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Enthusiast Review

What the Finesse No Trigger? Evergreen's Stingray 66 (continued)

Sensitivity: Yuki Kamiya, the designer of this rod, has built a business for himself within Japan of designing and building rods with solid graphite tips for the ultimate light line, finesse fishing sensitivity. This is the fourth such stick I've fished, or really, third and a half. The first was Megabass's Hedgehog Evoluzion, but that stick ran into an unfortunate experience in my rod locker. The second was Phenix's Iron Feather although that rod was built and designed for trout fishing. Daiwa's Megatop rod restored my faith in rods of this design, so what of the Stingray?

... and foam.

I was really surprised at the sensitivity and strike detection ability of Daiwa's Megatop rod, but Evergreen takes it all to another level with the Stingray 66. As one might expect, this rod is surprisingly sensitive but it's not all just about feeling the bite. A lot of what you experience with this rod is a connection where you just know you have a bite. It's hard to explain but it's akin to that "something feels different" or "something doesn't quite feel right" sensation you often get while fishing slow - only it's a lot easier to discern that sensation with this stick.

The reel seat is made by Fuji for Evergreen International.

The other benefit with this rod is just in watching your rod tip. If you're fishing slow, you'll see a lot of the pickups before you even feel them thanks to that flexible tip. You can then reel up any slack to test for the tell tale weight at the end of your line, and set hook to complete the catch!

And it is so very comfortable to hold.

Power: Speaking of setting hook, the Stingray 66 is rated as a medium light powered stick. In baseline G.Loomis speak this means somewhere around a one power casting rod. In recent review speak, the Stingray 66 is slightly less powerful than the Steez STZ610MBXA-SPX Megatop casting rod we reviewed earlier this year.

This stick is a little more flashy than a typical Evergreen and we like it!

What's it all mean? It means the Stingray 66 is great fun to fish as long as you realize it's a tool for light line applications and don't try to horse your catch to the boat. Fished in open water with proper drag settings to compliment your four to six pound test line (the Stingray 66 is actually rated five to ten pound test), this stick is just like using a fun, light powered spinning rod only you have just a little bit more control because you're using a casting setup instead of spinning.

With this stick's pedigree, there was little doubt it would perform well for us.

Application: Much like Daiwa's Steez Megatop rod, the Stingray 66 was designed by Yuki Kamiya for Evergreen International with a specific application in mind - light line finesse fishing. But unlike the Steez Megatop, the Stingray 66's tip has a bit more meat to it meaning it's slightly less flexible allowing you to extend the utility of this stick. Quite by accident, I found this stick really excels with a Pixy SPR attached, tossing miniature plugs! This may not be for what it was designed, but it really casts baits like that really well and the limber tip behaves almost like a fiberglass tip on a composite rod.


Evergreen International's TKDC-66MLBF-Pro Stingray 66 Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Among the finest sticks I've held from Evergreen 9
Performance Wonderful in al three aspects, casting, sensitivity, power 8
Price Thanks to our current exchange rate? Pretty outrageous really. 4
Features Solid graphite tip, carbon weave blank, triggerless reel seat, top end components, the list goes on 9
Design (Ergonomics) That reel seat really makes a difference 8.5
Application If finesse is your game this casting stick does it well and doubles as a really good stick for small cranks 9

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:


+ Really good at strike detection - Until the exchange rate turns around, cost to acquire is really prohibitive
+ Casts light baits well  
+ Really fun stick to fish  


Conclusion: Katsutaka Imae is arguably Japan's most famous bass fisherman. The TKDC-66MLBF-Pro Stingray 66 was designed by Yuki Kamiya and built by Evergreen International to suit K.Imae's needs. With a pedigree like that, there's little doubt the rod will serve the purpose for which it was intended and serve it well.


The Stingray 66's no trigger reel seat results is so very comfortable to hold it's a wonder why more manufacturers are not doing the same.

While the use of solid graphite tips in finesse application rods seems to be on the rise, the kicker for me and what made this rod so interesting to check out wasn't the solid graphite tip, but rather a component that's too often taken for granted - the reel seat. The Stingray 66's no trigger reel seat results is so very comfortable to hold it's a wonder why more manufacturers are not doing the same. It appears it's time to question convention, reverse a trend, and go a little retro with more triggerless designs. For now, we'll settle for awarding Evergreen's Stingray 66 with our Ultimate Enthusiast Award!










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