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Rod Review


Shimano launches the new Teramar series of rods, designed to fit angler's specialized needs
 

Date: 10/04/04
Tackle type: Rod
Manufacturer: Shimano
Reviewer: Zander






Total Score: 8.66

Introduction: Shimano continues to introduce rods with specific applications and the new saltwater inshore Teramar rods are an illustrious example. The new Teramar series was created with anglers from three main territories, the Southeast, Southwest, and West Coast. This allows anglers in the respective regions to pick a rod specifically designed for the type of fishing found in their very own backyard.
 

Shimano Teramar West Coast TMC-X76M Specifications

Material TC4 Graphite
Pieces 1
Length 7'6"
Grip Grade A cork
Foregrip length 5.0"
Reargrip length 13.5"
Line Weight 10-20lb
Lure Weight 1/2-1oz
Guides 9 plus the tip
Rating Medium
Color Olive Green
Action Extra Fast
MSRP $129.99


Impressions: Teramar rods look and feel different than just about any rod out there, and TC4 construction is the reason why. TC4 has been employed by Shimano before, and proved itself on the water in the popular Talora saltwater rods. This distinctive graphite has proven to be extremely durable and yet still quite lightweight, making it the idyllic choice for Shimano's new series of inshore saltwater rods.

 

Introducing the new Teramar West Coast rod. Notice the unique TC4 wrap (upper left)


The Teramar rods come in three colors, each for the particular region that the rod is specifically designed for. Blue for Southeast, Grey for Southwest, and Olive green for West Coast. The Southeast and West Coast rods feature TC4 construction while the Southwest rods make use of high modulus TC4 for an extra crisp sensitive feel. We decided the first rod we would test should be a West Coast casting model.

 

The rod sports the matchless TC4 wrap which almost looks like millions of randomly intertwined threads beneath a protective coating. In actuality TC4 is a high modulus construction that features a double horizontal inner layer of dynamic fibers with an inner and outer spiral of graphite. The TC4 used on the West Coast series rods is IM-7 while the South West rods feature IM-8.
 

Complete Test Rig for Shimano Teramar West Coast TMC-X76M

Rod Shimano Teramar TMC-X76M
Reel(s) Shimano Calcutta 250
Line P-Line Spectrex IV 20lb test

 

Real World Test: Shimano has adopted a sharp acronym called "S.A.L.T." which stands for "Shimano Advanced Light Tackle." Their goal is to increase the experience per fish, and catching them on lighter tackle makes the game many times more exciting. We wanted to see just how exciting the new Teramar West Coast rod was for ourselves, and decided to toss an assortment of lures at some coastal rockfish.

 

Fuji new guide concept design helps improve casting ease and distance


Casting: We tested the casting with the Teramar WC (West Coast) by tossing a series of swimbaits and various megabait jigs. What we discovered was that the TMC-X76M bears a rather conservative line and lure weight specification at 10-20 and 1/2-1 respectively. We put on some huge swimbaits and started chucking away with no tribulation. Then we clipped on progressively larger Megabait jigs, and eventually even moved up to 8oz diamond jigs! This rod can cast! Sidearm, overhand catapults, or underhand lofts...the Teramar WC loads up with authority. I felt confident with each cast, and the Teramar proved that it has the flexibility to work well outside the specified range. The butt section of this rod is full-bodied, but the real reason the rod is such a competent
caster is the way that TC4 is wound. The rod may have a thin diameter and feel light, but underneath the graphite spun surface is another layer of graphite always ready to bear the increased burden of  weight. The ability to cast big jigs underhand or slightly to the side with ease, make this rod an excellent choice for party boats where real estate on the rails can often be extremely limited.
 

Quality Fuji alconite guides are used throughout, and the rod is certainly braid capable

Sensitivity: The Teramar WC proved it had the ability to catapult swimbaits and jigs without breaking a sweat, but  how did it fare in terms of refinement? The Teramar WC was put to the test jigging the exact same jigs and swimbaits at the bottom of the ocean floor. Tests began at 50 feet and went all the way to 100 foot depths. We used the same spectra based line as we used in our recent Lamiglas BackBouncer field tests. When jigging metal at 50 feet you can recognize just about every alcove, but at 100 foot depths it became more of a challenge. The rod had more difficulty translating exactly what structure was down there, and thus it was more difficult to avoid snag situations. The same was true when dragging swimbaits, it was tricky distinguishing sandy and hard substructure. In most cases aggressive strikes can be felt with no difficulty. We would have loved to see the Teramar WC come with the same higher modulus IM-8 graphite used on the Southwest series of rods. This would likely result in a slightly stiffer more responsive rod.

