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Rod Review


ARK Rods Strikes at Value with their Viper VIP72MHXC (continued)

Sensitivity: You never really know what to expect in terms of sensitivity when a manufacturer uses the generic term "high-modulus" to describe the graphite, or carbon fiber, used to roll the blank. Truthfully, even when they give us specifics, that may set a certain expectation, but you never really know until you get the stick out on the water anyway, because you don't know what was used in the resin or what if anything else was added to the material as they rolled the blank.

The split rear trip is made of EVA foam.

When I hear a generic term describing a blank's makeup, my natural assumption is the result is not going to be great in terms of sensitivity. Starting off wit low expectations is maybe a good thing or at least it is for the VIP72MHXC because this stick is actually surprisingly crisp and responsive especially considering its price point. I give it good marks for sensitivity.

Fig 1 : The chart above illustrates the deflection characteristics of our
Ark Rods Viper VIP72MHXC against our baseline Search for One sticks.

Power: Rods with extra-fast tapers set up more quickly than others and often fish above their rated power range. This is true of the VIP72MHXC. As you can see in figure 1 above, the stick's deflection curve is well below that of our baseline "medium heavy" rated sticks from our Search for One campaign eight years ago. You can feel this out on the water too that while the VIP72MHXC has a nice, soft tip, it sets up quickly, and smoothly into that backbone and gives you a good amount of control over your catch.

Checking out the taper.

Design & Ergonomics: This is where the VIP72MHXC performs more in line with its price point. I'd say its weight, at 5.1oz, is about average for a stick of its length and power rating. Balance is somewhat average as well. It is slightly tip heavy. The stick's graphics and color scheme are certainly subjective, but I personally could go for a different accent color. Handle design is pretty straight forward and the use of micro-guides is fine unless you fish in very cold temperatures or in places where there is a lot of debris in the water. Micro-guides are impacted by those conditions.

Thread wraps are black with green highlights.

Lab Results for Ark Rods Viper VIP72MHXC

Avg RoD (2-32 oz)
Measured Weight (oz)
Balance Point (inches)
Balancing Torque (ftlbs)
Ark Rods Viper VIP72MHXC
MBR783C GLX2000
TSFO 26 Rod Avg

There are also matching decorative winding checks.

Price & Applications: The best thing about this stick, of course, is its affordability and given its performance, this rod is a very good value. I did use it initially for some moving bait applications, but given the rod's taper, its sweet spot is really with vertical bait presentations. It's a really good pitching stick.

The VIP72MHXC is value priced at $99.99.


Ark Rods Viper VIP72MHXC Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality A clean if unrefined build 7.5
Performance Very surprising especially given sensitivity 8
Price Not much to complain about here 9
Features Solid components 7
Design (Ergonomics) Average weight and balance 6.5
Application Excellent choice for vertical presentations (jigs, soft plastics, etc.) 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:


+ Solid components - Little tip heavy
+ Clean overall build - Could use a different color scheme
+ Good overall sensitivity  
+ Very good performance to value ratio  

ARK Rods continues to impress delivering a good performance to value ratio in every series we've fished.

Conclusion: ARK Rods continues to impress delivering a good performance to value ratio in every series we've fished. If the VIP72MHXC is any indication, the entire Viper Series is worth a close look especially if you're trying to build a bass fishing arsenal but at the same time, save a little money. As for this stick alone, if you're looking for value in a stick with which to fish jigs and soft plastics, the VIP72MHXC belongs on your short list.


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