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