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Enthusiast Review


CB Rod Wars part 18: Megabass's New GTZ Series (continued)

Warranty: Banter exists all over the Internet regarding the warranty or lack-there-of for Megabass rods. Warranty concerns have been a continual battle between Megabass USA and Megabass Japan since official distribution of these rods began in the United States in 2005. To make a long story short, warranty matters are handled differently in Japan than they are here in the States. In Japan, people take responsibility for proper treatment of their gear and do not expect a manufacturer to compensate them for misuse.

The etched aluminum butt cap on our GTZ stick.

Understanding that there was need for some common ground between the practice in Japan and the replacement programs offered by many manufacturers here in the States, Megabass USA has recently negotiated the following practice with Japan.

I again went out of the recommended lure rating tossing this Bull Shad swimbait on the F4-72GTZ, but I really wanted to test this stick during a hot striper bite. My risk was met with quite the reward!

All rods are still covered under a limited one year warranty to the original owner. The customer is requested to inspect each rod upon arrival very closely and report any potential problems within ten days of receipt. If the shipping tube is damaged during transit, do not accept the package or report it immediately to the carrier if the package was left at your door. Megabass USA will accept returns within 10 days of receipt IF the item is unused, contains all original tags, and the original invoice.

Note the fluted detailing on either end of this aluminum sleeve at the split rear grip of the ICBM BGS eliminating the need for separate winding checks.

If you experience a breakage or failure of any sort after the initial ten day inspection period, but within the first twelve months, contact Megabass USA immediately to discuss the issue and begin your warranty claim. You may be requested to send the rod in for inspection. If it is decided that the rod is irreparable, you will be given the opportunity for a one-time replacement for a fee of $150 - $200 depending upon the model of your rod. This cost covers international shipping, handling and importing fees from the factory within Japan to your address.

I'm not done with this rod yet. It goes right back into active duty helping to test the Daiwa Megabass Ito Monoblock Bespoke Topaz!

Megabass USA stresses that Destroyer and Evoluzion rods are designed and built to be used within their specified line and lure rating ranges and are particularly susceptible to failure if used outside of this rated range due to the extreme high modulus of the blank material. The industry standard for top quality graphite rods is 40 ton graphite. The Megabass Hi-10x blank is made of 50 ton graphite. There are those in the industry that state it’s not possible to build a fishing rod blank with anything greater than 40 ton graphite nevertheless Megabass is making this claim, so perhaps this could explain some of the breakage issues we’ve heard from readers and the caution Megabass USA is trying to get across to its customers.

 

In case you were wondering, yes, this stick does actually do well with the baits it was designed to support - crankbaits!

 

Ratings: (We've re-calibrated our ratings standard for 2008 and have included a key at the bottom of the following matrix as a guide):

Lab Results for Megabass F4-72GTZ ICBM BGS Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality A finely crafted stick 9
Performance Excellent moving baits stick 8.5
Price Megabass is never going to score very well here and if the rods are no longer made in Japan, even worse. 4
Features Top end components 8
Design (Ergonomics) Typical Megabass styling cues 8
Application Really good stick for all sorts of moving bait presentations 8

Total Score

7.58
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

J Another new, exotic material blended with the Megabass blank L "Made in Japan" price for a made in unknown product
J Always delivered with top end components  
J Wonderful performance  


Perhaps not quite evil enough for an Ultimate Enthusiast Award, but this stick is more than worthy of this Editor's Choice.

Conclusion: They’ve done it again. Just when my interest in the Megabass product was waning, they come out with a new stick to pique my curiosity and one that fits right into our yearly theme at that. The F4-72GTZ ICBM Biwako Guide Special may not be as versatile as it’s previously reviewed and now discontinued cousin, the Hien Type-S, but it handles what it was designed for even better than that rod. The ICBM BGS’s blank, with the Zylon reinforcement, is reassuringly strong, yet flexible and delivers very good sensitivity. Really, just what I’d expect from a graphite cranking stick. Throw on top of this performance, the prototypical stylings and design of a one, Mr. Yuki Ito, and this stick does well to fuel that enthusiastic smile that addicts so many a consumer seeking inspiration from their gear. The F4-72GTZ ICBM Biwako Guide Special is not quite evil enough for Ultimate Enthusiast Award, but it is certainly one of this Editor’s Choices from our laundry list of Crankbait Rod War participants.


 

 

   

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