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Rod Review

 

An Enthusiast Level Rod For Anglers Of All Levels, Legit Design's Big Bait Special (continued)

 

Power: An appointment with the RoD WRACK reveals the WSC75XH Big Bait Special aligns comfortably with what we'd classify as swimbait rods suitable for all purpose duties. These sticks can typically handle baits from one to six ounces give or take an ounce. The manufacturer suggests four ounces as a maximum lure weight for this stick, but as I shared in the casting section, if you're in a pinch, The WSC75XH can actually handle a little bit more.


Fig 1 : The chart above illustrates the deflection characteristics of our Legit Designs Wild Side WSC75XH against the historical averages of similarly powered rods we've tested over the past twenty years

Due to its moderate to moderate-fast taper, I feel the Big Bait Special is better suited for hard bodied baits with treble hooks, but if you're throwing something like Megabass's MagDraft Freestyle on an Owner Flashy Swimmer, the WSC75XH can handle that perfectly fine. I'm just not sure it's right for some of those larger, single hook, paddletail baits or anything along the lines of a full sized Huddleston Deluxe.


Checking out that taper

When you swing for a set with this stick, it softens up quite a bit and behaves almost like a glass rod. This moderate taper is helpful at keeping fish pinned as you battle and there's plenty of backbone to help control your catch. The material composition of this stick lists only 5% glass, but if I didn't know better, given this rod's weight, sensitivity, and how it feels when you're fighting a fish, I'd swear that glass component in the blank was 50% or more. The WSC75XH has that typical, buttery smooth feel that's typical of a glass rod when under load of a fish.


This rod is not short of nice design features like the decorative wrap beneath the guide

Design & Ergonomics: Legit Designs goes through a lot of effort to adorn this rod with attractive thread wraps and accents, and interesting, but not garish graphics for the series and rod name. It's obvious given the rod's balance, this stick is built to be comfortable to fish. This is further evidenced by the big, rubber butt end reminiscent of what you'd find on an old school boat rod. I've seen pro bass fishermen install aftermarket ends similar to this on their rods for comfort both during two handed casts and when the back end of the rod is nestled next to their rib cage, so there is a market for these butt ends. I, however, am not a fan. What would be really useful is if the butt end screwed off and there was an option for something less bulky, maybe even with the opportunity to remove/add some weights so balance and overall weight could be customized.

Lab Results for Legit Design Wild Side WSC75XH Big Bait Special

Model
Avg RoD
Taper
Measured Weight (oz)
Balance Point (inches)
Balancing Torque (ftlbs)
Legit Designs Wild Side WSC75XH Big Bait Special
1.30
Mod-Fast
8.0
7
0.31
Finesse SB Rod Avg
1.65
--
6.0
9.5
0.29
All Purpose SB Rod Avg
1.28
--
6.8
8.5
0.29
Heavy Hitters SB Rod Avg
0.95
--
7.7
10.2
0.44

Speaking of weight, remember my impression of this stick being relatively well balanced but heavy? Well, setting my enthusiast soul aside and putting on my lab coat, I placed the WSC75XH on our official TackleTour scale and returned the result of eight ounces (8oz) even for this stick with a balancing point of seven inches up from the mid point of the reel seat. This stick is a good choice for big bait anglers who value balance, but not so much for those who place value on a light weight fishing rod.


Vindication, a Jointed Claw 230 fish after losing one with the Big Bait Special reel

If fished as the only rod in your arsenal, this rod's weight likely wouldn't be much of a factor, but when fished in conjunction with other sticks of similar capabilities, the weight discrepancy is very noticeable. In fact, I noticed at the end of the day using this rod, my hand and arm were a lot more tired than usual. Overall, with its glossy finish, non-cutaway reel seat, and weight, the WSC75XH just has a very old-school feel to it.


This rod separates between the handle assembly and the rest of the rod

Features: One of the salient features of Legit Design's Wild Side series is the use of aramid fibers in the blank's composition to hold the graphite material together and reinforce overall strength. Aramid is raw material used in the branded and trademarked material Kevlar. It's not new to the fishing rod industry, the previously mentioned Evergreen International Balista featured Kevlar reinforcement in the blank too, but it's not common in rods made for the North American market. Additionally, while the WSC75XH's Fuji reel seat is a bit old school, the guides are also by Fuji and made with stainless steel frames and SiC inserts. There are definitely higher end features in this rod where it counts.


