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Enthusiast Review

The Search For One... Heracles and The Nine Trials


Date: 10/18/10
Tackle type: Rod
Manufacturer: Evergreen International
Reviewer: Cal

Total Score: 7.5 - GOOD

Evergreen International's second entry to our Search For One theme invokes the mystique of Greek mythology. Heracles (Hercules in the Roman version) was a half god, half human Greek hero son of Zeus and Alcmene whose labors, challenges, and victories were immortalized in ancient folklore. Perhaps most famous of his travails were the 12 labors thrust upon him by the Delphic Oracle as punishment for the murder of his children and wife - an act for which he can thank his step mother, Hera, who drove him to the point of insanity and tricked him into committing the deed. While nothing as horrific has taken place here at TT HQ, our Search For One campaign has taken many prisoners and over the years, we've aided in many an Enthusiasts' journey to insanity. Can Evergreen's tribute to the ancient hero survive the nine trials of TackleTour?


Evergreen International Blue Meister Specifications

Material Proprietary Graphite
Length 6'7"
Line Wt. 10 - 25lb
Lure Wt. 1/4 - 1 1/4oz.
Pieces 1
Guides 8 Guides + Tip Top Fuji Ti/SiC)
Power Rating Medium Heavy
Taper Fast
Rod Weight 4.8 oz
Origin Made in Japan
MSRP 55,000 JPY (~$650)


1. Impressions: There's been a lot of debate over the years regarding the validity of the enthusiast space - especially since I joined the TT crew. Ironically, before my influence, the complaints on our discussion forum often surrounded the fact that TackleTour does not review enough high end tackle. Now quite the opposite is true. Yet if you take a close look at our recent archives, you will see we strike a balance and actually concentrate on the mid-range. But midrange does not leave an impression - high end does. It invokes emotion. That's what the enthusiast space is about.

Introducing Evergreen International's Heracles series of rods.

Evergreen's International does have a "Heracles" rod but it actually sits within the "Heracles" series - a factory tuned version of their mid-range Tactics line. The HCSC-69H Heracles is a 6'-9" rod rated by US standards as heavy powered. It's sibling, the "Blue Meister" is a 6'-7" saber classified as medium heavy. Visual enthusiasm for these sticks, runs low. Evergreen has never been about flash and dash but even their Kaleido series has an understated elegance. The Heracles series is much more utilitarian, that is, until you pick one up.


The Heracles sticks from Evergreen are a tuned version of their workhorse Tactics line..


Between the Kaleido series and this new Heracles line, Evergreen has really found the perfect medium between balance and weight delivering a feel I never experienced in the previous Crossfire, Temujin or Tactics rods I've fished.


Lab Results for Evergreen International Blue Meister & Heracles

Avg RoD (2-32 oz)
Measured Weight (oz)
Balance Point (inches)
Balancing Torque (ftlbs)
HCSC-67MH Blue Meister
HCSC-69H Heracles
MBR783C GLX2000
TSFO 26 Rod Avg

2. The Lab: But as we all know, just as how Heracles was unknowingly influenced by Hera, our minds can be made to play tricks on us. In the case of evaluating balance versus weight we learn not to "trust our feelings" and instead go with cold hard facts. What better way to determine these metrics than to subject these Heracles rods to TackleTour's interpretation of the torture chamber - our RoD WRACK.

Fig 1: The chart above illustrates the deflection characteristics of both the Heracles and Blue Meister. The Blue Meister (yellow curve) matches up more closely with our baseline TSFO rod.

As was proved by the Black Raven's time on our RoD WRACK, both the Heracles and Blue Meisters' respective heavy and medium heavy ratings pan out in our deflection chart with the Blue Meister (the medium heavy stick) matching up very favorably to our Search For One baseline rod. Overall weight of each stick was right in that five ounce territory - perhaps a tad heavy for rods of this length, but more than justified by their low balancing torque numbers. Indeed, these sticks pass this particular trial easily.

The Blue Meister demonstrates a true "fast" taper.

Field Tests: The two Heracles sticks did well under controlled conditions, but how about out in the real world. For this phase, I primarily fished the Blue Meister since it most closely matched our Search For One baseline rod. In cases where a heavier powered stick might be necessary, assume the Heracles as the natural alternative.

The Daiwa Steez is a natural match for the Heracles line.

Taking advantage of the Blue Meister's excellent feel, I matched it up with a Daiwa Steez spooled with fifty five pound Samurai braid topped with a 15lb Seaguar Tatsu fluorocarbon leader.

Casting performance by the Blue Meister is not unlike that of the much pricier Black Raven.

3. Casting: Matched with a Daiwa Steez, the Blue Meister's balance and feel in hand is not too different from the Black Raven reviewed earlier this year. Certainly the blank is not quite as crisp on the cast, but it's pretty darn close. The clean, high grade cork of the Black Raven looks better, but I've always been a fan of the comfort foam provides over the course of a long day on the water - not to mention foam's ability to conceal dirt and grime.

The Blue Meister loads extremely well during a cast.

Comparisons aside, the Blue Meister loads and fires very predictably as is befitting a rod in its price category. A bit short for my liking in pitching situations, still it performs very well in this regard especially if you like to preload your pitches and perform more of a pitch cast by slingshotting your bait to its target.

The outward taper of the butt end on these series of rods makes this spot easy to find during a two handed cast.

Its nine inch rear handle is just long enough to facilitate two handed casts, and the outward taper of its butt end helps you find the back of the rod quickly for that immediate, two handed whip back out to your intended target.

The Blue Meister is very much a traditional "Medium Heavy" powered rod where the Heracles is more a "Heavy" powered rod.

Next Section: Power of the Blue Meister









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