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Rod Review


The Search For One.. Damiki's Long Anticipated Angel Blade

 

Date: 5/5/10
Tackle type: Rod
Manufacturer: Damiki
Reviewer: Cal






Total Score: 7.5 - GOOD

Introduction: Nearly two years ago at ICAST 2008, we received our introduction to Damiki, a Korean based tackle company ready to make a splash in the North American market with their JDM-esque rod offerings and a dizzying array of baits and other products. But those carefully detailed and appointed rods that caught our eye at ICAST were only one from of a couple of different lines. Their initial rod introduction to the North American market, the Dark Angel rods, were much more conservative and frankly less intriguing than the rods that really held our interest. Trouble is, the Angel Blade rods were being held back in a “wait and see” play to gauge interest in the Damiki product before bringing their top end sticks to the North American market.


The wait is finally over, introducing Damiki's Angel Blade bass rod.

We met up again with Damiki on the very last day of ICAST 2009, and while they had the Angel Blade rods in their booth up for display, much to the dismay of the staff working the booth, there was still no word on plans to officially introduce the sticks to our market. Then, just as we were about to leave the booth, the call came in and it was official, the Angel Blade rods were coming to the United States. Enthusiast mind tricks work afterall and here now, is our review of the Damiki Angel Blade C691MH.

Damiki Angel Blade C691MH Specifications

Length 6'9"
Line Wt. 12-20lb
Lure Wt. 1/4 - 1oz.
Pieces 1
Guides 9 Guides + Tip Top Fuji (SS/SiC)
Power Rating Medium Heavy
Taper Fast
Rod Weight 6.1 oz
MSRP $359.00

 

Impressions: The Angel Blade rods from Damiki are interesting from a couple of perspectives. First of all, the casting rods from this line have purple blanks and dense foam grips. We remarked on this in our ICAST 2008 write up but what self-respecting enthusiast can’t get into a purple blank? The spinning rods on the other hand feature a deep green blank and high grade cork grips. Why the difference? We were not informed, but in either case, both the casting and spinning rods are very well appointed.

 


Damiki appoints their top end stick with JDM-esque styling and slogans like this "Born to Fish" notation on the reel seat.

 

Lab Tests: In the lab, the C691MH racks up very favorably to our 2010 TSFO Baseline rod, the MBR783C GLX2000. Where we see a difference is in the weights of each rod with the Damiki coming in at 6.1 ounces as compared to the GLX2000 at 4.8 ounces. Balance of the Angel Blade is superb at 3.5 inches above the midline of the reel seat resulting in a balancing torque of only 0.14 ftlbs though still slightly more than the GLX2000 at 0.11 ftlbs.

 


Fig 1: This chart illustrates the deflection characteristics of the Damiki Angel Blade C691MH as it relates to our baseline, The Search For One, stick (a GLX2000 MBR783C GLX). As you can see, the yellow curve of the C691MH follows very closely to that of the GLX2000 indicating these sticks share similar power curves.

Component wise, the C691MH features a non-exposed blank reel seat, Fuji SiC guides with stainless steel frames, EVA grips, and what they refer to as a multi-directional layers of graphite in the blank similar to many other rods reviewed to date.

 

Lab Results for Damiki Angel Blade C691MH

Model
Avg RoD (2-32 oz)
Taper
Measured Weight (oz)
Balance Point (inches)
Balancing Torque (ftlbs)
Angel Blade C691MH
1.66
Fast
6.1
3.5
0.14
GLX2000 MBR783C GLX
1.72
Fast
4.8
5
0.11

Field Tests: Our Damiki Angel Blade spent time paired up with two favorites, a Daiwa Steez 103HL and a tuned Shimano Chronarch 101D. Each reel was spooled with either Sunline Shooter Fluorocarbon or Daiwa Samurai Braid (with a fluorocarbon leader).


Taking the C691MH out for a spin and checking out its taper.

Casting/Pitching: The C691MH behaves just as one might expect of a six-foot-nine-inch medium heavy powered rod fished sight unseen, however, its performance was a bit surprising to me. When I played with this stick off the rack at ICAST, I could have sworn the tip was stiffer than this model we were fishing for our All Purpose Rod Shootout. Perhaps the one I sampled was the heavy and not medium heavy, but even upon arrival to our office, the C691MH seemed to have a bit more strength in the tip than I remembered.


The C691MH loads well during a cast

Out on the water, with something tied to the end of the line, the C691MH loads up very nicely and is a predictable caster. If anything the rod’s taper is a bit on the moderate side loading a bit too easily with each cast but we’re splitting hairs here. If you bend the rod’s tip into the ground or against the ceiling, you can see it bends within an acceptable range to be considered “fast”.


Another JDM-esque slogan along the blank of the Angel Blade stick.

The C691MH’s stated rating of one quarter to one full ounce lure weight is fairly accurate though I was able to cast heavier baits like a seven inch Triton Mike Bull Shad with this stick rather easily. Granted, I didn’t make any snappy, overhead casts with this bait tied to the end of the line, but rather I lobbed cast the baits side arm. Casting in this manner can extend the lure weight range of just about any rod although if you’re concerned about warranty, this is probably not a practice to make a habit of doing.


Damiki sources these handsome reel seats from Fuji.


But more than a handful of consumers are likely to be disappointed by the lack of an exposed blank handle. This despite the fact enough rods with and without an exposed blank reel seat to know this feature has no effect on a rod's sensitivity.

Next Section: Sensitivity, Power and Ratings


 

 

 

 

 

 
 





 

 



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