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Rod Review


Not a Follower: The Airrus Stargate ASG721HF-C

 

Date: 2/18/13
Tackle type: Rod
Manufacturer: Airrus
Reviewer: Wolbugger






Total Score: 7.58 - GOOD

Introduction:
Airrus has always been a company that doesn't like to follow what everyone else is doing.  Looking at their rod lineup, you'll find very unique qualities in their designs and construction.  It seems that they are constantly tinkering with different materials and concepts, trying to stay one step ahead of everyone else or set the next industry standard.

 

Airrus Stargate ASG721HF-C Casting Rod Specifications

Material Graphite, Buckypaper, carbon fiber
Length 7'2”
Line Weight 10-25lb
Lure Weight 1/2-1 1/4oz
Action Fast
Power Rating Heavy
Pieces 1
Guides 9 + tip
Rear grip length 10 inches
Rod Weight 6 ounces
Origin China
MSRP $500

   

The first portion of the rod almost up to the first guide is a beautiful cherry red color.

My first contact ever with an Airrus rod came while working ICAST 2012 in Orlando.  Cal and myself stepped into the booth and were shown various rods, including pre-production models of the new flagship Stargate series.  Utilizing the most advanced features and having a look all their own, these rods are marketed to be competitive within the premium price segment.  After a short while we managed to get our hands on a prototype Stargate to put through our series of tests.  From the rod wrack to the water, let's see if this rod truly performs at a premium level.


The handle area features a “megaphone” grip to amplify sensations.

Impressions:  The Stargate ASG721HF-C strikes me right off the bat as an attractive rod.  It's design is very unique and it really looks like nothing else on the market right now.  While the actual weight of the rod at 6 ounces isn't as light as many others out there, it balances very well in hand and therefore fishes comfortably.

The handle is a split design featuring a triangulated foam rear handle with a composite cork end.  A small plastic “button” adds a bit of extra protection to the end, though a full rubber butt cap would probably offer the best overall resistance from wear.


The portion between the main and rear grip is a metal tube which weighs slightly heavier and helps balance the rod.

The real meat of the handle is smooth, shiny black carbon fiber with a metal tube connecting it to the rear grip.  The reel seat and handle combine in what Airrus calls a “double megaphone” effect which is said to amplify sensations to your hand.  At first glance, the grip looks futuristic but at the same time appears slippery.  Surprisingly, when wet it does not get that slippery, however if you get oils from sunscreen or plastics on the grip it does get a bit slick.  Bottom line is overall it's not as “grippy” as cork or foam. 

A carbon fiber lock down nut provides security for your reel, and since it's both small and smooth there are no issues with comfort.  It is also easy to reach over and put a finger on the blank for increased feel.


Ergonomics of the reel seat and lock down nut are excellent.

The blank construction and design of the Stargate is anything but ordinary.  Looks-wise, above the handle it starts out as a glossy cherry red color with a gradual transition to dark gloss charcoal which is carried all the way through to the tip.  I find the color scheme to be quite eye catching and really looks out of the ordinary.


A Steez on a Stargate.....a great combination!

While looks are important, performance is paramount.  Airrus uses what they call “Zero 8”, which essentially means they are using 8 layers of graphite in the blank construction; approximately double what an average rod uses.  This also means that less resin is used, which in turn increases the carbon fiber content making for a stronger blank.  Utilizing somewhat of a secret proprietary wrap pattern and graphite modulus, the rod is not as light as many on the market, but both strength and sensitivity are increased.


The color transition before the stripper guide, and the “Zero 8” labeling.

Next Section: It is all about the "Buckypaper"


 

 

 

 

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