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Enthusiast Review

WTF!?! : Yuki Ito Works His Magic Once Again, the F1-66ZKS Kirisame Limited (continued)

Sensitivity: As we drifted above this submerged rock pile out on Clear Lake and I made my first cast with the Kirisame Limited letting my drop shot rig flutter down to the bottom, a sort of calm came over me. Fishing in cold weather, insulated by layer upon layer of clothing has a way of doing that to you I guess, but when I flipped the bail of my Exist Native Custom 1003H over and took up the slack in my line, effectively loading the tip of the rod, a sense of déjà-vu took over. It was a feeling I had not sensed since my G.Loomis SJR700-21 GL3, and yet it was even better.

The Kirisame's taper reminded me of my old Mag-Light combo.

Just about every little bump, tick, and drag was transmitted up the line, through the rod, and into my hands. It was a welcome back to fishing with a fast tapered, light powered spinning rod moment and a level of sensitivity that is simply not possible with casting gear. The Kirisame Limited had a pretty run of the mill feel to it in the lab, but out on the water, it is phenomenal.

The remaining guides up to the tip are Fuji LDB boat rod guides.

Power: This stick is rated as having a “fast” taper, but as I pulled my line taught with the two split shot weights holding snug to the bottom, I could feel a bass inhale my Fish Arrow Flash J minnow. Letting the fish take the bait and load the rod, the Kirisame Limited handles more like an extra-fast tapered rod than a fast tapered rod. The light, sensitive tip quickly translates into a more than adequate backbone giving you as much sense of control as you can get from a light to even a medium light powered spinning stick.

A signature feature of Megabass rods - a wicked winding check at the top of the foregrip.

As with most rods we have been fishing during our WTF year, the F1-66ZKS is not a stick you’re going to use in an effort to overpower your catch. Rather, this stick is one you will use to deliver constant pressure in the hopes of tiring your catch out to the point where you can bring it alongside and land it.

No rubber gasket here to finish off the top of the handle assembly.

The Kirisame Limited is, as are most similarly powered sticks, a wonderful rod for enjoying the moment and sport of fishing rather than the trend of skiing your catch back to the boat or your position on shore.

Few can style a rod like Yuki Ito.

Design/Features: I’m usually not a fan of painted blanks, but in the case of the Kirisame Limited, I can make an exception because there is a purpose behind the motif. The brown metallic paint on the F1-66ZKS’s blank gives the rod a sort of retro feel as if it’s made of bamboo instead of graphite. At close inspection, this is obviously not the case, but viewed from afar, this was the first impression I received.

A close-up look at the Fuji LDB guides.

A detail that should not go unmentioned about this stick is the fact it has a solid carbon tip. Could the Kirisame series be the reincarnation of the stinger tip series that seems to have disappeared from the Megabass catalog? My experience with the F4ST-69RSDti Orochi Evoluzion was not a very pleasant one with that rod's tip having broke in my rod locker. If this is the reincarnation of that technology, Megabass has made the necessary adjustments for my time with the Kirisame Limited could not have been much better. It bears repeating the sensitivity of this stick is unreal.

Composite cork on part of the grip.

Availability: Announced in 2007, it was my assumption that the Kirisame Limited would only be produced that calendar year. I acquired mine in 2010, so that is obviously not the case. That having been said, Megabass adheres to their own production schedules and on a whim, may decide to discontinue or redesign something with no prior warning. My advice is if, after reading through this review, your interest is piqued, send an inquiry immediately to Megabass USA to find out current and future availability of this rod and the others in the same series.

A closer look at the Kirisame Limited's finish.

Warranty: New for 2011, Megabass USA has finally received buy-in from their Japan headquarters to beef up their US warranty. Keep in mind, this is a new warranty, not a replacement plan, but instead of only one year, rods purchased through Megabass USA or their authorized North American dealers are now covered for a period of up to 3 years from the date of original purchase. This coverage is for manufacturer defects in materials or workmanship only and is only good to the original owner with proof of purchase. For questions on any of these details, contact Megabass USA directly.



Megabass F1-66ZKS Kirisame Limited Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Simply exquisite 9.5
Performance I was truly surprised 10
Price It's a Megabass, what do you expect 2
Features Interesting choice in guides but they perform fine nonetheless 9
Design (Ergonomics) As a whole, it works, though I'm not quite sold on the composite cork 8.5
Application I assumed this rod was intended for trout, but I found it surprisingly suitable for finesse applications in pursuit of largemouth bass 10

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:


+ A really nice taper - Price
+ Top end components - Almost too exquisite to fish.... Almost
+ Two piece for easy transportation  
+ Once assembled, didn't even remember it was a two-piece stick!  
+ If purchased from Megabass USA, new 3yr warranty!  


Conclusion: Like many anglers before and since myself, using spinning gear was the easiest and most affordable way for me to enjoy this wonderful past time of fishing. As my experience, curiosity, and means evolved, so did my choice in tackle. Our 2011 Finesse themed year here on TackleTour has transported me back in time to when these choices were more limited. Melded with my current preferences, the enjoyment of light line fishing together with super high end gear, has returned me to a place in the sport that from which I’ve been absent far too long. That’s living in the moment and reveling at each tug of your line unsure as to whether or not that fish that bit at what you had to offer is going to be landed or not.

Some combos are just magical - even to someone who has seen the amount of gear as I have. The F1-66ZKS is a special stick to fish.

Megabass’s F1-66ZKS paired with Daiwa’s Exist Native Custom 1003H, reminded me of one of my favorite, since retired combos in my G.Loomis SJR700-21 GL3 paired with my Symetre 2000 with Quickfire II. Sure, for the price of a spare spool for my Daiwa Exist Native Custom, I could purchase that retired combo over again, but that’s not the point. It’s the magic of enjoying the moment delivered by a rod and combo that performs flawlessly in your hands. In a popular video game series, the Touhou Project, the character “Kirisame” is a magician. Yuki Ito obviously knew what he was doing in invoking this character’s persona in the creation and naming of this magic wand.









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