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Enthusiast Tackle : Rod Review


There Can Only Be One, The 2006 TackleTour SuperCast Shootout (continued) : Sensitivity
 

Sensitivity: Onto the water we went and not a moment too soon. For our sensitivity tests, we tied a variety of baits to test different aspects of each rods' ability to transmit information about what's going on in the water into our hands: cranks and spinnerbaits for vibration; Senkos for slack line sensitivity; jigs for bottom contact and composition communication.

 

On deck and ready to go...

 

Some of the baits used during our water tests: TD Vibration (Top Left); Specialty Tackle Jr D (Top Right); 1/8 oz sized Luhr Jensen Speedtrap (Bottom Left); Lucky Craft LV-500MAX (Bottom Right)

 

Moving Baits: We threw a wide variety of moving baits with all four rods. We chose cranks with a wide, unmistakable wobble, like the Lucky Craft LV-500MAX and Specialty Tackle Jr. D, and cranks with a more subtle vibration like the Daiwa TD-Vibration and Luhr Jensen Speedtrap. Additionally, we tied on spinnerbaits with a lot of water resistance like our Persuader American Pro Assassinator Clacker Spinnerbait and some with less like the Kanji Zen Spinnerbait. Our Nories HB680M, a rod built for throwing these exact types of baits, immediately fell to the wayside for its failure to communicate all but the actions of the our deep diving cranks into our hand. The battle, in this category, really came down to the Megabass Elseil and Palms Edge Pride 664. It was neck and neck but having to choose one winner for this category, I'd have to go with the Megabass. Our Evergreen Steed, while very good, still came in a disappointing third.

 

Moving up beyond the carbon butt wrap on our Elseil is an aluminum insert serving as the exposed blank portion of the spit rear grip.

 

The grip portions of the split rear grip on our Megabass Elseil are capped off by attractive winding checks

 

Plastics and Jigs: Things didn't change much for us throwing our slow moving plastics and jigs: the six inch version of the Senko and some three-eighths ounce jigs. Once again, it came down to a battle between the Elseil and EPGC 664. While I liked fishing the Senko better on the Palms, I felt the Elseil had the edge fishing jigs dragged along the bottom. For this reason I'm giving the edge to the Elseil for an ever so slightly more crisp feel when working these slower moving baits. The Evergreen Steed was our third choice with the Nories finishing last again.

 

The exposed blank portion of the split rear grip on our Evergreen Steed features a carbon weave sleeve bearing the "Crossfire" logo

 

Attractive winding checks cap off the hypalon grips of our Evergreen Steed

 

Power: To explain the power performance of our four import rods, we will split our discussion into two categories: actual hooksetting efficiency; and the ability to control a fish once it was hooked. Luckily for us, the spotted bass in one of our local lakes were very cooperative in helping us evaluate these key aspects of our rods. Spotted bass are super aggressive fish and powerful fighters, two characteristics that make for wonderful test subjects when tackle testing.

 

From top to bottom, the live power curve of each of our sticks under a one pound load: Nories, Palms, Elseil, Steed

 

Hooksetting Efficiency: This part of our review most closely relates to our original RoD WRACK evaluation back at the lab. Despite the fact our four import rods seemed to align, power wise, more closely with that of a US domestic market medium powered rod, they all performed flawlessly in this department. We did not lose a single fish on any of our four sticks due to a poor hookset. The rod that felt the most sure was our Megabass Elseil followed closely by the other three. Thanks in part to its weight, the Nories felt very solid and powerful, but we felt the Elseil set up faster when performing the actual sweep to set hook. Coming in third was our Palms rod - which actually felt very similar to the Nories, while the Evergreen Steed was obviously the least powerful of the bunch in this department.

 

Nories makes up for the disappointing butt cap with a very interesting reel seat

 

The back portion of the Nories reel seat features a rubber gasket to ensure a snug fitting reel once locked down

 

Control: This point might have more to do with leverage than actual power in the blank as our two longer sticks came out ahead of our two 6'-6" rods. We felt most in touch with our quarry battling them with the Elseil than we did the Nories, but at the same time, the Nories left little doubt the fish would eventually make it back to the boat. While no doubts entered our minds battling fish with our EPGC 664 or our Evergreen Steed, both the Megabass and Nories rods had just a slight advantage over the other two. The ultimate advantage, again, goes to Megabass.

 

A close-up of the uniquely finished - non-blank thru design of our Palms Edge Pride's reel seat

 

Another look at the Palms Edge Pride reel seat - yes, it really is a non-exposed blank real seat!

 

Sensitivity & Power Rankings

Megabass
Evergreen
Nories
Palms
Moving Baits
1
3
4
2
Stationary Baits
1
3
4
2
Hook Set
1
4
2
3
Control
1
4
2
3
Average Ranking
1
3.5
3
2.5

 

Sensitivity & Power Final Thoughts: I had to go back and forth several times to reassess the sensitivity tests between the Palms and Megabass rods. Everytime I think about how both rods feel in my hand, I figure, the Palms SHOULD be more sensitive, but in the end, the Elseil rises to the top. I will repeat that the two are very close. With regards to our power tests, I'm pretty certain, in the end, the differences that were felt had more to do with the rod's overall length than actual power. Looking at our measurements from the RoD WRACK, there is really little difference between the Nories, Megabass and Palms rods in this department.
 

Next Section: Application - Moving baits 

 

 

   

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