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Rod Review

Returning to Tradition : Fenwick's Elite Tech Spinning


Date: 12/17/15
Tackle Type: Rod
Manufacturer: Fenwick
Reviewer: Cal

Total Score: 7.72 - GOOD

As one of the pioneer rod building companies in the industry, Fenwick has a long, and very storied past. It is on one of their sticks, a circa 1980's, 5'-0", HMG ultra light rod, that I managed to catch my heaviest large mouth bass to date - an eleven pound plus fish. Naturally, because of that catch, I have a soft spot for this brand, but it's been a long time since the company has built something that's piqued my interest - the competition is fierce these days. At ICAST 2014, we were shown the latest refresh of their Elite Tech bass rods, a series of sticks that are a little bit old school yet very contemporary in design and spec. Here now is our look at their ETB69M-MFS-MFS.


Introducing Fenwick's Elite Tech ETB69M-MFS Spinning Rod


Fenwick Elite Tech ETB69M-MFS Specifications

Material High Modulus Graphite
Length 6'-9"
Line Wt. 6-12lb
Lure Wt. 1/8-1/4 oz
Pieces 1
Guides 7+Tip (Ti/Zirc)
Rear Handle Length 10"
Power Rating Medium
Taper Mod-Fast
Rod Weight 4.4oz
Origin Made in China
MSRP $149.99


Quality/Construction: The ETB69M-MFS is a six foot nine inch (6'-9") spinning stick featuring an old school, painted blank in what I call Fenwick brown that's finished off with a clear gloss coat. The rod's handle features a split rear grip of EVA foam, and the reel seat, has a mix of foam and rubberized cork.


The ETB69M-MFS's grip is a combination of Eva foam and rubberized cork.


Looking down the length of the rod from its reel seat toward the blank, we can see the rod's blank is straight, and the guides are in good alignment. Checking epoxy work in and around the thread wraps we can see the work is clean. It is a very nice build.


Quality Ratings for Fenwick Elite Tech ETB69M-MFS

Finish (1-5)
Grip (1-5)
Epoxy (1-5)
Blank (1-2)
Guides (1-2)
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)

Performance: I paired the Elite Tech ETB69M-MFS with a Pflueger Supreme spinning reel spooled with 8lb Sunline Supernatural nylon monofilament and headed out to Lake Berryessa with Zander for some testing.

Out on Lake Berryessa and ready for some testing.

Casting: The ETB69M-MFS from Fenwick comes with a lure rating of 1/8 oz up to 3/4 of an ounce. It is a medium powered stick so far more than a spinning rod for finesse tactics. Just the same, whenever I pick up a spinning rod these days, the first thing I think of is which finesse tactic do I want to employ with said rod.

Paired with a Pflueger Supreme spinning reel.

In the case of the ETB69M-MFS, I turned to a drop shot and even though this stick is rated medium in power, it handles casting duties of a drop shot rig just fine. On the other end of the scale, a quick check on how the rod loaded with a lipless crank tied on revealed its ratings might be a bit on the generous side. It feels a bit overloaded with a Lucky Craft LV500MAX (~3/4oz) tied on, and ok with a 5" Senko (~1/2oz).

Sensitivity is on par to slightly above average with the market.

Sensitivity: Of course, the real characteristic with any rod, but somehow even more so with a spinning rod, is just how sensitive is the blank. For a stick priced at right around a buck and a half ($150), I'd say sensitivity is on par with the market and that means it's good. The ETB69M-MFS performed well for me in drop shot presentations where sensitivity is very important.

This is a medium powered stick so a bit more powerful than what I'm accustomed to for spinning.

Power: Referencing the ETB69M-MFS's RoD Deflection Chart below we can see it does test out right along the lines of our 2-power WTF Baseline rod, the SMR822S-SP GLX from G.Loomis - another medium powered spinning rod.

Fig 1 : The chart above illustrates the deflection characteristics of our Fenwick Elite Tech ETB69M-MFS against
our baseline WTF rods.

Out on the water, the ETB69M-MFS's backbone sets up predictably and is really well suited for open water and light cover situations. Out on Lake Berryessa, CA, this meant fishing the tops of submerged humps and other rocky surfaces.

Performance Ratings for Fenwick Elite Tech ETB69M-MFS

Pitch (1-5)
Cast (1-5)
Sensitivity (1-5)
Hook Set (1-5)
Control (1-5)
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)

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