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Rod Review


More than Just Finesse with Fenwick's HMG70ML-FS (continued)

Design & Ergonomics: The HMG70ML-FS has a very classic look and feel to it with its full grip made of cork and a very small foregrip. Save for the aggressively styled reel seat, the overall rod features conservative styling and comes in at a total rod weight of five point two ounces (5.2). That's a little heavy for a stick of this power rating, but the saving grace is, this stick is very well balanced. The rod's overall heft lends to its feel of being slightly more powerful than its rating.

This stick's guide train features Fuji Alconites.

The open ended hook keeper is great for stowing drop shot weights.

Along with the unexpected, Fuji Alconite guide train, the Sea-Guide Alien Reel Seat is a really nice touch on this stick. The seat itself has a rubberized coat that manufacturers refer to as "soft touch," but the nice thing about this seat is that double up lockring.

There's one adjustment to move the bottom part of the reel seat and secure your reel, but then there's a secondary adjustment to lock up against that first one for a more secure fit. I welcome seats like this on spinning rods because for some reason, spinning reel seats are always more likely come work loose than casting.

The Sea-Guide Alien Reel Seat features two lockrings for added security.

Lab Results for Fenwick HMG70ML-FS

Avg RoD (2-32 oz)
Measured Weight (oz)
Balance Point (inches)
Balancing Torque (ftlbs)
Fenwick HMG70ML-FS

The rod's full cork grip is finished off with some decorative touches.

Price & Applications: It surprises me how Fenwick can upgrade the components on this series but maintain the same price point. Outfitted with Fuji Alconite guides at $99.99, the HMG series is a very good value. The HMG70ML-FS specifically is well suited as a general purpose spinning rod more so than a stick dedicated for finesse applications. For example I think it'd perform very well with a light Texas rig or shakey head application. It'd do much better in that capacity than how I was fishing it with a drop shot. Small cranks would also be a very good choice for this stick.

Fenwick's refreshed HMG series of rods is an excellent value.


Fenwick HMG70ML-FS Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Clean if not conservative build 8
Performance Really very good all around - especially power 8
Price Tough to beat especially considering it has Alconite guides! 9
Features Built with components typically found on much pricier sticks 8
Design (Ergonomics) Conservative, clean, well balanced but just a tad heavy 7
Application A good general purpose spinning rod that can also do finesse 7

Total Score

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:


+ Really good value considering components - A tad heavy in overall weight
+ Nice reel seat  
+ Open ended hook keeper for drop shot weights and Tx rigged plastics  

I'm as guilty as anyone at immediately assuming finesse applications when I pick up a spinning rod for bass fishing. The HMG70ML-FS is built for so much more than that.

Conclusion: I'm as guilty as anyone at immediately assuming finesse applications when I pick up a spinning rod for bass fishing. The HMG70ML-FS is built for so much more than that. Yes, it feels like a stick that leans more towards the medium in that hybrid rating of medium-light, but that simply means it can handle more robust applications. In fact, along with those applications mentioned a above, for someone looking to get a stick to introduce their children to fishing in general by soaking some powerbait, a night crawler, or minnows, the HMG70ML-FS would make a wonderful choice. Then when they're ready to graduate to artificial lures, this stick can handle those duties as well. In the meantime, you're rewarded in choosing an HMG with an excellent set of components ensuring the rod will last a good long time in whatever capacity you choose to fish it.


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