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Rod Review

The Search for One… Scary attention to detail, Zombie’s X-Heavy Pitching Rod (continued)


Ergonomics: Ergonomically the rod is balanced and the reel seat felt good in hand and the EVA grips were both comfortable and held up well through testing. The foam is dense and has a less porous feel than some of the rods I have tested from other brands but is also more subject to compression. After shipping the rods to Falcon Lake for testing the reel seat from another rod left a depression in the handle of this rod that is now a battle scar reminder of the quality fishing we experienced on the Border.


The back of the reel seat is branded with a Zombie logo


Power: Once there is a fish on the line the Zombie rod loads up nicely but not as quickly as some of the traditional flipping rods we have fished. This is where the balancing torque comes in, when held right at the reel the rod provides plenty of leverage in which to pull fish out and away from structure but never feels overly stiff. This isn’t your average X-Heavy fishing rod, and while there is plenty of muscle in the lower section of the rod the tip does have enough give to handle a wide range of lure types.


The reel seat exposes the carbon weave


Price & Applications: The Zombie rod is fun to fish with and has a distinct look and feel that reminds me of some Megabass sticks, yet there is a strong American influence into the design as well. The attention to detail on the cosmetics of this rod is inspiring. The winding checks not only look high quality they functionally add to the rod’s overall balance. The paint finish both on the reel seat and the lower portion of the blank changes color depending on angle in the sunlight and the effect never seems to get old.


True to enthusiast roots there is no hook hanger on this rod


If you are a flipping purist you may want a rod that is slightly stiffer in the mid section to simply overpower fish but if you are looking for a stick that can do more than just pitch and flip the Zombie 7’3” can unquestionably fill multiple roles. This fast action rod is capable of tossing everything from jigs to mid sized swimbaits. Great for shallow water applications this rod can also fill in as a topwater spook or frog rod, and even feels right at home when punching.


The butt cap features a "Z" and the rod specifications


The Zombie 7’3” rod retails for $311 dollars and distribution is still limited to a few select retailers and orders on the website. Each rod comes with a 1 year no hassle warranty which applies to the original owner only. At the just over 300 dollar price point the Zombie offering is quite reasonable. This is a rod with plenty of custom elements and it truly feels like a true custom rod versus a mass produced offering. There are not a whole lot of rods in the Zombie rod lineup right now, just a select few casting models that focus on power fishing techniques and one spinning rod, all retail for around the same reasonable price.


A Lake Falcon bass taken while pitching plastics into the submerged treetops


Ratings: (We've re-calibrated our ratings standard for 2008 and have included a key at the bottom of the following matrix as a guide)

Zombie 7'3" X-Heavy Pitching Rod Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Great overall build quality with both JDM and American custom rod elements, exceptional attention to detail 8.5
Performance If you are a fan of ultralight rods this is not the right rod for you. This rod is heavy but is a great example of a well balanced stick so it doesn't feel that heavy. The rod is good for a wide range of shallow water power fishing but sensitivity was not as good as some competing rods. 8
Price A very reasonable price for a custom built rod 9
Features Main features are the quality materials, quality balance and attractive cosmetics. 8
Design (Ergonomics) On the heavy side but balanced, foam grips are comfortable and long handle provides good casting leverage. This is a good rod for those that appreciate balance over maximum weight reduction but those seeking an ultralight rod will balk at the sheer overall weight 7
Application Not your average stiff x-heavy flipping stick this rod has a tip that allows it to cast a wide range of lure weights. Quite multi-talented and fun to look at and fish 8

Total Score

Ratings Key: 1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = unbelievable!
For More Details of the updated rating system visit our explanation here

Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Well balanced L Heavy overall weight
J Quality components L Could be more sensitive
J Great attention to detail  
J Able to be used for more than just flipping and pitching  
J Reasonable price for a custom rod with enthusiast appeal  


Conclusion: Perhaps no other rod in recent memory so well illustrates the significance of balance. This rod is not light and yet it doesn’t feel heavy when gripped at the reel seat. The Toray blank behaves slightly differently than I expected it would, this is not a sheer power rod, it isn’t all about muscle, in fact it blends a surprising amount of finesse in for such a heavy rated rod. While we hope to see more rods with different actions the flipping and pitching models from Zombie are quite specialized rod offerings that have a unique blend of enthusiast minded design and some American custom rod building flavor that we don’t often see. When it comes to the cosmetics the attention to detail is stirring, and while it is not a lightweight contender in our Search for One series the Zombie rod does have plenty of character, is multi-talented, and simply put …an entertaining rod to fish with.


Looking for a Zombie Rod? Check out the manufacturers website










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