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Rod Review

Denali's Stealthy Noirwood N823FJ Finesse Jig (continued)

Power: Once hooked up this stick behaves as you might expect from a medium powered rod. You’re not going to overpower a fish with this or any other medium powered stick, but instead, with consistent moderate pressure applied when battling in open water, you’ll get the desired results. The rod’s fast taper is good both at the task of setting hook and battling the fish to the boat.

This is every bit a medium powered stick.

The exotic wood foregrips are now a signature of Denali rods.

Design: Aside from the afore mentioned components, the N823FJ also sports attractive winding checks, silver thread highlights on the first guide wrap, and a shiny grey finish to the blank. It’s styled attractively, but we’re left to wonder if the blank were left bare, would that result in a crisper feel to the overall build.

Denali makes use of ALPS Light XN guides for this stick.

A closer look at the textured rear grip made of carbon.

Application: Given the rod’s length and how easy it is to cast, I think it makes a better jerkbait, spinnerbait, topwater rod than it does a finesse jig stick. It can certainly support the application for which it’s specified, but it’s more fun to use in the horizontal techniques I just listed. The nice, smooth bend in the blank really comes alive in these roles


Denali Noirwood N823FJ Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Nicely crafted rod 8.5
Performance Did well in every category except for sensitivity 7
Price A bit higher than I expected 6
Features Guides performed fine and the carbon grip is comfortable and not slippery at all 8
Design (Ergonomics) I'd prefer a bare blank but overall balance and weight is good 7.5
Application Better as a moving bait stick for spinnerbaits, jerkbaits, and topwater than it is for finesse jigs 7.5

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:


+ Nice stealthy look - Blank could be more crisp/sensitive
+ Solid Components - Price is higher than anticipated... expectations at this price point are high
+ Good casting performance  


Conclusion: Denali is doing some nice things in an effort to differentiate themselves from the crowd. Their decorative wooden foregrips are a trademark, and they continue the use of unconventional materials in the carbon rear grip of their Noirwood rods. The N823FJ is a fun stick to fish, but I'd prefer the blank on this higher end rod be left bare, otherwise we had no issue with their choice in Alps guides and Forecast reel seat.

Denali's N823FJ is a fun stick to fish, but I prefer it for moving baits rather than finesse jigs.

Overall, the N823FJ felt a lot more like a stick made for moving baits than it did casting finesse jigs, but then again, ever since our "What the Finesse" year ended, I've had a tough time slowing back down, so maybe it's just me. The Denali Noirwoord N823FJ delivers in the casting department and is a nicely crafted custom rod that has plenty of personality, something often lacking in competing rods.


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