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Enthusiast Review


Redefining the Big Bait Stick Genre : Evergreen International's Giant Dire Wolf


Date: 4/17/24
Tackle Type: Rod
Manufacturer: Evergreen International
Reviewer: Cal


"Dire Wolf" has become a series within itself in Evergreen International's high end rod lineup. In 2022, I fished their GTR-C70MHR-SXF Dire Wolf, and late in 2023, while window shopping virtually at TackleWarehouse's site, I came across a surprising discovery, the Giant Dire Wolf RS IRSC-611XXXHR-SXF - a JDM Evergreen International rod offered domestically! I was so shocked, before I knew what I was doing, the rod was already enroute! Let's see what kind of trouble I got myself into here.


Evergreen International The Giant Dire Wolf RS IRSC-611XXXHR-SXF (SG) Specifications

Material Toray T1100G + Nanoalloy Tech
Length 6'-11"
Line Wt. 12-30lb
Lure Wt. 1/2-8oz
Pieces One
Guides 9+tip (Hybrid Ti/Torzite + Ti/SiC (#6-9))
Rear Handle Length 11.75"
Power Rating 3x Heavy
Taper Moderate
Rod Weight 6.3oz
Origin Made in Japan
MSRP $1,259.99

Introducing Evergreen International's Giant Dire Wolf

Impressions: The Giant Dire Wolf is an inch shorter than the rod I fished in 2022. It comes with a split rear handle made of a mix of cork and foam and a hybrid guide train of Fuji, titanium framed Torzite and SiC guides. The origins of the "Giant" designation in this stout little JDM gem can likely be attributed to its lure rating - the max is specified at eight ounces (8oz)! With the low end at half an ounce, this takes that JDM magic spec of which I often refer to an entirely different plane.


This is a 6'-11" stick with a maximum lure rating of 8 ounces!


It is a rod designed to assist the big bait angler both in accurately placing their big baits near targets but also launching them in an effort to cover water. The rod's shorter length also makes it easier for anglers to work their baits with the rod tip and avoid splashing and hitting the water as the case might be with traditional big bait rods that can be a foot, or even more, longer. It is Evergreen International's attempt to redefine what a big bait stick can be - an intriguing approach to say the least.

So what kind of trouble have I gotten myself into here?

Real World Tests: Such an intriguing and unique, high end stick deserves a pairing with an equally prominent reel, so I matched the Giant Dire Wolf with Shimano Japan's '23 Antares DC MD. For fishing line, I'm in the process of vetting some different braids to see if I can settle upon a favorite for when and whatever reason, I don't want to go with a hollow braid. For this journey, I spooled my Antares with Varivas's Monster PE Si-X in PE #4. I varied my choice in leader with this setup depending upon what bait I intended to fish. When it came to fishing something subsurface, I used Seaguar's Tatsu FC. For topwater presentations, I either chose Sunline's Saltimate Nylon Leader or Varivas's Absolute BBM Nylon Mono. My current connection knot of choice is the Alberto.

Both this rod and the Dire Wolf Wild 7 I fished two years ago have a no-cutout reel seat and you know what? I didn't miss it

Casting: While I was anxious to discover just how accurate the Giant Dire Wolf's lure recommendation was, I also had on hand an interesting little bait from Grow Design Works, their G-Flag 150 soft glide bait. Soft bodied big baits are not my favorite, but this bait in particular, in the shape of a gill and designed to glide, really intrigued me. In this case curiosity won out over testing responsibilities and found me tying this bait on with the intent of casting and pitching it around some docks.

Unlike the rod I fished two years ago, this Dire Wolf has a cork rear grip

With the Giant Dire Wolf's 6'-11" length, it's like a no brainer, but even more important to success in pitching presentations with any stick is the length of that rear handle. The Giant Dire Wolf, with its stout blank and conventional length rear handle makes for an excellent pitching stick with larger than normal baits (the G-Flag 150 is about 1.5-2.0 ounces depending on configuration). I had so much fun pitching and casting the G-Flag 150 to targets, I almost forgot I had some further testing to do.

Additionally, while the rear grips are the same material, this one is sculpted for just a hair more comfort and security when gripping for two handed casting

So to test the other end of the Giant Dire Wolf's capabilities, I tied on a bait from my arsenal that came to closest to eight ounces I could find - U.F.O. bait company's Mothership (7.6oz). At first, it felt really odd trying to sling such a heavy bait with such a short stick, but once I got over that first impression, the Giant Dire Wolf actually handled that bait with no issue whatsoever. Thanks to the pairing of this stick with my Antares DC MD, not only could I roll cast and even pitch to target, I could turn around and launch the Mothership some good distances. I was genuinely surprised.

The guide trail is a mix of Ti/Torzite and Ti/SiC from Fuji

Following that test, I settled into just fishing this combo so I could get a better feel for both the rod and reel. I tied on baits like the Donkey Slayer and Megabass's Mag Draft Freestyle and really enjoyed the Giant Dire Wolf's versatility and ability to present and fish just about everything I tied to the end of the line.

Like all of Evergreen's high end rods, this one is actually made in Japan

Sensitivity: If there is downside to this stick it will be this category. Because it is so stout and built with that softer taper, the blank itself is not super crisp. I could certainly feel what was going on at the end of my line while fishing the variety of baits I tried, but the hits were a little mushy. At least two felt like I got caught in some weeds, but when I pulled to free the bait, the weeds pulled back. Certainly other hits were bone jarring, but most hits with big, hard bodied baits are - that's why swimbait fishing is so popular but also why sensitivity is not paramount.

Next Section: So wrong, yet so right...









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