Reels | Rods | Lures | SwimbaitsBFS Lines | Term. Tackle | Tools | Storage | Apparel | Enthusiast | Watercraft | Interviews | Events | Autopsy




Rod Review


Turn That Blank Around : A Rainshadow Wrap for BFS Techniques (continued)

Real World Tests: Back to the matter at hand. When all was said and done, my minimal build on the ETEC73ML-SS came to three point seven ounces (3.7oz). That means roughly two ounces of components, thread, and epoxy. I'm not quite experienced enough to know if that's good or bad, but once the epoxy dried and I had a chance to whip the rod around in the garage, I liked the feel of it. Of course, in the garage is one thing. I needed to take this new build out on the water to see what it could do. For those duties, I matched it up with Abu Garcia's brand new Zenon MG-LTX spooled with some Varivas Nagoles Dead or Alive Ultra Power Finesse X8 and a leader of 6lb Sunline Marboroshi FC.

Paired with the brand new Abu Garcia Zenon MG-LTX spooled with Varivas Nagoles Dead or Alive Ultra Power Finesse x8

Casting: In the polar opposite bass fishing world of big baits, the question with each new casting rod is how high can you go in lure weight before the stick feels overburdened. In the world of bait finesse, the question is how low can you go? But unlike the world of big baits, when fishing finesse applications on casting gear, your choice in reel can greatly affect results. Why? Because not only does the rod's tip have be limber enough to handle light baits, your casting reel's spool has to have a low enough threshold to start spinning in order to present these lighter lures.

Among the baits I used to test the ETES72ML are these micro-spinnerbaits by Lucky Craft - Area's Feather Tuned in 1/8oz size (3.9 grams actual weight)

Depending on what bait you're trying to present, that pairing between rod and reel is critical. Fortunately, when we're talking bass fishing, the sizes and weights do not get too outrageous - at least not for me. The smallest usable lure weight for me is usually no less than an eighth of an ounce total lure weight. For this ETES72ML wrap, that equated to a couple of lures, Lucky Craft's Area's Feather Tuned Micro spinnerbait and a tiny, Bagley Baits squarebill. This new combo handled these baits quite well. The blank's tip loads really nicely and releases that built up energy in predictable fashion.

This tiny, Bagley Baits squarebill weighs 5.8grams (~0.205oz)

Sensitivity: Sensitivity is not usually an issue with light powered rods/blanks, but just the same, I can sense the materials in this blank are top notch. The ETES72ML's feel is very good. While lacking that hyper sensitivity some high end blanks can deliver, the ETES72ML gives you an excellent sense of what's going on at the end of the line. Bite detection was not an issue for me while fishing this build but more so I like that I could feel what my lure was doing.

Fig 1 : The chart above illustrates the deflection characteristics of our
Rainshadow ETES72ML build against the historical averages of similarly powered rods we've tested over the past twenty years

Power: Specified as "medium light" in power, the ETES72ML blank falls right in line with our 20 year average deflection curve of rods we consider ideal in finesse applications for bass. More than that, I really like the blank's tip and how smoothly it loads under the load of a fish. It lines up well for the way I like to drop shot which involves simply lifting the tip when I detect a bite rather than snapping my wrist for a hookset. Once a fish is at the end of the line, as with any finesse tuned rod, it's a matter of playing that fish to the boat and the ETES72ML is great fun in that regard.

The ETES72ML has a really nice tip

Design & Ergonomics: In my limited experience building rods, I found the ETES72ML very easy to build on. The blank's weight and balance out of the shipping tube is typical of what you'd expect. That might sound strange when talking about a blank, but I have experienced one blank that was excessively heavy and unpleasant to build out - simply not what I was expecting when I placed the order. The ETES72ML had none of those difficulties, and, as mentioned earlier, I really like Rainshadow's sand swirl finish on the blank.

