired it with a couple different reels spooled mostly with braided line: a 13 Fishing Origin reel spooled with Phenix HydraBraid and Abu Garcia's Revo4 Rocket spooled with Finatic's 6-Strand Pro Braid.


The rod's decorative reel seat locking mechanism

Casting: The TS74MH-G comes with a lure rating of 1/8 oz all the way up to 1 1/2 oz. The lightest I probably went with this stick was a 3/8oz Omega Tackle Rapture Vibrating Jig tipped with a trailer (total lure weight probably more like 5/8oz to be honest).

In hand the Ark B-Hittay rod feels like something made for bigger baits, and not something that would feel right with a finesse crank at the end of the line, but a vibrating jig setup is right in the rod's wheelhouse.


The reel seat is custom made for Ark out of graphite

On the upper end of the rod's limits (actually over the rod's rating), I enjoyed throwing BullShad's 6" 2Knocker bait with this stick. As long as you're careful to lob cast heavier lures, thanks to it's smooth bending blank, the TS74MH-G can handle quite a range of bait weights.


A look at one of the rod's Fuji K-Series F-Ring guides

Sensitivity: Billed as a composite stick, the TS74MH-G feels every bit a stick made from the newer generation glass material meaning it's light and actually has some feel. If there is indeed some graphite in the blank, then that explains it even more. Granted, it's not jig and worm rod sensitive, but it's not dead feeling either. You can feel your bait in the water and distinguish whether your lure has been stopped by weeds or a fish. Well, most of the time, there will always be those strange "something doesn't feel right" hits no matter how sensitive your rod is.


Fig 1 : The chart above illustrates the deflection characteristics of our Ark Rods TS74MH-G B-Hittay against our cranking stick averages

Power: On the power side of things, the TS74MH-G loads smooth and easy and effects a good hookset. In addition, the rod's length helps you gain good leverage over your catch to direct it away from props or other obstructions in the water. My hook up to landing ratio with this stick was pretty much one hundred percent. I like the way this stick feels when you catch something.


Checking out that taper

Next Section: The Ark B-Hittay Design and Ergonomics...

 

   

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