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Enthusiast Tackle : Rod Review


There Can Only Be One, The 2006 TackleTour SuperCast Shootout (continued) : Application - Plastics, Jigs & Topwater
 

Plastics, Jigs & Topwater: Moving to the other end of the spectrum, and with the exception of our topwater offerings, we come to the slower, more methodical baits in a bass fisherman's arsenal. Any good, all purpose type stick must have the ability to handle plastics and jigs as well as the baits in our previous section. Topwater abilities are thrown into the equation as an added bonus. So how did our fabulous four hold up against these offerings? Let's find out.

 

Among the baits used in our tests: Megabass Vision-X 110 (Top Left); Persuader American Clacker Spinnerbait (Top Right); KingFisher Hair Jig (Bottom Left); TruTungsten Jig (Bottom Right)

 

Among the plastic baits used in our tests: Roboworm's New Pitchin' Craw (Top Left); GYCB's 6" Senko (Top Right); Zooms Baby Brush Hog (Bottom Left); Reaction Innovation's Sweet Beaver (Bottom Right)

 

Plastics: I can't seem to go through a review these days without using this word, so here goes nothing. There is a PLETHORA of plastic bait offerings in the market today. Enough to fill an all-purpose rod criteria test all by themselves. For our purposes, we fished basically two techniques: weightless worms and Texas rigged worms. For our weightless offering, we leveraged our bin of six inch Senkos. For everything else, we fished Zoom Baby Brushogs, Roboworm Pitchin' Craws, and Reaction Innovations Sweet Beavers. Here, the Palms EPGC 664 rose back to the top followed ever so closely by the Megabass Elseil. The Steed was overloaded by our bait choice and fell to last while the Nories came in third only because it was able to easier handle these baits while casting.

 

One last look at the Elseil's Reel Seat

 

At the base of the Elseil's foregrip is another red winding check accent

 

The top of the Elseil's foregrip is capped off by this rather conservative (by Megabass standards) winding check

 

Jigs: For our jig tests, we used two different three-eighths of an ounce offerings: one, a KingFisher hair jig, and the other, a tungsten jig by Tru-Tungsten. Here, the Elseil felt more suited to our needs than did the Palms with a slight bit more sensitivity both when in contact with the bottom dragging our jig along, and when using snapping the tip of the rod up to bounce the lure along the bottom. The Steed and Nories came in third and fourth respectively: the Steed was just no match for the other two rods while the Nories was just not sensitive enough for this technique.

 

The Evergreen Steed also features an attractive winding check at the base of the foregrip

 

Keeping it simple yet elegant, the foregrip on our Steed is capped off by this chrome-like winding check and yes, that's an aftermarket Fuji hook hangar. We used this device on all four of our shootout rods

 

Among the topwater baits used in our tests: Don Iovoni Splash-It (Top Left); Cavitron Buzzbait (Top Right); Persuader Double Buzzer (Bottom Left); Reaction Innovation's Barely Legal Vixen (Bottom Right)

 

Topwater - Poppers: We went old school here throwing a version of Don Iovoni's Splash-It popper on all four rods. For once, the Steed felt like it was properly matched with lure weight and action. Trouble is, it was up against the EPGC 664 and Elseil who took the first and second spots respectively. These two sticks are just a cut above the other two when it comes to all around use. The Nories, while perfectly capable in this requirement, was out of its comfort zone as compared to the other three rods.

 

The logo and blank color of our Nories HB680M

 

The HB680M's attractive guide wrap detail

 

Topwater - Cigarbaits: Our bait of choice here was the Reaction Innovations Barely Legal Vixen - a half ounce, four inch zara-spook type bait. This bait is so easy to work, no one rod really had an advantage over the other but we did have the most fun throwing it on our Elseil followed closely by the EPGC 664, Nories, and Evergreen.

 

Above the foregrip on our EPGC 664 is displayed the company's logo

 

The conservative guide wrap detail of our EPGC 664

 

Topwater - Buzzbaits: I tied on two different buzzbaits for variety, but ultimately, it came down to the same conclusion: When retrieving a buzzer over barely submerged weedbeds, I like my rod to have some length for leverage, and good backbone for muscling a fish out of cover. The Nories HB680M was the easy selection over any of the other rods. The Elseil was second due to its longer length and, ultimately, further casting distance while the EPGC664 came in third and the Steed, last.

 

Plastics, Jigs & Topwater Rankings

Megabass
Evergreen
Nories
Palms
Plastics
2
4
3
1
Jigs
1
3
4
2
Poppers
2
3
4
1
Cigar Baits
1
4
3
2
Buzzbaits
2
4
1
3
Average Ranking
1.6
3.6
3
1.8

 

Plastics, Jigs, and Topwater Baits - Final Thoughts: The results of this section surprised even me. My impression was that the Palms narrowly edged the Elseil overall, yet, the average ranking does not lie. The Palm's downfall was the buzzbait. Nevertheless, both these sticks clearly outshined the other two and this despite Evergreen's claim that the Steed is best suited for plastics and jigs. Another impressive showing for both the Palms and Megabass rods.

 

Next Section: Revealing the winner 


 

 

 

   

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