Forecast's EVA hood option for the reel seat is a nice touch

This very familiar reel seat design comes in several sizes intended to match the diameter of the blank where you intend to install for a true, exposed blank situation

Lab Results for Rainshadow Eternity ETES72ML

Avg RoD
Measured Weight (oz)
Balance Point (inches)
Balancing Torque (ftlbs)

Rainshadow Eternity ETES72ML

What the Finesse Avg
Medium Pwr Avg

If presentation is of concern, I prefer a winding check of some sort to soften that transition between the grip material and blank. I did not use any checks in this build because I wanted to save weight

I also like the look of a trim ring between that EVA butt and the carbon grip at the end of the rod, but again chose to exclude that from this build to save weight

Price & Applications: MSRP on Rainshadow's ETES72ML blank is $190. The cost of the build, with parts as shown in this article, is detailed in the table below and comes to about $325. Keep in mind that total reflects the cost of parts only and not the time and labor to assemble nor the cost of thread and epoxy to finish the wrap. There are a lot of intangibles involved with building a rod that are difficult to factor into total cost.

An open ended hook keeper is a must for me on a BFS build

A look at the Alps, titanium framed guide with Zirconium insert

Rainshadow Eternity ETES72ML Build Final Build Parts List

Handle Length from Butt to back of Reel Seat 11"
Butt Cap Batson EVABC20
Butt Grip Forecast FCFB2.5-350
Trim Ring against Butt Grip Forecast BWC09 (didn't use)
Trim Ring against Rear Grip Forecast BWC09 (didn't use)
Rear Grip Forecast FCRG3.75-375
Reel Seat Forecast GTB16C-12.0
Reel Seat Hood Forecast HEFG16C-EVA-B
Trim ring at top of Reel Seat Forecast FBWC 11.5
Hook Keeper Alps XDSHKSS-TC
Tip Top Alps Ti/Zirc XTCPPZT06R04.5
Stripper Alps Ti/Zirc TIMXNZG08
Transition Guide #1 Alps Ti/Zirc TIMXNZG07
Transition Guide #1 Alps Ti/Zirc TIPFZG06
Running Guides Alps Ti/Zirc TIPFZG06 (x5)
Build Weight 3.7 oz
Total price for parts (excludes tax, shipping, wrapping thread, epoxy)


The blank itself is of a taper and power very well suited for both vertical and horizontal bait presentations in either a casting or spinning configuration. I find most lighter powered blanks share this versatility, but I feel the tip on the ETES72ML makes it especially versatile. Lastly, they may be out there, but I am not aware of any stock rods that are built on this blank.

Retail pricing on this kit, as spec'd in the table above is $325 (before tax and shipping)


Rainshadow Eternity ETES72ML (blank) Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Nice, straight blank out of the shipping tube free from any blemishes or other inconsistencies along its length 9
Performance Very nice tip on a light powered rod 8
Price On the pricier side of available blanks but in that same neighborhood of the higher end offerings 7
Features Seemingly very good quality of graphite and a smooth, sanded finish 7
Design (Ergonomics) Good weight on the blank and what I expect from "medium light" 7.5
Application Whether you wrap it as a spinning or casting rod, a good choice for light line applications 8

Total Score

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:


+ When I think of a Medium-Light blank, the ETES72ML is what I imagine - Unaware of build rod options
+ Really nice tip  
+ Good Sensitivity  
+ Accurate ratings  

Conclusion: As with any hobby, but especially one that is a creative undertaking, I find the more I immerse myself, the more options and variables I uncover. Batson Enterprises, through its subsidiaries, offers a wide range of blank and component options to suit a variety of angling endeavors. The ETES72ML was my introduction to their Eternity blanks, and it was a very nice introduction.

The ETES72ML was my introduction to Batson's Rainshadow Eternity blanks, and it was a very positive one

The way I see it, a blank doesn't know if it's being wrapped as a casting or spinning stick. There may be some fine intricacies that make a blank more suited for one configuration over the other - namely the way in which that tip behaves. In the case of a casting rod for finesse duties, this is why there are specialty reels to support this technique. Not every casting reel can take the energy from that delicate tip and present an 1/8th ounce or even lighter lure. That's why BFS stands for bait finesse SYSTEM. Reel manufacturers are now responding to the demand. It's only a matter of time before the rods catch up. In the meantime, with available blanks like the ETES72ML, if you're into wrapping or have a favorite custom builder you can lean on, the opportunity is there to get ahead in the game.









Copyright 2000-2024 TackleTour LLC All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy information