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Rod Review


 

Evergreen International's Power Finesse Stick, the Gizmo Special

 

Date: 6/10/21
Tackle Type: Rod
Manufacturer: Evergreen International
Reviewer: Cal






Total Score: 7.92 - GOOD

Introduction:
During our coverage of ICAST 2020, we detailed Evergreen International's plans to introduce two new sticks to their Brett Hite Combat Stick lineup for the US Market. Through their exclusive partnership with Daiwa, Evergreen continues to expand this series with technique, and even bait specific spec's for the US angler. We got our hands on one of these new introductions, the Gizmo Special, to not only test its effectiveness as a stick designed around the Gizmo topwater lure, but of course to see what else this intriguing little stick can handle. Here now is our look at Evergreen's RCSS-610M-ST Gizmo Special.

 

Evergreen International Combat Stick RCSS-610M-ST Specifications

Material Unspecified Graphite
Length 6'-10"
Line Wt. 4-10lb
Lure Wt. 1/32-3/8oz
Pieces One
Guides 9+tip Fuji Alconite
Rear Handle Length 8"
Power Rating Medium
Taper Xtra-Fast
Rod Weight 4.8oz
Origin Made in China
MSRP $199.99


The "ST" in this rod's model number caught our attention

Impressions: If you pay close attention to fishing rod model numbers and like the challenge of deciphering each manufacturers' code, there is a designation in the Gizmo Special's model number that will jump out at you. It's the "ST." Veteran consumers of Japanese market fishing rods know what those two letters represent, and it's exciting to see that designation on a spinning rod at this price point. The ST is code for "Stinger Tip," meaning the fishing rod in question has a solid carbon tip for an enhanced degree of flexibility useful in detecting strikes.

 


In this stick, Evergreen uses that solid carbon tip as a way to impart action to their new topwater lure, the Gizmo

 

However, Evergreen's purpose for enabling the Gizmo Special with the ST is to give the angler the perfect degree of flexibility in their rod tip to work their new Gizmo topwater bait. Quite the intriguing design purpose, and intrigue with the RCSS-610M-ST does not stop there. While this six foot ten inch (6'-10") rod's line and lure rating would suggest it is a light, or at best, medium-light powered stick, the Gizmo Special comes with the manufacturer rating of medium powered.


If you look closely, you can see where the transition from traditional blank composition gives way to that solid tip

Evergreen Pro Justin Kerr describes the Gizmo Special as his power finesse rod. He relies upon this stick to fish everything from underspins and spybaits, to the topwater Gizmo bait. He finds the Gizmo Special's length comes in handy presenting light hair jigs and four inch soft plastic stick baits like the ever popular Gary Yamamoto Senko while in close quarters like around trees and docks.


One of the reels I matched the RCSS-610M-ST up with was my Opus-1 Nero

Real World Tests: I matched the Gizmo Special with a variety of different reels not because I had difficulty deciding which reel suited it best but because I was separately testing different leader materials while fishing it and I wanted to test the rod with a couple of different techniques which required leaders of different strengths. To begin, I paired the Gizmo Special with my Evergreen International Opus-1 Nero spooled with 20lb Seaguar Smackdown and a leader of 6lb Seaguar AbrazX. With my Shimano Sustain 2500FG, I was using 20lb Seaguar Smackdown and a leader of 10lb Seaguar Gold Label FC. Lastly, I also paired the Gizmo Special with my Shimano Exsence 3000MHG spooled with YGK G-Soul Upgrade PE X8 and a leader of 4lb Seaguar Gold Label.


Finesse techniques often result in finesse sized fish. This one chewed on Molix's new Stick Flex Ned bait

Casting: Indeed from that very first cast, you can tell the RCSS-610M-ST is different. Thanks to its solid carbon tip, the rod is very flexible in that area, but it's not a type of flexible that loads nicely on a cast. There's no body to it, so casting something like the bait for which it was made, the Gizmo is a bit tricky. The Gizmo topwater lure is not aerodynamic at all. Those appendages create a lot of drag like a wingsuit glider spreading their arms and legs out. That soft tip of the RCSS-610M-ST doesn't build up very much energy to send that bait flying unless it's a very still day or you have the wind at your back.


The RCSS-610M-ST is built with a split rear grip and standard, downlocking reel seat

Baits that actually have some mass to them, like a Ned Rig, Drop Shot, or unweighted soft plastic stick bait cast just fine with this rod, because their momentum is easily transferred from back cast to forward cast. Similarly, Megabass's Grand Siglett, another topwater bug bait, was very easy to cast for both distance and accuracy with this stick. But that bait is built like crank bait with internal rattles and weights to help transfer momentum during a cast.


The camo, EVA foam grips are capped nicely by attractive detailing


The butt end features subtle contours for more comfortable two handed grip while casting

Sensitivity: Fishing rods with solid carbon tips are not as rare as they once were and the one common theme among them is the lack of crisp sensitivity. If fishing something subsurface, the real benefit of sticks like these is seeing that tip flinch at the slightest interest in your bait. Otherwise, when going by feel, strikes are transmitted with a slightly more muted frequency. This was the case with the Gizmo Special when fishing drop shot and Ned rig presentations. Quite often, my strikes were of the nature where something just felt different. That's the way most Ned rig bites go anyway, so there was nothing out of the ordinary there.


The x-wrap reinforcement detail ends at the first guide

Next Section: Finesse and Power? 

 

   

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