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Rod Review


 

ARK Fishing Provides the Catalyst for Value

 

Date: 8/22/22
Tackle Type: Rod
Manufacturer: ARK Fishing
Reviewer: Cal






Total Score: 7.75 - GOOD


Introduction:
There is, perhaps, no more aggressive a fishing rod manufacturer focused on delivering value than ARK Fishing International. Since they came into our focus in 2017 at ICAST, they continue to prove a manufacturer does not have to charge top dollar to deliver fishing rods that perform. 2022 marks the year ARK Fishing lowers that bar even further. Their brand new Catalyzer series takes a blank normally associated with a rod series priced somewhere in the one hundred fifty dollar ($150) range and chops that cost to acquire in half. Here's our look at the Catalyzer CTL73MHFC.

 

ARK Fishing Catalyzer CTL73MHFC Specifications

Material 36-ton HM Graphite
Length 7'-3"
Line Wt. 10-17lb
Lure Wt. 1/4-1oz
Pieces 1
Guides 8+tip (stainless steel)
Rear Handle Length 10.5"
Power Rating Medium Heavy
Taper Fast
Rod Weight 4.2oz
Origin Made in China
MSRP $59.99


Introducing ARK Fishing's Catalyzer

Impressions: Ark Fishing's Catalyzer series is built on a blank rolled with 36-ton high modulus graphite. The CTL73MHFC specifically is a seven foot, three inch (7'-3") stick built with a split grip, ten and a half inch (10.5") rear handle and a total of eleven (11) guides. The guides feature stainless steel frame and polished stainless steel inserts. It's a very no-nonsense build - all black with white graphics.

 


The CTL73MHFC is a no frills value stick from ARK Fishing

 

Out of the shipping tube and in hand, the CTL73MHFC doesn't feel like a stick priced at $59.99. It's relatively light and feels lively. In fact, I had to check back a few times to remind myself this stick's price point. It has the feel of a stick more in the range of $125 - $175. The only difference I can see, really, is the choice in guides.


Testing the CTL73MHFC during the early season jig bite!

Real World Tests: For the CTL73MHFC's tests, I just happened to have in my possession late model prototypes of ARK Fishing's soon to be debuted casting reel. Normally, when manufacturers share information and product like this with us, it's done with an understanding of confidentiality. ARK Fishing intends to debut these reels at ICAST 2022 and was more than happy to have us share that information. Continuing the Catalyzer's dark motif, I spooled the reel with 50lb Daiwa J-Braid and gave it a top shot of 12lb Seaguar AbrazX using an Albright knot to connect the lines.


ARK Fishing plans to debut their casting reels at ICAST 2022

Casting: The CTL73MHFC is pretty versatile when it comes to casting. I was able to present a variety of baits including ned rigs, jigs, jerkbaits, and a lipless crank fairly easily with the big surprise being the ned rig. I imagine total weight of that jighead and worm was probably around a quarter of an ounce anyway (right at the stick's lower end range), but I was surprised nonetheless, especially considering my less than finesse line and reel setup. The CTL73MHFC's tip loaded well in all these situations and after the first cast with each bait, I didn't have to think twice about what I was fishing.


Playing around with a ned rig and actually being rewarded with a bite

Sensitivity: I realize we throw out blank material specifications as if it's supposed to mean something to everyone and believe me, after a while it all kind of blends together for us too. The most important thing really, is how does that stick feel out on the water. This is why we conduct our tests in real life fishing situations with all products we review. However, a little perspective on this 36-ton graphite ARK Fishing says they are using in the Catalyzer series. This is the same material used in rods like Abu Garcia's IKE series, Phenix's M1, and iRod's Crusher. Each of these series feature better components than the Catalyzer and are priced at $150, $175, and $190 respectively.


The one benefit of these low-tech guides? I think they actually enhance sensitivity

Next Section: Sensitivity and Power

 

   

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