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PRODUCTTPREVIEW : Rise of the "Zombie" Rods (continued)

Justin went on to explain, “...it came down to feel of the finished blanks. That said, there are many alternatives available that offer equal quality. I will always be testing new blank materials, but for now the Toray blank material is the best for the models of rods we are producing. There are new rods we are designing for specific applications that may not be made with the Toray material. So this decision will be made specific to each rod as we release new models in the future.”

A closer look at the custom painted Fuji ACS reel seat

The cosmetics on the Zombie rods look superb and to fully appreciate them they must be seen in direct sunlight. The painted Fuji reel seat appears black indoors but once outside the paint showcases a rich blend of colors ranging from green and turquoise to even a hint of purple depending on the angle. The rod also makes use of a carbon fiber design at the base of the rod and right on top of the reel clamp. The butt of the rod is finished with gold rings that match the winding check and lead into a butt cap with a “Z” and the rod specifications and company website.

The rod is finished with a branded butt cap and gold rings

There is plenty of attention to detail on this rod but the coolest element has to be the foregrip and winding check. The implementation reminds me of premium JDM rods and contrasts various metals and colors like bronzes and golds. The gold winding check is actually a long flange that not only helps balance out the rod but can be seen no matter how large or small your reel footprint is because it extends all the way down to the top of the Fuji seat, very slick! The grips are all eva foam and add an element of stealth to the overall look of the rods.

The foregrip surrounds what looks like a gold winding check...

With the exception of the spinning rod all the Zombie rods are all pretty robust rods and are by no means lightweights, with a combination of powerful blanks and plenty of metal components they weigh in above 7oz. (the 7’3” Extra-Heavy rod weighs in at 7.9oz.), the good news is even though they weigh slightly more than the average flipping stick they are well balanced so they don’t feel heavy.

The winding check is actually an enlarged gold flange that extends all the way down to the painted reel seat

When asked about the weight of the rods and Justin commented, “What makes my product unique is the attention to balancing. As you probably found out, the rods could be made lighter, but the way the rod feels to the customer is truly what will keep them coming back, not a weight measurement on a brochure. The flipping rod was a labor of love, and anglers who flip all day will appreciate that rod. I chose to use the trusty steel frame SiC Fuji guides as I did far less repairs with those guides in custom rods I built over the years, fewer than titanium frame SiC guides as well. I also prefer the sound of braided line going through steel frame Fuji SiC guides over any others, and I personally use braided line a lot. Any small weight difference was not worth giving up durability or dealing with annoying sound.”

The field tests are beginning now but we like what we see so far, time to do some Delta pitching

Conclusion: Zombie Rod & Tackle may not have a lot of rods in their lineup currently but what they lack in quantity appears to be made up with some exceptional quality. Not only do the rods make use of premium Fuji components and Toray blank material but they also sport enthusiast styling that all adds up to a rod with a unique personality. Born in the California Delta these rods are designed for anglers that love to flip and pitch. If I had to guess how much these rods cost I would have said near the 400 dollar price point, I was surprised to discover they range from only $305 to $321 dollars, a very reasonable price for a custom rod of this quality. As we begin our actual field tests we are excited about what we have seen so far, it just might be time for the rise of the Zombie rods.

Looking for more information about Zombie rods? Check out the company's website











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