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Rod Review

Beyond just Bottom Bouncing with the Shimano premium Cumara rod (continued)


Sensitivity: El Salto was a great first test to the Cumara, but because most of the fish I caught was caught with weedless rigged plastics I didn’t feel like I had fully tested the sensitivity of the IM-10 based blank. It stands to reason that the Cumara should be as sensitive if not more than competing rods simply due to the very exposed split reel seat which puts anglers in direct contact with the blank, even in a palmed position. I wanted to get back home and fish a larger variety of baits including jigs and even a drop shot rig with the rod side by side with both the Crucial and GLoomis rods to see how it would match up.


We test the rod with a variety of lines including 20lb Powerpro braid

When I finally made the rounds to Clear Lake and the California Delta I tossed just about every type of plastic bait style I could on the Cumara. The rod proved to be as sensitive as an IMX G.Loomis rod and certainly much more sensitive than the Crucial series.

The Cumara has a very consistent and yet powerful tip

Power: Our Cumara test rod is more designed for finesse applications and the tip shows it with a very crisp feel. I first noticed in Mexico last year how surprisingly powerful this rod was once there was a fish on the line. Over the course of the last eight months the rod has handled a wide rage of fish and even with double digit bass on the line the Cumara seemed up to the challenge. The Cumara looks like it would be too light to muscle monster bass, but looks can be deceiving.

Reels are held in a suspended position over the blank

Even with instant response offered with braided lines I found that I could set this rod aggressively, and the minute the fish were hooked the rod would go to work. One by one the fish at El Salto, Clear Lake, and the Delta all succumbed to the Cumara. The rod has an unexpected amount power to move fish, and even though it has a high modulus blank it doesn’t feel overly stiff.

The Cumara's EVA foam grips and custom reel seat make it easy and comfortable to palm reels

Features: The Cumara boasts a slew of appealing features and we view it as a mélange of the Japanese domestic rods and the sticks built by custom rod houses. The split reel seat gives anglers copious access to the blank, and the foam grips are comfortable and light, yet still durable. The most innovative feature of the rod has to be the stealth insert hook hanger which is a small aluminum cavity on the left side of the handle. This hook hanger allows you to actually unhook plastics with the same hand you pick up your rod with and get to fishing in one quick motion. The hook hanger while great for plastics is not as good for cranks.

Flipping and pitching jigs on the California Delta

Yes we know, this is designed to be a plastics rod, but Shimano did such a good job designing a light yet powerful blank with a quick tip that it can easily pull double duty in a pinch as a light cranking or jerkbait stick. Another problem with the insert is that it is very hard to see in low light conditions. Perhaps a larger cavity would make it easier to get your hook into place in the dark. Another final adjustment could be the addition of a second insert on the right side of the grip allowing anglers to quickly hook their bait in on either side of the rod depending on their preference.

In normal light the Cumara looks dark blue in color

Applications: The Cumara is a great rod for plastics, in that it is very light, sensitive, and comfortable to hold still for very long periods. The shaped EVA foam grips are comfortable and easy to clean. We found the rod handled mono, fluorocarbon, and braided lines with ease. We also established that the rod good for smaller hardbaits as well, and if you need a multi purpose rod the Cumara can step up to the challenge as  long as you stick to smaller baits.

We tried many different reels but nothing felt quite as good as the Core

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