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Rod Review

A Big Stick for Big Fish, Dobyns Gen 2 Mike Long Edition 795 Swimbait Rod


Date: 5/13/10
Tackle type: Rod
Manufacturer: Dobyns Rods
Reviewer: Zander

Total Score: 8.08 - EDITOR'S CHOICE

Update from TT Editors 6/25/19 - We reviewed a number of Dobyns Mike Long Signature bass rods years ago, and the rod in this article was one of them. At the time Mike was well respected for his giant bass catching capabilities, and we also spoke to him at industry events about the design of these rods. The recent article and video by SDFish.com captures a series of events, and behaviors, that are extremely disappointing for any angler that enjoys the sport of fishing, and especially the pursuit of trophy class largemouth. For anglers, the joy and challenge of making countless casts with big baits is fueled by the dream of enticing a proper strike, and landing one of these unforgettable fish.

We know that Dobyns rods severed ties with Mike years ago, and like other manufacturers, outdoor media, and anglers, many people believed in Mikeís bass hunting abilities, and are likely just as disappointed. Over the years we have fished the signature rods mentioned in this review, and even purchasing a few more ourselves for use in other big bait reviews, and while we still believe in the rodís capabilities we do have to now question what was originally told to us about the layout and designs of these signature rods.

Where the Mike Long Signature on the original rods used to be a positive reminder of the passion in which to pursue big bass, it now serves as a reminder that it is important to pursue these fish, and treat others, with integrity and respect. As with all of our reviews we hope that you, the angler, can extract the points that are meaningful to you, and your unique applications. For those anglers that have purchased the original signature series rods we hope that you continue to enjoy each cast, and every memory that a swimbait fish brings. For us, we no longer feel motivated to utilize them, even for future bait testing purposes, and will be donating all of them to up and coming young anglers that will be able to put them to good use. - Z


Introduction: When Dobyns rod introduced their Gen 2 rods they made drastic changes in the look and feel of many of their rods, but what about those that had become popular among anglers like the Mike Long 795 swimbait stick? Built in a new factory with a completely different design these new rods are designed to be an improvement over the original and we put the new gen 2 version through the ringer to see just how true that is.


Dobyns Rods Champion 795ML Gen 2 Specifications

Material Proprietary Graphite
Length 7'9"
Length from Back of Reel Seat to Base 13.5"
Line Wt. 15-30lbs
Lure Wt. 4-8 inch baits / 1-5 ounces
Pieces one
Guides 9 + tip (Kigan SiC)
Power Rating Medium Heavy
Taper Fast
Rod Weight 7.1 ounces
Manufacturing Country Korea
MSRP $239


Dobyns Rods has updated their entire line with a new look and feel as well as moved to Kigan components when their second generation was introduced


Impressions: It is no secret that I personally liked the previous generation Dobyns swimbait rod, it surprised me with how well it cast and had plenty of backbone to bring in big fish with a whole lot of bait in their mouths. When the new series debuted I wasnít sure what to think of the new look and feel. The rods were much flashier in appearance but they did maintain that extra long handle, something that Mike Long looks for in heavy applications. The Medium/Heavy rated 795MLSB is one of two Mike Long Signature Edition rods in the Dobyns lineup, the second being the 806MLSB which is 8 feet in length and is rated heavy.


The stick balances out well with a number of round reels as well as large baitcasters like the Curado 300


I was quickly reassured when the new rods tested very similarly to the previous generation in the lab, so similar that we donít even need to get into the actual lab results. If you liked the power curve of the previous rod then you will like the Gen 2 as this new rod bears the same characteristics. Like the previous rods the new Champion rods make use of Fuji reel seats and the Champion extreme rods feature the same seats with a special flip-flop style paint treatment designed to match up with other components on the rod.  


A new logo can be found on top of the kevlar wrapping


The 795MLSB falls in the Champion line and features a black, blue and gray finish whereas the Champion Extreme rods have a brown and orange motif with paint that can even look green under certain lighting conditions. The aggressively priced Savvy rods are the most understated and are mostly black with some red highlights.


The same "DR" logo now makes it to the butt cap which is now recessed into a cork composite butt


When I first saw the Champion series I was a bit taken aback by the grey section above the foregrip, this treatment seemed to cheapen the rod to me and I was used to the more stealthy matte black look of the original series. But like the long handle after time I began to appreciate the styling more and more and basically feel neutral about it now. The nice thing about the finish is that is very easy to identify a Dobyns rod both on a store rack and in your rod locker, which was probably the companyís goal in the first place.


A familiar hypalon shaped foregrip makes it to the new rod


Moving on to the guides, this is where I think the two series of rods has it a bit backwards. The Champion rods like this Mike Long stick feature Kigan stainless steel frames with SiC ring inserts and while I like the titanium ion plated stainless steel frames on the Champion Extreme rods I still find it odd that the higher end rods make use of Zirconium inserts.


The Champion rods make use of Kigan stainless steel guides with SiC inserts


Most component manufacturers tout SiC guides as higher end but due to their hardness but Kigan does the opposite and positions their Zirconium guides higher both in positioning and cost. I would have preferred SiC on both series but putting them on the Champion series rods just makes this lower priced series that much more attractive to consumers. In fact it only improves the total value proposition of this particular stick.  


Fishing at Clear Lake with the 795MLSB


Next Section: How does it compare to the original?









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