Guides are stainless steel framed with SiC inserts by Fuji - all double footed

Price & Applications: Arundel Tackle offers Legit Design's Wild Side WSC75XH Big Bait Special for $340 delivering on the manufacturer's motto of providing very good performing sticks at prices that won't break the bank. Granted $340 is quite a bit removed from an entry level stick, but "reasonable" does not mean "budget." This is still a premium product carefully crafted with high grade components. Slap a more exotic JDM name on this stick like DEPS, Imakatsu, or Gan Craft, and this stick could easily retail for twice the current asking price and enthusiasts would line up around the block for the chance at owning one.


This stick did really well with a half ounce Megabass Uoze Swimmer tipped with a Reaction Innovations Spicy Beaver

Application wise, the WSC75XH Big Bait Special is capable of more than just big baits. I'd choose it for any moving bait application with lure or lure combos weighing anywhere from one ounce to just over four ounces.

 

Big bladed/vibrating/swimming jigs, five to six inch paddletail baits, seven inch glide baits, L.O.U.S. crankbaits from shallow to deep, this stick can handle them all and do so very competently.

 


Arundel Tackle offers Legit Design's Wild Side WSC75XH Big Bait Special for $340

 

Ratings:

Legit Design Wild Side WSC75XH Big Bait Special Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Clean build with an old school appeal 9
Performance Casts extremely well within rated range and has good power and control 8
Price Reasonable - not super affordable, not outrageously priced either. 7.5
Features Solid, quality components, unobtrusive 2-piece design, very convenient, non bulky rod sack 7.5
Design (Ergonomics) Good balance, but heavier than it needs to be and the rear handle is a little short for two handed casts with good sized baits 6
Application A good choice in a stick for a variety of baits from one to just a hair over four ounces 8

Total Score

7.67
Ratings Key: 1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = unbelievable!
For More Details of the updated rating system visit our explanation here

 

Pluses and Minuses:

Plus

Minus
+ Fun rod to cast - A bit heavy for my taste
+ Very good power - Rear handle is a tad short for a true big bait fishing rod
+ Very good grade of name brand components  
+ Carefully crafted  

 

Conclusion: Any cyclists out there? Any cyclists that remember steel frames? How about steel frames made with old fashioned chromoly tubing? In a world of lighter, more fashion conscious frame materials like carbon, aluminum, and even titanium, a road or mountain bike frame made out of steel tubing is a rare find anymore. Unless you're talking about the high end, custom steel frames, they're just too heavy to compete in today's market. Yet there are those who appreciate the durability, responsiveness, and old school smooth, reliable ride of steel. Legit Design's Wild Side WSC75XH is like an old school, steel framed bike. It's very smooth in casting performance, responsive and reliable when you lean into for a hookset, and heavy.

 


Given the way their Big Bait Special handles, and the fact it's adorned with proven Fuji components, I'd say Legit Design has achieved their goal of delivering a professional quality rod for the everyday, recreational angler very well

 

However, with that weight comes balance. There's nothing worse than a heavy fishing rod that is also unbalanced. Those are like the steel bikes they give away at retail store promotions - garbage. The WSC75XH is far from that. It has good balance making it comfortable to fish. That gloss coating over the blank protects it from incidental knocks and mis-placed hooks giving it a degree of durability - like a dependable steel framed bike. It's two piece design is very convenient, if needed, and if not, once assembled, it looks, feels, and performs like a one-piece stick. Legit Design's motto is not to build the lightest, most exotic sticks available. Their goal is to deliver professional quality rods for the everyday, recreational angler. While there are a couple of things I'd like to see adjusted with this stick, given the way their Big Bait Special handles, and the fact it's adorned with proven Fuji components, I'd say Legit Design has achieved that goal with the WSC75XH Big Bait Special very well.

 

Looking for a Legit Design Wild Side WSC75XH Big Bait Special?

It's available direct from Arundel Tackle


 

   

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