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Rod Review

Sneak Up On Your Quarry With The Denali Kovert K863WJ Rod (continued)

Design/Ergonomics: One of my favorite things to pick on in regards to rod ergonomics are the length and comfort of the grip and reel seat. For me, this handle is a perfect length and has a really nice shape. It's the right size to stay out of the way when pitching, but still makes two-handed casting a breeze. The butt also tucks easily under my armpit when working a bottom-contact bait. I am a big fan of the actual butt section as well because of its size and the flared end that adds a bit of extra security on a hard two-handed distance cast. Unfortunately, the lack of an end cap makes for a slightly unfinished look and allows for a higher probability of damage.

The trim rings around the grips are a nice addition.

The PacBay skeleton reel seat features a nice full-sized trigger and a huge portion of blank exposure. It doesn't exactly scream quality, but at this price point it can be easily forgiven. The nagging issue with the reel seat design is the fact that there are a bunch of exposed threads between the seat and foregrip, right where I like to rest my finger(s). It's not as bad as on some other manufacturers' rods, but it would be better if the gap between the reel and foregrip was lessened a bit.

You won't find a butt cap on this stick.

If you prefer tip-heavy rods then you'll love the K843WJ. I was initially very disappointed when picking this stick up. I was immediately drawn to its understated, stealthy looks, but my interest was promptly squashed when I had it in my hand. While the actual weight of the rod isn't too outlandish on paper, the heft combined with a balancing point of ten inches above the reel seat is surely to blame. The 14 guides probably don't help matters, either.                              

Design & Ergonomics Ratings for Denali Kovert K863WJ Casting Rod

Grip (1-5)
Colors / Graphics (1-5)
Balance (1-5)
Weight (1-5)
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)

Generous blank exposure means increased feel, but the portion above the reel hood is simply too long to be very comfortable.

Application: Medium-heavy bass rods can vary a bit in their capabilities depending on the manufacturer and their ratings. Some may exhibit tips that are softer than average lending themselves well to certain reaction baits, while others, like this model, are stiffer throughout for beefier applications. The “WJ” in this model's K843WJ designation indicates it's a worm and jig model, and it's very well suited for these offerings. Do you want a rod that can throw crankbaits or buzzbaits too? If that's the case, get back on tacklewarehouse.com and shop for something else. This is a hardcore worm and jig rod, period. I personally didn't like it very much with anything else.

Bass Rod Application Ratings for Denali Kovert K843WJ Casting Rod



Lift & Drop(1-5)





Rating (=Tot/ Pos*10)











Denali Kovert K863WJ Casting Rod Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Fit and finish is good and the overall look is extremely clean. 7.36
Performance The blank is stouter than expected and performs well but its sensitivity is only average. 8.0
Price The $139 price tag seems fair for what you get, but there is some very strong competition around this price point. 7.5
Features There is a decent set of features but most won't be “wowed” by any of them. 5.6
Design (Ergonomics) Yikes....the weight and balance of this rod are major deterrents. 7.0
Application Denali made this rod for worms and jigs and it fishes them well, but I didn't like using it for anything other than bottom-contact fishing. 6.5

Total Score

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:


+ Stealthy, simple cosmetics - Heavy feeling in hand
+ Clean build - Marginal reel seat comfort
+ Nice handle length and design - Best for strictly bottom-contact fishing
+ Affordable  


Cold weather and big fish on Lake Chickamauga, TN.


Conclusion: At first glance, the Denali Kovert K843WJ looks like a simplistic rod that steers clear of any unnecessary glitz. Although the rod's intimidating appearance immediately snagged my eye, its performance and ergonomics left something to be desired. If the rod's weight and balance improved it would be a solid rod for the coin, but in its current form I can only call it a fair attempt.

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