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Product Insight

Product Insight: What We Look for in a Fishing Rod... Featuring Batson (continued)

So why the added expense? A rod's blank will perform best and is at its most efficient state when it's just that, a blank. This is where it will be the strongest and most sensitive. Any weight added to the blank hinders performance. This is especially true for any weight added about mid-way up the blank to the tip, exactly where the guides are installed.

The Alps TexTouch graphite reel seat's contours are reminiscent of Fuji ACS but with more spacing, but the dual CNC machined double lockring is what we like. This is a very nice touch and helps keeps reels firmly seated in place

We don't know the rough figures for all insert materials but assuming guides built with the same frame material, we've been told guides with SiC inserts are roughly 15% lighter than those with Alconite inserts. This means a rod built with SiC guides over Alconites will be slightly more efficient. Swap out titanium frames for stainless steel, and you gain another degree of efficiency. So you see, there is a method to the madness and there are reasons beyond hardness and durability of one insert material over the other (both of which are better with SiC over Alconite).

Tighten against each other out in the field for a more secure fitting to your reel.

Generally, rods with SiC inserts retail for over $200, with most going for over $300. This Batson rod features Alps micro guides built with stainless steel frames and Aluminum Oxide inserts. Aluminum Oxide is roughly equivalent to Fuji's Alconite material although slightly less hard (according to a chart published by Batson back in 2005). Using micros is another way to help reduce the overall weight of guides on the rod because they're smaller and therefore lighter. Trouble is, because they're smaller, and sit closer to the blank, if wrapped conventionally and not in a spiral around the blank, you need to use more of them to mitigate against line slap. This rod features 12 guides plus the tip top on a rod that might normally feature 8 - 9 standard sized guides. Is there still a weight benefit then? Hard to say but we usually give manufacturers the benefit of the doubt pending an on the water test.

The back of the TexTouch reel seat features little carbon insert accents that give the rod a more aggressive overall look

Perhaps the most interesting feature of this rod is its reel seat. It's very slim in design with contours somewhat reminiscent of the Fuji ACS design, but different, and with three cutouts instead of just one or two. Two of the three cutouts are adorned with a decorative insert to add a little flare to the rod's detailing.

Under the hood, there's a track on both sides of the reel seat to help guide the lockring mechanism to a true fit.

At the top of the reel seat, Batson has fashioned a locking mechanism with two lockrings instead of one. This enables you to lock the rings against one another mitigating against accidental loosening while battling a fish or during a cast. This simple little addition is our favorite feature of this rod.

The revelation blank features an simple yet elegant satin black finish.

Detailing: Whether one cares to admit it or not, with so many choices in the bass rod landscape, cosmetics are going to play a role in your decision making process. It might be what attracts you to the rod right away, it might be something that grows on you, it might be something to make you say to yourself, "there's no way I'm fishing that stick." Whatever the case may be, we all want a rod we're going to be happy looking at while tempting those little green fish.

Caps on this rod's handle assembly are with plastic winding checks.

Another aspect of detailing is the craftsmanship of the rod - how well is it put together? Unfortunately, with this rod specifically, it's difficult to get into a discussion since it is not a regular retail product, but we have pointed out a couple of things we'd normally critique in the photos accompanying this article. All that's left then, is the rod's finish. These Revelation blanks are finished with an attractive satin black paint.

The test subject rod delivers on many fronts but also can benefit from some refinement as well, these are the things that anglers look for beyond just performance in a high end stick

Next Section: A Revelation?










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