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TackleTour Exclusive: On the Water with the New G.Loomis Conquest Rod Series

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Enthusiast Review

 

Check Practicality at the Door : Evergreen's Leopard

Power: Where this rod really shines is in that smooth power curve only a glass rod can deliver. That top half of the rod really shines when a fish takes your bait, and it transitions nicely into a solid backbone with that graphite base at the bottom half of the rod shutting off when you need it to. It's a nice compromise of that buttery soft feel of glass, but with the reassuring power of graphite.


Fig 1 : The chart above illustrates the deflection characteristics of our Evergreen Heracles HCSC-73HG Leopard against
our 2009 Year of the Crank averages.


Checking out the power curve on the water.

Performance Ratings for Evergreen Heracles HCSC-73HG Leopard

Pitch (1-5)
Cast (1-5)
Sensitivity (1-5)
Hook Set (1-5)
Control (1-5)
Total
Possible
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)
3
5
3
4
5
20
25
8.0


Here's where the Leopard separates - right at the handle.


The top half of the rod without the handle.

Features: The HCSC-73HG Leopard comes with a split rear grip of medium grade cork, stainless steel framed SiC guides by Fuji, a Fuji ACS reel seat, no hook keeper, and a rod sleeve that designed more for long term storage than one you can use to protect your pre-rigged rod.

Features Ratings for Evergreen Heracles HCSC-73HG Leopard

Grip (1-5)
Guides (1-5)
Reel Seat (1-5)
Hook Keeper (1-5)
Rod Sleeve (1-5)
Total
Possible
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)
4
4
4
1
3
16
25
6.4


The cork on the rear grip is good, but you can still see a good amount of filler.

Design/Ergonomics: The Leopard's weight is very deceiving because the rod is very well balanced. Coming it at 8.3 ounces for a 7'-3" rod, it's actually on the heavy side until you realize the blank is half glass. However, thanks to a balance point that's only 6.5 inches up from the midline of the reel seat, that weight is well distributed.


Beneath that red paint is the criss-cross weaving of the rod's graphite blank.

Lab Results for Evergreen Heracles HCSC-73HG Leopard

Model
Avg RoD (2-32 oz)
Taper
Measured Weight (oz)
Balance Point (inches)
Balancing Torque (ftlbs)
Evergreen Heracles HCSC-73HG Leopard
1.97
Mod-Fast
8.3
6.5
0.27
Shallow Crank Avg
3.00
--
4.8
5
0.17
Medium Crank Avg
2.30
--
5.2
8.5
0.21
Deep Crank Avg
1.90
--
4.9
8.75
0.23

Otherwise, the rod's cork grip is comfortable if not a little outdated and the rod's colors and graphics are surprisingly bright for Evergreen, but certainly within tasteful boundaries.

Design & Ergonomics Ratings for Evergreen Heracles HCSC-73HG Leopard

Grip (1-5)
Colors / Graphics (1-5)
Balance (1-5)
Weight (1-5)
Total
Possible
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)
3
4
4
3
14
20
7.0


A stick like this inspires enthusiasm.

Application: Brett Hite uses this rod to rip a chatterbait through submerged grass beds. I'd think this rod is a bit too moderate to rip anything through submerged grass, but of course, I'm not a bass pro. Where I think the Leopard is very well suited is for medium to deep running crankbaits, spinnerbaits, lipless cranks, and any other moving bait application you want to throw at it. It's soft, supple casting performance together with its buttery smooth power is very well suited for any treble hooked bait you want to swim back to your position.

Bass Rod Application Ratings for Evergreen Heracles HCSC-73HG Leopard

Rip/Jerk (1-5)
Steady (1-5)
Lift & Drop (1-5)
Drag (1-5)
Twitch (1-5)
Total
Possible
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)
3
5
2
2
3
15
25
6.0


Ratings:

Evergreen Heracles HCSC-73HG Leopard Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Typical Evergreen Quality 8.95
Performance Wonderful casting rod with a buttery smooth power curve 8.0
Price One acronym... JDM 5
Features Only thing missing is a hook keeper, but all JDM rods come without this feature 6.4
Design (Ergonomics) Solid design 7.0
Application Designed as a moving bait rod, the Leopard supports those applications very well 6.0

Total Score

6.89
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
+ Buttery smooth power curve - +$600 for a cranking stick
+ Smooth casting performance - Has to be purchased from Japan
+ Two piece design that's easy to stow and fishes like a one piece  

  


Is a +$600 cranking stick impractical? That's what being an Enthusiast is all about!

 

Conclusion: Fans of JDM sticks and Evergreen International in particular will swear by this rod and it is a very, very nice stick. Unfortunately, even with the favorable exchange rate we're talking over $600 for a cranking rod. That's quite a steep price to pay given the competition from other manufacturers and the choices in cranking sticks out there today. Need a stick like this to complete your JDM collection? We're all for it, but don't expect the masses to understand your enthusiasm.


 

 

 

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