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Rod Review

Finally! Our Take on the Steez Eight Foot Flipping Stick (continued)

Real World Test: Needless to say, we were anxious to get out on the water with this stick, but in reality, with the Swimbait Rod wars going on from about the fall of 2007 to the middle of 2008, finding time on the water for the STZ802HFBA was difficult at best, hence the delay in this writeup.

More of a finesse flipping stick than a broomstick, this is a sample of the type of cover we fished this rod in with no difficulties.

Pitching and Casting: Nevertheless, find time we did and when we finally did find time for this stick on the water, most will be chagrined to find out I paired it up with my Flash reel - a custom painted Shimano Metanium MG7. I could have gone the easy route and mounted a Steez baitcaster or one of my limited edition 2004 Custom TDZ's in red or metallic red, but no, the final decision went to a Shimano reel. 

Cal takes aim at some pilings

And what a pair this combo made with everything from pitching and flipping jigs and Texas rigged Sweet Beavers to roll casting paddletail swimbaits, presentations were precise and accurate with this stick. So much so that soon after fishing this rod, I gave up my two STZ711HFBAs because I knew I was not going to be using them much if at all anymore with their big, eight foot brother around.

Though not what we had hoped, sensitivity is still very good.

Of particular note is how easy this rod is to pitch with despite it's overall length. Because the tip is relatively light, lifting it up to swing your bait out and low to the water is effortless, and because you have that extra length in the rod to begin with, distance is better with pitching presentations as well.

A look at the handle side of this two piece stick.

The top end of the rod slips over the receiving end at the handle like a sleeve.

Sensitivity: Here we are at that area where I felt the STZ711HFBA fell a little short and as much as I'd like to say the STZ802HFBA is better, in reality, it is not. In fact, the two sticks really feel almost identical despite the STZ802HFBA being a two-piece rod. That's good news for fans of the STZ711HFBA, but bad news for those averse to spending $600+ on a flipping stick. Not to say the STZ802HFBA feels dead - nothing could be further from the truth - it is just again, at this price point, the expectations are high and mine simply were not met despite fishing it with 20lb fluorocarbon the majority of the time.

Here, the two pieces are fitted together.

Line up the guides to the reel seat...

Next Section: How about Power?









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