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Rod Review


Evoking the Spirit of A Legendary Creature, Evergreen's Dire Wolf Wild 7


Date: 9/5/22
Tackle Type: Rod
Manufacturer: Evergreen International
Reviewer: Cal

Total Score: 8.08 - GREAT

The search for one fishing rod to handle the needs of almost every application and technique is different for each and every angler. Afterall, not every angler fishes the same methods throughout their day, season, or year. Even so, we're usually talking about techniques like jigs to unweighted soft plastics to spinnerbaits to crankbaits, and so on. You know, conventional applications. For some time now, over in Japan, manufacturers have been producing sticks with a somewhat unusual list of specifications to handle all this and more. These sticks typically measure somewhere around seven feet (7'-0") in length and are built with a lure rating of up to three ounces or so. I like to refer to them as having a "magic spec" because they can handle everything from conventional baits to small swimbaits. 2022 marks the year Evergreen International debuted their latest take on this magic spec. Here's our look at their Inspiraire GTR-C70MHR-SXF Dire Wolf.


Evergreen International Inspiraire GTR-C70MHR-SXF Dire Wolf Specifications

Material Toray T1100G Intermediate Modulus Carbon Fiber
Length 7'-0"
Line Wt. 10-30lb
Lure Wt. 3/8 - 3oz
Pieces One
Guides 9+tip (Hybrid Fuji SS/SiC (stripping & transition)+ Fuji Ti/Torzite (Running & Tip Top)
Rear Handle Length 9.5"
Power Rating Medium Heavy
Taper Regular (Moderate)
Rod Weight 5.7oz
Origin Made in Japan
MSRP 94,600 JPY (~$752)

Introducing Evergreen's Inspiraire GTR-C70MHR-SXF Dire Wolf

Impressions: The Dire Wolf is actually offered in two configurations. There's a cork handle variant with a longer rear handle, the RS, and the subject of today's review, the GT-R, featuring an EVA handle that measures a short, nine and a half inches (9.5"). Both come with a recommended lure rating of three eighths to three full ounces (3/8-3oz). Guides are a hybrid of Fuji SS/SiC at the stripper and transition spots to Fuji Ti/Torzite at the running and tip top positions.


Guides are a hybrid of Fuji SS/SiC at the stripper and transition spots to Fuji Ti/Torzite at the running and tip top positions


For the rod's backbone, the blank, Evergreen International updates a technology they introduced over ten years ago with their Crossfire rods. By using ultra-thin layers of carbon fiber material (one third that of normal) and precisely wrapping and layering them upon one another before baking, the manufacturer is able to produce a spineless blank. Katsutaka Imae, Evergreen Pro and founder of Imakatsu, touts that these blanks enable accurate casting from any motion by eliminating the occasional hiccup experienced when casting with rods that have a pronounced spine.

Paired with a late model prototype ARK Fishing casting reel

Real World Tests: The technique and methodology Evergreen International employs to create the blanks for this rod is rather in depth, but as with any product that comes across our boat deck, the real question is how does all of that translate for us on the water. For the Dire Wolf's tests, I matched it with a variety of reels including a late model prototype of ARK Fishing's new casting reel, a Shimano Metanium MGL, and a Daiwa Zillion SV TW 1000. Line setups were all different braids as a mainline with topshots of either Seaguar's Gold Label FC Leader or Sunline Maboroshi FC Leader in different strengths depending on the technique.

The Dire Wolf easily handles baits within its rated range

Casting: On the subject of lure rating, the Dire Wolf can easily handle baits within its rated range. There are plenty of longer sticks made with a similar rating and are equally adept at casting baits up to three ounces in weight, but somehow, having that capability in a stick of this length is special. Indeed, as touted, accuracy and the ability to deliver your bait unhindered is very good with the Dire Wolf. In fact, it's so easy to place baits with this stick, it often feels like I'm using an old school, six foot, nine inch (6'-9") rod than one that is 7'-0". One might discount a mere three inches in length, but that 6'-9" rod was a very coveted length a decade or two ago for its combination of accurate casting with good length for distance and power. Simply stated, there are no break in periods or second thoughts when casting or pitching with the Dire Wolf. From the very first cast, it's as if I've been using this stick for several years already.

An interesting feature of the Dire Wolf, I found, is the fact it does not come with a cutaway reel seat

Sensitivity: An interesting feature of the Dire Wolf, I found, is the fact it does not come with a cutaway reel seat. This actually is not a big deal because in most instances, cutaway reel seats don't actually give you access to the blank. What you're touching on the underside of the seat is a carbon sleeve installed over the blank designed to disguise the gap between the inside of the reel seat and the blank. Many will assume you won't get as good of a feel for your bait when using a seat of this type when the truth is, there's no difference. Even if you were actually touching the blank, it's not as if those vibrations come down the rod, into that spot beneath the reel seat uninterrupted. There's the entire front section of the reel seat to disrupt the path of those signals. The cutaway seats just look better and are more comfortable to grip.

This spot right here, on any rod, is where the vibrations will be choked off or dampened from traveling down to that phantom "exposed blank" in any cutaway reel seat

What really drives the end result in sensitivity for a fishing rod is that blank and how it is composed. High, low, intermediate modulus graphite with or without a blend of fiberglass or other materials, only the manufacturer really knows what's inside that blank and how it is all put together. The pinnacle for me, with an Evergreen stick was the former TKLC-71MHX Super Stallion. That stick was special and hyper-sensitive. Unfortunately, the Dire Wolf does not have the same electric feel. That's not to say it doesn't have good sensitivity. I was just hoping for Super Stallion like performance simply because it shares a similar spec and sits within the Kaleido hierarchy.

The Dire Wolf is an excellent stick for fishing moving baits in and around cover

Next Section: This Wolf is Best for Moving Baits









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