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Enthusiast Review

 

Taking Aim with Megabass's Destroyer F8-78X Mark 48 (continued)

Wanting to see how the Mark 48 would behave in a more rapid fire, crankbait like approach, I changed things up later in the day and tied on a Vatalion. I think I originally fished this bait on a G.Loomis IMX-Pro swimbait rod and while I've continued to fish the bait post review, I hadn't really found a rod and reel combo that I loved it with - until the Mark 48. The Vatalion is like an oversized, lipless crank, but a little small to be considered a swimbait. Realistically, it fits perfectly in our L.O.U.S. (lures of unusual size) series and fishes well with rods intended for deep cranking, but I always wanted a rod with a bit faster taper to them to work this bait.


Double footed guides not only at the base

Remember how I found it odd the Mark 48 is rated with a fast taper? Turns out whether that rating is accurate or not, it is perfect for the Vatalion launching that bait with the same accuracy and precision as the Mag Draft Freestyle, but with just a little extra bit of magic that I can't put my casting fingers on.


But all the way up to the tip top

Sensitivity: Another benefit of that faster taper in the Mark 48 is a better feel for your bait at the end of the line. Thanks to that blade underneath the hook, Owner's Flashy Swimmer gives your paddletail baits an extra bit of vibration. You can feel that movement with the Mark 48, and with a bait like the Vatalion, it's very easy to tell when that bait gets caught up in grass versus engulfed by a hungry or angry bass. The Mark 48's sensitivity is very good.


Fig 1 : The chart above illustrates the deflection characteristics of our Megabass of America F8-78X Mark 48 against the historical averages of over sixty swimbait rods we've measured and reviewed over the years

Power: Once a fish does strike, the Mark 48 has plenty of power to drive both single hooks in bait rigs such as the Flashy Swimmer, or treble hooks in hard bodied big baits home. That fast taper is not so fast as to interfere with your ability to bring those treble hooked fish home either. The way the Mark 48 both softens up to allow you to fight, but delivers pressure to tire out your catch is very reminiscent of the Onager.


It really is a fast taper rod

Design & Ergonomics: I still don't quite understand how the Mark 48 can be rated less powerful than the Onager, yet be heavier and less balanced than that stick. I am pleased to report, however, none of those initial impressions really showed up on the water. Once I was fishing the Mark 48, its weight or balance never really became an issue. Even when fished side by side with the Onager.


The Daiwa Ryoga 1520 matches well with the Mark 48

That could have something to do with the fact I fish my Onager with the Daiwa Shrapnel - a fairly large, and heavy reel (13.7oz reel alone, 20.6oz total combo weight vs 17.3oz for the Mark 48 + Ryoga 1520L) in its own right. Add to that parenthetical combo weight comparison above that I fished the Mark 48 with its tip down the entire time and it's easy to see why the rod's initial balance and weight discoveries were essentially a non-issue.

Lab Results for Megabass of America F8-78X Mark 48

Model
Avg RoD
Taper
Measured Weight (oz)
Balance Point (inches)
Balancing Torque (ftlbs)
Megabass of America F8-78X Mark 48
1.23
Fast
7.8
7.5
0.32
Megabass F10-711X Onager
0.94
Mod-Fast
6.9
4.75
0.15
All Purpose SB Rod Avg
1.28
--
6.8
8.5
0.29
Finesse SB Rod Avg
1.65
--
6.0
9.5
0.29
Heavy Hitters SB Rod Avg
0.95
--
7.7
10.2
0.44


Megabass of America's F8-78X Mark 48 carries with it a retail price of $425

Price & Applications: Megabass of America's F8-78X Mark 48 carries with it a retail price of $425. It comes with a very nice rod sleeve that can actually fit two rods if you're clever enough to sheath one of those sticks in something like the Rod Gloves or Rod Shields prior to sliding both rods in at the same time.


The Mark 48's sweet spot is with lures in the one to three and a half ounce range (1 - 3.5oz)

I found the Mark 48 to be very true to its lure ratings with its sweet spot being with lures in the one to three and a half ounce range (1 - 3.5oz). It works well with baits like Megabass of America's brand new Mag Draft Freestyle, but even better with hard baits like the Vatalion. In a pinch, it makes a good deep diving crankbait rod and a kind of stealthy choice for the heavier vibrating jigs. Fish it alongside an Onager for a really thorough one-two big bait punch.

Ratings:

Megabass of America F8-78X Mark 48 Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Almost indistinguishable from the Onager 10
Performance Truly surprising casting performance 9
Price Given the quality of components and assembly, a good value 7.5
Features Double footed, top end guides all the way up, custom rod sleeve, custom designed reel seat built for MB by Fuji 8
Design (Ergonomics) Initial ergonomic impressions are not good, but out on the water, those concerns evaporate quickly 7.5
Application Just about any bait you can think of within its rated range is open game 8

Total Score

8.33

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
+ It's all about that smooth, accurate casting tip - Initial ergonomics (weight and balance) are not encouraging
+ Very good power  
+ Very good sensitivity  
=+ Double footed guides all the way up for stability  


The Mark 48 is appropriately named for a stick that was designed to be a premier casting machine

Conclusion: It's not often a fishing rod can give me a less than enthusiastic initial impression and turn things around once it shows me what it has out on the water. The Mark 48 is appropriately named for a stick that was designed to be a premier casting machine. That light, springy tip is really something special as it helps you place baits where you want them just about as far as you want them. It has the sensitivity and power to help you finish the job once the bait is in the water and a hungry fish is in pursuit. While the reality of the rod's initial ergonomics will keep this stick from earning our "Ultimate" award, the performance of its tip certainly deserves an Editor's Choice nod. Congrats Megabass of America on another gem.

 

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