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Rod Review


 

Evergreen's Latest Specialty Stick, the RCSC-78XH Wakebait

 

Date: 10/10/21
Tackle Type: Rod
Manufacturer: Evergreen International
Reviewer: Cal






Total Score: 8.08 - GREAT

Introduction:
Evergreen International debuted their Brett Hite Combat Stick series of rods to North American anglers during the 2017 Bass Master Classic event in Lake Conroe, Texas. Since that initial introduction, they've slowly refined and built out series to include thirteen (13) application specific rods. At ICAST 2018, the manufacturer introduced two sticks of specific interest given the current trajectory popular interest in bass fishing of late - swimbait sticks. Of those two models, one suits our focus for 2021 perfectly. Here's our look at Evergreen International's Brett Hite Combat Stick RCSC-78XH Wakebait.

 

Evergreen International Combat Stick RCSC-78XH Specifications

Material Unspecified Graphite
Length 7'-8"
Line Wt. 14-30lb
Lure Wt. 1/2-4oz
Pieces 1
Guides 9+tip Fuji Alconite
Rear Handle Length 14"
Power Rating Extra-Heavy
Taper Mod-Fast
Rod Weight 7.1oz
Origin Made in China
MSRP $249.99


Evergreen's RCSC-78XH Wakebait reporting for Rat Rumble duty

Impressions: When Japanese rod manufacturers nickname their rods, it's not usually very obvious from where each moniker is derived. Brett Hite tells us the inspiration behind the RCSC-78XH was Evergreen's own ND-180 bait, the Timberflash Noisy Dachs. Unfortunately, that wooden, topwater wakebait has been discontinued, but the spirit of the bait certainly lives on in the RCSC-78XH. Its nickname, afterall is simply "Wakebait." That opens up a realm of possibilities while at the same time, helping us focus on what this stick does best.

 


This is a 7'-8" stick built for the purpose fishing large wakebaits

 

Evergreen's Combat Stick Wakebait is a seven foot, eight inch (7'-8") stick built on a blank of unspecified graphite but outfitted with an array of double footed, stainless steel framed guides with Alconite inserts by Fuji. It features a mod-fast taper, fourteen inch (14") rear handle, and a lure rating of up to four ounces. Out of the shipping tube, the stick feels decidedly average in weight and balance. All of which is pretty good for a stick at this price point, but of course, not exactly concurrent with the stick's brand lineage.


It features the familiar look and feel of Evergreen America's Combat Stick lineup

Real World Tests: To spice up the RCSC-78XH's appeal, I paired it with my 2020 Shimano Conquest 201DC HG, big brother to the Ultimate Enthusiast Award winning 20 Conquest 101DC HG. For Line, I spooled the reel with 50lb Seaguar Threadlock hollow braid and initially installed a top shot of Sunline's Night FC in 25lb test and later a top shot of 25lb Seaguar Gold Label Fluorocarbon Leader. This combo was one of my go to outfits for our 2021 Rat Rumble.


The RCSC-78XH features a cross weave reinforcement over the lower third of the rod

Casting: I didn't explore the lower end of the RCSC-78XH's capability, but its upper end rating of four ounces (4oz) is pretty much spot on. I never really gave the stick a second thought after my first cast with Narrow Gate Bait's rat (~2.6oz) and continued on through with baits like Monka Lure Work's FP Rat (2.0oz) and Spro's Rat 50 (2.3oz). I tied on a CooperB8s 2n Shad (3.8oz) to verify the stick's upper end briefly, but quickly went back to the task at hand, fishing rat baits, after the test. The rod's tip is especially nice loading up easily on the back end and letting go of all that energy in a crisp, precise manner once you swing forward.


That reinforcement ends at the first guide where you can then see the remainder of the blank is unsanded

The tip loads so easily and unloads so efficiently, all it takes is a nice, gentle lob to achieve good distances. As a result, at the end of the day, I felt less fatigued using this rod and my shoulder certainly appreciated the stick's easy casting performance.


Guides are stainless steel framed Alconites by Fuji

Sensitivity: If used solely in the capacity for which the stick was designed, sensitivity is kind of a moot point. You're going to see and hear the strikes. In the bigger picture side of things, the RCSC-78XH is about average for what I'd expect at its price range. Plenty good enough for treble hooked baits at any depth, not ideal for vertical bait presentations. The rod's taper is all wrong for the latter in any case. But if you want this stick to double as a crankbait rod, that'd be an excellent application for the RCSC-78XH.


Checking out that soft tip

Next Section: Power after the strike...

 

   

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