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Rod Review


Seeker Combines Fiberglass and Graphite to form Black Steel
 

Date: 3/07/04
Tackle type: Rod
Manufacturer: Seeker
Reviewer: Zander






Total Score: 8.25

Introduction:
There was a time when as long as the saltwater rod was hard-wearing it was considered a adequate rod. Today advances in both materials and processes available to rod builders has helped usher in an explosion of much more refined saltwater tackle. Seeker has been manufacturing saltwater rods for years, and their Black Steel series of rods have grown in popularity, as well as helped many anglers etch their names in the record books. We take a look at one of these unique Black Steel rods, and see if it lives up to the Seeker motto.… the “Best of the Best.”
 

Seeker Black Steel (G870-7') Specifications

Material Unique Fiberglass & Graphite Blend
Length 7'
Line Weight 15-25 lb
Pieces 1
Power Medium-Heavy
Action Medium-Fast
Grip Type Hypalon
Color Black
MSRP $149.99


Impressions:
The Seeker G870 is no ordinary saltwater rod. When you glance at the rod it looks like a robust fiberglass rod, but under closer inspection the underlying graphite wrap is unmistakable. This rod is in fact a unique combination of both fiberglass and graphite. The rod is predominately black in color, with both blue and gold threading highlights. Overall the rod is alluring in design. One nice detail Seeker incorporates on the rod is a depiction of a species actually placed on the blank, highlighting the particular fish the rod is intended for, our G870 sported  the portrait of a Halibut.

 

Introducing the Seeker Black Steel G870-7' rod

The Technology behind Black Steel: Graphite rods have less flex than pure fiberglass rods, and for this reason have often been frowned upon for heavy saltwater use. When graphite rods reach their maximum flex point the graphite fibers actually fold over, actually snapping, or as described by many anglers in the field as “exploding.” But graphite offers many advantages and can generate action that fiberglass simply cannot. Seeker sought to integrate the benefits of both materials together in what they have dubbed…Black Steel.

Seeker’s composite manufacturing technique uses a amalgamation of graphite and even multiple types of fiberglass. Seeker’s E-Glass is laid in one direction while the graphite is laid in another, producing a counter action that prevents the rod fibers from buckling over. This results in a rod that offers the durability of Fiberglass, and the accurate feel of a graphite rod.

The G870 offers plenty of lifting power, but is not as light or sensitive as a pure graphite rod

 

Field Tests: The best way to test the Black Steel 870 was to pit the rod against Halibut, Sturgeon, and King Salmon. Our test rod endured a full season of fishing. Since we fished the G870 for such a variation of species we coupled the rod up with one of our most vigorous reels, the Daiwa Saltiga.
 

Complete Rig for Seeker Black Steel G870-7' Tests

Rod Seeker G870-7'
Reel Daiwa Saltiga SA20
Line Berkley Trilene Big Game 20lb

 

Black Steel consists of a distinctive blend of E-Fiberglass and graphite within the unique wrap

      

Casting: Seeker E-Glass is considered quite soft and even when paired with graphite the G870 is still a pretty flexible rod. The good news is the rod flexes at all the right points and doesn’t feel stressed even when chucking heavy metal. Of course this rod was designed for deepwater fishing more than continually casting jigs and plugs, but just because the rod wasn’t designed for it doesn’t mean it can’t be done. The Black Steel is just stiff enough to allow anglers the flexibility of using the rod for limited lure tossing, rather than just live bait duty.

 

The G870 uses a genuine Fuji graphite reel seat and a set of perfection tip carbide guides. When paired with our Daiwa Saltiga test reel the seat provided a solid grip, but when fishing anything larger than Kings we still recommend using a reel clamp for added security. 

