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Enthusiast Review


CB Rod Wars Part #9 : Gan Craft's Scarface (continued)

Sensitivity: The Scarface possesses good sensitivity for a glass rod. I fished it early with fluorocarbon but later used a high quality nylon monofilament and in both cases found sensitivity to be sufficient and never found myself searching for a reel spooled with braid to compensate. This is especially true when throwing baits that create a lot of vibration in the water as you're cranking them back to your location.


A feisty spotted bass from our early season Crankbait Rod War battles.

 
The first guide on the Scarface is positioned eccentrically backwards.

Power: I wasn't fortunate enough to hook up with any hard charging fish to really test the power of the Scarface, but I was happy with what it showed me with the limited catches I did make on this stick. It's pretty evident the Megabass Shiryu and Daiko BRSC-70MG are slightly more powerful than the Scarface, but I think that's primarily because those two sticks are better suited for heavier cranking duties.


A demonstration of the Scarface's extremely soft tip.

 
Rated for baits up to 1 ounce, we found it better suited for baits 3/4 oz and below.

Features: Origins of the Gan Craft Scarface are unknown. There are no "made in ..." stickers or labels on the rod and Gan Craft does not answer inquiries as to what country they rely upon for the manufacturing of their sticks. It is likely these rods are not made in Japan but where they were made continues to be a mystery.


Whoops... typo!

Despite this rather grey area surrounding the rod's origins, the Scarface comes equipped with top end components (Ti/SiC guides, etc.), and is a very carefully crafted and detailed stick. So much so that if I didn't bother to look or investigate, it wouldn't surprise me if the rods were in fact made in Japan. What does it really matter you ask? Considering the Gan Craft rods are among the most expensive to acquire, I'd expect them to be made in a country known for high labor costs and if not, the prices should be adjusted accordingly.

 
Check out how well suited the Quantum Tour Edition PT is on this JDM stick!

Application: Already touched upon is the fact the Scarface is a wonderful general purpose moving bait rod. It works really well for shallow to deep diving cranks with the sweet spot being baits in the half ounce weight range. Spinnerbaits and lipless cranks alike are fun to fish on this rod as well, and for those who like soft rods for throwing jerkbaits, the Scarface will not disappoint. Unfortunately, I am not one of those people.


A little difficult to see, but this label found on the exposed graphite portion of the split rear grip on our Scarface was crooked.

 

Warranty: No surprises here. The Scarface is made for the Japanese domestic market (JDM) only and receives no official warranty support outside of Japan, so buy at your own risk and if warranty is important to you, you might think twice about going JDM for your cranking needs. 

 
Gan Craft and Quantum - who'd have thought this pair would match so well?

Availability: At one time, the Gan Craft product was rather obscure and difficult to source. Over the past year or two, distribution has grown and it is relatively easy to order through any online vendor that deals with JDM rods regularly. Our Gan Craft rod was procured through Pro Shop Otsuka and we'd like to thank them for making this review possible.  

 

Ratings:

Gan Craft KB-003-68M Scarface Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Cleanly wrapped and detailed although the label on the split grip of our review specimen was crooked and the badge at the bottom of the rod had a typo! 7
Performance Worthy of high end consideration 8.5
Price Thoroughbred price without the appropriate pedigree. Though the Gan Craft does have a number of notable styling elements it does has some flaws. We still don't know where or in what factory this rod is made.... just that it costs a lot. There are a lot of import JDM rods of similar quality for a lower price point 4
Features top end components 8
Design (Ergonomics) fun design and detailing (still that spelling/printing mistake) on the butt cap is a little disturbing for a rod of this price point 8
Application A very capable all purpose moving bait stick that is good for a wide range of cranking applications 8

Total Score

7.25
Ratings Key: Ratings Key: 1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = unbelievable!
(For a detailed explanation of the ratings go here)

  
Pluses and Minuses:

Plus

Minus
J This is a fun rod to fish L "Made in Japan" price for a made in unknown product
J Top end components L Zero warranty support outside of Japan and you're paying a premium for no reason.

 

Conclusion: It seems no story is ever perfect. Were the Gan Craft product made in Japan, they'd serve some serious competition to the likes of Megabass, Evergreen International, Daiko, and the rest, because judging by this one rod alone, the performance and styling aspects are certainly there. The only thing missing is the allure of that "Made in Japan" label. Certainly a more forgiving price point would alleviate some of those concerns, but if you're going to be priced the same as the top brands, you better carry with you the very same pedigree, and at this time all indications are that Gan Craft does not.

 


Gan Craft delivers in performance, we just question the mystique.

 

To make matters even worse, there is absolutely no warranty support for this rod if used outside of Japan. This is not usually a concern of mine, but when you're paying a premium for a JDM styled rod that is very likely NOT made in Japan AND you're getting zero warranty coverage, well, enough is enough. I'd rather risk my investment with a company that openly declares country of origin on their product and price it accordingly. The Scarface is a nicely detailed stick that performs up to par with any cranking rod I've thrown, but at a price point of roughly $400 - $450 BEFORE shipping from Japan for a rod of unknown origins, well, my enthusiasm can only extend so far.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 
 





 

 



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