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Enthusiast Tackle : Rod Review


There Can Only Be One, The 2006 TackleTour SuperCast Shootout (continued) : Application - Moving Baits
 

Moving Baits: Now onto the actual determination of what baits felt best on which rods. We threw a wide variety of identical baits on each of these sticks along with a variety of not so identical baits just to get a flavor for each sticks strengths and weaknesses. Represented here, is a summary of actual events.

 

Cal, rigged and ready to go with each of our four 2006 SuperCast Shootout Contenders

 

Shallow Cranks: Our lure of choice, for testing each rod's effectiveness at fishing a shallow running crank is the Luhr Jensen Speedtrap. The Speedtraps listed as an eighth of an ounce in size actually weigh in at a quarter of an ounce. Don't ask me why this is the case! Interestingly enough, the difficulties we experienced during our casting quarter ounce test plugs during our parking lot tests, did not re-materialize with our Speedtraps. This really illustrates the benefits of the internal weighted bearings in many of today's crankbaits. All four of our rods were able to cast this diminutive crank quite easily, but it felt best coming back in the water when tied to our Palms EPGC 664. Our Evergreen and Megabass rods battled it out for second with the Steed, for once, eventually coming out on top thanks to its slightly more forgiving action. The Nories came in last mostly due to the sensitivity issues described earlier.

 

Even the reel seat on our Megabass Elseil is carefully detailed

 

The Elseil features an exposed blank reel seat

 

Diving Cranks: Our baits of choice for this test were the Lucky Craft CB350's and Specialty Tackle Jr. D. Both are small to medium sized cranks that really dive quickly in the water column. We stayed away from the true, deep diving cranks as it was very obvious these rods are not suited for the resistance deep running cranks provide. Fishing these medium diving cranks is the one area where the Nories really shined. This has to be the niche Norio Tanabe was targeting when designing this specific rod as we were easily able to detect movement of our cranks in the water and the relative action of the rod performed wonderfully on those hard charging spotted bass. Of the three remaining rods, the Elseil came in second while the Palms and Evergreen brought up the rear. Each of these three displayed that degree of difficulty you often experience while fishing cranks on graphite rods. That is, I had to fight the rod as well as the lure when cranking deep with these medium sized cranks. This struggle was not to the point where I would not recommend either rod for this technique, rather, it's simply a point of discussion and separation between our four contenders.

 

The front portion of the split rear grip on our Steed features attractive contouring

 

The Evergreen Steed also features an exposed blank reel seat

 

Lipless Cranks: When presented the option of a moving bait with little water resistance (e.g. the Lucky Craft LV-500MAX and the TD Vibration), the rankings quickly flip flopped. The Elseil really shines while fishing lipless cranks. It's extraordinary how fun this rod can be chucking and winding baits like these. The Palms EPGC was a respectable second while the Nories beat out the Evergreen for third place. The Evergreen was a bit overloaded casting the LV-500MAX and therefore, its last place finish in this event.

 

Our Nories HB680M is the second of our import rods to not feature an exposed blank reel seat

 

Our Nories HB680M features a rather eccentric rubber foregrip/lock ring combo that is detailed with the companies log beneath the rubber ridges

 

Jerkbaits: From fast moving baits where action is imparted with the reel, to the same type of bait that relies more on the action of your stick, we tied onto each of our shootout contestants the current leader in TackleTour's unofficial bait of the year contest, Megabass's Vision-X 110 jerkbait. Appropriately enough, racing quickly to the front of the line was our Megabass Elseil. This rod has a certain spring in the tip that is very difficult to describe but is never more apparent when fishing the herky jerky motion of a jerkbait. Matched with the Vision-X 110, and you have almost the perfect combination of rod, reel, and bait. The Palms Edge Pride was almost as springy as the Elseil, and the Evergreeen Steed was a close third for a buttery smooth rebound while tossing this bait. The Nories has all the wrong action, I felt, for fishing this particular bait but felt better with the larger, suspending Lucky Craft Pointer 100SP. We did not fish this last bait on the other three rods as we felt it too heavy in the water for their respective actions.

 

The forward lockring portion of the reelseat on our Palms Edge Pride features attractive detailing to match the winding check at the foregrip/reelseat junction

 

Another look at the detailing at the top of the reel seat and base of the foregrip on our EPGC 664

 

Spinnerbaits: Perhaps my favorite technique, we tossed two different spinnerbaits on all four of our rods: a half ounce size Persuader Pro-Assassinator Clacker Spinnerbait, and a three-quarter ounce Kanji Zen Spinnerbait. Most spinnerbaits provide just a touch more resistance than a lipless crank. The Persuader Clacker can, at times, feel like a crankbait coming through the water, while the Kanji Zen has more of a traditional feel though it too, provides a bit more vibration than normal thanks to its tungsten head. The Elseil, once again proved more than worthy for this purpose with the Nories coming back from the bottom of the pile to take second. The resistance provided by these baits proved the downfall of both the Palms EPGC 664 and the Evergreen Steed who round out the bottom in that order.

 

Moving Baits Rankings

Megabass
Evergreen
Nories
Palms
Shallow Cranks
3
2
4
1
Diving Cranks
2
4
1
3
Lipless Cranks
1
4
3
2
Jerkbaits
1
3
4
2
Spinnerbaits
1
4
2
3
Average Ranking
1.6
3.4
2.8
2.2

 
Moving Baits - Final Thoughts: I was pleased to find a niche where the Nories rod really felt comfortable though it should come as no surprise as the rod is designed for this category. Despite this fact, it came in only third when compared to the other rods. This alone illustrates how hotly contested this shootout has become when a technique specific rod can be beat at its own game by two more general purpose sticks. 

 

Next Section: Application - Plastics, Jigs & Topwater 

 

 

   

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