 

The G870 uses reliable Hypalon grips which are easy to grasp and even easier to clean

  
Sensitivity: The blended blank exhibited sensitivity characteristics similar to fiberglass rods. While subtle strikes and taps were transferred through the entire blank, the rod couldn't compare to pure graphite rods in terms of being able to genuinely feel ticks a hundred feet down. When compared to our fiberglass Fenwick Pacific Supreme test rods the Seeker Black Gold was slightly better, but exhibited a similar personality when it came time to dragging baits on the ocean floor. During our Halibut tests we moved swimbaits across the ocean floor. With graphite rods we could easily distinguish the sandy versus rocky bottoms, and react to strikes quickly. With the Seeker it unquestionably took a lot more concentration, and we often reacted excessively when the swimbait came in contact with structure, as it was much more challenging to discern when the bait was actually being taken.

 

A genuine Fuji graphite reel seat secures our Daiwa Saltiga SA20

  

Retrieve/Power: Graphite delivers more lifting power than fiberglass, and the Black Steel mix delivers the goods when it comes to sheer muscle. When fishing for Sturgeon and Salmon the G870 had plenty of strength to turn and lift these species without ever feeling stressed. The one nice thing about Black Steel is that it recoils much faster than pure fiberglass and while not as fast as pure graphite rods, it didn’t feel sloppy at all. As the rod arches, and you pump your rig higher the rod reassures you with it's brawny backbone. You don't need to worry about snapping this rod via overloading, it can take a profusion of stress...and then some.

 

Perfection carbide guides are slick and quiet, but most importantly can bear the pressure of big fish

 

Comfort: The G870 is a mid weighted rod, and while not overly hefty, is certainly heavier than pure graphite stand up rods. Anglers used to fishing pure fiberglass rods will instantly relate to the G870’s overall size and mass. Seeker offers the Black Steel in a variety of different grips, but the choice of standard hypalon grips for the G870 was a agreeable selection. The rod grip is easy to maintain a solid grasp on even when wet, or wearing gloves, and is a true blessing when it comes time to hosing off scales.

 

The G870 can be used for Halibut, Sturgeon, Salmon, and even small Tuna ...overall a very accommodating rod for multiple species

 

Durability: We have fished the Seeker G870 hard over the last eight months, and the rod has been able to take everything we threw at it. There is a generous amount of epoxy resin and a flex gloss coat over the entire blank surface, and this layer helps shield the rod from potentially harmful nicks and scratches. From jigging and live lining over 100 feet down, or mooching for Kings, and even baiting Sturgeon, the Rod hasn’t shown any signs of injury. The Black Steel series of rods feature attributes that make it a very attractive choice for big fish like Tuna, since you can basically pump and high stick this rod without risk of overloading. Seeker stands behind their product and all Black Steel rods come with a Limited Lifetime Guarantee.
  
Ratings:

Seeker Black Steel (G870-7') Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality The overall construction is excellent and Seeker does an exceptional job blending fiberglass and graphite together while making this rod feel extremely powerful, and just as reliable as any pure glass rod 9
Performance Performance in terms of power and durability are excellent, sensitivity and weight could be improved 8.5
Price A reasonable price for a rod of this quality. There are cheaper rods out there, but don't offer the same level of lifting power that this rod does 8
Features The rod uses good components and has a nice blend of materials but lacks any breakthrough type features, overall a straightforward package 8
Design (Ergonomics) The rod uses high quality Hypalon grips that are comfortable and easy to clean. If the rod could be lightened and still maintain the same durability and lifting power it would be perfect 8
Application Built to handle a wide range of fish and even capable of tackling some smaller Tuna species the Seeker G870 is a good rod to have on board when you just aren't sure exactly what you are going to run into 8

Total Score

8.25


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Awesome lifting power L Not as sensitive as some rods
J Fast recoil L Not as light as some rods
J Durable, and reliable  
J Reasonable price  


Conclusion: Seeker's unique blend of fiberglass and graphite are a successful attempt at improving saltwater rods. Anglers that shy away from graphite rods due to fear of "blowing" them up will find the Black Steel rods offer the same level of durability they expect from glass, with some of the refinement that only graphite can deliver. The G870 is a multi-talented rod that can be used to fish an assortment of species, and while it may not be ideal for anglers who necessitate acute sensitivity from their rods, it will supply the sway necessary to horse immense fish from profound depths.



 

 

 

 

 

 
 





 

 



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