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Rod Review


Balancing Around AIR : iRod Fishing's IRA704C-H. (continued)

Features: The IRA704C-H is built out with a very good set of standard components. It comes with a Fuji ACS reel seat, Fuji stainless steel framed, small/micro sized Alconite guides, a split rear grip made of Eva, and a customized carbon hood over the reel seat locking mechanism. This rod also comes with a Fuji hook keeper that we've always found odd and clunky, but it is functional nonetheless.


Another look at the handsome detailing at the rod's foregrip.

Features Ratings for iRod AIR IRA704C-H

Grip (1-5)
Guides (1-5)
Reel Seat (1-5)
Hook Keeper (1-5)
Rod Sleeve (1-5)
Total
Possible
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)
4
4
4
3
1
18
25
7.2


The top portion of the split rear grip is sculpted.

Design/Ergonomics: The AIR is iRod's top end series of rods and they're styled as such with a much different aesthetic than the Genesis. It doesn't take much guess work to surmise iRod is targeting the enthusiast crowd with this series of rods.

Lab Results for iRod AIR IRA704C-H

Model
Avg RoD (2-32 oz)
Taper
Measured Weight (oz)
Balance Point (inches)
Balancing Torque (ftlbs)
iRod AIR IRA704C-H
1.28
Fast
4.7
7
0.15
MBR844C GLX
1.48
Fast
4.7
7.5
--

The IRA704C-H features a split rear grip made of Eva foam. Both the top and bottom portion of the grip are sculpted and capped off with a gunmetal colored winding check. The butt end of the rod features a knurled check towards the rear and a compressed cork cap at the end. Styling and aesthetics are certainly a very personal and subjective characteristic, but the proportions and mix of materials and styles on the rear grip of this stick don't quite move my enthusiast meter.


Each end of the split rear grip is finished with a very handsome winding check in gunmetal grey.

Conversely, from the reel seat forward, the IRA704C-H is very clean. The gloss black reel seat together with the carbon weave hood on the seat's locking mechanism accented by the gunmetal checks is a very nice aesthetic. I'd have liked the hook hangar to either be further up the rod or back on the split rear grip so we could actually move the hood beyond the reel seat and view what looks to be a very JDM-like metal transition piece between the reel seat and the blank, but as its built, this potentially inspiring little detail lives in unappreciated obscurity.


But we find the mix of a knurled check and the compressed cork cap at the rear portion of the grip odd.

The color scheme for this rod is very understated and well done. Shades of grey are what you get in the AIR series with green highlight threads on the black thread around the guides, and both green and gold down on the lower third of the rod. The company's logo, rod's model number and specifications are simple clean and unobtrusive located just above the reel seat. There are no "applications for dummies" specifications on this stick and this is a good thing.


Above the visible carbon wrap pattern on the first third of the rod, the IAR704C-H's blank looks pretty standard.

For the function crowd, the IRA704C-H's weight and balance are very good for a 7'-0" heavy powered rod and in fact, slightly better than our baseline MBR844C GLX rod, so if this information is all you really care about, the IRA704C-H stick does not disappoint.

Design & Ergonomics Ratings for iRod AIR IRA704C-H

Grip (1-5)
Colors / Graphics (1-5)
Balance (1-5)
Weight (1-5)
Total
Possible
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)
3
5
4
4
16
20
8.0


Topping off a list of standard components are a set of Fuji Alconite guides (semi-micro).

Application: The IRA704C-H is pretty much your prototypical seven foot, heavy powered stick. On our RoD WRACK it charted out slightly more powerful than our baseline MBR844C GLX and it fished that way too. In a pinch, I wouldn't be afraid to use this stick as an all purpose type rod. You just have to realize it's not going to handle the lighter baits with very much finesse - it's not intended to.


I fished this stick at both Clear Lake ...

Bass Rod Application Ratings for iRod AIR IRA704C-H

Rip/Jerk (1-5)
Steady (1-5)
Lift & Drop (1-5)
Drag (1-5)
Twitch (1-5)
Total
Possible
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)
4
3
5
5
4
21
25
8.2

 

The sweet spot for this rod is going to be jigs, plastics, and even some swimbaits. Looking for a good rod for baits like Zoom's Horny Toad or a Lucky Craft Pointer 128? The IRA704C-H will fit the bill quite effortlessly.

 

Ratings:

iRod AIR IRA704C-H Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality A very clean build save for the one slight misalignment 7.89
Performance They got this part right, the IRA704C-H is a very good performing stick 8.0
Price For a rod obviously targeted at the Enthusiast crowd in both build and blank material, this is a very good price 7.5
Features The components are there, the only thing missing 7.2
Design (Ergonomics) Close, but not quite "enthusiast" level detailing, nevertheless, weight and balance are very very good 8.0
Application About as versatile as you can get with heavy powered rod 8.2

Total Score

7.80
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
+ A nicely balanced stick - I'd like a different hook keeper
+ Good Sensitivity - Aesthetic could use another degree of refinement
+ Fuji components  

  


... and the California Delta and I was pleasantly surprised at its performance.

 

Conclusion: In the end, the IRA704C-H surprised me. This is a very good performing stick with the only thing really missing being that super refined, crispness you get with only a select few rods - most of which retail for far more than the iRod AIR. Matt Newman is determined to build rods with exceptional value using industry standard components and tapers designed from his experience as a tournament professional. But it doesn't end there. He's always looking for ways to improve not just his series of rods overall, but each and every stick. From what we've sampled thus far, he's not really catching AIR, no, his shot is hitting nothing but net.

 

Looking for an iRod AIR? Try Hi's Tackle Box!


 

 

 

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