The Dragon ReAwakens : Megabass of America's 2018 Orochi XX
On the Water: The finished rods are set to make their debut in tackle store rod racks later this Spring (April/May time frame), but we had the opportunity to spend a day on the water with Mr. Murayama to sample and fish a few select prototypes. Our destination was Lake Berryessa located in Northern California's Wine Country.
Mr. Murayama explains to Cal, some of the differences between the original Drop Shot Special and its replacement, the Whipsnake.
F3-611XXS Whipsnake: Replacing the former Drop Shot Special is a new, more all purpose finesse spinning stick, the Whipsnake. Designed to be a little more general purpose finesse than specialty drop shot, this was my primary rod throughout the day. I fished drop shot, ned, and split shot rigs and had very good success with each technique with this new rod casting and working my bait, but in the end I settled in on a drop shot rig. I brought the Gen 1 Drop Shot Special with me for comparison and could feel just a bit more power in the Whipsnake. However, what impressed me more was the way in which the Whipsnake casts. Pinpoint casts with all of the rigs I tied were much more precise.
The Whipsnake is less of a specialty drop shot rod and more of an overall finesse spinning stick.
The new handle design of the Orochi XX Spinning rods save the Enforcer.
Overall, the bite that day was very tough and I struggled with both sticks detecting that subtle take. I already know the original Drop Shot Special is a very sensitive stick (in fact, it is my favorite of the original Orochi XX rods), so if I struggled with that rod, it was a tough and peculiar day all around. Nevertheless, the Whipsnake held its own, and while I definitely need more time with a full production version of this rod to be certain, I can say sensitivity of the Whipsnake seems to be on par with that of the original Drop Shot Special.
The bites were subtle but detectable this day with the Whipsnake.
The Enforcer features a full grip design.
F4.5-74XXS Enforcer: Brand new to the Orochi XX lineup is a 7'-4" spinning rod nicknamed the Enforcer. Imagine the Elseil but a bit longer and with a slightly faster taper in a spinning rod configuration. In other words, the Enforcer is a medium to medium heavy powered, all purpose type spinning rod designed mostly for tubes and weightless worms, but really with the ability to support a wide range of techniques thanks to its length and power. For those who quietly still prefer spinning gear to casting (we know you're out there), the Enforcer is a great Search for One candidate. To get a sense of the Enforcer's performance, I fished the Vision 110 on it as well as some heavier Ned rigs and spinnerbaits. The fish were not on a reaction bite, so I couldn't sample the rod's power, but it did have that same, crisp casting performance as the Whipsnake. This is a very intriguing stick.
Hook keepers will be offered on the spinning rods only.
F4.5 - 611XX Jerkbait Special: All I have to say is it's a good thing Zander wasn't along for the ride on this day or this prototype may not have made it back to Megabass of America's headquarters. The first thing you notice with this stick, and all the casting rods in general is that refined handle design with the tapered cork. But when you put it in your hand, the rod's balance is next characteristic to impress. I'm anxious to get this stick in the lab to quantify the specifics, but it certainly felt good in hand.
It was also prototype day for a couple baits we are free to show... like the upcoming Vision OneTen LBO - an internal weight transfer system that really launches the bait straight and true with each cast.
The effect of the new Kabt blank technology is very evident in the F4.5-611XX. Not only does it have the same, super crisp and responsive casting performance, but when you work your jerkbait (I was throwing the brand new Vision OneTen Silent), the rod's rebound after each twitch of the tip is super buttery. The sensation is as if you're pulling on a fixed object with a strong elastic band. At no time were there any extra vibrations or reverberations from the rod. All I felt was a super connected sensation to the lure and I just wish the fish were on a reaction bite that day. This stick was difficult to put down.
The new handle design of the Orochi XX casting rods.
Finally a decent sized bass.
Section: The brand new Brailliast for bottom contact...