Creature Fever : Demon versus Valiant
Throttling our tests back down, and tying on an 8" Huddleston Deluxe Rainbow Trout, the TKLC-77XXHX makes a fantastic stick in support of this bait. It's right in the Wild Stallion Valiant's wheel house, and the rod's twelve inch handle, while a tad short for big baits, is passable when casting this four ounce soft plastic trout.
... the MS Slammer ...
Likewise, the Super Red Demon handles the 8" Huddleston Deluxe Rainbow with little difficulty. A longer rear handle would be nice, but given this rod's multi-application utility, we can live with it.
Then it was time for standard baits like this Megabass
Casting Standard Baits: On the other end of the spectrum, we tied on the new Vision OneTen FX and Duo Realis's Pencil 110 cigar bait. Most sticks, when matched with a capable reel can cast baits in this weight range (1/2 oz & 3/4 oz respectively), and certainly the LIN reels from Megabass are more than capable. But the real test, after the cast is made, is whether or not you can still work these lighter baits with a stick built for heavier applications. It takes a rod with a pretty special tip to truly handle that diverse of a lure weight range.
... the new Vision Oneten FX ...
So, do these sticks have "it"? Unequivocally, yes. The only drawback is both the Wild Stallion Valiant and Super Red Demon are such big, heavy duty sticks, you'll grow fatigued working rip baits and standard sized walkers for more than an hour at a time. But if you're in a pinch and can only bring one stick? These rods can handle the assignment. I was pleasantly surprised.
... Duo Realis's Pencil 110 ...
... but we found it quite astonishing both sticks can even
fish deep diving cranks like the Megabass Deep Six effectively.
Sensitivity: We tested sensitivity of these two sticks fishing the latest heavy cover fad in California - punching. The setup? One ounce plus tungsten bullet weights, Paycheck baits punch stop, punch hook, punch skirt, and a variety of baits from Damiki's Monster Miki to Missile Bait's D-Bomb to Owner's Yuki Bug and more.
Both these sticks excel at punching.
This is where we appreciated the shorter length of the rear handle as on both sticks, the rear handle is just short enough to get out of the way when working this relative close quarter technique.
The Super Red Demon shares a similar carbon weave pattern in
the blank though not through the rod's entire length.
But it's the subtle little detailing like this that sets
Megabass rods apart.
Back on topic, perhaps more than any other technique, punching requires a stick that can really connect you to your bait because a lot of the hits will come as your bait is falling through the cover beneath the surface and you need to be able to feel that "something different" at the end of your line. Some hits will be felt with that tell tale "tick", but most will not be so distinct and it takes a sensitive rod to really feel that strike. These two sticks excel in this application as well delivering a surprising amount of feel and strike detection through their lengths.
Stallion Valiant's exterior weave travels along the entire length of the
Evergreen uses the controversial Fuji ACS reel seat on this
And though not quite as exquisite as MB, Evergreen knows how
to deliver some flare in their sticks as well.
separates these two contenders