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Enthusiast Review


Crank It Up! : Is Megabass's F4.5-711GTA Worthy of its Name? (continued)

Power: Where this stick excels is its power. Thanks to its length and that graphite bottom section, when this rod sets up, it gives you plenty of leverage over the fish and assuming your cranking reel can keep up, you won't be lacking for power with the F4.5-711GTA.

Lab Results for Megabass F4.5-711GTA Ultimate Cranking Rod

Model
Avg RoD (2-32 oz)
Taper
Measured Weight (oz)
Balance Point (inches)
Balancing Torque (ftlbs)
Megabass F4.5-711GTA Ultimate Cranking Rod
2.13
Mod-Fast
6.4
12
0.39
TKLC-73MGX Husky Winder
2.45
X Fast
6.1
9
0.27
Shallow Cranking Avg*
2.59
--
4.8
7.5
0.17
Medium Cranking Avg*
2.21
--
5.2
8.5
0.21
Deep Cranking Avg*
1.80
--
4.9
8.75
0.23
*Averages taken across sample base of 10 or more rods dating back to the Crankbait Rod Wars of 2009.


Fig 1: This chart illustrates the deflection characteristics of Megabass's F4.5-711GTA as compared against the averages from our 2009 Crankbait Rod Wars. You can see by this chart, that the F4.5-711GTA align very well with the curve of our Medium Crankbait rod average making it an excellent candidate for all purpose cranking applications.

Performance Ratings for Megabass F4.5-711GTA Ultimate Cranking Rod

Pitch (1-5)
Cast (1-5)
Sensitivity (1-5)
Hook Set (1-5)
Control (1-5)
Total
Possible
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)
3
5
3
5
5
21
25
8.4

Features: As touched upon earlier, the F4.5-711GTA comes with a split rear grip of cork, has titanium framed SiC guides, and a Fuji ACS reel seat. Typical of most JDM rods, this stick does not come with a hook keeper, but it does come with a very nice rod sleeve. The sleeve is better for long term storage than it is sliding your rod in and out of the rod locker - it's a bit bulky for this.

Features Ratings for Megabass F4.5-711GTA Ultimate Cranking Rod

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
5
4
1
3
17
25
6.8


This stick has excellent hooksetting power.

Design/Ergonomics: From an ergonomics perspective, the rear grip is just long enough for two handed casting with those larger plugs but the rod is a bit tip heavy thanks to its length and thanks to its composite blank construction, the rod is a bit on the heavy side. The Megabass color and graphic aesthetic usually syncs with me pretty well and in the case of the F4.5-711GTA, this tradition continues.

Design & Ergonomics Ratings for Megabass F4.5-711GTA Ultimate Cranking Rod

Grip (1-5)
Colors / Graphics (1-5)
Balance (1-5)
Weight (1-5)
Total
Possible
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)
4
5
3
3
15
20
7.5


Megabass's own Deep Six crank is perfect on this stick.

Application: The F4.5-711GTA is a very technique specific stick so while it scores well in situations for which it was designed, for the purposes of our standardized testing, it's not going to score well in other areas. Basically any moving bait situation where the bait fits within the rod's casting ability, the Ultimate Cranking rod is going to do well. This means not only crankbaits, but big jerkbaits, spinnerbaits, lighter umbrella rigs, and small to medium sized hard bodied swimbaits. Looking for a stick to throw something like the seven inch Triple Trout or six inch Bull Shad? This stick will nail those duties!

Bass Rod Application Ratings for Megabass F4.5-711GTA Ultimate Cranking Rod

Rip/Jerk (1-5)
Steady (1-5)
Lift & Drop (1-5)
Drag (1-5)
Twitch (1-5)
Total
Possible
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)
5
5
2
3
3
18
25
7.2


Don't let the ratings fool you, the F4.5-711GTA can handle this 3 1/4 ounce Lucky Craft SKT Magnum very well and is actually my preferred stick for throwing this bait!

But if you're expecting this stick to help you present and fish soft plastics and jigs, you're going to be disappointed. Now, it might do very well with a bubba-style drop shot rig where you let the tip of the rod do all the work loading up before you reel-set your fish, but pitching jigs and punching weeds is not a strong suit of this rod - nor should anyone expect that to be the case.

 

Ratings:

Megabass F4.5-711GTA Ultimate Cranking Rod Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Megabass continues to impress out of the package 9.47
Performance This stick can handle a lot more than the manufacturer gives it credit for 8.4
Price Thanks to a more relaxed exchange rate, this stick is actually in the realm of affordability - speaking from an Enthusiast's perspective anyway 7
Features When it comes down to it, a pretty standard array of features 6.8
Design (Ergonomics) A bit long and heavy for my tastes, but that's going to be the case with just about every cranking stick near 8' long 7.5
Application Looking for one cranking stick to do it all? This one comes awfully close. 7.2

Total Score

7.73
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
+ Capable of handling a really broad range of moving baits - For me, a bit long and heavy
+ Expensive for a cranking stick but affordable by JDM standards  
+ Composite blank for a good mix of forgiving tip coupled with powerful backbone  

  

Conclusion: Cranking is one of the bread and butter techniques of bass fishing. What bass angler doesn't love throwing cranks and getting that reaction bite? Yet this is hardly one of those techniques where there's a consensus in what makes a good cranking stick. Some will argue fiberglass for its buttery smooth taper and forgiving tip when that fish strikes, others will argue graphite for the best in sensitivity, still others will argue composite for the best of both worlds.

 


Bottom line? The F4.5-711GTA is a little long and heavy for me personally, but if you're looking for a big, long, powerful cranking stick and are all in with Enthusiast level gear, this stick could be your "Ultimate" choice.

 

The last JDM cranking stick we reviewed was Evergreen International's Husky Winder. That stick was scored under a different rating system so the individual category scores are not really comparable though the overall scores, interestingly enough, are. The F4.5-711GTA is a more capable stick over a broader range of baits than the TKLC-73MGX and should, intuitively, score better, and it does. But personally, I still prefer Megabass's older F4-610GT3 over either. I'm just not one for big, long cranking sticks - but that's me. The industry trend is exactly in this direction, so if you're looking for one, big, long, powerful cranking rod to handle a variety of situations and baits, Megabass's F4.5-711GTA just might be the "Ultimate" choice.

 

Looking for the F4.5-711GTA Ultimate Cranking stick from Megabass? Try Hi's Tackle Box!


 

 

 

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