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A Better Levante? Megabass Remakes their Mainstream Rod Series (continued)

To achieve this the team had to completely redesign the Levante blanks, starting with the very material used in the construction. The original rods made use of a Mitsubishi material called Pyrofil™ carbon fiber which exhibited high dimensional stability, rigidity, and overall fatigue strength, which is what gave the rods their excellent lifting power.


A look at the Levante Shakeyhead rod. Plenty of use of carbon fiber here!

The new 2019 Levante Series now feature a completely new high density blank material and construction with micro pitch taping, and while the company is keeping the details of this design under wraps, the new blanks are clearly lighter and more crisp feeling. The lighter blanks allowed the company to design rods that were even closer to their intended application, so much so that they were able to mirror the actions of the more expensive Orochi XX line, hence the matching names and powers.


As we begin testing it is immediately noticeable how much lighter and more refined they feel versus the previous generation

Kenichi described how decreasing the weight in the new Levante blanks was critical, and by successfully doing this gave Megabass the room in which to adjust the balance points within each rod model to aid with their intended casting form. In some of the rods the bending apex points shifted toward the butt section as load is applied, which mandated moving the guides by a few millimeters to achieve that perfect casting feel for the intended application. This meticulous back and forth process took over two years of development.   


The spinning rods feature a hook hanger positioned within the split grip

Designing rods specifically for applications is nothing new, but few manufacturers can do it with as much attention to not only applications, but actual baits, like Megabass can. How many rod manufacturers do you know that also actually design and produce baits? With in-house offerings like the Vision 110 Series of jerkbaits, or I-Slide swimbaits, Megabass is able to design rods like the Jerkbait Special and Leviathan which are optimized for casting and retrieving these specific baits, as well as gives the designers added insight into the ideal action for handling the entire class of lures.


While we are still testing sensitivity the new Levante rods definitely feel more crisp

In terms of styling the new Levante rods make the old ones look plain in comparison. The refreshed line now features much more of what anglers recognize as signature Megabass elements, including the spiral architect reel seat, aluminum and carbon fore-grip elements, additional purple threading, and even a color shifting finish above the handle section. Another example of the detail in design is the use of Fuji stainless steel gunmetal matte guides, which were selected to reduce any glare as the rod is cast or retrieved.


The Fuji stainless steel guides have a gunmetal matte finish to reduce glare

In total there are twelve new rods in the series including nine casting rods with familiar actions and names like the Diablo Spec-R and Perfect Pitch as well as three spinning rods including the Whipsnake and Kenichi's personal favorite, the powerful Enforcer. All models retail for the same price of $199 dollars each.


The casting rods also feature a hook hanger located directly behind the main EVA handle grip

So how do they compare with the Orochi XX rods? The new Levante rods are a step up from the last generation, a big step up in terms of styling, weight, and handling. While we are still testing how they compare in terms of lifting power and sensitivity we asked Kenichi how they compared to the recently introduced Orochi XX rods from his perspective.

“The Orochi XX rods will still outperform the Levante rods by 20 percent, which means they will showcase a more ideal action and power for the same taper. Sensitivity is also superior on the more expensive line, and they will feel crisper overall,” Kenichi explained. “This 20 percent delta will be noticeable by 80 percent of the anglers who focus on refining their craft in each application.”


Two weeks in and I am already finding a whole lot to like about the new Levante rods, including the overall handling, smooth casting, refreshed styling, and the fact that the lifting power has remained fully intact, even with the lighter blanks

A Better Levante? I have only spent a few weeks with the newly refreshed Levante rods but there is no doubt they are better in just about every way than the last generation. The 2019 Levante rods simply look and feel more like a “Megabass” rod should. The fact that they retail for the same price as the previous series was a must do, and just how much more refinement and sheer fun factor the company was able to infuse into the line at this same price point is impressive. While they were designed here in the U.S. the new Levante rods are already slated for international sales, and why not? No other rod line in the company’s portfolio says “welcome to the world of Megabass” better than Levante.

Looking for the Megabass Levante Series?

Try Tackle Warehouse for Levante casting and Levante spinning rods

 

 

 

   

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