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A Cranky Finesse Stick With Power: The Megabass F3 1/2-65GTC Hien Type-S (continued)

Power: Before strapping the F3 1/2-65GTC Hien Type-S up on our RoD WRACK I took the rod out on a trip to the California Delta. I figured, based on the rod's ratings and its feeling in my hand, I pretty much knew what this rod was all about. It felt, really, like my G.Loomis MBR782C GLX with just a tad more backbone, and of course, spiral wrapped guides and the whole split rear grip design.

A closeup of the titanium framed SiC guides on the Hien Type-S


On this trip, I was directing the boat along a shallow flat fishing in and around clumps of underwater weed. In the Delta, when fishing an area like this, I love throwing a shallow running crank like the Luhr Jensen Speed Trap. The bass use these weed clusters as cover and as a result, ambush points are all around. You can cover a lot of ground with a shallow crank or even a spinnerbait, so this was the perfect opportunity to test out the Hien Type-S. I tied a shad colored eighth-ounce Speed Trap to the end of my line and cast away. The thing about the Delta is, sometimes, even though you're targeting largemouth bass, you're never really sure what you might take your bait.

The Hien Type-S features an attractive, if not understated, thread wrap pattern.

For some reason, this very thought entered my mind on the very first cast I made with this stick. I dismissed it quickly and as I worked the SpeedTrap pass one clump of weeds I saw a big white flash in the water and my rod immediately doubled over! My premonition came true and I knew instantly what was at the end of my line. My heart raced. Here I was using a teeny tiny 50-sized round reel with maybe 80 yards worth of 12lb test on it mounted on a stick designed pretty much for finesse fishing and what was pulling at the other end of my line? You got it, a STRIPER!

Another look at the unique finish on this reel seat


Now, if I was smart, or even thinking any bit at all, I'd have used the trolling motor to chase down this fish, or jumped to the back of the boat and had my buddy jump on the trolling motor to steer the boat around. I did neither. Instead, I yelled out the requisite expletives and held on for dear life. Keep in mind, all these thoughts, expletives, and experiences raced through my mind within the first second the fish took my bait.

Why is that cork so shiny? I couldn't bear to take the plastic wrap off. I love the look of cork when it's new, but really do not like the way it wears.

Then, just as I was wondering and worried that I was about to be spooled, I noticed the Hien Type-S was indeed doubled over, but it was not over taxed. In fact, as I pulled back, I actually had some control. I got the fish to turn its head and even with the measly drag on my Conquest 51, I started to gain some ground. The next thing I knew, the fish was along side the boat, netted, and it was picture time!

I thought I was going to get spooled for sure, but the Hien Type-S had plenty of power to subdue this crazy 4lb Striped Bass from the California Delta


The fish at the end of the line turned out to only be a four pounder, nevertheless, a four pound striper is a hard fighting fish - especially on light tackle! What the Hien Type-S revealed to me on that very first catch was a rod with a true finesse feel, but with plenty of backbone to handle just about anything you might hook into. It has a surprising amount of power for a rod with such a light tip.

The Hien Type-S features the familiar Ito Head Locking System

Features: We've gone over the majority of features already from the split rear grip to the available color options on the reel seat to the spiral wrapped titanium framed SiC guides (by Fuji). Standard also is the Ito headlocking system which is basically a foregrip integrated into the lockring on the reel seat so you get the foregrip look without it actually touching the blank and blocking the transmission of vibrations to your hand. The Hien Type-S is typical of other feature laden Megabass rods.

One of my favorite features on this rod - I love this detail.


Application: This rod demonstrated to me on that very first trip how wonderful a small cranking stick it can be. Nice soft tip with plenty of backbone to both set hook and subdue your catch. What more could you want in a rod designed for moving baits? Matched with the Conquest 51, I am hard pressed to think of another combination I like more for baits like the Speed Trap.

Worth the effort? The small bit of exposed blank on the split rear grip of the Hien Type-S


But that's not all this stick is about. The original Hien, in the Destroyer lineup, was a finesse plastics rod, and while I have not held let alone fished that stick, I couldn't help but think this rod might share some of those same characteristics. It would certainly be easier if I had the original to make a viable comparison, but failing that, I mounted the afore mentioned Pixzilla on this stick and put it through the paces as a finesse plastics rod fishing shakey head and spitshot rigs.

One last look


Let me tell you, it shined in those applications. In fact, as I mentioned earlier, instead of a cranking stick, the Hien Type-S has become my go to rod for shakey head presentations. I used it on several trips up at Clear Lake, California fishing in and around the docks and not once was I disappointed by the rod's sensitivity or power in being able to work those largemouth out from beneath the docks and around the pilings. This is a surprisingly versatile stick.


Megabass F3 1/2-65GTC Hien Type-S Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality This is getting to be a broken record, but another fine piece from Megabass 10
Performance I can't think of anything more that I wanted out of this rod, but I wasn't quite WOWED 9.5
Price It's a Megabass, what more can we say? 7
Features Standard for Megabass is high end for most 9
Design (Ergonomics) You either love it or hate it. The grip design has all sorts of colors and textures, but somehow, when you hold it in hand, it works. 9
Application This stick did everything I asked it to 10

Total Score


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Surprising Power L I'd prefer hypalon/eva to match the foregrip and butt
J Excellent Versatility L Zander can't stand the spiral wrap ;)
J Very Good Sensitivity  
J Did I mention surprising power?  

Crank it or finesse? The Hien Type-S is worthy of either and fun for both.


Conclusion: When I purchased my F3 1/2-65GTC, all I was really hoping for was a nice, light action cranking stick. I certainly didn't NEED it. The faux-jade reel seat was the real clincher, for as awkward and out of place as it may seem, it's something I had come to miss since selling off my F6-69X Super Destroyer III. What I did not expect was the discovery at how truly versatile and powerful this stick is. Then again, that's why we love graphite so much in general for our fishing rods is because of the versatility the material affords us in a variety applications. Simply put, I really like this stick! At the same time, there's some indeterminable factor that holds me back from proclaiming it worthy of an award. Maybe for the fact this was my fifteenth different Megabass rod and I've become numb to their effect. Maybe because the rod I really wanted (the F4-67GTC Kaede) changed from what was listed in the print catalog to something else during production. Maybe because it's rated as a fast action rod, but really fishes more like an extra fast. Perhaps the reason for this rating is, it's the same blank as the Hien GTC (or even original Destroyer Hien) but simply trimmed at the back to make it shorter. Whatever the case may be, as wonderful as this stick is, I can't help but feel there's just something missing. I don't quite know what it is, but I know one way to find out. I'll just have to make the sacrifice of keeping it in my rod locker and continue using it until I figure it out!











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