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Rod Review


Bipidy-Boppidy-Boop, Ark's Brandon Cobb's Fairy Wand is Not a Childhood Fable


Date: 8/30/21
Tackle Type: Rod
Manufacturer: ARK Fishing International
Reviewer: Cal




Total Score: 7.83 - GOOD

In the few short years we've known about the company, ARK Fishing International has been as aggressive in their growth as a largemouth bass on an exclusive diet of rainbow trout. Louie Zhang, owner and CEO, of ARK has been busy introducing new, value driven brands since he introduced us to his company back at ICAST 2017. Last year, the company celebrated its early success with the launch of their flagship, Reinforcer line. Now, leveraging the success of their best selling Randall Tharp signature series of rods, ARK is hoping to catch another wave of momentum with their latest introduction, a series bearing the name of a rising star in bass fishing circles, Brandon Cobb. Today, we take a look at our first rod in this new line, the BB73MLXS Fairy Wand.


ARK Fishing Brandon Cobb Series BB73MLXS Specifications

Material Toray 40T Carbon Fiber
Length 7'-3"
Line Wt. 4-10lb
Lure Wt. 1/16-1/2oz
Pieces One
Guides 7+tip, SS/Aluminum Oxide w/ Zirconium Tip Top
Rear Handle Length 9
Power Rating Medium Light
Taper Extra-Fast
Rod Weight 4.1oz
Origin Made in China
MSRP $99.89

A new year means a new series of rods for Ark Fishing International

Impressions: ARK Fishing's Cobb Series BB73MLXS is a seven foot, three inch spinning rod built with an extra-fast taper and rated for baits from one sixteenth of an ounce up to half an ounce (1/16-1/2oz). It is designed as a finesse rod hence its nickname. Pro Anglers often refer to light powered spinning gear as "Fairy Wands" inferring a less than serious nature behind the sticks. It is an ironic inference for any angler who is serious about bass fishing is well aware the effectiveness of finesse tactics and how critical these techniques can be to your success on the water.


Our first look at the Cobb Series, the BB73MLXS spinning rod


ARK Fishing is serious with this stick building it with a base of 40 ton graphite, a grade normally reserved for higher end sticks, but keeping costs down by outfitting it with lower end guides featuring aluminum oxide inserts. The the tip top guide, the one that sees the most friction, is upgraded with a Zirconium insert. For anglers that care more about a rod's blank than its components, this is an intriguing build.

Getting right to work with this new finesse rod

Real World Tests: Fresh off the heels of its own review, I found a new purpose for my Okuma ITX-2500H by pairing it with the BB73MLXS for another round of real world tests. This time, I spooled the reel with some 16lb YGK G-Soul SS 112 Sinking Braid and a leader of 6lb Seaguar Tatsu. I had to remove the the line I previously had on that reel so I could take more detailed lab photos before finishing the review. With light line, I normally make leader connections with a uni to uni knot, but for this setup, I took the time to attempt an FG knot instead. For whatever reason, I have difficulty tying this knot with light line, but somehow I managed to put it together this one time.

The grip, right below the reel seat is camo patterned EVA foam

Casting: I have a very strong leaning for light powered spinning rods with extra fast tapers because this design allows me to make quick casts with the snap of my wrist. I find spinning rods with a slower taper don't load correctly when I cast in this manner, so instead I have to employ a slower, sweeping technique to give the rod proper time to load. If you're a spinning rod, that's a quick way to get on my bad side. Well, despite knowing the BB73MLXS is designed with the type of taper I prefer, I was still surprised by its responsiveness to my casting method.

The butt end is cork

I guess I just have in my mind that budget friendly spinning rods don't usually behave the way I like during the cast. Either they load too slowly, or the rod's actual power is more suited towards general purpose applications than true finesse. In anycase, I was able to cast both drop shot and ned rig presentations with very little effort or second thought thanks to the BB73MLXS.

Running guides all feature aluminum oxide inserts, but the tip top is Zirconium

Next: Sensitivity for only $100 dollars...









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