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Rod Review


Flipping Week : Gary Loomis Shows his Edge for Flipping

 

Date: 9/12/14
Tackle Type: Rod
Manufacturer: Edge Rods by NFC
Reviewer: Cal






Total Score: 8.03 - GREAT + INNOVATION AWARD!

Introduction:
The last time Gary Loomis designed a flipping stick, he set the standard for sensitivity and power, but if there was one criticism of these rods from his former company, it's that they were overly heavy and far too unbalanced. A lot of time has passed since his interpretation on these specialty sticks first debuted and now with his new company, Edge Rods, he's taken a fresh approach. Is the angling world ready for his most recent interpretation? Let's find out with our take on the new, Flip 787-1 from Edge Rods.

 

Edge Rods by NFC Flip 787-1 Specifications

Material NFC IM Graphite
Length 7'8"
Line Wt. 14-25lb
Lure Wt. 1/2 - 1 1/2 oz
Pieces One
Guides 8+tip Fuji K-Series Ti/SiC Semi Micro
Rear Handle Length 11 inches
Power Rating Extra Heavy
Taper Mod-Fast
Rod Weight 6.3 ounces
Origin Made in USA
MSRP $523

 

Quality/Construction: Edge Rod's Flip 787-1 has the rare pedigree of being a fishing rod made in the USA. With the ease of heading overseas to procure OEM product, each year witnesses an increasing number of rod companies emerging in the bass fishing market. There are a few companies bucking this trend and Edge Rods, out of Woodland, Washington is one of them. But naturally a "Made in the USA" pedigree is not the same thing as a guarantee in quality. Poor workmanship can and does exist in every environment.


Introducing the Flip 786-1 and Flip 787-1 from Edge Rods.

Product from Edge Rods has the additional burden of carrying with it one of the more famous names in rod building history. This is, afterall, Gary Loomis's new rod company. It's an entity that together with his new blank company, North Fork Composites, he rebuilt from the ground up to answer that call of too many jobs and products heading overseas for manufacturing. So then, it is our duty to examine the Flip 787-1 a little extra carefully to see if it lives up to its pedigree and added burden.


Transition between materials is handled nicely in these sticks.

The Flip 787-1 is built around a seven foot nine inch (7'9") sanded but unfinished blank. With no finish whatsoever on the blank, there is no where for inconsistencies and imperfections to hide. I couldn't find any. The rod's grip is made of a carbon fiber sleeve Edge Rods has dubbed their Black Widow grip. The seams and edges of this grip are met on either end with excellent alignment to the next material. Epoxy work around the threadwraps and rod label is above average and the rod's blank is straight and true. The guides on this stick spiral to the right with the first three guides used to transition line to the bottom of the blank. Those guides that are on the bottom of the blank are perfectly aligned.

 

Quality Ratings for Edge Rods by NFC Flip 787-1

Finish (1-5)
Grip (1-5)
Epoxy (1-5)
Blank (1-2)
Guides (1-2)
Total
Possible
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)
5
5
4
2
2
18
19
9.47

 


A look at the Flip 787-1's reel seat locking mechanism that also serves as a small foregrip.

Performance: The Flip 787-1 and its sibling, the Flip 786-1 both saw action on the California Delta and Clear Lake California during our testing. The rods are identical save for their power ratings so just about all our comments regarding the Flip 787-1 are the same for the Flip 786-1. I fished both rods with either a Daiwa Z2020H or a Shimano Metanium attached. In both cases, braid was the line of choice.


The real big news with these sticks is their reel seat - notice anything different?

Casting: The Flip 787-1 is rated down to half an ounce in recommended lure weight with an upper end of one a one half ounces (1/2 - 1 1/2oz). The first thing I tried to fish with this stick was a Teckel Frog on Clear Lake. This rod's tip actually loads very easily even with a bait down towards the lower end of its recommended rating and once launched, the Teckel Frog sailed past the weed beds we were fishing quite easily.


The triggerless design seems really odd at first.

Conversely, when rigged with a traditional punch rig complete with a 1 1/2 oz tungsten weight, the 787-1 handled duties of presenting this bait quite easily leading me to think the upper end of this rod's recommended lure rating is quite conservative.


But wrap your fingers around the rod and it all makes perfect sense!

Sensitivity: The Flip 787-1 is made from North Fork Composite's IM graphite material. All the sticks in their MagBass series of rods are either IM or HM material. IM is the company's mid-grade graphite and is being used in this stick for better durability in potentially abusive punching, flipping, and close quarter hookset and maximum leverage conditions. Sensitivity of this material is very good.


Wolbugger giving the 786-1 a flip and a pitch on the California Delta.

Power: What I find really interesting about these sticks is the impression of power they give me off the wrack. The Flip 787-1 feels like a massively strong and powerful rod when you first handle it. This stick feels like it was built to handle fifty pound salmon running wild on the river - and it probably actually was. I thought for sure this rod was going to laugh at our RoD WRACK. Thing is, after tallying up its performance, the Flip 787-1's deflection curve is a hair within the average of our flipping stick historical average. The Flip 786-1 is about a half step softer. These sticks are stout but not even close to out of the ordinary for rods with the same intended purpose in mind.


The triggerless design makes reels like the Z2020H easier to grasp.

Out on the water, it was still hard to shake the thought that these sticks were more powerful than what the data suggested, but once you start fishing with them it all comes together. Hooksets and control of your catch once hooked are predictable and the Flip 787-1 is stellar in its power performance.


Fig 1 : The chart above illustrates the deflection characteristics of our Edge Rods by NFC Flip 787-1 & Flip 786-1 against
the average values of flipping sticks we've reviewed over the years. Note how the 787-1 aligns very closely to the average and how the 786-1 is just a hair less powerful.

Performance Ratings for Edge Rods by NFC Flip 787-1

Pitch (1-5)
Cast (1-5)
Sensitivity (1-5)
Hook Set (1-5)
Control (1-5)
Total
Possible
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)
5
4
4
5
5
23
25
9.2

Next Section: Innovative features abound


 

 

 

 

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