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ProducTTpreview


Previewing the New Shimano Zodias Bass Rods

 

Date: 3/18/15
Tackle Type: Rods
Manufacturer: Shimano
Reviewer: Zander






 

 

Introduction: The year is young but Shimano has already been busy both with their own introductions and the big news surrounding the release of the affordable G.Loomis E6X Series. While the E6X has definitely took the majority of the spotlight for the company in terms of new rods there was another series, the Zodias, that also was unveiled at the Classic.

 

The Shimano Zodias rods were officially introduced at the Bassmaster Classic

Prior to the Classic we had the opportunity to fish these rods firsthand for two days at La Perla Lake. What we found was a Series of rods that look like they are a bridge between Shimano’s more traditional rods to the much more expensive Expride Series, and though they are much more affordable than the Jackall Poison Adrena rods the Zodias rods have a similar flavor, and also exhibit a stealthy black blank with red styling highlights, and is finished with EVA grips instead of cork.

The Zodias rods make use of CI4+ reel seats for light weight, sensitivity and durability

The Zodias Series is designed to be versatile and there are a total of 11 models within the new lineup, which includes six casting models in 6’10” and 7’2” lengths, and six spinning models in 6’8” and 7” lengths. All the Zodias rod blanks feature Hi-Power X construction, which is designed to virtually eliminate blank twist for both better casting distance and accuracy. Hi-Power X is a unique process to support a lighter overall blank design, and with carbon tape added in a 45-degreee ‘X’ pattern which is clearly visable on the outside of the blank.

Due to the CI4+ material the reel seat can be ported for light weight without sacrificing rigidity

This tape process is designed by Shimano to provide what is called ‘torsional rigidity’ to help keep the blank from twisting during the cast, and with it, more distance and a more accurate lure presentation. In terms of hardware Shimano once again turns to their CI4+ material for an ergonomic reel seat which we found feels pretty comfortable when casting and palming. The company selected Fuji Alconite K semi-micro guides with stainless steel frames which are as just about as light as titanium to provide better balance, and also helps to keep the Zodias rods light overall while still enabling anglers to make long controlled casts.  

 

In the light you can see the carbon tape that forms the X-pattern on the blank

At La Perla we targeted both Largemouth Bass and Wipers with the Zodias rods and caught more than forty fish with the Zodias rods. They feel lightweight and crisp, yet powerful enough to handle fish up to ten pounds with a backbone that kicks in mid way through the blank, helping protect lighter lines. To us this gave the rods a feeling feeling like they were designed for finesse fishing but they did prove powerful enough to turn fish when they needed to be.  

 

The Zodias rods all feature split grips and EVA handles

The Zodias rods are available now and retail from $189.99 to $199.99 depending on the individual rod, and each comes backed with a 1 year warranty. We already miss the lifetime over the counter warranty that used to accompany Shimano's higher end rods. This is something to consider now as there are competing rods at this price point with lifetime warranties, including the G.Loomis E6X rods. Shimano does have a new program in place for their "top shelf" rod offerings like Zodias, this includes their "30-Day Express" rod service plan which provides a no questions asked replacement within 30 days, and everything is processed with no shipping cost to the angler. Shimano does require that an initial express charge of 50% off MSRP on any orders placed via this program and refunds this charge once the broken rod has been returned within the required 30 day timeframe.

 


The Zodias rods and Aldebaran casting reels seem to pair very nicely together

 

Our initial experience with the casting versions has been positive. We have also already purchased a rod from retail and will be conducting longer term field tests of both the casting and spinning models to see just how they stack up not only with Shimano’s own product lineup but also competing rods right at this highly contested price point. The real question is exactly who is Shimano targeting with the Zodias rods? They look like enthusiast rods, are priced at the higher end of the mainstream segment, and when it comes to price point they will also compete head to head with the new G.Loomis E6X rods. Though there is likely to be some level of cannibalization between lines the G.Loomis buyers of the past have typically been very different than those consumers that bought the higher end Shimano rods. Shimano's rods seem to push the styling and technology envelope further while G.Loomis rods cater to the high-end angler that values more conventional US made rods with more traditional designs. That may all change now however as the G.Loomis E6X rods essentially introduce the Loomis brand to a whole new segment of anglers at the 200 dollar price point. Are you more excited about the G.Loomis E6X rods or the Zodias rods? Is there enough room for both? Anglers will now get to vote on our forum and with their pocketbooks.

 

Looking for the Shimano Zodias Rods? Try Tackle Warehouse

 


 

 

 

 

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