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LIVE ICAST 2018 COVERAGE from Orlando Florida

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Rod Preview

A Hands on Preview of the new Cumara “Reaction” series moving rods (continued)

It is all about the types of cover: Shimano broke everything into two main categories, hard and soft cover. They went on to describe hard cover as: timber, rock or man-made cover such as boat docks. Here baits trigger more reaction bites in these cover types when they hit or bump the structure. This means the rod must absorb the friction of the bait hitting the objects and recover quickly to keep the bait swimming true. Soft cover is described as Grasses of all shapes sizes and densities. This ushered in a whole new set of challenges when working reaction baits through grasses. The bait must constantly be cleared of grass and you have to be able to rip through the grass to get a bite. These applications cover the most amount of water in the shortest amount of time.

The end of the rods feature the familiar butt cap

Previewing three rods: Shimano has created twelve new rods specifically for reaction bait fishing, seven of them are designed for hard cover and five are devoted to fishing soft cover. We don’t know all the details about the entire lineup but we were able to preview three distinct rods in the lineup. These are the CUC76ML, CUC711MH, and the CUC70H.

Deliberately high sticking the road continues to load nicely

While we haven’t had time to finish a complete analysis prior to ICAST on the new Cumara Reaction Series we did conduct a battery of field tests focused on comparing the rods to both the original Cumara contact rods and other crankbait rods of both the fiberglass and graphite variety. The first thing we tested was the action of these three rods, and in stark contrast to the stiff feel in the original Cumara contact series the new rods exhibit a much more limber parabolic tip, just like you would expect in a crankbait rod. What we didn’t expect was how light and crisp the new Reaction rods still felt even though they were both longer and thicker in diameter than the original series.

The first fish caught on the new series

Of the rods we tested thus far the CUC76ML proved to be an outstanding rod for the Delta and proved excellent for throwing speed traps and other shallow running cranks. This rod is great for precision work in and around vegetation like the Tules that can be found throughout the Delta. The CUC70H on the other hand definitely feels heavier but doesn’t feel sloppy like many other crankbait rods with the same ratings, this is a good all-round crankbait rod for medium to deep running crankbaits like the Bomber Fat Free Shad BD5 and BD6 or even the Megabass Deep-X 200T.

Are you sure these are graphite rods?

But when it came to surprises it was the CUC711MH that impressed me the most, as it proved to be an absolutely phenomenal rod for fishing deep diving crankbaits like the Norman DD22. Typically long lipped deep divers like this requires a full-bodied crankbait rod, and sometimes just after an hour of retrieving the pressure on your wrists and hands starts to take a toll due to both the weight of the rod and the tension on the end of the line. The CUC711MH not only feels light in hand but the tip absorbs just about all the strain of the lure at full dive, and the extra length makes it possible to flat out sling these bigger baits.

The Cumara Reaction Series will be application specific for both hard and soft types of cover and makes use of IM-10 construction with Fuji SIC guides

Conclusion: Shimano’s new Cumara Reaction series rods will undoubtedly be well received by fans of the original series, but the combination of the light weight and proper crankbait rod action are sure to appeal to a much wider audience when they discover just how well these rods perform. Couple that with the fact that some models will retail for even less than the originals starting at $199.99 and going up to $239.99 depending on length and model. Anglers won’t need to make sacrifices in sensitivity or weight with the Cumara Reaction rods as the blanks remain 100% graphite. How Shimano managed to get these type of buttery actions out of graphite is impressive, and it seems the battle within the Crankbait Rod Wars just got a whole lot more interesting. For now we take a break in our testing as we pack our bags and fly east to Orlando Florida where we plan on learning more about the entire lineup of Cumara Reaction rods at ICAST.












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