Dobyns SS733C and SSM733C Micro Guide Rods
The Dobyns rods
were put to the test in South Florida waters on a myriad of lakes and ponds
targeting Largemouth Bass. Before the rods were able to do their thing, they
obviously had to be rigged up. Stringing up a micro guide rod can be a bit
frustrating! They are so small you really have to concentrate and just go
slowly. Make sure you have good eyes (and/or glasses!) and a steady hand.
Numbers were good, but size was not!
of these sticks feature a fast action. Couple this with their lightweight,
balanced feel and they make very formidable casters with lures throughout their
respective weight ranges. Though they are rated up to 3/4 ounce lures and do
handle them just fine, the sweet spot for me was in the 1/4-1/2 ounce range.
Accuracy was excellent and they were a pleasure to cast for long periods. Both
rods felt quite similar to me while casting but the slight extra softness to
the SSM733C was vaguely apparent. Before taking my first casts I was expecting
the micro rod to fish a bit crisper since it features smaller guides, but this
was not the case at all. The reasons for this were of course mentioned
previously. Despite all that I've read regarding micros vs. standard guides, I
noticed no big differences in smoothness or distance under normal casting. The
only time a small difference was detected, was when pitching a light, unweighted
plastic bait. The standard guide model seemed to perform slightly better since
it allowed line to flow more freely at slower trajectory speeds with the light
surprising how well the SSM733C micro guide model casts a braid to leader knot
connection. With 20lb braid, I attached a 3 foot section of 20lb Berkley big
game mono via Albright knot. I was thrilled to find that the knot effortlessly
passed through all the guides and didn't seem to impede casting one bit. This
was something that I did not think was possible before with such a heavy leader.
I was really pleased with how well knots passed through the tiny micro guides.
length of the rod butt is spot on for anglers of all sizes. It's just the right
length to not get in your way when casting, but is still easily tucked up under
your arm when crawling a bait along the bottom. This simple but very important
design feature is something some manufacturers just completely strike out on.
Sensitivity wise, both rods can be classified as slightly above average. There
is ample feel to get a good idea of what your bait is doing, but the sensitivity
will not blow you away. This is a sub $200 rod after all, so this should come
as no surprise. The micro guide rod seemed to have just a hint more sensitivity
with certain reaction baits. This was not evident to me until I began
retrieving a lipless crankbait on each rod side by side using mono. I felt the
micro guide rod had just the slightest bit more feel to it. No difference was
noted when fishing a bottom contact bait, however.
Both rods feature a fast action and are great casters.
deliver sufficient power despite their slight differences and are well qualified
to be MH rods. There is ample muscle to move fish away from cover, with tips
and midsections that really make for wonderfully versatile MH power rods. There
are definitely MH rods on the market that will fish with more power, but many
manufacturers vary slightly in their ratings.
have a real soft spot for 7'-7'3” medium heavy rods. This length and power
makes them so extremely versatile for a huge variety of techniques. You could
easily have several of these rods on deck and have most or even all of the bases
covered for a day on the water. Lipless crankbaits, Senkos, Texas rigs,
football jigs, and spinnerbaits are a few of the applications that immediately
come to mind. Just because these are Bass rods doesn't mean they can't be used
elsewhere! Fellow saltwater anglers will appreciate these for small to midsized
species like Stripers, Snook, Redfish, and juvenile Tarpon.
Pricing on the
Savvy rods is very competitive. Spinning rods range from 6'9”-7'0” and are
priced at $149.99-$159.99. Casting rods range 6'6”-7'6” at a cost of
$149.99-$169.99. The cost per rod is the same whether you opt for standard or
micro guides. Our two test rods were priced at the top of the range at $169.99
each. Gary Dobyns backs his rods with several warranty options. First, a
limited lifetime warranty is offered guarding against defects in materials and
workmanship. This warranty applies to the original owner, and is good for
his/her lifetime. Second, is a “No Hassle Replacement Policy”. Simply take
your damaged rod to a local Dobyns dealer, and for a $60 fee you may exchange it
for a new rod of the same model. Finally, is the standard replacement policy
where the broken rod and payment for $60 is sent directly to Dobyns rods in
exchange for a brand new rod. For more info on warranty service visit
and click on “service”.
Dobyns Rods 704CB Glass Ratings (?/10)
||Good construction overall. No epoxy overruns or sloppy finish. Nothing high end, but overall satisfying.
||Well balanced rods that feel just right in your hand. Sensitivity was good for the price point. The difference in power between the two was a surprise.
||A competitive price for what you get.
||Fine overall, but I'd like to see guides with a bit more of a refined finish.
||Very comfortable to hold and fish.
||Super versatile rods capable of handling many applications and many species in fresh or saltwater.
|Ratings Key: Ratings Key: 1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = unbelievable!
(For a detailed explanation of the ratings go here)
Pluses and Minuses:
|+ Attractive cosmetics
||- Blanks tested different
|+ Nicely balanced and lightweight
||- Guides could be more refined
|+ Good performance
||- Can be frustrating to string up a rod with micro guides
|+ Micro guides available for no extra cost
|+ Several warranty options
|+ Competitively priced
Conclusion: Despite our odd test results with the blanks, these two Savvy rods are a real joy to fish. Though the micro model is the softer of the two, I find myself reaching for that rod most often. This choice is not due to any real performance gain, but rather because it's something outside the norm. With the lightweight, low profile guides, it gives the rod a sleeker look and is just a bit different and more interesting than what I am used to.
A good one
good looks and pricing that will make your wallet smile, it's no surprise why
these rods have been a popular addition to the Dobyns rod family. Whichever
model you opt for, you will get a proven fishing tool designed by a top
tournament pro. There are some great rods available in the sub $200 range these
days, and these should really be on your list.
Looking for a Dobyns Savvy Micro Rods? Check out Tackle Warehouse.