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Rod Review


Getting a Grip on Castaway’s new Invicta Spinnerbait Rod (continued)

Ergonomics: Castaway clearly spent a lot of time on the ergonomics of the rod and the choice to use the ALPS Triple Exposed Reel seat was a good one. The reel seat contours nicely to your hand when casting and retrieving and the soft touch finish only adds to the comfort and grip of the overall rod. I also liked the double locking hood on the reel seat which kept our CuradoI reels firmly clamped in place.

Design & Ergonomics Ratings for Castaway Invicta INV-SB610M

Grip (1-5)
Colors / Graphics (1-5)
Balance (1-5)
Weight (1-5)
Total
Possible
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)
5
3
4
4
16
20
8.0

But the real star of this rod when it comes to ergonomics is the Winn grips, which not only give the rod a look that stands out from the competition but are extremely functional. It seems like such a natural application for these “golf grips” that it is a wonder why more rod companies don’t give this type of material a shot.


The butt of the rod features the Winn logo

The grips are extremely comfortable to hold and provide a natural tactile response either when in contact with bare hands or when wearing gloves. I was also surprised how tacky they felt even when wet. They do heat up a bit more cork grips in the sun but they never felt uncomfortable to hold and actually seemed to provide even more grip when they are warm. Overall the Castaway Invicta rod balanced out well and though it felt a little tip heavy by itself, once a reel was paired with the rod it felt much more balanced, and casting spinnerbaits all day with this rod is pretty effortless.  


A look at the ALPS TexTouch Triple Exposed Reel Seat by itself

Price and Applications: The Castaway Skeleton Series rods retail for $169.99-$179.99 and we were not surprised to see that these new Invicta rods retail from $249.99-$259.99 as they are clearly positioned above with a higher modulus blank and superior components. The Winn grips are also a premium feature and kudos to Castaway for going with these proven branded grips versus trying to re-invent the wheel and employ an unproven proprietary implementation.


The Curado looked ok on this rod, black reels look ok, but the best looking reels will be orange ones like the discontinued Daiwa Sol

Our Invicta spinnerbait rod retails for $249.99 which is actually a good price for such a feature rich rod. With some brands this is now a mid-range price point, but for Castaway you are getting the best the brand offers at an aggressive price. While there are a lot of things that we liked about the Invicta rods there are a few things that we didn’t, one of which is the colors used on the series.


The reel seat's double locking hood keeps reels firmly in place

The orange and green can be somewhat polarizing, and while we like the fact that Castaway didn’t play it safe and went with a combination that stands from the competition out we also found it harder to pair the rod with reels. In fact the reel that we ultimately though looked the best with this rod was the orange Daiwa Sol which is no longer in production. Now if green and orange is really your thing then you will absolutely love the Invicta’s distinctive motif.


This Castaway Invicta rod delivers a whole lot of what anglers are looking for in a spinnerbait application specific stick

Castaway backs the Invicta with a 5 year warranty which is around the industry norm for a rod priced at this level, but keep in mind there are many companies at this price point that are offering limited lifetime warranties including iRod’s Air Series, Phenix’s Recon 2 and M1 Series and Daiwa’s Zillions just to name a few.

Ratings:

Castaway Invicta INV-SB610M Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Overall a great overall construction that was clean and the epoxy and guide work all looked very good. The application of the Winn Grips was also done precisely 8.0
Performance Pretty much what we expect out of a good cranking rod this stick is a good middle ground for anglers that want a faster tip for pinpoint accuracy and still a moderate enough taper to keep fish pinned. The one area where we were not blown away was sensitivity as the rod was good but we have fished rods that can better telegraph what is happening to the blade at the end of the line 8.0
Price A good price for a rod of this quality and the use of the grips and high end ALPS components make for a nice combination. The one thing to be aware of is even though the 5 year warranty is around average there are many rod manufacturers at the 249 dollar price point that offer a limited lifetime warranty 7.5
Features ALPS components are good on this rod but the real star is the Winn Grip which helps set this rod apart from the masses 8.4
Design (Ergonomics) Great overall ergonomics due to the ALPS Tex Touch Triple-Exposed reel seat and the comfortable Winn Grips 8.0
Application Great for spinnerbait fishing and maybe even some light jerkbait work 8

Total Score

7.98
Ratings Key: 1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = unbelievable!
For More Details of the updated rating system visit our explanation here

 

Pluses and Minuses:

Plus

Minus
+ The Winn Grips - Colors can be a little polarizing
+ Quality ALPS components - No lifetime warranty
+ Blank delivers the right action and is durable  
+ A good price for a rod of this quality and enhanced feature-set  
+ Did I mention the Winn Grips?  

 


We like how Castaway wasn't afraid to take chances and create a rod that not only looks different but is very application specific. The Winn Grip implementation really works on the new Invicta Series

 

Conclusion: Castaway is certainly making some more noise now that the company is bringing out higher quality, more feature rich rods, like the new Invicta Series. The new rods are more refined and the use of high end ALPS components combined with those ergonomic friendly Winn grip make for a rod that anglers will be enthusiastic to fish. While the colors may be a little polarizing the ergonomics are not. The ALPS triple exposed reel seat and the tactile Winn grips combine for a rod that just simply feels good in hand. Thus far the grips have held up well and I can also see why they are a worthy choice for inshore fishing as both slime and grime both wash off easily compared to cork or even EVA handle implementations. Castaway has done a quality job on the new Invicta Series, and it is undoubtedly the best rod we have seen from the company to date, delivering both performance and ergonomics in a functional package that will stand out from the rest of your rod arsenal.

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