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Rod Review

CB Rod Wars Part 13: Taking care of business with the Falcon Rods T7 “Deep Runner” (continued)

Retrieve: With a Medium Slow flex the Deep Cranker has the right tip for deep cranking duty. With a DD22 in tow the rod feels confident and easy to maneuver. The rod felt much like other medium-heavy rods until we got a fish on the line. I noticed that I was able to manhandle fish, and they actually felt smaller than they actually were on the end of the line. This rod has a quick tip but loaded up it reveals more backbone than I expected. When it comes to handling fish the Deep Runner is better than the average cranking rod, and doesn’t roll over like some of the other rods we have tested.

Falcon makes use of Fuji Alconite guides

Power: This ability to turn largemouth bass quite easily was further tested when I decided to tie on a jerkbait and fish for a few Delta Stripers. I wasn’t expecting this rod to fish larger deep diving jerkbaits so well and jerking Lucky Craft Pointer 100DD jerkbaits was effortless with the Deep Runner. Usually a Medium Fast flex makes it easier to “pop” jerkbaits but when going deeper to get to larger fish under the schoolies the Deep Runner fits the bill nicely. It didn’t take long to get stripers to chase and when we hooked up I only became further impressed with the sheer strength of this rod.

The Fuji ACS reel seat will appeal to some (like myself) who prefer the more defined finger placement others will find the more angular reel seat distracting

Sensitivity: The F120X graphite used in the Deep Runner is durable but how sensitive is it? For the answer we tied on a Speed Trap and worked the shallow running lure in and out of both rocky structure and timber. We could feel every bump and deflection and could quite easily discern both hard and soft cover. The Falcon Cara T7 is more sensitive than Cara rods of the past and while sensitivity isn’t the most important attribute in a deep cranking rod the proprietary blank and Fuji ACS reel seat pair up nicely for a reasonably sensitive combination.

To test sensitivity we tied on the shallow running Speed Trap and found the proprietary blank to be quite sensitive, we were able to discern different type of structure easily

Ergonomics: Weighing in at 4.7oz. the Deep Runner is slightly lighter than average for a cranking rod of this length. We found the rod was easy to balance out with a wide range of reels and the green threading was enough motivation to pair the rod with the equally green Shimano Curado E5. Together the combo was easy to fish deep cranks and jerkbaits with. Some of our staff didn’t like the sharp edges on the ACS reel seat for cranking but I actually liked it, and much preferred it over totally open proprietary designs.

To test for power I tied on a jerkbait and went to town on some stripers, I found this rod to be one of the best crankbait rods when it comes to controlling hooked fish

Price & Applications: The Falcon Cara T7 Deep Runner retails for $199 dollars and the series has rods that retail from $169 for the mid cranking rod to $219 dollars for the swimbait rod. These are extremely aggressive prices for rods that feature custom build quality with quality Fuji components. These rods are a much better value than some of the competing rods in the Crankbait Rod Wars, especially those that don’t make use of inserts. For anglers that place a value on “Made in the USA” products this rod will get bonus points, and the quality does shine through in the Deep Runner which puts the company’s brilliant build quality on display.  

Cranking deep open water with the Falcon Deep Runner

While the Deep Runner is designed for exactly what its name implies it also doubles as an excellent jerkbait rod. I now routinely use the Deep Runner for both heavy cranking and deep jerking applications and have caught many more stripers up to fourteen pounds with this rod, and have confidence that this rod could turn the heads of fish weighing much more.

A nice Delta Striper courtesy of the Falcon Deep Runner, when it comes to business this rod gives anglers confidence to guide big fish back to the boat


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):

Falcon Cara Reaction "Deep Runner" CCB-5-173DR Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality The Falcon Deep Runner is built with quality Fuji components and the detail to design shows through in the quality epoxy and threading work. Unlike many mass production rods every single guide and component affixed to the blank cleanly and perfectly 9
Performance The more I fished the Falcon Deep Runner the more I liked it. This rod has a great tip and a even more impressive backbone, together this is one fish turning powerhouse 8
Price Retailing at 199 dollars this rod is a great value for a made in the US custom rod 9
Features Nothing flashy here, while the Falcon makes use of quality Fuji components it does so without getting flashy with metal winding checks or a split grip 7
Design (Ergonomics) While it isn't the lightest rod in our Crankbait Rod Wars it is easy to balance out and is easy to cast two handed 8
Application Great for deep cranking for largemouth bass and just as good for fishing longer lipped jerkbaits like the Pointer 100DD 8

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:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Right parabolic action makes it easy to cast and crank even the deepest divers L If you are looking for a flashy custom rod the more traditional look of the Cara T7 may not be swanky enough
J Quality components  
J Plenty of fish turning power  
J Rod really grows on you by performing when it counts  
J Reasonable price and great overall value  


Conclusion: Though I originally thought the rod was nothing much to look at from a cosmetic standpoint, sure it had all the right elements, but it didn’t have anything that really made it stand out from the crowd, I rapidly became a big fan of the rod’s ability to perform under a wide range of situations. With a fish on the line the Falcon Deep Runner gives anglers more confidence than most cranking sticks that you will be able to turn heads and gain the upper hand on bigger and harder fighting fish. The Falcon Cara T7 grows on you, with each and every cast I grew to respect the rod’s self-assured personality. When it comes time to take care of business the Cara Deep Runner has the quality, muscle, and right combination of features to crank the biggest deep divers with rods costing up to 50% more making this rod a worthy recipient of our “Best Value” Award, and marks the first time a Falcon Rod has ever won an award from us.


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