Just plain slick, the new XMG 50 Bass Rod from
World Tests: After our labs tests it was now time to see what this rod could
really do in the field. To test the actual functionality of our XMG 50 we head
straight for Clear Lake. I armed the rod with a Curado 100D but midway through
the test Cal simply couldn’t resist and handed me one of his imported Ryobi
Varius reels to see how it paired with the XMG 50. He had been eying the rod for
a while and was convinced the gunmetal finished Varius would look downright
“slick” paired together with the XMG’s woven carbon fiber grip…. he was right.
carbon fiber handle provides a reasonable amount of grip, and anglers can
actually feel the interwoven fibers
Casting: The rod
features a fast action, and true to the specification only the upper portion of
the blank is really flexible. The upper third of our test rod did all the work
when it came time to cast everything from weightless Texas rigged Senkos to
chucking heavy jigs and even some smaller jerkbaits.
Zander tests the rod's casting abilities
A more parabolic rod with a
medium or medium-fast action would deliver slightly more casting distance, but
every casting rod in the XMG 50 bass lineup features a fast or extra fast
action, emphasizing accuracy and sensitivity as key attributes of importance.
The result is a rod that can cast a wide range of baits, but really excels at
fishing lures like plastics and jigs, rather than reaction baits like jerbaits
and spinnerbaits where such a stiff rod doesn’t always allow you the forgiveness
if the hook is not driven into the fish.
top of the reel seat
Retrieving: When it
comes time to lock into the hookset the EXC 722 responds promptly. The fast
action makes it possible to set the hook without moving the rod very far at all.
For the field tests I fished a wider variety of lures than the rod would
normally be used for, but what I discovered was a rod with a surprisingly wide
range of capabilities.
large cutout in the reel seat gives anglers access to the blank
Simply put, the EXC 722 is a
good mid range rod capable of handling both plastics and lighter hardbaits. The
more robust rods in the lineup will offer up more power, and be better suited
for heavy fishing in cover or retrieving hardbaits armed with treble hooks.
Varius mounted on the test rod
Over the course of a few
trips to Clear Lake I found the EXC 722 to be an absolute thrill to fish. Clear
Lake has countless public and private docks, many of which hold bass, and was
the perfect test range for a rod like this. After pitching or lob casting a
plastic into position I would allow the lure to sink down into position.
reel seat holds the enthusiast reel securely
Often I would feel the
sweet “tick-tick” before the plastic had a chance to hit the bottom. Hooksets
with this rod are lightning fast, and because the rod exhibited excellent
sensitivity I found it easier to lock into fish a second after they picked up
the bait. We found this attribute especially good for fishing shakey head worms
underneath these docks.
Next Section: Power and Sensitivity