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Rod Review


 

iRod's Guitierrez Special, the G2 Ultra Finesse

 

Date: 5/20/21
Tackle Type: Rod
Manufacturer: iRod
Reviewer: Cal






Total Score: 7.83 - GOOD

Introduction:
iRod's founder, Matt Newman is a reputable big bait fisherman, so even when one of the biggest names on his staff of pros, Gregg Gutierrez, came to him with the idea and need for a signature, finesse tuned fishing rod, Newman deferred telling Gutierrez, he'd take the thought into consideration. Anyone who knows Double G, as he's referred to, realizes that's not something the positive minded, effervescent, pro would take lightly for underneath all that positivity lies a relentless competitor. Double G, of course, eventually got his way and to Newman's happy surprise, the result is one of their hot sellers. We managed to get our hands on one and here now is our look at Double G's signature rod, the IRG731S-ML G2 Ultra Finesse.

 

iRod Genesis III G2 Ultra Finesse Specifications

Material 30T graphite w/ WXM carbon wrap
Length 7'-3"
Line Wt. 5-10lb
Lure Wt. 1/16-1/4oz
Pieces 1
Guides 8 + tip (Fuji SS/Alconite)
Rear Handle Length 10
Power Rating Medium Light
Taper Mod-Fast
Rod Weight 4.2
Origin Made in China
MSRP $149.99


The IRG731S-ML from iRod is a seven foot, three inch
spinning rod.

Impressions: The IRG731S-ML from iRod is a seven foot, three inch (7'-3") spinning rod built with Fuji stainless steel framed, Alconite insert guides. It features a split reel seat with the locking mechanism on the top side of the seat (many spinning rods today have it on the back side hence the distinction), and a split rear grip with the hook hangar located right in between the two grip sections. Handle material is EVA foam.  


It features a split rear grip and standard, down lock reel seat

 

In my hand fresh out of the shipping tube, I can immediately tell this stick heavier in power than I typically like my finesse rods. I bring that up because in describing the stick to me, Matt Newman, founder and president of the company, shared Greg Gutierrez's relentless pursuit to have the company build a finesse stick to his specifications and how Newman resisted those urgings for the longest time. The stick feels true to its medium-light power rating, I was just expecting something more like a light or mag-light given Newman's initial resistance to the idea. To me, this stick demonstrates how pro anglers rely more on the middle ground powers in their sticks rather than the extremes.


Matched with my Okuma ITX-2500H Carbon Spinning reel and ready for action

Real World Tests: For the IRG731S-ML's time out on the water, I paired it up with my Okuma ITX-2500H Carbon Spinning Reel spooled with 30lb YGK G-Soul SS 112 Sinking Braid and a thirty foot leader of 5lb YGK G-Soul Tour Grade fluorocarbon. My connection knot was Uni to Uni. In my continuing quest to perfect that connection knot, I find with the lighter lines, I can tie Uni to Uni much more reliably than others and it seems to hold up for me. There may be better, stronger, smaller connection knots for light line, but unless I can tie them correctly, they're not of much use. So for now, I'm resigned to this one. I don't like the size of the knot, but it holds up for me and that's what counts.


The first third of the stick features a carbon cross weave reinforcement

Casting: These days, finesse for me involves either a drop shot or ned rig setup. I fished the IRG731S-ML both ways and found it to be very reliable in the casting department. It has a nice, whippy tip that loads well and that 7'-3" length lends itself to long casts in open water. This stick comes with a rating of mod-fast for its taper, but it feels more like an extra-fast with that light tip - my preference for these techniques.


Guides are Fuji stainless steel framed Alconites

Sensitivity: The reasoning behind my preference is for extra-fast tapers with finesse sticks is when you're dealing with such a taper with a one or zero powered fishing rod, the top part of those sticks will flex at the slightest hint of a bite. This is important because with a finesse offering, no matter how sensitive the stick, you don't always feel the hit. This is especially true when fishing the ned rig where the bites are typically just pressure at the end of your line.


T
he IRG731S-ML has a light, whippy tip that responds just the way I like it

Despite it's slower, rated taper, the IRG731S-ML's whippy tip responds just the way I like it to those ever so subtle bites with a drop shot and also responds well to those pressure bites on a ned rig. For those occasions where the fish are a little more aggressive, I was afforded more than enough feel to detect those single "tick" or double "tick-tick" bites as well. I was pleasantly surprised.


Fig 1 : The chart above illustrates the deflection characteristics of our iRod Genesis III G2 Ultra Finesse against the historical averages of similarly powered rods we've tested over the past twenty years

Power: Once you load up with a fish, the IRG731S-ML has enough backbone for reliable sets yet is forgiving enough to ensure the fish stays hooked. Admittedly, there was only so much pressure I could put on my catches with a 5lb leader, but just the same, when you do hook up, it's nice to have that medium-light backbone with the forgiving tip to help bring the fish home. There are few bass fishermen who can resist having that extra bit of power behind their stick when given the choice.


Checking out that tip

Next: Design and Ergonomics... 

 

   

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