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Rod Review

Not a Follower: The Airrus Stargate ASG721HF-C (continued)


For even more robust strength, Buckypaper Nanotube Technology is used between the reel seat and first guide.  Made in the USA by Nano Tech Labs, this material provides added strength and rigidity between the reel seat and stripper guide for added power.

Yep, the Buckypaper gets a logo too!

Kigan is the guide manufacturer of choice for the Stargate.  While their double footed tangle free micro guides adorn much of it's length, the stripper guide is really something that makes you look twice.  At first glance, it's angled downward appearance gave me the impression it had been squashed by someone's foot on accident.  To my surprise it is actually designed that way on purpose.  It features a triangular insert that when combined with the downward angle is said to reduce friction and better control line during the cast.  The reel seat itself is also angled downward at a 3 degree angle, giving your line a very straightforward path into the stripper guide and through the entire guide assembly. 

The Kigan stripper guide angle is very pronounced.

Guides on the test rod feature zirconia II inserts with steel feet, however production models have been upgraded to titanium frames.  All guide wraps are done in black, with the stripper guide featuring a bit of red trim work.

Double footed Kigan tangle free micro guides line the blank. This one shows evidence of a battle scar.

While I find the looks of the Stargate to be striking, the finish is not without minor flaws.  Upon close visual inspection, there were a few tiny epoxy bubbles seen on parts of the blank.  Extremely small in size, they did not really bother me but I'd rather not see them on a rod of this price.  There were also a couple of minor typos where the rod ratings were located, and epoxy use on a couple guides was a bit heavy handed.  Keep in mind that this is a prototype rod and I'd expect the production model to be more polished.

A close-up of some of the tiny imperfections in the blank.

No hook keeper is found on this rod.  This is usually not a big deal for me, but it actually does annoy me a bit in this case.  Why?  There is just not a real easy spot to hook a lure onto quickly.  The only guide large enough to accept a hook is the first stripper guide, but with it's downward angle and odd triangular insert, it's a bit awkward hooking and unhooking baits on it.

The test rod proved to be quite a bit stiffer than our MBR844C Loomis.  Once past the tip, the added stoutness is easily visible on the chart as the Stargate has an obvious separation in it's plot line from the Loomis.

Real World Test:  Testing with the Stargate ASG721HF-C was completed on a variety of southwest Florida lakes and canals.  20lb Sufix braid was primarily used, although 15lb mono was also fished a few times.  I absolutely loved the Daiwa Steez 103HA on this stick.  It spent the vast majority of the time on board, balancing beautifully and really looking at home on this techie rod.  Then again, that reel pretty much goes on anything!

A dark afternoon of pond hopping provided plenty of bites.

Casting:  The Stargate ASG721HF-C is a very competent caster.  Rated for 1/2 to 1 1/4 ounce lures, I find this to be an accurate measure of the rod's capability.  While the rod is stiff, it's fast action loads a bit easier than an extra fast action, providing a nice blend of power, crispness, and accuracy without being overly rigid.

The taper is strong but remains user friendly.

This is a great rod for tossing those slightly heavier baits.  As stated, the rated range of 1/2-1 1/4 ounce lures seems totally accurate, however my personal preference is to stay at about a 1 ounce maximum.  Think jigs, heavier Texas rigs, soft swimbaits, and frogs here.

The unique guide setup on the Stargate is claimed to offer smoother casts and increased distance.  Increased casting distances can be hard to discern unless the difference is extreme.  In the case of this rod, I haven't experienced any solid proof of farther casting distances.  While it very well may cast longer, any extra distance achieved is minimal and not noticeable to me.  What I can say with certainty is that casting is a very smooth process, and the whole guide train combines to virtually eliminate line flutter as a cast is made.  Wouldn't this translate into increased distance?  One would think so, but again, any differences are too minimal for me to tell.  As with the other micro guide rods I've experienced, the braid to leader knots I use pass through the micros without hesitation.

Top view of the Kigan triangle stripper guide.

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