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Rod Review


Fenwick Increases an Already Good Value in Their HMG (continued)


Power: Where this stick really shines is in its power. It really is more of a heavy powered stick than medium heavy, but just the same it has a really smooth power curve that is very confidence inspiring once you have a fish at the other end of the line. Hooksets are solid and once I did set, it was just a matter of time before I had the fish by the side of the boat for their photo ops, and then back into the water.

Fig 1 : The chart above illustrates the deflection characteristics of our Fenwick HMG70MH-FC against our 2010 Search for One baseline sticks

If your practice is to horse fish to the boat as fast as you can, I've no doubt the HMG70MH-FC can help you on this landing technique, but I don't fish in that manner. I enjoy the process of the catch as much as I enjoy the process of getting them to bite. Still, it is good to know that the rod has the muscle should you hook into a big fish or in a tournament situation where you need to boat fish quickly.

The HMG70MH-FC is more of a heavy powered stick than medium heavy

Design & Ergonomics: Looking over the HMG70MH-FC's lab numbers gives further evidence it is a more of a heavy powered stick than medium heavy. It comes in at just over six ounces (6.1oz) in total weight with a balancing point of six and a half inches above the midline of the reel seat. It is just a hair tip heavy but certainly not to the point of being cumbersome. The extra weight in the overall rod is likely from Fenwick's effort to balance it out.

A close-up of the cork material in the grip

The rod's color scheme is traditional Fenwick HMG with the warm grey blank, dark brown threadwraps, and gold highlights. There is a decorative winding check at the base of the rod with the manufacturer's name tastefully stamped. The cork in the grip is average quality and the overall build is clean if not reserved.

The Sea-Guide reel seat features a dual locking mechanism - along with the reel seat hood, the foregrip locks down on the reel foot too

The most noteworthy aspect of the rod's build is the reel seat by Sea-Guide. It is their soft touch, Alien Reel Seat with Positive Lock design. What that means is there are actually two rotating lock rings to secure your reel. The first is like the traditional lock ring on any reel seat attached to the hood. Once you cinch that down, you can also rotate the decorative cork foregrip as added reassurance that your reel will be held in place. This is not a new concept, but it is a very clean implementation.

The reel seat itself features an attractive design

Lab Results for Fenwick HMG70MH-FC

Avg RoD (2-32 oz)
Measured Weight (oz)
Balance Point (inches)
Balancing Torque (ftlbs)
Fenwick HMG70MH-FC
MBR783C GLX2000
TSFO 26 Rod Avg

Priced at $99.99, Fenwick's HMG70MH-FC is a really good value

Price & Applications: It's a well known fact among seasoned anglers that the power ratings on rods between different manufacturers, and even within the same manufacturer on different rod series rarely mean the same thing. This is why we came up with our RoD wracking scheme and why we include a chart with each standard bass rod review - to give our readers a better idea of what to expect in terms of power with the rod we are discussing.

Our last review of a rod from this series was just last year, but little did we know Fenwick had plans to refresh the entire HMG line

Priced at $99.99, Fenwick's HMG70MH-FC is a really good stick for vertical bait presentations and in a pinch can handle moving bait applications with larger lures as well - something like a six to seven inch hard bodied swimbait or even some paddletail swimbaits.



Fenwick HMG70MH-FC Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality A clean build with reasonably good overall components 8
Performance Excellent pitching performance, good sensitivity, excellent power 8
Price Hard to argue with this price point 9
Features Fuji Alconites in a sub $100 rod! 9
Design (Ergonomics) Conservative, but clean and decent balance 7.5
Application A good, heavy powered bass stick 7.5

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:


+ Alconite guides at this price point! - Power rating is misleading
+ Nice reel seat design  
+ Understated but refined graphics  
+ Good power  

Conclusion: Our last review of a rod from this series was just last year, but little did we know Fenwick had plans to refresh the entire HMG line. What they did was step up the entire spec. Instead of building the rod with generic "deep-pressed titanium guides," they're now using name brand Fuji Alconites - a guide train typically found on rods starting at around $175 or more. Instead of the composite TAC material grip, they are now using cork.

If the previously reviewed, older generation HMG72M-MFC was a good value, this new HMG70MH-FC is even an even better one

True this HMG70MH-FC behaves more like a traditional heavy powered rod than medium heavy, but as long as you know this going in (and you do now from reading this), you can adjust your purchasing plans accordingly. The fact Fenwick was able to upgrade all the components, refine the blank, and still deliver the final product at the same price before speaks volumes. If the previously reviewed, older generation HMG72M-MFC was a good value, this new HMG70MH-FC is even an even better one. Congrats to Fenwick for once again winning our Best Value Award!!

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