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Enthusiast Review

Megabass of America's 2017 Destroyer - Ownage is Onager (continued)

Sensitivity: This is an area that was difficult to assess given the type of baits and the heavy reels and line I was fishing with on the Onager, so all I can say in good conscience is the Onager is sufficiently sensitive. I could certainly tell when my baits were fouled with weeds or the fishing line and not swimming right, but it's not like any of the bites you get while fishing big, hard bodied swimbaits are uniquely subtle either.

This also helps with leverage during a hook set.

Think of it like fishing a crankbait. The only difference with fishing a crankbait versus a big bait is a fish will occasionally inhale a crankbait without your knowledge, but it's rare for a fish to do the same when you're fishing a big bait. Yet in either case, if the fish holds on, you're going to know about it one way or the other and usually with enough time to swing and set the hook.

Fig 1 : The chart above illustrates the deflection characteristics of our
Megabass of America Destroyer F10-711X Onager against other similar sticks from the same manufacturer.

Power: This is where the Onager really steps up. If you look at the RoD Deflection Chart above, you'll see that the Onager's curve sits just above that of the Heavy Hitter average from our 2008 swimbait rod wars. That average is of the heaviest powered sticks we had a that time and the Onager can be safely classified with those sticks in terms of power yet it handles more like a lighter, all purpose swimbait rod.

Checking out the Onager's tip.

Out on the water, this assessment was reinforced where time and time again, once a fish came to the surface of the water with a big bait in their mouth, the Onager gave me all the leverage I needed and enabled me to drag these fish along the surface back to the boat. On a couple of other occasions, where the fish stayed down deep, I tested the Onager by holding the reel's spool with my thumb for added pressure and just leaned into them with the rod. On one occasion, the fish tore away from the hook, but on three other occasions, they came straight up after about half a second of applying this pressure. This is one powerful stick.

The Onager is so well balanced, you can fish any size reel on this stick.

Design & Ergonomics: I've already discussed, at length, the Onager's surprising good balance. Quite often, balance like this comes at the expense of overall rod weight. The Onager tipped our scales at just under seven ounces - six point nine (6.9) to be exact, and while that doesn't sound particularly svelte, considering this is a 7'11" rod with power we're talking about, it doesn't sound bad either.

The Onager is powerful, well balanced, and light - a dangerous combo.

How do we really discern something like this beyond conjecture? Well, a good place to start and possibly end the discussion is through TackleTour's historical data. The following table shows the Onager's ergonomic stats against that of the big bait rod averages collected back in 2008. From the table we can see the Onager's weight is right in line with what we call our Finesse SB rods but its balance is better than any of the three categories. Couple this info with the knowledge the rod performs on the heavy side of an All Purpose SB rod and it's safe to say the Onager is relatively light AND well balanced - characteristics that are exceedingly difficult to come by in a rod as long and powerful as this.

Lab Results for Megabass of America Destroyer F10-711X Onager

Avg RoD (2-48 oz)
Measured Weight (oz)
Balance Point (inches)
Balancing Torque (ftlbs)
Megabass of America Destroyer F10-711X Onager
Finesse SB Rod Avg
All Purpose SB Rod Avg
Heavy Hitters SB Rod Avg

This fish didn't stand a chance against the Onager.

Price & Applications: Now the bad news, right? The Onager is, after all, a "real" Megabass rod built with top end components, balanced well, is light and powerful, and just flat out performs. Basically all the characteristics of what we've come to expect from their JDM lineup. Not since the 2012 F10-76XBJ Super Red Demon have I fished a Megabass rod as light and powerful yet the Onager even puts that rod to shame in terms of balance. The Super Red Demon retailed for $700!

Not only are the guides double footed all the way up, they're titanium framed, Fuji guides with SiC inserts.

Megabass of America has set the MSRP of the 2017 Destroyer F10-711X Onager at $425. For comparison's sake, G.Loomis's 7'11" heavy powered 954C FPR flipping stick (the first stick that came to mind with the same length and somewhat comparable in power) retails for $464.99 yet still has guides with stainless steel frames. This is not to say the GLX is overpriced but to demonstrate that the 2017 Destroyers are UNDER priced! The Onager could easily sell for the same amount as the former Super Red Demon yet it is suspiciously affordable by Megabass standards.

Given the rod's length and taper and performance in casting, I would venture to say it can double as a deep diving crankbait rod for baits like Strike King's 10XD and those Lucky Craft Magnum cranks.

As for applications, I really only fished the Onager with hard bodied big baits. Given the rod's length and taper and performance in casting, I would venture to say it can double as a deep diving crankbait rod for baits like Strike King's 10XD and those Lucky Craft Magnum cranks. The Onager has plenty of power to fish jig-style hooked paddletail swimbaits as well, and if you're one to like softer tapered rods while punching, well I'd give this stick a shot at that technique too. It's definitely more versatile and deserves better than to be pigeon holed as a stick built solely for big baits.



Megabass of America Destroyer F10-711X Onager Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality As clean and precise as we've come to expect from Megabass 10
Performance This stick has surprising power when you lean into it 9.5
Price Many will continue to balk at the price... we say, give it a week after this article goes live, then good luck finding this stick in stock 8
Features Double footed, top end guides all the way up, custom rod sleeve, custom designed reel seat built for MB by Fuji, custom headlock system... the list goes on 8
Design (Ergonomics) Balanced AND light 9
Application As versatile a 7'-11", 3x heavy powered stick as we've fished 8

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:


+ The Onager is a "real" Megabass Rod - At only $425 this stick might be difficult to find in stock before too long
+ 2017 Destroyer for 2004 street price - No Hook Keeper
+ Powerful rod  
+ Can cast a wide range of baits  
+ Very well balanced and relatively light  
+ Double footed guides all the way up for added strength  


Conclusion: The funny thing about these reviews is I never really know what I'm going to say or how I'm going to feel about a product until I actually sit down and think about each category we rate. It was obvious to me that the Onager was going to do well - that much I knew, but exactly how well depends both on performance out on the water and comparative data from our history of reviews. For instance, I wasn't all that impressed with the Onager's weight at 6.9 ounces, but dismissed the number because it was offset by the stick's balance. What I didn't realize was 6.9 ounces is actually quite excellent for a swimbait stick especially given the Onager's power.


The Onager is selling for $330 in 2004 dollars.


The other thing I can't quite get over is the price Megabass of America has set for this entire series of rods. It is roughly the same price Destroyer used to sell for back when I first encountered the brand in 2004 and that was the price to purchase from a source in Japan before shipping to the United States - not to mention the zero warranty penalty! $450 in 2004 dollars corrected for inflation equates to roughly $580 in 2017 dollars. The Onager is selling for $330 in 2004 dollars.


I never know what a product is going to actually score until I sit down to work things out, but one thing was for certain after that first day fishing the Onager - it was a no brainer to win our Ultimate Enthusiast Award.


Speaking of the historical Destroyer series another thing I've missed from those rods from a decade ago was how the handle designs for each rod in the series was different. The Onager's handle design with its full rear grip of mixed cork and EVA foam tapered and accented at the threshold with a very attractive metal accent ring is unique among the other 2017 Destroyer rods. The appreciation for this stick simply continues even through the conclusion of the article. This can only mean two things: 1) if you're in the market for a high end big bait stick, you better hurry up and order yours now; and 2) Megabass of America's 2017 Destroyer F10-711X Onager easily wins our Ultimate Enthusiast Award.


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