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Rod Review

CB Rod Wars Part 2 : Is It Jackall's Year? (continued)

Sensitivity: Again, pretty standard fare here. Essentially a light to medium powered graphite stick, you'd expect the 65ML to have good sensitivity and it does. In fact, like the Hien Type-S, and really, other similarly rated, light powered graphite cranking sticks, the 65ML makes a nice finesse plastics and jig stick particularly when matched with a Daiwa Pixy and tying to the end of the line, a shakey head rig.

Another look at the grip assembly of the HC-65ML

The 68MRG, on the other hand, is a pure cranking stick and sensitivity is just ok. To mitigate, what we've been discovering is cranking with braid on glass sticks really makes a lot of sense if you're one to want to feel all the bumps, knocks, and vibrations emanating from your bait as you retrieve it through the water. The lack of sensitivity has always been the knock on glass, but the buttery smooth performance of sticks like this when under the load of a fish is what many have difficulty conceding. Using a superline in place of mono or even fluorocarbon really helps with sensitivity.

So excited were we to get on the water with this stick, we failed to fully unwrap it.

Both these sticks make use of Fui's newer ACS reelseat.

Power: Both sticks have power to spare when compared to other sticks in their same classification. Just looking each sticks' RoD curve and you can see that while both have nice, soft, castable tips pretty much in line with other rods featuring their same specifications, after about twelve ounces of load, their curves really flatten out demonstrating the power waiting to be tapped within each stick.

Matched with the Ito Monoblock and some superline, the HC-65ML makes a fantastic finesse plastics stick.

Unfortunately, I didn't get into anything significant to really test these sticks other than a few feisty pound to pound and a half spotted bass and while these fish pull harder than largemouth, still, at that size, it's not saying much.

The familiar detailing of a JDM stick.

Features: The Jackall Poison Heritage sticks make use of the latest component offerings from Fuji including their ACS reel seat and titanium framed SiC insert guides. The 65ML features a split, rear foam grip while the 68MRG features a split rear cork grip. Both rods come with a matching foregrip. These are very handsomely appointed rods.

One last look at our HC-68MRG paired with the Shimano Conquest 51, classic.

Application: While designed primarily for cranks, as mentioned earlier, the 65ML makes a nice finesse plastics rod as well especially if you're looking for a baitcaster with which to fish shakey head baits. The 68MRG is pretty much your prototypical glass cranking stick suitable for spinnerbaits and jerkbaits as well as medium to deep diving cranks.

First up and first out, Jackall survives the Crankbait Rod Wars. Well, sort of...

Warranty: The warranty on the Jackall rods is three years and all rods must be sent in with the original sales receipt to qualify for warranty assessment. There is a one hundred dollar plus shipping cost replacement fee in lieu of the warranty process if you choose to go that route, but as always, please check with the manufacturer directly for any questions regarding warranty and/or replacement programs.


Jackall Poison Cranking Stick Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Construction and initial quality of these rods is first rate 9
Performance The Jackall sticks are solid performers 8
Price Considering the country of their manufacturing, a bit on the high side. 5
Features Top end components 8
Design (Ergonomics) These rods strike a comfortable balance between balance and weight though the 68MRG is still on the tip heavy side 7.5
Application As versatile as any pair of cranking sticks on the market today 7.5

Total Score

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:


J Top end components L Considering their country of origin, I'd expect a better price.
J Attractive, contemporary design  
J Some semblance of a warranty which is a plus for a JDM styled rod.  


Conclusion: Judged strictly on performance and appearances, the Jackall Poison Heritage cranking sticks might receive very high marks. After all, they come with all the bells and whistles normally associated with a JDM product. However, taking into consideration their country of origin, it's a bit hard to stomach their four hundred fifty dollar price tag. Remember, this is close to the same price (before shipping) of three of our other pure JDM sticks in this year's Rod Wars and at least two of those manufacturers are verified "Made in Japan" product.


Lower the price in line with country of origin, and these could be enormously popular sticks.


To make up for this rather hefty price tag then, I'd have at least hoped for a better warranty and/or replacement plan, and while three years seem reasonable, the replacement plan seems a bit out of line although to have this option with a JDM-esque stick is kind of nice. So in the end it's a bit of a mixed bag, but the majority feeling is that something just does not add up with these rods. It's unfortunate that the simple piece of information concerning country of origin can creep in to cloud my judgment, but then again, if the rods were twenty five to thirty percent cheaper, all those concerns would likely be alleviated.


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