The rod uses a Fuji TCS reel seat which is comfortable to hold, and the TC4 based West Coast Teramar delivered reasonable sensitivity when going deep

Power: The TMC-X76M falls right in the middle of the lineup in terms of power specifications on paper, but the same TC4 construction that makes this rod a solid caster also makes it a capable hauler. The Teramar WC arc's cleanly and you won't be afraid to horse big fish to the surface with this rod. The rod feels solid and yet forms a very nice arc when laden with big fish on the end of the line. Fuji guide concept design allows for an even spacing of pressure, and the rod becomes more flexible than you expect when hooked up, allowing you to pump the rod effectively during the fight if you feel so inclined.

An oversized hook hanger makes it easy to stow those big saltwater swimbaits and jigs


During our tests we landed a ton of rockfish and serious slime was getting just about everywhere on the front of our test Whaler. As we were nearing our limit I was lucky enough to hook into a nice Cabezon which decided to save all its fight until it broke the surface. As it thrashed around the surface and JIP went in with the net I made a misstep and in very ungraceful fashion proceeded to fall backwards. In an effort to brace myself I threw my right hand backwards and my right hand up. Consequently the rod went straight up in perhaps the worst example of high-sticking JIP or I had ever seen. To our surprise the Teramar WC bore the additional pressure, and actually catapulted the big cab right to the surface, and as I got back into fighting position JIP successfully heaved the Cab into the boat! The rod had survived, I had survived, and the fish...well, he wasn't so lucky. Ultimately the Teramar WC proved to be quite a powerful performer, capable of muscling in fish from the depths with modest effort.

 

The West Coast trigger rod's genuine Fuji TCS Reel seat held our Calcutta test reel securely, no wobble was experienced even when hauling sizeable rockfish


Price: Shimano rods are known for their value and at a price of 129.99 this rod delivers yet again. The Teramar WC is a great value for anglers looking to pair up their Calcutta's with a worthy rod. The components used on this rod are excellent, and for just over 100 dollars anglers also have the peace of mind of Shimano's excellent warrantee as well (see below). Though the inshore saltwater space is becoming increasingly crowded, few rods can offer such a balance of power, durability, and price. 

An ergonomically shaped Pacific Bay fighting butt graces the bottom of the cork handle

 

Applications: Teramar is all about applications that match your region. Whether you reside on either coast, there is a rod that is going to fit your requirements. When we take a closer look at the West Coast series there are two main categories of rods, the Casting type like we tested, and the jig/bait models for those who enjoy more live bait fishing techniques. The bait models boast heavier line capacities and large black Diamondback™ grips for comfort. These inshore rods offer a variety of models well suited for many applications including swimming plastics, heaving jigs, and putting down bait.

 

The Teramar West Coast rod towed in plenty of Cabezon on our field test, and handled these "bull headed" fish with authority

 

Warranty: Shimano allows anglers two different choices to address damaged or broken Teramar rods in the field. All Teramar rods are guaranteed to perform for life. The first way is to send the rod back to Shimano for evaluation. Send the rod with your dated receipt and a explanation of the problem and Shimano will either replace or repair the rod and pay for the shipping on the return. While this is similar to industry standards Shimano goes above and beyond with a second option, over the counter replacement. Simply take the damaged rod to a participating dealer with your dated receipt and you will walk out of the store with a brand new rod. Rods that are damaged by misuse or accident are not covered under the warranty but they can still be repaired or replaced by Shimano for a nominal fee.


Ratings:

Shimano Teramar West Coast TMC-X76M Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Shimano is building better and better rods, and the new designs like the Teramar West Coast series demonstrate that Shimano has done their homework when it comes time to building a region and application specific offering. The quality of components and construction of TC4 are top notch 9
Performance Performance is excellent in terms of casting and pure lifting, the only area that the rod loses a point in is pure sensitivity. We believe the higher modulus TC4 would yield better results and would have loved to see that employed on our test rod 8
Price This is a great rod offering and at 129.99 it is an exceptional value. There may be rods offering more refinement but the price is at least 60-80 dollars more in cost, and few can match the rod's great durability 9
Features The rod is simple in layout but does make use of advanced TC4 construction and the Fuji Guide Concept design 8
Design (Ergonomics) Overall ergonomics are very good. The extended handle provides additional leverage. No complaints here 9
Application This rod is designed for West Coast anglers and we appreciate it! While anglers in other regions can also appreciate this rod, the attributes are perfect for this area's fishing 9

Total Score

8.66


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Application specific L Not as sensitive as some other graphite rods
J Durable!  
J Quality components  
J Great Price  


Conclusion: Shimano builds the reels that many angler's consider the best there is, and now they are turning heads with their latest rods. Shimano is serious about building a quality rod and the new Teramar Inshore rods are an excellent example of just how far Shimano is willing to go in terms of designing a beautiful region and application specific rod, that performs like a premium rod, but is just a fraction of the cost. While a higher modulus IM-8 graphite offering in all three Teramar series would have been ideal, I still have no problem recommending these rods to any angler looking for a solid coastal rod that will deliver the power and range necessary to handle the wide range of fish found on our coastline, and best of all, the equitable price will allow you to find the perfect matching reel to complete your new inshore combo.


Until next time....Tight Lines!


 

 

 

 

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