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A Dominating Combination - Ish Monroe's Tatula Elite AGS Equipped Frog Rod
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SOLID! The Shimano Bantam MGL Baitcaster

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ICAST 2018 COVERAGE from Orlando Florida
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TackleTour Exclusive: On the Water with the New G.Loomis Conquest Rod Series
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Selecting the right Rod, Reel, and Line for Your Walking Bait Arsenal
 


 


Product Shootout


4 Techs, 3 Countries of Origin, 2 Price Points, One Goal... Which Reel Is Best (part one)? (continued)

 

The Playing Field: We know, we've already broken the number one rule in our own shootouts and that's to compare reels that are in the same relative price point. Blame this on Shimano because they do not offer an MGL enabled Curado - at least not yet. If they did, that's the reel that would slide in nicely against the other three in price point. Or if the Chronarch wasn't made in Japan, perhaps it'd be closer to $220 instead of $280. Regardless, for this shootout, we are throwing price point away. We will compare many aspects of each reel, but our primary curiosity is how well each technology stacks up against the other.

 


The question at this point of our shoot out is, which rod is going to get the honors of enabling this head to head battle?

 

The bigger question at this point of our shoot out is, which rod is going to get the honors of enabling this head to head battle? Time is too precious to just have one or two iterations of the same stick to switch the reels amongst in order to form our impressions. Not to mention the incongruent nature of tying a bait on, making a few casts, cutting it off, restringing the rod, and starting over again.

 


Acquiring two copies of the same stick is one thing, but what rod out there merits four copies?

 

No, we need to acquire four copies of the same exact stick and it needs to be a stick with no affiliation to either brand. That means no Shimano, G.Loomis (Shimano owns G.Loomis), Daiwa, Megabass (a very thin association with Daiwa on the reels side), Evergreen International (Daiwa is in charge of distributing their product in North America), 13 Fishing, Abu Garcia, or any other Pure Fishing associated brand's fishing rods.

 


To top it off, the stick has to have no affiliation with either company involved in the shootout.

 

You'd think by eliminating all those brands, the choice would be easy, but it wasn't because it has to be a stick I'm willing to plunk down my hard earned enthusiast dollars to acquire three more copies. Yes, three because I might as well start with a stick I already own, right? Granted, there are a handful of manufacturers I could probably ask who would be more than willing to send us four copies of the same rod for this article, but that's simply not how we roll.

 


The choice in rod for this shootout goes to St. Croix and their Legend Elite EC70MF casting rod.

 

Instead, we strive to take that extra step or three, even if it brings us financial ruin, so we can bring you our unbiased thoughts on each piece of tackle that touches our dirty paws. In the end, for this shootout, even though I had to scroll through our review archive to remind myself of this stick, the choice was rather obvious. This editor's choice in a stick for this shootout is from none other than St. Croix. Their double award winning Legend Elite EC70MF is a $390 stick built on their own top blank right in their factory in Park Falls, WI, and outfitted with Fuji Torzite guides. I will happily acquire three more copies of this stick to add to my collection.


All four of these reels feature full blown review articles on our site (Clockwise from top left Tatula SV TW, Revo4 STX, Chronarch MGL, Concept Z)

The Lab: Back to our stars - All four of these reels feature full blown review articles on our site. One of them, the Tatula SV TW, was actually written up twice because there is a USDM and JDM version, but the two are so similar, the JDM review has been sitting in our publishing queue for over a year. All four of these reels received scores in the 8s, and three of the four reels received TackleTour editorial awards. The last, Abu Garcia's Revo4 STX, was well on its way to one until we discovered the three retrieve ratio options were only available in right hand.


To bide our time while we acquired three more EC70MFs, we took all four reels into the lab for a little guts to guts comparison (left to right Tatula SV TW, Revo4 STX, Concept Z, Chronarch MGL).

To bide our time while I was busy selling off neglected equipment on our forum and on that auction site, in an attempt to raise funds for the three additional Legend Elites I needed for the shootout, I took all four reels into the lab for a little guts to guts comparison. Note that while we're going to take a look at just about everything we can on the insides of these reels, the only points of comparison that will contribute to the overall score will relate to ergonomics and performance. Choice in materials, component weights, bearings (or lack thereof) are all good discussion points for a review, but in a head to head battle, what really matters is how all those elements come together out on the water and how they feel in your hand.


The spools for each reel is where the magic begins (left to right Tatula SV TW, Revo4 STX, Concept Z, Chronarch MGL).

2018 Low Profile Shootout : Reel Weight (oz)

Tatula SV TW
Chronarch MGL
Revo4 STX
Concept Z
7.3
6.5
7.3
6.5


Three of the reels feature a centrifugal brake strategy while Daiwa is the lone manufacturer relying up on magnetic brakes to fuel their reel (left to right Tatula SV TW, Revo4 STX, Concept Z, Chronarch MGL).

Next Section: Up close with the spools...

 

 

   

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