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Rod Review


Solidly Crafted and a Solid Performer, Falcon Rod's Cara Series...just plain "solid"
 

Date: 5/25/05
Tackle type: Rod
Manufacturer: Falcon
Reviewer: Cal






Total Score: 8.08

Introduction: In January of 2005, we reviewed the Falcon Graphite Rods's crankbait organizer boxes. Since that time, we've acquired one of their very affordable and very popular Cara Series rods to see if the quality and thoughtfulness that they applied to their organizers extends into their more well known and widely popular fishing rods.

 

Falcon Cara CC-5-1610MH Specifications

Material F45 Graphite
Length 6'10"
Pieces One
Grip Grade A Portuguese Cork
Foregrip Length 2"
Reargrip Length 10"
Line Wt. 12 - 25 lbs
Lure Wt. 3/16 - 5/8 oz
Color Satin Black
Guides Fuji Hardloy (8 + tip)
Power Rating Medium Heavy
Action Fast
Rod Weight 4.4 oz
MSRP $130

 

Impressions: The first thought that came to mind when we wielded our Falcon Cara CC-5-1610MH was "solid" ....solid value, solid components, solid construction. From the high grade cork and Fuji Hardloy guides to the exposed reel seat and satin black finish, our Falcon Cara rod wasn't flashy, but, in a word, solid - just what one would come expect from a company with the reputation of Falcon Graphite Rods.



The Falcon Cara is the first Falcon rod we have had an opportunity to look at


Field Tests: Without a reel mounted firmly on the rod, we found our Falcon Cara a bit top heavy, so for our field tests, we pulled out our trusty Shimano Chronarch 101a and found that this 9 ounce reel (with line) balanced the rod out almost perfectly. Our entire combo weighed in at a conservative 13.5 ounces. 


The Falcon Cara features a handsome graphite blank


Casting and Pitching: Falcon's Cara Series CC-5-1610MH is a medium heavy weight rod with a lure rating between 3/16ths to 5/8ths of an ounce. This range is a bit lighter than the industry average of 1/4th to 3/4ths of an ounce, but despite this manufacturer recommended range, our CC-5-1610MH was able to handle lures such as a lipless crank up to three quarters of an ounce with little difficulty. Pitching and casting with this rod is very good given its fast action blank and responsive tip. The rod loads easily and our presentations were right on target each time. We encountered no surprises in our casting and pitching tests of the Falcon Cara.

 

Falcon takes advantage of the industry standard Fuji ECS reel seats to provide exposed blank access on their Falcon Cara Casting rods.


Sensitivity: Falcon employs a proprietary, high modulus graphite material they call F45 in their Cara Series of rods. We found this blank material to offer good sensitivity and responsiveness as we were able to detect even very soft pickups when working finesse jigs pitched into about eight to ten feet of water. Our CC-5-1610MH also did a good job of communicating the vibration of our lipless cranks and spinnerbaits through the length of the rod. While not the most sensitive rod I've fished personally, I still found it quite respectable.


Rated as a fast action rod, our Falcon Cara CC-5-1610MH has a real nice tip that loads easily for both casting and pitching presentations.


Power: Another area of solid performance for our Falcon Cara Rod was power. The fast taper of this rod sets up very quickly, and yet, despite it's lighter than average lure rating, the CC-5-1610MH has the backbone to support its medium heavy rating. Most of our tests with this rod came in reservoirs with flooded timber. Not one time did we feel in danger, after hookset, of getting wrapped around a branch or other obstruction. Now granted, on our tests of the Cara, we weren't fortunate enough to hook into any true hawgs but nothing in the performance we experienced leads us to doubt the abilities of this very capable rod.


Our Falcon Cara Rod was assembled with careful, clean detailing.


Features: Falcon's Cara Series of rods sports a fairly industry standard line of componentry that being Fuji guides and reel seats and high grade cork as well as a very conventional composition of these components. One item we've come to take for granted, the hook keeper, stood out a little bit only because it is mounted on the right side of the rod rather than the left. Those who cast and pitch with their left arm will find this most convenient as the hook keeper is easily accessible to your right hand before and after a cast while those who cast and pitch with their right arms will find it a little awkward having to cross over to both stow and free your bait.


 

The plastic butt cap of our Falcon Cara Rod proudly sports the Falcon logo and the Made in the USA origin statement


Applications: The CC-5-1610MH is touted on Falcon's website as being very popular for light weight jigs and Texas rigged plastics and this holds very true to this rod. We fished these and other baits including weightless plastics, jerkbaits, lipless cranks, and spinnerbaits and while we found it handled everything equally well, our favorite application for this rod during testing seemed to be the light weight finesse jigs. This would make an excellent smallmouth or spotted bass rod.

 

This nice, healthy bass was an inspiring catch thanks to our Falcon Cara CC-5-1610MH


Warranty: Falcon's Cara Series of rods come with a standard, limited lifetime warranty covering defects in workmanship and materials for as long as the original purchaser owns the rod. Damage caused by other factors are not covered under this warranty but they do have an out of warranty replacement policy where they'll sell you a new rod at a reduced price.

 

Ratings:

Falcon Cara CC-5-1610MH Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Well crafted with no blemishes or other defects. 9
Performance While the rod did not blow us away in any one category, it is a solid performer 7
Price Very attractively priced for a rod of this quality 9
Features List of standard features - nothing extraordinary 7.5
Design (Ergonomics) Left handed casters will like the position of the hook keeper. Otherwise, the exposed blank reel seat and standard configuration grip earn solid marks 8
Application A very nice finesse jig rod with excellent all-purpose potential 8

Total Score

8.08


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Attractively Priced L Sometimes, convention can be boring
J Solid Craftsmanship L Anglers who cast and hold the rod with their right hand will find the hook keeper a bit awkward
J Proven Components  
J Finally a hook keeper placed for folks who are left handed!  
J Nice, all purpose rod


Conclusion: Judging from this one particular rod we tested, the Falcon Cara Series of rods are a solid value and an excellent choice for those budget minded anglers or those looking for their first entry into the middle end of the market. This rod specifically, is a good choice for someone looking to an all purpose rig but also a rod that will provide some excitement while fighting your catch. The Falcon Cara CC-5-1610MH is a fraction of a degree lighter than what we've come to know as a medium heavy rod, but also a degree heavier than traditional medium powered rods. We feel it's suited perfectly for smallmouth and spotted bass fishing. While the components and configuration of the rod left me uninspired, there's certainly a place for it in the arsenal of those who value performance over "bling bling". Until next time - keep collecting!



 

 

 

 

 

 
 





 

 



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