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Enthusiast Review

The Search For One May Very Well Be Over... Evergreen International's Black Raven (continued)


Lab Tests: Of course, first stop for any new stick, no matter how enlightening is our lab and an appointment with the RoD WRACK. What did the tests reveal? That the Black Raven with an average RoD of 1.67 is almost a carbon copy of our baseline rod, the GLX2000 MBR783C GLX (avg RoD = 1.72) right down to its weight (4.6 oz for the TKLC-66MHX vs 4.8 ounces for the GLX2000), balance point (5 inches above the midline of the reel seat for both rods), and balancing torque ( 0.10 ftlbs for the TKLC-66MHX vs 0.11 ftlbs for the GLX2000). Further, with an MSRP of 76,650 JPY, Black Raven is indeed shaping up as a very nice match to the GLX2000 which originally retailed for $690 - ten years ago!


Fig 1: This chart illustrates the deflection characteristics of Evergreen International's TKLC-66MH Black Raven (yellow curve) as compared to our 2010 Search For One baseline stick, the MBR783C GLX2000. Also on this chart are the two versions of Evergreen's former top end "medium heavy" stick, the Air Driver. A shallower curve infers the Air Driver is slightly more powerful than the others while the almost identical curves infer the Black Raven behaves just like our baseline rod.

Lab Results for Evergreen International TKLC-66MH Black Raven

Avg RoD (2-32oz)
Measured Weight
Balance Point
Balancing Torque (ftlbs)

TKLC-66MH Black Raven






TMJC-66MH Air Driver






TMJC-66MH Air Driver SGS












Field Tests:
Despite its nearly carbon copy statistical match up with our baseline rod, I couldn’t get over the feeling that the Black Raven felt every bit like a finesse stick. As such, it spent a lot of time matched up with a modified 2004 Daiwa Pixy as well as my standard “do everything” reel, the Daiwa Steez 103HL.

Several reels spent time on the Black Raven including this tuned Pixy.

Casting/Pitching: Casting and pitching duties were performed primarily with drop shot and texas rigged plastics with no concerns meeting the rod’s low end rating of one quarter ounce – especially with a Steez or Pixy matched up to the stick. It casts finesse baits rather well, but attempting to go below that quarter ounce threshold proved fruitless even with a Pixy and temporary duty with a Shimano Cardiff 51DC.

The Black Raven feels like a finesse stick when you pick it up, but flex its tip and that prototypical medium heavy tip reveals itself.


One thing we really enjoy with sticks built for the Japanese Market - the way they name each and every stick. It's much easier to talk about and remember the "Black Raven" versus the random model number of "TKLC-66MH".

For more standard duty, I did take the Black Raven out for a brief roll with a half ounce spinnerbait and true to its rating and performance on the RoD WRACK, the Black Raven handled that bait just fine. It loads and casts smoothly and, thanks in part to its six foot six inch length, precisely. It really feels more like a medium powered rod when you’re holding it in your hand, but once you put it to work, the Black Raven’s performance is very well reflective of its ratings unlike other sticks we’ve fished from this manufacturer.

The Black Raven comes equipped with Fuji Ti/SiC guides, but check out the interwoven, crossweave graphite pattern of the blank.

Sensitivity: We had high expectations from this stick in the sensitivity department and it did not disappoint. The rod’s cross weave graphite blank transmits ticks and taps very well assuming of course, you’re using a quality fishing line. For the most part, I fished the Black Raven with 55lb Samurai Braid spooled onto my Steez tipped by a 16lb leader of Megabass Dragon Call fluorocarbon, and with the Pixy I was using 10lb Seaguar Tatsu Fluorocarbon. These are all premium fluorocarbon and braided lines that help increase the feel of your bait underwater.

Fishing the Black Raven at Camanche Lake, CA.

Power: Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to hook up with any fish that were capable of really testing the power of the Black Raven. Most rods I’ve fished with a cross weave blank can be characterized as pretty stiff with plenty of backbone. There have been one or two exceptions with rods I’ve fished from Megabass’s Orochi lineup, but the Megabass F8-78DG Super Destruction, Shimano Final Dimension TS-168M, and all the Daiwa Steez (non Flex-lite sticks) and Zillion rods have similar power curves characterized by nice, easy loading, castable tips, that transition smoothly to very strong backbones. 

A closer look at the Raven's reel seat reveals a non-exposed blank design...


... double accents at this junction between the rear grip and reel seat ...


Next Section: Features and the final rundown









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