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Rod Review


G.Rods Makes Graphene Affordable with the Game Changer Series (continued)

Design & Ergonomics: As we have experienced with previous GRods the Game Changer is pretty well balanced, but does feel slightly more tip heavy than the Pro Bass Series rods we have tested previously. The rods grips and reel seat feel good when casting and palming and we were really pleased that the company has abandoned the Fuji hook hanger placed right above the rear grip and has gone with a closed loop hanger that is positioned above the foregrip. The new hook hanger is tiny, even too small for large treble hooks or punching hooks, but that is a minor gripe and for the most part it gets the job done, staying out of the way while looking both clean and elegant.

The new hook hanger is tiny, but it works

Throughout the tests the rods Grade A non-slip grips held up really well and the lighter EVA handles stay looking cleaner than traditional black EVA grips. The Game Changer GC-73MH-1C made it easy to cast larger baits including 1oz. jigs and even 1 ½ oz. swimbaits without effort all day long. This rod really likes the heavier stuff and though it can handle baits down to 3/8oz. it felt like overkill, or even a little unwieldy at times, which is why once I started fishing with braided lines on this rod the Daiwa Tatula never came off.

The 1K carbon scrim is used through the entire lower section of the rod

Styling-wise the Game Changer GC-73MH-1C is attractive and I like the rod’s clean and tactical look, though I can’t help but wonder if the rod would look even better, and exhibit a little more distinct personality if just a touch of color, maybe blue for example, was infused into the rod via graphics or tastefully into the winding checks, to help differentiate it further from the very similar looking Pro Bass line. What I really do like are those anodized pewter colored components, which give the rod a gunmetal like styling, very slick!

A look at the one spinning rod in the Game Changer lineup

Price & Applications: A year ago this time it was still difficult to purchase a GRod as the company was just expanding their distribution. That is no longer the case and both the Pro Bass and Game Changer lines are readily available at a variety of retailers and e-tailers, including Tackle Warehouse. The Game Changer GC-73MH-1C is a textbook do it all rod, and while it doesn’t excel at the very light end of the range it certainly can toss lighter plastics when required, and when it comes to confidentially lobbing heavy jigs or launching deep divers and mid-sized swimbaits this rod has the fast action and plenty of power that just gives you confidence to swing hard.

Each Game Changer comes with a labeled rod sleeve, a very nice touch

The best thing about this rod, and all the Game Changers, is the price. The original Pro Bass casting rods retailed for $359-$379 dollars and the Game Changers make graphene much more obtainable with price points from only $189-$249 dollars. While these rods are still priced firmly in the mainstream segment they are priced where many more anglers are going to be willing to give the brand, and innovative graphene material a try.

Over time as I learned what the best applications were for the Game Changer I really started to appreciate how powerful and fun this rod was to fish

As an added plus GRods still bundles each rod with a high quality rod sleeve that is labeled with the model number of the rod, making protecting the rod when storing and transported a little easier.
We have no doubt that the Game Changer GC-73MH-1C will be one of the more popular rods in the lineup, so if you can find one in stock in the near future consider yourself lucky. Other rods worth considering in the lineup are the 7’6” Heavy for flip and pitch work, the shorter 7’ Med Heavy rod which can also handle swimbaits, and the shorter 6’9” Medium rod if you’re looking for a Game Changer that will excel at more finesse applications.


G-Rods Game Changer GC-73MH-1C Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Though more affordable and sporting downgraded components the Game Changer is still built with the quality and attention to detail that we have come to expect from G-Rods 8.5
Performance The Game Changer is a solid performer and our test rod proved that it can handle baits and applications well beyond the rated range. Sensitivity is the one area where there is a noticeable delta, but we still consider this a "sensitive" stick 8
Price While still not a cheap rod by any means the Game Changer does deliver a whole lot of what we like about the graphene based Pro Bass Series, including the rod's great styling, at a price point that will appeal to many more anglers 9
Features The Game Changer still uses a Fuji reel seat and the guides stood up to braid just fine, the bundled rod sleeve is a nice touch 8
Design (Ergonomics) Big improvement in the hook hanger and the biggest area for ergonomic improvement would be if the rod could be made lighter 8
Application Though the bait excels at the heavier side of the bait range it is a good rod choice for a wide range of applications. What surprised me was just how good of a swimbait rod this was in a pinch 8.3

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:


+ A rod that can handle a wide range of applications - Wish it was half an ounce lighter
+ Excels at tossing the big stuff, can cast and work baits well over the lure rating - Sensitivity still good but not as impressive as what we are used to with G.Rods
+ Clean and tactical looking styling and good ergonomics  
+ Components still good for a rod at this price point  
+ Brings graphene to the mainstream  

Conclusion: Is the newest line from GRods really a Game Changer? Perhaps not when you consider how different and unique the Pro Bass Series was when it put graphene on the rod building map, but when it comes to what it means for the company and mainstream anglers looking to jump into graphene then yes, this is a game changer. Is it possible that the company will introduce even more affordable rods and go after the highly contested value market? We certainly wouldn’t put it past the fast growing company and brand. For now the Game Changer Series already makes graphene infused rods much more affordable, and the good news is that anglers are not even sacrificing all that much.

A simpler butt cap finishes this rod than on the Pro Bass Series

The Game Changer Series offers much of what we really like about the original Pro Bass line, and while the rods may not be as refined or as sensitive, they are certainly closer than you might expect from a rod costing a hundred dollars less. Not only do they perform in similarly in many categories to their higher end siblings the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree here, and the new rods look and feel like an extension of the family.

There are some sacrifices that anglers have to make, like a lower modulus blank and non-Fuji guide components, but the effect on overall performance is pretty minimal. These rods leverage graphene well, creating a balanced rod that is both durable and powerful enough to handle big baits and big fish. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the Game Changer GC-73MH-1C for anyone looking for a multi-talented rod, especially if you favor heavier baits and reaction applications.

The Game Changer rod series successfully introduces graphene to a much wider audience with a more aggressive price point, and doesn't require all that many sacrifices

The Game Changer rod looks so good with that Daiwa Tatula SV TWS that even with these tests concluded I still haven’t removed that reel and continue to use the outfit for testing bluegill swimbaits. If you are in the market for a quality mainstream casting rod, or have been curious what GRods and their graphene design is all about, the Game Changer GC-73MH-1C is a great option that will have you slinging without breaking the bank, and is a worthy recipient of our Best Value Award. Who knew that just a few seasons after introducing the world to their premium graphene constructed rods the brand would have an “affordable” offering that hits all the right marks where it counts the most. Game Changer!

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