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Product Insight


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

Ergonomics: The last bit of information needed before making that final decision of whether that stick is going to accompany us out the door is ergonomics. All the power, action, component, craftsmanship, detailing, and finish talk aside, how does that rod feel in your hand? Does it balance to your satisfaction? Does it feel heavy? Light? Is that rear handle going to be long enough or is it too long?

Lab Results for TestSubject

Model
Avg RoD (2-32 oz)
Taper
Measured Weight (oz)
Balance Point (inches)
Balancing Torque (ftlbs)
TestSubject - Batson Revelation Rod
1.86
Fast
4
11
0.24
Kistler Custom Rods KLXBBC70M
2.38
Fast
3.4
8
0.15
G.Loomis NRX 852C JWR
2.01
Xtra-Fast
3.7
8.5
0.15
MBR842C GLX
1.99
Fast
4
8.5
--

This particular rod is 7'2" in length. Its rear handle is only 8" long so we'd expect it to be tip heavy and it is. Balancing out at 11" in front of the centerline of the reel seat, the balancing torque on this rod is 0.24 ftlbs as compared to 0.15 ftlbs for similarly powered and recently the reviewed Kistler KLXBBC70M and G.Loomis NRX852C JWR. Of course, you cannot count on having this data on hand at a tackle store, but you can do a comparative analysis with other rods available in the racks.


Handle alignment with the reel seat is good, but not as precise as some.

 

Next is that short rear handle of 8". This might prove an issue if you favor two handed casts and if you like to lock that handle under your forearm when battling a fish. On the other hand, it's great if you perform most of your casts one handed, or if you're in tight and primarily pitching to your target. But of course, this is a medium powered rod so close quarter pitching should be handled with care.

 


Here's another view of this joint.

  

Conclusion: So if we saw it in a store lined up with other similarly priced sticks, would this rod make it out of the store with us? In the $150 - $170 price range, we'd be comparing this to the likes of Abu Veracity, Daiwa Tatula, Dobyns Savvy, iRod Genesis II, Kistler Rods KLX, Phenix Recon 2, Phenix M1, Powell MAX, St. Croix Rage, and more. It's a pretty crowded landscape and we've fished rods from the majority of the listed lineups.

 


Above are all products we've reviewed and lineups we'd consider in the same target market as our sample rod. These are the products this stick would compete against at the tackle store.

 

Kistler KLX and Daiwa Tatula are tough to beat for crispness of their blanks. Phenix Recon 2 and Daiwa Tatula both have JDM styling cues, and the Recon features guides with SiC inserts. iRod Genesis II and Dobyns Savvy are very good values. St. Croix Rage has a very innovative handle, and everyone knows St. Croix builds very good blanks. Abu Veracity is a very aggressively styled rod, and Powell Max won great acclaim with us when they debuted their bass rods back in 2006. Considering Batson is an OEM source, perhaps some of the components in this rod are in those very same sticks, and if not, certainly in others that share this price point.

 


All in all, even though this is a highly competitive price point the Revelation test rod is pretty much what we'd expect at this price point and a decent showcase for some nice components from Batson/Alps. It is no surprise that so many rod brands leverage the company's high quality components

We had the added benefit of actually fishing this stick, and unless you were fishing a buddy's rod, you wouldn't really get a chance to test the rod in real world conditions before making a purchase. Any revelations (pardon the unintended pun)? Not really. This stick performs pretty much as expected, commensurate with a medium powered rod in its price point probably better suited for moving baits than vertical presentations, but you can certainly fish jigs and soft plastics on this stick in a pinch. But back to the original question. Were this stick available at a tackle shop, is it something we'd buy or recommend lined up with any of the afore mentioned products? Unless I were looking for something off the grid, there are a lot of very well established rod brands that would be higher up on the list. But that is exactly the point, there are many companies out there that specialize in building rods. Batson builds rods, but based on the needs of their customers, their specialty is providing custom rod blanks and component manufacturing.


The Alps TexTouch graphite casting seat with double CNC machined locking nuts is a good example of what innovative component manufacturers like Batson bring to the table for rod builders

This test rod not only does a good job demonstrating what we look for in a "branded" rod, but showcases the kind of high quality components that a company that specializes in supplying components is able to deliver. In my personal view the reel seat is the most exciting part of this rod, as it delivers quality ergonomics and styling that sets itself apart from the masses. For many rod builders the goal is to build a stick that is more than the sum of all its parts, and when it comes to "parts" Batson Enterprises has a complete arsenal of components for rod builders to draw upon. The real "Revelation" is that though you probably have a laundry list of favorite branded rods that you personally draw upon, chances are you have already fished a stick armed with one of Batson's branded components. 

 

 

   

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