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Enthusiast Rod Review

 

Evoking the Spirit of A Legendary Creature, Evergreen's Dire Wolf Wild 7 (continued)

Given the Dire Wolf's taper, however, it's obvious this rod is more of a moving bait stick where as the Super Stallion was tailored towards vertical bait presentations. Swim jigs, vibrating jigs, spinnerbaits, squarebills, baits like that are where the Dire Wolf shines and the key with these baits is being able to feel their swimming action through the line into your hands. The Dire Wolf does a very good job of communicating this information and when the bait stops shaking or vibrating, you can tell if it's because of weed or an actual fish swimming with the bait at the same pace you're retrieving.


Fig 1 : The chart above illustrates the deflection characteristics of our Evergreen International Inspiraire GTR-C70MHR-SXF Dire Wolf against the historical averages of similarly powered rods we've tested over the past twenty years

Power: When you do feel those subtle hits, and of course, the not so subtle ones, you can have supreme confidence that when you swing, you're going to get a good hookset and have a lot of control over your catch. If there's one thing the Dire Wolf has in abundance, it's power. Why do you need a stick this powerful to fish swimming or vibrating jigs? Because the majority of spots you're fishing these baits is in and around weed beds. Bass know how to use that cover to their advantage and it takes a quick response to turn their heads away from those areas of refuge. The Dire Wolf has excellent power and provides you with the leverage to accomplish this goal.


Checking out that tip

Even if the fish somehow gain the upper hand (which, let's admit, is often), and bury themselves in the weeds, that nice, soft, moderate taper of the Dire Wolf is very good at applying constant pressure on the fish to where they eventually submit and rise to the surface. This is a very capable rod with surprising power and an ideal taper for moving baits in and around cover situations.


Aesthetically, it's difficult to find fault with most of what Evergreen International does

Design & Ergonomics: The GTR-C70MHR-SXF tipped our scales at five point seven ounces (5.7oz) with a balance point of seven and a half inches (7.5") above the midline of the reel seat. Given its relative power, these numbers are pretty good, but considering the rod's length at just 7'-0", I'd say it was somewhat average in weight and balance. It is still surprisingly tip heavy, but that's probably due to the short rear handle. I'm not sure I fished any techniques that required tip up presentations anyway, so on the water, none of these numbers really bothered me.

Lab Results for Evergreen International Inspiraire GTR-C70MHR-SXF Dire Wolf

Model
Avg RoD
Taper
Measured Weight (oz)
Balance Point (inches)
Balancing Torque (ftlbs)
Evergreen International Inspiraire GTR-C70MHR-SXF Dire Wolf
1.54
Regular
5.7
7.5
0.27
TSFO >100 Rod Avg
1.76
--
4.6

8.0

0.19
Heavy Power Avg
1.39
--
5.1
8.2
0.23
Finesse SB Rod Avg
1.65
--
6.0
9.5
0.29
All Purpose SB Rod Avg
1.28
--
6.8
8.5
0.29

Aesthetically, it's difficult to find fault with most of what Evergreen International does. Unlike some of their JDM rivals, Evergreen tends to er on the side of understatement in the detailing of their rods. This is not to say their rods are plain. There is still a good amount of detail and intrigue in their builds, they're just not very flashy. The Dire Wolf SG is put together very nicely and of course, with top end components.


Depending on the exchange rate and your source, Evergreen International's Inspiraire GTR-C70MHR-SXF Dire Wolf will run you somewhere in the neighborhood of $750

Price & Applications: Depending on the exchange rate and your source, Evergreen International's Inspiraire GTR-C70MHR-SXF Dire Wolf will run you somewhere in the neighborhood of $750. This is not a stick for the faint of pocketbook or those concerned with warranty. If purchased for use outside of Japan, the manufacturer warranty is moot. Certainly not a risk everyone can take. However, if you do manage to get your hands on this stick, know that it is wonderful stick for both single and treble hooked moving baits throughout its rated lure range. This is a very capable stick.

Ratings:

Evergreen International Inspiraire GTR-C70MHR-SXF Dire Wolf Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality There is not a more finely crafted stick than top of the line Evergreen 10
Performance This stick is built for accurate casts from any angle of delivery making it feel shorter than it actually is - very interesting experience 9
Price With the recent price increase of some top end USDM lines, $750 doesn't sound as incredibly unobtainable as it once did 6
Features A very unique, hybrid guide train of top end guides 8
Design (Ergonomics) In reality, available in two different handle lengths. The only difficulty is of course, finding them. I'd have preferred the longer handle option, but at the time, only this variant was available and I was too impatient to wait. 7.5
Application An excellent stick for fishing moving baits in and around cover 8

Total Score

8.08
Ratings Key: 1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = unbelievable!
For More Details of the updated rating system visit our explanation here

 

Pluses and Minuses:

Plus

Minus
+ This stick's build is so clean, it's like fishing with a piece of art - Enthusiast price and still somewhat challenging to source for domestic anglers
+ Very good casting performance - Oh if only this rod were spiral wrapped (Personal preference as Zander for example strongly prefers the traditional wrap and likes the Dire Wolf's current configuration)
+ More power than you need  
+ High end components on a high end stick  

 

Conclusion: Ordering a fishing rod sight unseen is definitely a prescription for anxiety made progressively worse pending the cost of said stick. There are assumptions you can make based on the specifications, grade of graphite, and all the other information the manufacturer provides. When I looked at the spec for this GTR-C70MHR-SXF, I was imagining something I could use to toss smaller glides and wakes in and around cover. No doubt the Dire Wolf will handle those duties, but after fishing it with a variety of baits for this review, I found a more well rounded identity.

 


The Dire Wolf is truly a fun and surprisingly versatile stick to both own and fish

 

The GTR-C70MHR-SXF fishes like those old school 6'-9" all purpose sticks from two decades ago only in a moving bait taper. The precision by which you can place your baits belies the rod's overall length, and the sheer power the blank delivers to help direct your catch away from cover is impressive. The only thing keeping this stick from reaching true legendary status for me personally is the fact the guides are conventional wrapped instead of spiral. That's a discussion for an entirely different article and really, just a personal preference. Otherwise, the Dire Wolf is truly a fun and surprisingly versatile stick to both own and fish.


 

   

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