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Rod Review


The Search for One : Megabass of America's F5.5-75XX Braillist (continued)

In fact, it was on the third cast with the Hybrid Football Jig and Spicy Beaver combo that I felt "thunk" about a half a second after splash down as the bait was sinking to the bottom. In disbelief that a fish could have actually taken the bait so soon, I reeled in the slack, pointed the rod tip towards the bait and let loose on a pro-style hookset just in case. Pro style hooksets are something I never do, but the Braillist delivered proving there was indeed a fish at the end of the line!

This is the first fish from the Hybrid Football Jig bite

This is the fish caught on the very next cast

After battling that fish to the boat, and calming down from the excitement, I made another cast just a bit further down the bank, but in the same general area. This time I had the time to hop the bait once then felt the telltale "tick." I reeled down and swung again with success in total amazement at the two successive hits.

Fig 1 : The chart above illustrates the deflection characteristics of our Megabass Orochi XX F5.5-75XX Braillist against the historical averages of our general purpose rods separated by power

Power: On both occasions and several subsequent catches, the hooks were buried very securely in the fishes' mouths in a manner that's difficult to believe from a medium heavy powered stick. The Braillist even charts out like a typical medium heavy powered rod against our historical average (see Fig. 1 above). But on the water, the Braillist gave the impression it was more of a heavy powered stick. That's how much leverage and control this stick delivers.

A closer look at the kabt (ka-but-oh) wrap

Checking out the Braillist's fast taper

Design & Ergonomics: Official weight and balance numbers for the Braillist aren't great. It's a full ounce heavier than the average of our traditional medium heavy powered rods but one must keep in mind this is also a 7'-5" stick (most of the over 100 rods in our Search for One average calculation are 7'-0" long). Just the same, the Braillist is heavier and less balanced than the average for our heavy powered rods too. Funny thing is, out on the water, I hardly noticed but maybe because I was using it with a relatively light reel and mostly tip down applications.

I really like the design of this full rear grip

Lab Results for Megabass Orochi XX F5.5-75XX Braillist

Avg RoD
Measured Weight (oz)
Balance Point (inches)
Balancing Torque (ftlbs)
Megabass Orochi XX F5.5-75XX Braillist
TSFO >100 Rod Avg


Heavy Power Avg
Medium Pwr Avg

The Spiral Architecture Reel Seat is the latest from Yuki Ito

Price & Applications: Megabass of America's F5.5-75XX Braillist retails for $299.00. It is spec'd and marketed as a stick for bottom contact applications, but for me it fishes like a true multi-purpose stick that just happens to be very good in sensitivity. It was excellent with jigs, and wacky and Texas rigged plastics, but it was also really good for fishing that Spicy Beaver like a crankbait.

The Braillist would make a wonderful choice for spinnerbaits, lipless cranks, and swimming and vibrating jigs too though if you do prefer a little more moderate action for those applications the EMTF is a very similar rod spec-wise, just with a medium-fast taper.

Megabass of America's F5.5-75XX Braillist retails for $299.00


Megabass Orochi XX F5.5-75XX Braillist Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Megabass of America has really stepped up the look and feel of their entire Orochi XX line. The Braillist falls right in line. 9.5
Performance Honestly more versatile than I could have hoped for and excellent all around 9
Price Given the rod's components and build, the Braillist's price point is right where I'd expect 7.5
Features Good set of components, high tech blank, useful rod sleeve 8
Design (Ergonomics) The stick has a very JDM feel to it though the measured weight and balance are a bit puzzling 7.5
Application More than just a stick for bottom contact baits 8.5

Total Score

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:


+ Excellent hook setting power - Heavier and less balanced than similarly powered rods
+ Casts and pitches with ease and accuracy of a shorter rod  
+ Very good sensitivity  
+ More versatile than it's given credit  


Conclusion: Given how this stick fished, it is everything of what I thought I was going to get with the F5-75XX EMTF except for the fact, I really thought I was fishing with a heavy powered stick all this time. Then I put the lab numbers together and now I'm puzzled. Maybe I've been fishing too many medium powered rods and drop shot sticks and just forgot what a true multi-purpose rod feels like. When I sat down to write this review, I had plans to liken this stick to the now discontinued but legendary Orochi X4 F6-72X4 Destruction.


The Braillist is far more than a stick for just bottom contact baits
and is a very viable Search for One candidate.


The Braillist's versatility and power really remind me of that stick, but looking at the numbers, the Destruction is at least one level up in power. Guess it's been a while since I handled the Destruction. The Braillist is far more than a stick for just bottom contact baits. The rod's tip is crisp and responsive in both casting and pitching duties, and handles a lot more like a 7'-0" stick than one that is 7'-5" long. It is a rod I will continue to use for future tests and reviews even if I have to invent new ways to do so. Megabass of America's F5.5-75XX Braillist has won this Editor's Choice Award.


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