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Rod Review

Finesse Fishing with Damiki's Dark Angel S701ML Spinning Rod

Date: 12/08/09
Tackle type: Rod
Manufacturer: Damiki
Reviewer: Cal

Total Score: 7.83 - GOOD

Introduction: Earlier this year, and as part of our Crankbait Rod Wars, we took at look at Damiki’s Dark Angel C761M-CR. While this stick scored respectably in our review, we were really hoping for a bit more from this new-to-North America company. So we thought we’d take our investigation a bit further with the Dark Angel line and look at one of the C761M-CR’s siblings. Presenting our review of the Damiki Dark Angel S701ML.


Introducing Damiki's Dark Angel S701ML spinning rod.

Damiki Dark Angel S701ML Specifications

Material Graphite
Length 7'-0"
Length of Rear Handle 10"
Line Weight Rating 6-12lbs
Lure Weight Rating 1/8 - 3/8 ounces
Pieces One
Guides 8 + Tip, Fuji Alconite
Power Rating Medium Light
Taper Extra Fast
Rod Weight 4.4 oz
Manufacturing Country China
MSRP $179

Impressions: What makes the S701ML interesting to me is its extra-fast taper. I really enjoy this taper in a light powered rod because it gives what can typically be an almost noodle-like rod a real, nice, snappy tip. The S701ML has a lot of that snappy feel to it thanks to its faster than average taper. Otherwise, the styling cues and components are very similar to its Dark Angel sibling, the C761M-CR, we reviewed earlier this year.

Fig 1: This chart illustrates the deflection characteristics of the Damiki Dark Angel S701ML as compared to several other sticks in our database. Note how similarly this rod performs to the G.Loomis SHR821S and Dobyns Rods 702SF.

Lab Tests: On our RoD WRACK, the S701ML tested out very similarly to one previously reviewed stick, the G.Loomis SHR821S, and one not stick that we’ve yet to review, Dobyns Rod’s 702SF. The similarities to the G.Loomis stick are particularly intriguing because both sticks also share similar tapers, overall weights and balancing torque numbers.

Lab Results for Damiki S701ML


Avg Rod (2-32 oz)


Measured Weight (oz)

Balance Point (inches)

Balancing Torque (ftlbs)







Dobyns 702SF






Loomis SHR821S






Bronzeback GLX












Field Tests: Out on the water, I fished the Damiki Dark Angel S701ML with two different reels. The first was the JDM Daiwa Exist Steez 2506 and the second is the very USDM WaveSpin DHxL. Both reels were spooled with fluorocarbon lines.

The S701ML is perfectly suited to Northern California's clear water reservoirs.

Casting: Much like the G.Loomis SHR821S, the S701ML is a very predictable caster. Out on some of our clear water reservoirs like Lake Camanche and Pardee in Northern California, distance is the key and the S701ML comes through with shining colors as one might expect from a seven foot spinning rod.

Damiki's Dark Angel rods are built with hints of JDM styling's without a hint of the JDM price tag.

In tighter quarters along the California Delta, where there are overhangs and a lot of shoreline vegetation, accuracy is more important. With practice, the S701ML is a very accurate rod with which to cast, but it’s been some time for me working on accurate casts with a spinning rod, so user error was in play more than usual.

Taking the S701ML out on the California Delta.


It's all about the taper with this stick.

For tightwire, precision casts with a spinning rod, I’m accustomed to a much shorter rod that’s quick to load so I can point to my target and with a quick flick of my wrist, fire my bait right where I want it to go. Given the long lever arm of a seven foot stick, it takes a bit more time to tune my motion to where I can deliver the same type of accuracy. Thanks to the S701ML’s extra-fast taper, I was able to do this. With a more moderate tapered rod, I may not have been able to achieve this same quick fire accuracy.

The Damiki hook keeper is very well suited for finesse baits...


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