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Selecting the right Rod, Reel, and Line for Your Walking Bait Arsenal
 


 


Rod Review


 

The Power in IKE, Abu Garcia & Mike Iaconelli's MIKEC76-6

 

Date: 4/14/19
Tackle Type: Rod
Manufacturer: Abu Garcia
Reviewer: Cal






Total Score: 7.83 - GOOD

Introduction:
There's no denying one of the biggest personalities in the world of professional bass fishing is Mike Iaconelli. There's no denying his competitive spirit and raw enthusiasm. Abu Garcia recognized this when they signed him back in 2010 and after a start and stop or two, finally have a full line of signature series rods and reels to celebrate their relationship. Today, we dive into the IKE Power Casting series of rods with our look at the MIKEC76-6.

 

Abu Garcia IKE Power Casting MIKEC76-6 Specifications

Material 36-Ton Graphite
Length 7'-6"
Line Wt. 12-20lb
Lure Wt. 1/4-1oz
Pieces One
Guides 11+tip (SS + Zirconium)
Rear Handle Length 10.25"
Power Rating Medium Heavy (but tested as Heavy)
Taper Fast
Rod Weight 5.6oz
MSRP $149.99


Abu Garcia and Mike Iaconelli have cooked up something new

Impressions: The MIKEC76-6 is a seven foot, six inch stick made from 36-ton graphite. It features stainless steel guides with Zirconium inserts, a split rear grip of EVA foam, and a Fuji ACS reel seat. Perhaps the most notable feature of this rod is its phase changing, purple colored finish. It's a smart looking rod that's both understated and flashy depending on what light you catch it in - just like its namesake.

 


Introducing the IKE Power Series MIKEC76-6

Real World Tests: I matched our MIKEC76-6 up with Abu Garcia's brand new Revo4 IKE in 8.0:1 with my only regret being I couldn't find a phase changing purple fishing line to match up with the reel. Don't be surprised to hear about a new IKE signature braided line with varying shades of purple in a year or two following the publication of this article. Failing that search I loaded up with some of Phenix's HydraBraid 8x braid in dark green.


Each rod in this new Power Series features a phase changing color scheme to match the IKE reels

Casting: I fished this combo during the Fall of 2019 on a couple of trips before California's extremely wet Winter set in. My primary baits of choice were jigs, swim jigs, and vibrating jigs.

As you might expect, the MIKEC76-6 makes for a very good casting and pitching stick. It's longer length lends itself well to both presentations especially when matched with a quality performer like the Revo4 IKE.

The stick's rated range is very accurate with the sweet spot being anything from about three eighths of an ounce on up to a full ounce. You can also go over its rated range if you employ gentle lob casts.


Guides are stainless steel framed with Zirconium inserts

Sensitivity: As mentioned earlier, the MIKEC76-6 is made from a blank rolled with 36-ton graphite. What does that mean? Well, generally anything made with 30-ton or below graphite is targeted at the value segment of the market and anything made with 40-ton or above is high end. Also, anything made with 40-ton or above is considered more susceptible to breaking because the graphite is less stable.


36-Ton Graphite positions this rod right between value driven and high end

Truthfully, we as consumers don't really know what's in the blank. These references simply replaces the low and high modulus terminology from half a decade or more ago. This is why our real world tests are so important and why we take the time we do to evaluate each piece of equipment that comes arrives at TT HQ. You have to spend time and fish with something before an honest opinion can be made.


Fuji ACS reel seat - you either hate or love it

All this is to say the sensitivity of our MIKEC76-6 is pretty good for a rod in this price range. If you're not concerned about component and material specifications, this stick is one of many we've fished in recent years that illustrate the performance manufacturers are now able to deliver at prices that won't drive you to the brink of bankruptcy.


The rod's label as "medium heavy" does not correspond with the industry translation of those lure and line ratings

Power: The one area where manufacturers continue to be inconsistent, however, is in a rod's power rating. Our MIKEC76-6 is labeled as a medium heavy powered rod. The "6" at the end of the model number is Abu Garcia's method of denoting the rod's power. But if you look at the rod's lure and line rating, it would suggest this stick is more in line with what has traditionally been referred to as a heavy powered stick.


Checking out the rod's tip, it's definitely a heavy powered rod

None of this is cast in tungsten or even lead, and there's a good degree of variation in how a rated blank performs as you increase its length. Our goal has always been to normalize all this information so you can make an informed decision when purchasing a rod sight unseen. That is the genesis of our RoD Deflection chart, and 2019 marks a refresh of our approach. When originally conceived, our idea was to give you, our readers an idea of how a certain rod might perform as compared to a stick you can easily find at your local tackle store. G.Loomis products served as the baseline comparison for the majority of our discussions due to the pervasiveness of their product.


"Power" is just one series within the Abu Garcia IKE lineup. There's also a "Finesse" and "Delay" series

Next Section: Time to Benchmark the MIKEC76 Rod...

 

 

   

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