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Enthusiast Review

Capping off Megabass's Trio of Finesse Application Spinning Sticks: The F3-69XS Shabbler (continued)

Features: Nothing too new here. The Shabbler features the standard list of high-end components we've come to expect from Megabass. From its titanium framed SiC guides to the exclusive Ito Stealth Reel Seat, the understated Shabbler is handsomely outfitted even if it is rather understated compared to its higher end siblings. One thing the Shabbler certainly shares common with that of the F3-610DGS and F4ST-69RSDti is the fact that it has no hook keeper.

Smallies are great fun on this stick

As alluded to earlier, the Shabbler is a wonderful stick to use in the pursuit of smallmouth bass, and it is similarly inspiring when battling spotted bass. It is a very well rounded stick for use in open water situations and was particularly adept when fishing jig-headed baits, or the more popular term these days, shakey-head rigs. I favored the F3-610DGS when moving to a split shot rig and probably would favor the F4ST-69RSDti for drop shot techniques had I not broken the tip off that rod during its review period.

The butt cap is simple, but if you look closely, there are some very nice reveals and shadow lines

Another look at the finishing touches of the Shabbler's handle assembly

The Shabbler's handsome thread detailing

: Speaking of broken tips, the Megabass F3-69SX Shabbler, in the United States, comes with a one-year, limited warranty against manufacturer defects. This warranty does not cover user error and is not insurance against accidental breakage. As always, we encourage you to discuss warranty issues with your vendor of choice to clarify any potential concerns you may have. The warranty explained here is coverage provided by Megabass USA for product purchased from them or one of their approved vendors though we should clarify, at this time, Megabass USA is not distributing these or any of the Megabass Destroyer Rods to stores for sale.

The Shabbler is a nice introductory choice to Megabass's baseline Destroyer series

The Shabbler's specifications


F3-69XS Shabbler Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality The rod we tested was impeccable 10
Performance Could use a tad more sensitivity 8.5
Price At the low end for Megabass, but high relative to domestic products 7
Features Standard list of high end components, but still no hook hangar 8.5
Design (Ergonomics) Understated, but still handsomely detailed 8.5
Application A very good shakey head rod 9

Total Score


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Simple in its composition, and really delivers on the water L For those that want insurance with their warranty, MB is not the rod you want to consider
J Typical of Megabass, some of the best components you could want L Affordable for JDM, but quite pricey compared to US market alternatives
J If you're into JDM, the price will not break you  
J Wonderful jighead plastics rod  

Looks like Cal will be hanging onto this rod as well!

Rather than the same rod in varying degrees of evolution, what I came to find in fishing the F3-69XS together with the F3-610DGS and F4ST-69RSDti, is that each of these sticks compliments the other quite nicely. The F4ST-69RSDti, with its extra-fast tip intact, is a very nice stick for drop shot applications. The F3-610DGS is the most well rounded of the three, but its strengths may lie in split shotting. The F3-69XS Shabbler, subject of today's review, is just a half a degree or so more stout than either of the other two sticks at the early stages of loading making it ideal, I feel, for jighead or shakey-head applications. One rod for each of the three most popular light line, finesse applications - take your pick or, like me, take one of each. This trio promises many more happy endings to come.












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