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Rod Review


ARK Rods Pierces the Sub $100 Stigma with their Lancer Bass Rods (continued)

Sensitivity: There was a time, not really that long ago, when IM8 was considered top end material for a rod blank. Now we're seeing it used in a budget priced stick, but regardless of the price point, thanks to that blank, this stick has pretty good sensitivity. Case in point? In a "let's see what this combo can do" kind of moment, I backed off the casting brakes on my RevoX, let out about five inches of line from the rod tip to the bait, reared back, and let that TxRig C-Pod setup fly as far as I could on an overhead cast. The LAC73MHFC loaded perfectly fine and the RevoX, magnetic brakes and all, let that bait fly.

Guides are stainless steel with aluminum oxide inserts.

Fly it did, and much further than I had anticipated, which was a good thing for both the rod and reel on this test. But that wasn't all, about two seconds after the bait splashed down, and all the way through that 10lb nylon monofilament fishing line, into the rod tip and down to the reel seat, I felt a slight "tick".

Fig 1 : The chart above illustrates the deflection characteristics of our
ARK Rods LAC73MHFC against our baseline Search for One sticks.

Power: My first thought was "no way" because it was a blind cast out in the middle of no where just to test the capability of the rod and reel, but it was a definite "tick." So I reeled down to take in the slack line on top of the water and as soon as my line straightened out, I swung! It was fish on! Even then, I didn't think I had enough leverage or enough strength in that swing with 10lb nylon monofilament to get a good hookset, but somehow the LAC73MHFC's length and power came through and I was able to battle that fish all the way back to the boat - remarkable.

Checking out the rod's taper.

Design & Ergonomics: It's difficult to expect too much from a ninety dollar stick when it comes to ergonomics and the Lancer LAC73MHFC doesn't really give you much. The first thing you will notice when picking up this stick is it feels heavy. In fact, it is not. At only 4.2 ounces, this stick is lighter than the average of 26 similarly rated sticks during our official Search for One campaign. Where this stick falls short is balance. It is pretty tip heavy and something I'd come to expect for a stick within this price range.

Nice decorative touch at the back end of the rear grip.

Lab Results for ARK Rods LAC73MHFC

Avg RoD (2-32 oz)
Measured Weight (oz)
Balance Point (inches)
Balancing Torque (ftlbs)
MBR783C GLX2000
TSFO 26 Rod Avg

Thread wraps were clean.

Design wise, were it not for the grey logo section of the stick right above the reel seat, this stick would have a pretty cool color scheme. Unfortunately, that grey patch of rod together with the lackluster rod series logo just serves as a reminder you're not fishing something very high end.

Hook keeper is closed loop.

Price & Applications: Moving past all that superficial stuff, we are reminded that the Lancer LAC73MHFC is a very capable and worthy all purpose baitcasting stick that retails for a mere $89.89. It is a seriously good value. We also spent some time on the water with the LAC610MRC and recommend this stick as a nice companion to the LAC73MHFC for horizontal presentations with spinnerbaits, shallow to medium depth cranks, lipless cranks and so on.

The end cap is compressed cork composite.


ARK Rods LAC73MHFC Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Very well put together stick - solid build 8
Performance Better pitching stick than casting but very good sensitivity 8
Price A quality sub $100 rod 9
Features Basic components 7
Design (Ergonomics) A little tip heavy and lackluster graphics but serviceable 7
Application A very good choice if you're looking for a cost effective, all purpose stick 7

Total Score

Ratings Key: 1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = unbelievable!
For More Details of the updated rating system visit our explanation here


Pluses and Minuses:


+ Priced Right - Tip Heavy
+ Good Sensitivity  
+ Good Power  
+ Versatile stick  

If your search for one stick is limited by budget, the Lancer LAC73MHFC is worth a look.

Conclusion: It's difficult to really expect too much when fishing a stick that's so affordable. Even then, ARK Rods proves the budget stick has come a long way.


Built on a blank rolled from IM8 graphite - a designation that once upon a time meant high end, it's no surprise that the Lancer actually performs and performs well. Objectively speaking, it's difficult to find fault with anything about this stick. It gets the job done. 


Subjectively, there is an issue with balance and the lackluster graphics, but these two items will vary in degree of importance with each individual angler. Bottom line is, if you're on a budget, but still on your Search for One, you need to add ARK Rods's Lancer LAC73MHFC to your list of sticks to consider.


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