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Rod Review

The “Megaphone Effect” on the innovative AiRRUS Tradition (continued)

Field Tests: Before we even fished the Tradition, we consulted with Ken Whiting to get his take on what techniques for which he believes this rod is best suited. He explained that the ATS701M was designed with the intent of being used as a drop shot rod. We then set out and fished the ATS701M using various drop shot methods to test its overall performance including the finest details on how it casts, how it handles fish, and most importantly the sensitivity this one-piece design delivers.


Complete Rig for AiRRUS Tradition Tests

Rod AiRRUS Tradition (ATS701M)
Reel Quantum Catalyst PTi (10PTi)
Line 4 lb. Sufix Elite


Casting: Remember the past review of our Rogue drop shot rod that weighed 4.8 ounces and felt like the rod would fly out of your hands when casting? The AiRRUS Tradition ATS701M comes in at the same weight, but when we went to cast the Tradition it felt right on. The rod was able to cast all types of soft plastics and heavier lures when paired with an even larger sized reel than what we used to conduct all our tests. We then removed the reel from the Tradition and found the balance point a couple of inches infront of the reel seat, a common place where most anglers will grasp the rod at to cast and retrieve. The Tradition felt well balanced compared to the tip heavy Rogue rod. Because this rod is balanced, our seven foot AiRRUS Tradition allowed us to cast drop shot and other finesse fishing rigs without hesitation.


Good characteristics make the Tradition a good drop shot rod


Sensitivity: Sensitivity is quite good on the Tradition thanks to the integrated handle design. The Tradition is the only rod where your entire hand holds directly onto the rod blank without any customization. Though the sensitivity is quite good, its overall length and long tip actually appears to be somewhat soft like a few other drop shot rods we’ve fished before. At times it’s better to keep an eye on the tip to detect strikes rather than feeling it at the hands. Compared to other rods with the similar characteristics (long length and soft tip), the Tradition will have the upper hand because the graphite in the Tradition is continuous from the rod’s tip to forming the actual grip where all the vibrations are sent down the rod straight to your hands.


When fishing the ATS701M your hands are grasping the actual rod blank that forms the handle

Power: The medium power and fast action Tradition has the right characteristics for drop shot fishing. The power of the ATS701M is good and fish after fish we knew we had a great drop shot rod in our hands. The seven foot rod will flex nicely when fighting the fish to the boat but it’s not a rod you want to use by roughly hauling a fish in after hooking up. If there was one thing we could improve, we’d like to this rod with a slightly more powerful butt for even better hooksets and fish handling abilities.


Here's a view of the CAXIN Sc6 reel seat


Ergonomics: Earlier we spoke of the rod being able to cast because of its action and balance. Yes, this rod balances really nicely when paired with our Quantum Catalyst PTi in size 10. And if you need more weight at the butt end, you can insert weights into the weight-port just like other AiRRUS rods. With such balance, you’ll be able to bounce drop shot weights all day with this 4.8 ounce spinning rod. You might question the comfort level when gripping straight graphite but we can tell you that it’s not much different than Hypalon or cork on normal days. During the winter the graphite does feel colder just like our Rogue with the woven graphite grip. When wet you won’t lose your grip. The one inch graphite handle does well when your hands are wet and will not cause the rod to slip out of your hands.


Check out the glow this rod provides. The gold butt cap shown in this picture is actually the old design


Durability: We’ve fished the ATS701M Tradition for over six months now and durability issues never came into our minds because this rod held up nicely. The guides are of quality along with the reel seat. With the graphite handle you won’t have to worry about dirt, grime or discoloration like you would with cork. A simple wipe is all it takes to make the graphite handle look like new again.


The new design sports a weight-port just like other AiRRUS rods


Application: Though the Tradition ATS701M isn’t spelled out as a Drop Shot rod, it’s designed perfectly for this technique. This spinning outfit can handle all drop shot applications except the method used with heavier lines, hooks, and plastics. Specified with a medium power and fast action, and coming in at a well balanced seven feet, this rod can also double as a finesse worm stick.


The Tradition is good for the drop shot technique but can double as a finesse stick for soft plastics


Cal’s Impressions: I most enjoyed the unique style of this rod with it's all graphite construction. The reel seat takes some getting used to but is an interesting feature and very easy to use. The reel holds snug and secure without any of the awkward lock rings and questions of "did I screw it down tight enough? Too tight? Am I going to scratch my reel?" The rod loads easily and casts are accurate and crisp and sensitivity is good though I was hoping for more given the rod's integrated grip construction. The AiRRUS Tradition is certainly fun rod to handle!


AiRRUS Tradition (ATS701M) Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality A very well built rod with quality components. The thread wraps are flawless and matches the rod nicely. The rod uses a new mandrel that rolls the rod in a continuous manner and shows great design 9
Performance This rod has good overall performance but can use some more strength in the butt section for better hooksets. This rod is well balanced allowing controlled casts. The innovative AiRRUS design greatly enhances its sensitivity 9
Price An excellent value for a rod of this class and performance 8.5
Features This rod features Fuji components and a CAXIN Sc6 reel seat design that’s widely used in Asia and Europe. What’s really unique is this rod features AiRRUS’ innovation with a handle that’s part of the rod 8.5
Design (Ergonomics) Amazing in ergonomics. At 4.8 ounces in weight this rod feels lighter because it’s well balance in your hands. The graphite handle is one inch in diameter and easy to grasp onto all day 8.5
Application Anglers will like this model for the drop shot technique but we found it best for the traditional method. It can also be used as a back up stick for finesse worms 8.5

Total Score


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J One piece from tip to grip L Could strengthen the butt section
J Well balanced + balance port  
J Looks good  
J Well built  

The AiRRUS Tradition is like no other rod out there. The rod is built using AiRRUS’ unique process that includes filament winding and a new mandrel that produces a rod continuously from end to end. Even though the diameter of the handle is larger, it actually uses the same amount of graphite as the small diameter section thanks to the sound construction provided by filament winding. The Tradition has a stunning appearance and uses quality components, including the CAXIN Sc6 reel seat that makes mounting a reel quicker than ever with a solid hold. This drop shot rod has good sensitivity, casts great, but can use a little more power to deliver a quicker and more solid hookset. This 7 feet rod weighs 4.8 ounces but you can be sure that it feels lighter than it actually is because this rod is absolutely balanced with and without a reel. The AiRRUS Tradition is an innovative rod that looks more like a collector piece than an actual tool, but this rod can and will perform on the water when targeting bass and other similarly sized species.


Buy here: AiRRUS Tradition Rods $ 129.95












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