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Rod Review


Flipping Week : Zombie or Immortal? Dee Thomas's Signature Series Flipping Rod (continued)

Power: As you can see from the graph below, the Immortal 76's deflection curve lines right up with the average tabulated from the historical data of some of the more popular flipping sticks we've reviewed to date. Out on the water the rod's blank performs like a traditional flipping rod. That nice, soft tip we mentioned earlier loads nicely into the backbone for sure hooksets and good control of your catch once hooked.


Fig 1 : The chart above illustrates the deflection characteristics of our Zombie Rods and Tackle Immortal 76 against
the average values of flipping sticks we've reviewed over the years. It's no surprise that a stick with Dee Thomas's name on it lines up perfectly with the deflection curve average.

I tried throwing a Delta Wood Bomber with this rod during striper season out on the delta to really test the rod's power, but was unable to hook into one. On the other hand, matched with an Abu Garcia Revo Winch spooled with 20lb Sunline Supernatural Nylon Monofilament, the Immortal 76 actually makes a good stick for these big topwater baits.

Performance Ratings for Zombie Rods and Tackle Immortal 76

Pitch (1-5)
Cast (1-5)
Sensitivity (1-5)
Hook Set (1-5)
Control (1-5)
Total
Possible
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)
5
4
2
4
4
19
25
7.6

Features: Most everything about this stick is pretty standard. It comes with a full rear grip of EVA foam, a custom painted, exposed blank reel seat that looks like a Fuji ECS seat (it's not labeled), but no hook keeper nor a rod sleeve. Those features aside, the interesting tidbit about this stick are the guides. We previewed them last year in an article, but they bear revisiting here. These guides were designed by Dee Thomas to be trouble free while fishing braid.


Rated as fast, this stick feels more moderate fast once really loaded with a fish.

Five years in development, they are appropriately named "DT Guides" and are made right here in the United States. They're far from glamorous but are made of 316 marine grade stainless steel with no inserts and feature a frame design that allows for tangle free fishing. Their aesthetic is tough to get used to, but the guides are not nearly as noisy as other non -insert guides we've fished in the past though admittedly we haven't fished this stick nearly enough to independently determine how the guides actually hold up to braid.

Features Ratings for Zombie Rods and Tackle Immortal 76

Grip (1-5)
Guides (1-5)
Reel Seat (1-5)
Hook Keeper (1-5)
Rod Sleeve (1-5)
Total
Possible
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)
4
3
4
1
1
13
25
5.2


A look at the comfortable EVA grip on the Immortal 76.

Design/Ergonomics: Zombie Rod and Tackle's edict is all about creating a fishing tool that's comfortable to fish all day long. In the eternal fishing rod debate of balance versus overall weight, they come out on the side of balance arguing that a rod that's well balanced will feel lighter in your hand and allow you to fish with it for longer periods of time.

Lab Results for Zombie Rods and Tackle Immortal 76

Model
Avg RoD (2-32 oz)
Taper
Measured Weight (oz)
Balance Point (inches)
Balancing Torque (ftlbs)
Zombie Rods and Tackle Immortal 76
1.51
Fast
8
5
0.24
Flipping Rod Average
1.52
---
6.0
8.5
0.27

With the Immortal 76, they go to the extreme to demonstrate their point because this stick comes in at a full eight ounces in weight. However, it balances beautifully in your hand and out on the water while flipping and pitching, it's a real joy to have a stick this long whose tip is easy to lift when making your close quarter presentations. The Immortal 76's ergonomics allowed me to make precise pitch after precise pitch because the tip of the rod is so easy to control.


Metal guides with no inserts are always less than glamorous looking but the DT Guides at least are quieter than others I've fished.

The rod's EVA foam grip is very comfortable to hold and it's colors and graphics are reminiscent of JDM designs though more on the conservative side to be sure.

Design & Ergonomics Ratings for Zombie Rods and Tackle Immortal 76

Grip (1-5)
Colors / Graphics (1-5)
Balance (1-5)
Weight (1-5)
Total
Possible
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)
4
3
5
2
14
20
7.0


Continuing that JDM aesthetic is a nice, decorative badge at the end of the rod.

Application: The Immortal 76 is more than just a stick for fishing in at close quarters. It makes a good choice for big topwater baits, wake baits and Carolina rigs as well as something for flipping and pitching. I also wouldn't hesitate to use this stick for tossing a buzzbait over emerging cover either. It's pretty versatile for a rod of its length and power.

Bass Rod Application Ratings for Zombie Rods and Tackle Immortal 76

Rip/Jerk (1-5)
Steady (1-5)
Lift & Drop (1-5)
Drag (1-5)
Twitch (1-5)
Total
Possible
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)
2
3
5
5
4
19
25
7.6


This stick has a very classic flipping rod feel to it - we'd expect nothing less from a rod bearing Dee Thomas's signature.

Warranty: Zombie Rods and Tackle's traditional warranty is a one year "no hassle" warranty applicable to the original owner only. I couldn't find any details of this warranty through their website, so if this is of concern to you or if you have a claim you wish to make, please contact the manufacturer directly to work out the details.

 

Ratings:

Zombie Rods and Tackle Immortal 76 Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality A nicely crafted stick 9.47
Performance At 7'6" it feels very much like a vintage flipping rod 7.6
Price A bit on the pricey side but this is a limited edition stick 6.5
Features It's mostly about the guides in this category. Otherwise, the Immortal 76 is pretty standard 5.2
Design (Ergonomics) If you value balance over light weight, this stick will feel really good in your hands 7.0
Application This stick has a traditional flipping stick feel to it, but it's actually much more versatile than that 7.6

Total Score

7.23
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
+ Really well balanced especially considering this rod's length - For this price point, I'd like my flipping stick to be more sensitive
+ Remember when all flipping sticks were 7'6"? It's a nice length to work with.  
+ I like the full EVA grip  

  

Conclusion: The feature I was looking most forward to when fishing this rod was its new DT Guides. There's no getting around the fact they look pretty primitive in their design, but when it came down to it, after a few flips and pitches, the guides were an afterthought. There was no excessive noise through the guides, my line didn't tangle expectedly or unexpectedly, there were no inserts to pop out (though I've yet to have this happen to me with a standard guide), and my line didn't fray prematurely from a grooved guide.

 


It handles that for which it was designed very well, but the Immortal 76 actually quite versatile.

 

Nothing happened during the course of fishing this rod or while the rod was sitting on my deck to bring my attention back to the guides and that's a good thing. The fact I was able to forget they were even on the rod means they performed like any other guide I've fished and to be quite honest, that surprised me.

 

The Immortal 76 is a very comfortable rod to fish.

 

The rod itself has a very classic feel to it and thanks to its excellent balance and reasonable length, flipping and pitching duties were handled really easily because I wasn't fighting to bring the tip up when presenting my bait. My only reservation with this stick is I wish it had more life to it so I could feel more of what was going on at the end of the line. It's ironic given the rod's name, and unfortunate because I enjoy all the other aspects of this rod including the guides.

 

Looking for Zombie Rod and Tackle's Dee Thomas Signature Series Immortal 76? Try the company's website.

 

 

 

 

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