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Rod Review

The “Megaphone Effect” on the innovative AiRRUS Tradition

Date: 3/20/06
Tackle type: Rod
Manufacturer: AiRRUS
Reviewer: JIP

Total Score: 8.67

When it comes to drop shot fishing for bass, an ultra-sensitive rod can mean hooking up or losing out on the bite. The AiRRUS Tradition has the right attributes to send those taps from deep down through the rod and into your hands. Come see how the innovative Tradition spinning rod performs in drop shot fishing.

AiRRUS Tradition (ATS701M) Specifications

Type Spinning
Color Garnet
Length 7 ft
Grip Length 5 in
Fore Grip Length 4 3/4 in
Line Weight 4-12 lb
Lure Weight 1/4-5/8 oz
Pieces 1
Power Medium
Action Fast
Weight (measured) 4.8 oz
MSRP $129.95


Introducing the innovative AiRRUS Tradition


Impressions: Innovation never ends at AiRRUS. Ken Whiting, President and genius behind the entire line of AiRRUS rods does it again with the Tradition. The Tradition is nothing like we’ve seen before. This spinning rod looks stunning from end to end and is especially unique in the grip area where the blank appears to have an aurora glow under the sun. The craftsmanship throughout the rod is excellent and AiRRUS makes use of tip-top components. The red thread wraps with gold highlights are in perfect form and accentuate the composition nicely. Some of you might look at the reel seat and wonder, “what’s this?” AiRRUS uses a CAXIN Sc6 reel seat – a system that resembles ski bindings, and a method of securing a reel to the rod that’s been used in other countries for many years.


This truly unique rod looks stunning


Aside from what we mentioned above, what makes this rod innovative is the overall rod design. In their Tradition rod, AiRRUS makes use of their filament winding techniques plus a new mandrel design to make the rod one piece from top to bottom. Yes, the graphite is one continuous piece from the tip all the way to the one-inch grip, i.e. when you grasp the rod to cast, your hand is actually grasping the blank, not an applied on grip.


A one-piece construction, the process allows the rod blank to be made in a continuous form while producing different diameters


The Handle: Here we would like to again mention AiRRUS’ Filament Winding process that creates much of the rod to provide beneficial characteristics not just in structural design but overall performance. Because of this filament winding process, more graphite is not needed to provide structural integrity to the large diameter rod. Rather, with this process, you can actually have a blank section that’s totally different in diameter but have the same amount of graphite and still hold its strength even if the section of the rod built of the larger diameter has thinner walls. With the Tradition we had an opportunity to look into the graphite handle that is built of the filament wound process. From the picture above you can see the thickness of the handle wall. How can such large diameter tube with such thin walls hold its shape? The answer is in filament winding. After removing the butt cap we squeezed different sections of the handle. From center and up the rod, it felt solid, without any compression. Even at the very end of the rod, with no cap in place, the blank is not soft at all but has minimal movement when pressed together with your fingers. Ultimately, this is not an issue because the butt cap will be in place to give the tubular blank its support, but this is the first time we’ve had the actual chance to see upfront what filament winding is all about.


AiRRUS' Filament Winding process can create thin-walled blanks and hold its structure even at an one inch diameter. Above is a picture of the rod with the weight port removed to show you how thin it is


Lab Tests: In our continuing effort to bring to you, our readers, a method to compare the rods we test with something you can handle at your local tackle store, all our test rods will go through our controlled lab tests. Our goal is to arm you with the confidence and knowledge of what to expect when placing orders for fishing rods by phone or through the internet before ever handling the specific rod you’re considering. This brings us to the AiRRUS Tradition lab tests and finding a rod, in our vaults, which you can hopefully find at your local tackle store for use as a point of comparison. For this article, we will be using a G.Loomis DSR820C as our baseline for comparison. Our baseline rod is a casting model but shares the exact same ratings as the DSR820S, the spinning model, so we are proceeding on the assumption the blanks are identical.


Paired with a Quantum Catalyst 10PTi, the Tradition balances very nicely


We collected some pre-testing data before conducting our RoD tests. The AiRRUS Tradition is rated with a Fast action, and through the filament wound portion is virtually spineless the tip section showed a spine on the top side. We also weighed the AiRRUS with its new weight port at the end of the rod to be a total of 4.8 ounces. The balance point was determined from the center of the reel seat to seven inches up moving towards the tip and without a reel. With the Catalyst 10PTi mounted on the rod, the balance point is just above the top of the reel seat, a great position to be balanced because that’s where many anglers grasp the rod while casting and retrieving.


Lab Results






Balance Point





4.8 oz

+ 7"

G.Loomis DSR820C



left & right

4.0 oz

+ 6.25"


The Tradition produced a RoD rating of 4.75


Rate of Deflection (RoD): In our RoD tests, we applied constant loads ranging from one to 16 ounces to the tip of our Tradition and Loomis sticks and took note of the amount of deflection at each load point. We then took the average of our RoD values for the overall result. Our ATS701M has an average RoD value of 4.75 while our baseline rod, the Loomis dropshot rod, came in with an average RoD of 4.40. What does this mean? The results show that the DSR820C, having a lower RoD value, is a slightly more powerful rod than the Tradition but close enough to where you can go handle the DSR820C and get an idea of how the ATS701M might feel. This is assuming your local tackle shop doesn’t carry the ATS701M that is.


Next Section: Field performance tests and results  









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