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Complete list of all current ICAST 2014 coverage
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Glide Week : Riding the S-Wave!
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Abu Garcia Raises the Speed Bar with their Rocket!
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Daiwa’s Steez EX 100XS offers a Deadly Combination of Both Speed and Precision
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First look inside the new Curado I baitcaster
 


 

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Rod Review

 

The Sticks With an Adjustable Backety Back : Introducing Mattlures Swimbait Rods (continued)

Lab Tests: Our official test specimen is the Mattlures Signature Series 77/711 Heavy Powered Rod. However, we've managed to get our hands on a few other of the standard series rods as well and have put them all on our RoD WRACK for comparison against the data we accumulated during our Swimbait Rod Wars.

Lab Results for Mattlures 77/711 Signature Series Heavy Swimbait Rod

Model
Avg RoD (2-48 oz)
Taper
Measured Weight
Balance Point(xtended/std)
Balancing Torque (ftlbs)(xtended/std)
Mattlures 77/711 Heavy Signature
1.37
Moderate
8.2
8/8.5
0.33/0.41
Mattlures 77/711 XXXHeavy Std
0.49
Moderate
11.7
11/11.5
0.65/0.69
Mattlures 8/810 XXXHeavy Std
0.74
Moderate
11.9
12/14
0.75/0.88
Mattlures 77/711 Medium Heavy Std
1.49
Moderate
8.4
8.5/9.5
0.37/0.45
Dobyns Rods 795ML
1.27
Fast
8.5
5.5
0.20
Okuma GS-C 7111MH
0.87
Mod-Fast
8.9
10.5
--

What we found is the 77/711 Heavy measures out close to the same as that of the Dobyns Rods 795ML (Gen 1), and that both XXXHeavy versions of this rod (the 77/711 and 8/810 lengths) test out heavier than that of the Okuma GS-C 7111MH. While the weight of the 77/711 Heavy is on the heavier side of the rods we fished last year, it balances decently - especially with the handle in extended position. The XXXHeavy versions of this rod, conversely, are among the heaviest we've fished.


Fig. 1 : This RoD Deflection Chart shows the deflection characteristics of the Mattlures 77/711 Signature Series Heavy against the averages from each category in our Swimbait Rod Wars. Also charted here is the Mattlures 8/811 Standard Series XXXHeavy and the Okuma GS-C 7111XH.

Back to the 77/711 Heavy specifically, this rod's deflection curve shows its deflection characteristics fall between the average curves of our finesse and all purpose sticks from the Swimbait Rod Wars. As the load range increases on this rod, the curve begins to merge in with the finesse sticks demonstrating on paper, the more moderate nature of this stick.


The 77/711 Heavy loads easily for every cast.

 


That's because the blank is very forgiving in the tip.

Real World Test: We fished several of the rods from Matt's lineup over the course of nearly half a year on and off mixing in casts with his rods with that of the crankbait rods during our Year of the Crank coverage. The rod we narrowed our focused onto is his Signature Series 7'7"/7'11" (77/711) Heavy Powered rod. We fished several different reels on his series of rods, but we have to say, the Daiwa Pluton matches these sticks perfectly.


The match of Mattlures' SB rods with the Daiwa Pluton was enough to have me fishing with a right hand retrieve reel!

Casting: On my very first outing with the 77/711 Heavy, I tied Matt's prototype hardbait baby bass to the end of the line and tentatively made my first cast. I say tentatively because I was anxious about losing this bait! Well, on that very first swing with the 77/711 Heavy and Daiwa Pluton combo, the prototype bait soared through the air to a distant splash on top of the water. What I discovered is the relatively moderate taper of Matt's rods really translate into effortless casts for distance. 

 
Here's another look at how easily Mattlures' rods load during a cast.

Of course, when you really lay into a cast and the bait sails even further but you better have your reel's casting brakes dialed in because if you don't, the fast start up will result in a monumental overrun - not that I speak from experience!

 
Casting for both distance and accuracy is not an issue with these rods once you grow accustomed to their loading characteristics.

Those tests were conducted, of course, with the handle in full extension mode and while casts can also be made with the handle in retracted position, they are far less effective. The long handle position really gives you the proper leverage to lay into a cast.


From Mattlure's ~5oz hardbait baby bass...

 

In the short handle position, the 77/711 Heavy is a competent pitching rod though it's pretty heavy and tip heavy all at the same time for these types of presentations. Add a big bait plastic at the end of the line, and I'm not sure any rod feels right pitching these types of baits.

 
...to the 6" Huddleston Deluxe Weedless trout...

Next Section: Sensitivity, Power & Features


 

 

 

 

 

 
 





 

 



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