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The Search For One May Very Well Be Over... Evergreen International's Black Raven (continued)


Features: We’ve already touched upon the most notable feature of this stick and that’s Evergreen’s interpretation of the cross weave graphite blank. Aside from that, you can find all top end components on the Black Raven including a full rear grip and foregrip of high grade cork, a NON-exposed blank reel seat, custom graphite trim rings, and of course, Fuji, titanium framed, SiC guides.


... of course, Fuji, titanium framed guides with SiC inserts ...


... and interestingly enough, double footed guides all the way up the rod.

Availability: The Black Raven has been readily available for a year or two but has flown under the radar so to speak in the North American market in favor of its big brother, the Super Stallion (a stick rated for baits up to three ounces). Though it’s been known for the past year or two that Evergreen International has been trying to come over to this market with their entire catalog of product, they’ve not yet made the full commitment.

Let us not forget the subtle yet exquisite details.


The foregrip on the Black Raven is part of the reel seat locking mechanism.

Warranty: Because they are not yet officially in North America, one can assume any stick purchased overseas and shipped for use here in the states is void of warranty. Certainly arrangements can be made with your vendor of choice, but with the exorbitant cost of shipping rods back and forth from here to Japan even just to claim a warranty replacement, it’s best to proceed under the impression that no coverage is provided and to treat your stick with great care.


We've been hearing a lot of rumblings in the industry that most all the JDM sticks we're all so fond of come out of a particular factory in China. This stick, however, proudly claims "Made in Japan".


Ratings: (We've re-calibrated our ratings standard for 2008 and have included a key at the bottom of the following matrix as a guide):

Evergreen International TKLC-66MH Black Raven Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality A top end stick in every respect 9
Performance It's as if the rod is an extension of your arm 10
Price To those with an affinity for high end gear, cost knows no boundaries, but on a more objective playing field, this is one expensive stick 5
Features Top end components but no blank through reel seat 7.5
Design (Ergonomics) Though it's a full rear grip and foregrip handle assembly, Evergreen pulls it off without making the rod feel boring or conservative. 8
Application If you like the G.Loomis MBR783C GLX, this stick is all that and more 9.5

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:


J Balance is the key making this stick feel light as a feather. L Thought the non-exposed blank reel seat has no impact on this stick's sensitivity, ergonomically a blank through reel seat is smaller making it easier and more comfortable to grip.
J 6'6" length equals precision casting. L In this economy, the Black Raven is tough to afford.
J Enough subtle detailing to keep even a full grip design interesting. L And if that weren't bad enough, can you really only have one? This stick is so addicting you may want two or more!
J Evergreen's interpretation of the crossweave graphite wrap layer is a winner.  


Conclusion: All good things must come to an end, and in this case, I’m referring to my fishing time with the Black Raven. Finally a stick from this Japanese manufacturing giant that I can truly appreciate and one that also happens to be readily available. So fine is the performance of this stick, I almost completed this entire review without touching upon a rather odd design characteristic and that’s the fact the Black Raven comes with a non-exposed blank reel seat. In fact, in an era where less is more in rod design, the Black Raven is really quite conventional. Normally, I’d be chastising the rod company for making such a boring looking rod only one thing, the Black Raven is anything but boring.

My search for that one stick out of Evergreen International's lineup to really define their reputation is over - the Black Raven is what an enthusiast level rod is all about.

Look closely at the rod and you can appreciate the attention to fine details. Place the rod in your hand and wave it around and you would swear it’s an extension of your arm. No energy is wasted in sloppy reverberation in the rod’s tip, and the stick is balanced to the point of feeling a full power less than its actual capability. THIS is what an enthusiast level rod is all about and if you don’t already have one, I’d suggest looking into it very quickly before the Black Raven goes the way of the Dengeki and leaves you wondering with “oh what could have been.” Congratulations Evergreen International for restoring my faith and for ending my search for that one stick in your lineup that defines your reputation.










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