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Enthusiast Review

One Last Look At the Old Destroyer Line From Megabass : The 2006 F5-66X Bearing Down (continued)

Sensitivity: It's back to basics with Megabass's Destroyer line - no fancy titanium weaves or transgenic fusions here. The F5-66X makes use of your basic, run of the mill, high modulus graphite and the results are all too familiar. In a word? Wonderful. I had missed my F6-69X Super Destroyer III until I picked up this rod and started to fish with it. The Bearing Down delivers the familiar sensitivity found in other Destroyer rods and the tell tale "ticks" of a fish picking up your jig are confidence inspiring. For vertical presentations such as jigs and plastics, I really feel the base Destroyer line is where it's at and this rod is the reason I actually let go of my BCR803 GLX.

The lower third of the rod features a carbon weave wrap

The wrap transitions at the second guide to a flat black blank

Power: Unfortunately, unlike my first fish experiences with several other Megabass sticks, the fishing gods did not smile down upon me when I took the Bearing Down out on the water. The largest fish I managed with this rod was a four and a half pound largemouth - hardly a test for a rod with this much inherent backbone. Yet, for all it's reserve power, the F5-66X does not fish like a true heavy action rod. Because of its balance and sensitivity, you feel like you're using a rod that's a step or two down in power hence my thoughts that this rod would line up well with the BCR803 GLX. Little did I know, until I strapped the F5-66X to our RoD WRACK, that I was mistaken. It's rather reassuring to know that with this rod, the power is indeed sitting there in reserve should you need it.

Another look a the guide arrangement and spacing on our F5-66X

As with most JDM (Japanese Domestic Market) sticks, the Bearing Down does not come with a hook keeper, but one can be added, as shown here, thanks to Fuji and their aftermarket EZ Keeper system.


Features: The F5-66X Bearing Down features a split rear grip, titanium framed Fuji guides with SiC inserts, and a red velvet rod sheath among other items. Typical of JDM rods, there is no hook keeper to interrupt the composition, but thanks to Fuji, you can add aftermarket version (Fuji EZ Keeper) and even try to coordinate the color of the keeper to match your rod if you like. Having fished and reviewed several rods from the Megabass lineup to date, there is nothing out of the ordinary with this rod nor is there anything lacking (other than the hook keeper).

The rear knob of the Bearing Down's handle assembly

Just one of the many styling ques we've come to expect from Megabass: the forward portion of the rod's split rear trip is capped by an attractive winding check.


Application: Once you grow accustomed to the casting characteristics of this rod, the list of applications is really up in the air. In the pursuit of black bass, I do feel the rod's strengths lie with the presentation of soft plastics and jigs, and given the rod's power aligned with its light and balanced feel, you can fish this rod in everything from open water to tight, nasty cover. From that perspective, it is a very versatile stick.

The aluminum sheath on the split rear grip bears the "Destroyer" name

One last look at the old guard. 2007 brings about sweeping changes to the base Destroyer line


Warranty: Warranty matters remain unchanged. If purchased from Megabass USA, there is a one year warranty against manufacturer's defects. If purchased from a vendor inside Japan and shipped elsewhere, please check with your vendor for warranty claim assistance though, technically, there is no coverage outside of Japan for these purchases.


Megabass F5-66X Bearing Down Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Beautifully composed and expertly crafted 10
Performance Light, Powerful, Sensitive... the only negative is a slight difficulty in overhand and sidearm casts 9
Price Expensive by US Standards, a bargain now, by JDM standards 7.5
Features Standard Megabass fare - nothing more, and definitely nothing less 8.5
Design (Ergonomics) Wonderfully balanced and easy to fish 9.5
Application Fantastic for jigs and soft plastics 8

Total Score


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Because it's so well balanced, it feels super light L Not the best at casting presentations
J Sensitivity is outstanding L Still no hook keeper ;)
J The composition of the Baseline Destroyer rods is still among the best in the industry  
J A JDM stick that is relatively easy to acquire thanks to Megabass USA  

Just one of several jig fish thanks to the MB Bearing Down


Conclusion: Sometimes it is good to look back at the pedigree to fully understand where the new features in the product comes from. What does Megabass have in store for us with the updated Destroyer lineup? It is being referred to as THP and, in a nutshell, features an extension of the blank through the reel seat, all the way to the butt end of the rod. This is certainly nothing new for those of us in the United States where the majority of our rods are already built in this fashion, and it's not new, technically for Megabass either where some of their rods appear to already be assembled in this fashion. What is new is the application of this design across the board in the Destroyer line. Do these new, sweeping changes cause the Megabass product to be lost in a sea of ambiguity, or can they retain that unique appeal that tackle enthusiasts the world over have grown to expect from their rods? Only time will tell. The 2006 model year Bearing Down, subject of this article, is the last of the old guard, and a wonderful stick by any measure. Hopefully, the 2007 and beyond sticks will continue what has been a fine tradition of performance art by Megabass.










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