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Rod Review

CB Rod Wars Part 12: The Cumara Reaction Rods up the ante for Shimano (continued)


Power: The Cumara rods are not the most powerful cranking rods and are more like a precision weapon rather than an overpowering one. When bass get hooked the CUC711MH and CUC70H load up quickly giving you confidence to bring fish quickly back to the boat. The CUC76ML behaved differently in our tests and when it loaded up it just kept loading to the point I was wondering if it was going to have enough backbone to handle larger fish, sure enough it was able to handle bass but while I would be comfortable fishing for stripers with either of the other two rods the CUC76ML is just a bit too light.


The Core 100Mg matches the rod in appearance to create a stealthy looking lightweight rig


Ergonomics: The Cumara is among the lightest crankbait rods on the market and manages to weigh less than even the ultralight Steez by shaving off weight with the custom reel seat. In terms of ergonomics the Steez does feel more comfortable in hand with the sculpted Air-Beam seat over the very exposed proprietary reel seat on the Cumara. When cranking the round blank focuses more pressure right on your fingers with the Cumara than some other reel seats that distribute the pressure over a wider surface. While sensitivity is improved through this implementation a little comfort is sacrificed. This was never noticed with the original series as contact fishing plastics doesnít put that constant pressure on your hands. This is alleviated when palming reels and retrieving as a few fingers are used to hold the hold while cranking.


The Curado E5 also pairs nicely with the Cumara Reaction rods for a more affordable combo


Overall ergonomics of the rod are otherwise excellent and when paired with one of the Core reels the Cumara feels (and looks) like a perfect match. The rod feels like an extension of your arm while casting and retrieving, making it easy to fish this rod all day long.


The butt features a aluminum insert


Price & Applications: The Cumara Reaction Series rods retail for $199.99 to $239.99 dollars which is a good price for a rod of this build quality and attributes. Shimano continues to move right up to the near premium price point and while there are a lot of competitors in the space few can offer the total value proposition with the Cumara. The rods come backed with a limited lifetime warranty that includes over the counter replacement, a big advantage as Shimano has a very robust dealer network.


Loaded up at Clear Lake


Each Cumara rod is designed for a specific application but like we found in our tests these are multi-talented rods that can be used for a variety of different crankbaits, wirebaits, and even ripbaits. These rods fish like rods that cost up to 30% more and deliver plenty of performance for a reasonable price. While other rods in the 250-450 dollar price range are much flashier and offer more enthusiast appeal the Cumara fishes just as good as many of them. In terms of availability the Cumara rods are slightly delayed and should have hit the market this month. They are in mass production now and should hit retail and e-tail stores in the next few weeks.


While I started out liking the individual performance characteristics of all three Cumara Reaction rods it was the CUC70H that really shone through as an excellent all round cranking machine


Like the previous Cumara series this is a rod that many Shimano reel fans should be proud to pair with their higher end baitcasters. The Cumara Reaction Series answers the question if Shimano can build a high end moving rod series, and we hope the company doesnít stop there and brings out an even more premium series in the future.


Ratings: (We've re-calibrated our ratings standard for 2008 and have included a key at the bottom of the following matrix as a guide):

Shimano Cumara Reaction Series CUC70H Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality The Cumara is built with excellent materials from the blank to the Fuji SiC guides 8
Performance The performance of this rod is very good in just about every category, the Cumara rods don't feel like glass but have the right forgiving action with a fish on the line and a crisp refined overall feel 8.5
Price The Cumara Reaction rods actually come right in the middle of the pack when it comes to price and overall the 200-239 dollar price point is very reasonable especially when these rods come with a over the counter lifetime warranty 8
Features Nothing too flashy here, and while some other cranking rods have more enthusiast appeal the Cumara rods are clean, simple and stealthy looking. Top features are the overall light weight, split grip and proprietary reel seat 8
Design (Ergonomics) While the proprietary reel seat was a big plus on the original it is somewhat of a mixed blessing on the Reaction Series. It isn't as comfortable for heavy cranking as a more traditional real seat but you do get improved sensitivity. What is more important to you? Overall the rod is so light that it feels like an extension of your arm even when fishing all day 8
Application While all of the Cumara rods are application specific the CUC70H proved to be a very well rounded performer. This rod can do a whole lot more than just tow cranks 9

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:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Extremely light and crisp feel, successfully duplicates the right parabolic action without feeling sloppy L Reel seat can put more pressure in a single part of your hand than traditional reel seats when cranking hard
J Feels very precise and when paired with the Core series looks and feels like a perfect match  
J The CUC70H is extremely balanced and proves to be very multi-talented  
J Excellent sensitivity  
J Reasonable price  


Conclusion: Shimano wanted to find a way to get reaction style actions out of crisp high modulus carbon fishing rods and they succeeded. The Cumara Reaction Series rods are not flashy, or even revolutionary looking, if anything they are understated and almost stealthy in appearance. Bolt on a Core 50Mg and the rod is so dark colored and lightweight that you almost feel like you are fishing with nothing at all, a pure extension of your arm. In these respects the Cumara is among the most responsive and crisp feeling crankbait rods in the entire spectrum of test subjects in our crankbait rod wars. While each of the three rods we tested had their merits it was the CUC70H that really stood out as an exceptional all round performer. This rod is great for soft cover and can be used to fish large lipless cranks, medium sized divers and surprised us how well it fished both ripbaits and even the deep diving Norman 22, and letís not forget that it is actually a very good buzzbait or popper rod too. While we can comfortably recommend any of the three rods we tested and the Cumara Reaction Series as a whole it is the CUC70H that walks away with an Editorís Choice Award. If you really prefer a slightly lighter rod and primarily fish ripbaits the CUC70MH will be the right choice, but when it comes to being able to toss both the medium diving as well as the big stuff with a single rod the CUC70H absolutely rocks.


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