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ICAST 2019 Update Coverage

One for the Enthusiasts: The Shimnao Antares A70 Baitcaster with MGIII


Small but Mighty, the Megabass Dark Sleeper Swimbait
SOLID! The Shimano Bantam MGL Baitcaster

Selecting the right Rod, Reel, and Line for Your Walking Bait Arsenal


Rod Review

Graphite rods for serious stand up saltwater, courtesy of G.Loomis Pro Blue (continued)

Casting: There may not be a lot of casting when jigging iron for rockfish and stripers, but when the stripers come up surface plugs can be very effective. Our PB (Pro-Blue) test rod proved to be a quality caster. The rods fast action combined with robust lower section help launch even the biggest irons and plugs without having to do much more than a simple lob. Unlike many pure fiberglass rods I have fished the PB feels just like a big bass rod, short and powerful…yet very accurate. The nice feel to this rod also makes it exceptional for pitching out live bait without fear of throwing your bait off the line before it even has a chance to get down.


Testing the sensitivity...it was actually possible to clearly discern structure from 100 feet above

Retrieving: During our tests one of the first things we did was put heavy 6oz jigs on the line and put them down 100 plus feet to see just how much we could discern from the structure below us. Sure enough the benefits of a pure graphite rod shone through. I could easily feel rocky structure reducing hang-ups, and as we drifted off rocks I could even feel the sandy bottom below, which allowed me to reel back up and switch to swimbaits to target different species.

The blue threading reminded us of the GLX bass rods

Soon we were into fish and within the first hour we already were nearing boat limit when it came to rockfish. The PBR844C easily outclassed even 7lb Vermilions but at the same time the rod definitely puts the fun back into the fight. This became readily apparent when I finally got what I was looking for with a serious strike which pulled straight down.

Throughout our tests salt started to build up on our reel seat, the salt was easy enough to remove with a wet rag

The line went dead as the fish descended into what seemed like an instant snag. I pulled and as the rod loaded up I felt that there still was life on the end of the line, and I proceed to arc the rod up further. Sure enough the rod responded and so did the fish below. I knew I had a decent Ling on the line and pulling him up and away from the rocks was priority one as the boat continued to drift away further from his lair. As I cranked down on the reel and lifted the rod I felt the power kick in. The tip of the rod arced evenly with the midsection, and the butt seemed near immobile. The Ling was on his way up and gave two good runs that stripped line, but honestly never had a chance. Within minutes we had him at the boat and JIP had him in the net.

Crank down and pull up and the Pro-Blue does all the work...this is one surprisingly powerful graphite rod

The first encounter was duplicated three more times as we got into a nice Ling honey hole. By trips end I was convinced that the PBR844C was a serious standup rod that could easily rival fiberglass rods in power, but was simply a lot more fun to fish with, as I really felt much more connected to the bait…and the hooked fish.

A cork composite reel seat graces the rear of the Pro-Blue rods

Power: In the end I wasn’t blessed with any stripers worth mentioning, but the rod did see its fair share of Scorpion fish and Lings in our tests. The PBR844C is really built for 20lb plus fish and manhandled the fish in our tests. I would recommend the PBR843C for taking calicos, normal stripers, and rockfish. The PBR844C is a rod that can do it all, and has the power to move 30lb Lings, and even 40lb stripers. 

Next Section: Power continued, applications, & ratings









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