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Rod Review


Taking the Time to Appreciate the Unique Personality of the Enthusiast Class Dobyns Xtasy Series (continued)

Casting: The first thing that you think about when visualizing a rod series designed for sensitivity is an extra crisp fast taper, and yet the first time I cast the Xtasy 724C I immediately found a blank that was a little more moderate than what I was expecting. The Xtasy rod loads a little further down the blank than most premium rods designed for fishing jigs, and though it is rated as a heavy rod it felt more like a medium heavy with each cast I made.

I was surprised by the more moderate action of the rod when casting, though the action really helped me launch even lighter baits

After the first trip I went back to review the lab results and sure enough the rod charts out right in between our medium and medium heavy power average, and a significant delta from the average heavy powered rod.

The chart above illustrates the deflection characteristics of our Dobyns DRX724C Xtasy Rod against the historical averages of similarly powered rods we've tested over the past twenty years. Notice how the Xtasy charts more similarly to medium-heavy powered rods versus traditional heavy powered sticks


This translates into a rod that feels a little more forgiving when cast, especially with any lure weighs 3/4oz. and up. The rod also feels light when cast, and it weighed in at 4.9oz. which is also right in between the average of most similarly rated heavy and medium heavy powered rods.


Lab Results for Dobyns Rods Xtasy DRX724C


Avg RoD (2-32oz)
Measured Weight (oz)
Balance Point (inches)
Balancing Torque (ftlbs)
Dobyns DRX724C
Medium Heavy Pwr Avg


Medium Power Avg
Heavy Power Avg

The rod features a light tip but a more moderate load than I originally expected. This was further confirmed in our lab measurements

As you might expect the Dobyns Xtasy is a great caster, and it not only loads nicely but handles all line types well. Fuji Torzite guides are not the lightest guide solution out there but they are among the strongest and smoothest. Fuji rates them as 40% lighter and smoother than SiC, and one other added benefit of their unique shape and durability is they are particularly well suited for handling superlines, making each cast effortless and quiet.  

Though the entire rod is basically grey in color when you look at each section there is something interesting to see, from the Toray carbon to Kevlar wrapping

Sensitivity: The Xtasy rods are billed as "feel" rods yet when many anglers fish them they don't intuitively transmit strikes like some of the competing rods at similar price points. For example many anglers compare the Xtasy series to the G.Loomis NRX Series, and why not? The rods are very similarly priced, and both make use of nano materials to create their respective version of what a lighter and more sensitive rod should feel like.

I later paired the Dobyns Xtasy with the Antares A which really allowed me to experience the maximum casting distance of the rod, still something still felt off...

Strikes with the NRX are unmistakable, and G.Loomis delivers this feel by using high density carbon with nano silica resin to create a light and stiffer rod, then finishing the blank with a hybrid drivetrain consisting of titanium framed Fuji guides and REC Recoil ion-coated guides through the mid-section. The REC guides are very light, and deliver a very unique transfer of vibration. G.Loomis NRX fans love this extremely connected feel, but the system is somewhat polarizing with some anglers questioning the durability of the recoils and how loud they are with certain line types.

...it was only after pairing the Xtasy rod with the smaller and lighter Shimano Metanium 150 MGL did I find my personal favorite combination

When I first started fishing the G.Loomis and Dobyns Xtasy rods side by side my first observation was the NRX rods definitely felt more crisp, and strikes were more evident with the stiffer blanks and unique recoil feel. It was only after I started spending more time with the Xtasy rod, fishing deeper structure, that I started to pick up on the unique attributes of the Toray nano-blank and Torzite guide combination.

The light 6.3oz. weight of the Metanium MGL adds to the Dobyns Xtasy lightweight handling, and the smaller profile enabled better palming for maximum blank contact

Strikes are clear with the Xtasy rod but they are not quite as sharp as what you experience with the NRX SiC/recoil combination. Anglers will detect the changes in structure and subtle takes through the reel seat, or directly from your fingers on the blank above the reel seat when palming. After I started to understand what I was looking for the Xtasy started to truly become a weapon in my hands, changing the way that I positioned my hands during retrieves.

I began to really appreciate the unique personality and attributes of the Dobyns Xtasy rod the longer that I fished it

This also started me on a quest to find the right reel to amplify the unique characteristics of this softer, yet sensitive blank design. While I loved the way the Antares casted I wanted to find a lighter, lower profile reel, that would allow me to maximize my hand contact with the blank. I transitioned back to the Shimano Metanium and for a while all was good, and then this season when Shimano introduced the Metanium MGL 150 the second that I paired the new reel with the Xtasy I immediately knew that I had finally found my personal perfect match.

Pair the Xtasy with a lightweight reel and it not only balances beautifully but further augments the type of sensitivity transfer that the rod is designed for, not only through the reel, but by allowing maximum palming contact with the blank itself.

Power: I can understand why some anglers feel that the Xtasy rods are a little lighter in power than how they are rated. Our own lab tests showed that this particular rod could easily be classified as medium-heavy. The same is true once there is a fish on the line, the more moderate taper of the blank allows you to really put your muscle behind the hookset.

Go ahead and set hard with this rod! Though it is light handling it has plenty of backbone to turn bigger fish while keeping lighter fluorocarbon lines intact during the battle

I still remember fishing with Gary and watching him set into multiple fish at Clear Lake. It didn't matter how light the tick was, or how big the fish was on the end of the line, he absolutely drilled those bass so there was no chance of them coming unpinned. I sometimes wonder if subconsciously some Dobyns rods are designed with this unique taper to mimic his style of fishing, and enable anglers to replicate those pro-sets with confidence.

Once fish are hooked the Toray blank material loads smoothly and the mid and lower sections of the rod provide plenty of backbone to turn fish, while the tip protects fluorocarbon lines, absorbing violent shock and unexpected changes in direction.

A traditional closed hook hanger above the reel seat holds plastics and jigs securely

Next Section: Fully getting to know the Xtasy...









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