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Rod Review

A Creature Feverish Search for The One? The 735C from Dobyns Rods


Date: 5/19/13
Tackle Type: Rods
Manufacturer: Dobyns Rods
Reviewer: Cal

Total Score: 7.95 - GOOD

Dobyns Rods Champion series has become one of the most popular domestic rod lines here in the States. The combination of performance and value in their product together with the winning history of the company's namesake, Gary Dobyns, is the reason these sticks are among the top picks with anglers fishing tournament circuits across the US. Their most popular model? A stick that just happens to fit right in with our Creature Fever theme from last year. Here's our look at Dobyns Rods Champion Series 735C.


Still suffering from Creature Fever? Dobyns Rods Champion Series 735C might be your remedy.


Dobyns Rods 735C Specifications

Material Proprietary Graphite
Length 7'-3"
Line Wt. 12-25 lb
Lure Wt. 1/4 - 1 1/2 oz
Pieces one
Guides 10 + tip (SiC inserts, SS frames by Kigan)
Rear Handle Length 10 inches
Power Rating Medium Heavy (by manufacturer)
Taper Extra Fast
Rod Weight 5.7 Ounces
Origin Made in Korea
MSRP $249.99


Quality/Construction: The 735C is a one piece, seven foot, three inch rod (7'-3"). It features a painted blank finished in matt black. Our review specimen was very clean. The full rear grip is a good grade of cork and has very tight tolerances with no visible gaps between materials and components. The epoxy finish around the guide wraps is surprisingly clean and consistent for a factory wrapped rod.


The 735C features a matt black painted blank.


Looking down the rod's length from butt to tip, alignment of the blank and guides is spot on and we witnessed no other unusual or unfortunate blemishes on the rod. Dobyns Rods has their quality control dialed in very well.


Quality Ratings for Dobyns Rods 735C

Finish (1-5)
Grip (1-5)
Epoxy (1-5)
Blank (1-2)
Guides (1-2)


For a factory wrapped stick, our 735C was very clean.

Performance: For our field tests, I matched the Dobyns Rods 735C with a Daiwa Zillion Type R and took the combo with us on several trips to Clear Lake during our 2012 testing season.

Checking out the rod's taper out on the water.

Casting: The rated lure weight casting range for this stick is one quarter ounce to one and a half ounces (1/4 - 1 1/2 oz). It appears more and more manufacturers are pushing the limits of their blanks' ratings. In the case of the 735C, this is a good thing as this rod is able to easily handle baits in this range without feeling overly stout on the low end or overloaded on the high end. In fact, this rod's nice limber tip is its most attractive attribute, it's great fun with which to cast and pitch.

The 735C is a pitching and casting machine.

Sensitivity: I fished the 735C with braid (primarily 50lb Sufix 832), so sensitivity was heightened by this experience. Just the same, on a subjective scale from one to five, I'd rate this stick a 4. It's not the most sensitive stick I've fished, but it's also better than average. At no point was I really left wanting for more from this stick in terms of sensitivity.

Fig 1 : The deflection chart above shows the 735C (orange curve) has an even stronger backbone than our Creature Fever baseline rod, G.Loomis's MBR844C GLX. The rods seem to share a similar tip but once the load exceeds twelve ounces, the 735C really stiffens up. This is great if you're looking for a heavy powered stick, but if you're expecting a medium heavy, as its label suggests, you might be disappointed.

Power: The 735C is labeled on the blank as a medium heavy powered rod with an extra fast taper. A trip to the lab and an appointment with the RoD WRACK would suggest otherwise. If you look at the chart above, you will see the 735C's curve runs more shallow than that of our 2012 Creature Fever baseline rod, the MBR844C GLX. More accurately, their curves are nearly identical up to the load range of twelve ounces. Beyond that, the 735C's deflection is less than that of the MBR 844C GLX suggesting it's the more powerful of the two.

Lab Results for Dobyns Rods 735C

Avg RoD (2-32 oz)
Measured Weight (oz)
Balance Point (inches)
Balancing Torque (ftlbs)
Dobyns Rods 735C
Ex Fast

Recognizing every rod manufacturer rates their rods differently, we'd say the 735C is more of a heavy powered rod than medium heavy. This impression is reinforced by how the stick behaves out in the water. Behind that soft, castable tip is a pretty stout backbone serving to validate what we were able to measure in the lab. In general, power is a good thing, but if you're looking for a more traditional "medium heavy" powered rod from this manufacturer, we'd suggest stepping down to a 4 or even 3 power.

The 735C certainly has enough power to help you control your catch and get it to the boat.

Performance Ratings for Dobyns Rods 735C

Pitch (1-5)
Cast (1-5)
HookSet (1-5)
Control (1-5)


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