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Enthusiast Tackle : Rod Review

Megabass Invokes the Spirit of a Dragon to Bring to Life their Fiberglass Cranking Stick : The F4-610GT3 Shiryu (continued)

Retrieve: The F4-610GT3 Shiryu handles the task of shallow and deep running cranks very well. There's no feeling of fighting the lure or your reel as is typical when using some graphite sticks and retrieving deep running cranks. On one trip, while tossing a Lucky Craft LV-MAX500 lipless crank, I received a hit, so hard from a striper, the rod was practically knocked out of my hands. JIP and Zander had been missing fish all day on short, but violent strikes like that, but as soon as I regained my composure and regripped my rod, I found the fish was still there! In typical, fiberglass fashion, the F4-610GT3 absorbed the impact of that strike without pulling the bait away from the fish, and afforded me the one or two second delay of losing my grip, regaining it, and then setting the hook. My prize was a striper 1/2" shy of the legal keeper size of 18", but what an eye opening experience. I was certain I had lost the fish after losing my grip on the rod.

The F4-610GT3's specifications



Typical Megabass detailing

Power: Remember our review of the F6-69X Super Destroyer III in which I described the battle with the very first fish caught on that rod, an amazing nine-pound bass? As fate would have it, the very first fish to succumb to the F4-610GT3 came on a cast, across a rocky point in about nine feet of water using a Megabass crank. I thought, at first, the hit was a snag especially my line didn't move after I swept the rod back for a hookset. Two seconds later it did, and I started to crank the handle of my Conquest 101 DC feverishly in an effort to maintain leverage on the fish while letting my fishing partner know I had one on. As I took up the slack in the line, I applied pressure with the F4-610GT3, and she started to come to the surface, but then dove. I saw a flash and figured she was about four or five pounds. My buddy, Byron, grabbed the net just in case asking, "is it a good one?"


A closeup of the thread wrap and winding check on the split rear grip of our F4-610GT3


With the help of the Shiryu, I brought her right to the boat where she flashed again, before taking a quick dive. Nothing in that flash seemed to indicate she was any larger than four to five pounds. Byron was ready with the net. I got her to closer to the surface once more. This was no four or five pound bass! As Byron called out the requisite expletives, the bass dove and ripped off a few yards on my Conquest 101DC despite my high drag setting! But the F4-610GT3 did not let up, nor did it pull the crank out of the diving fish's mouth. Moments later, I had her come up again and this time, I guided her head first into the net, and Byron swung her into the boat. Eight pounds even on the Lipper. Another big, first fish, for yet another Megabass rod, and thanks to the F4-610GT3 Shiryu, the task of getting the fish to the boat was never really in question.



Another look at the thread wrap and winding check on the split rear grip of our F4-610GT3 - this time of the butt section


Application: The F4-610GT3 is intended as a technique specific crankbait rod and suits this purpose exceptionally well for baits from a quarter to a full ounce in weight, and these were all we had in our arsenal to throw as test fodder. Lipless cranks and spinnerbaits benefited equally as well from this rod. We tried to fish a little outside the box by casting some Vision 110's and Pointer 100SP's with this rod, but the soft tip prevented effective enough jerking or ripping action from these baits to trigger strikes.

The handsome winding check at the top of the ITO Headlock foregrip

Features: The F4-610GT3 Shiryu features titanium framed SIC guides, a hypalon split rear grip, a hypalon foregrip that also serves as the lockring for the reel seat, Megabass's own TX Fiberglass blank, and typical, handsome detailing throughout. At 5.3 ounces, it is not the lightest of rods out there, but is well balanced and together with the Conquest 101DC, was comfortable enough to fish for hours on end. I do believe there is a point of diminishing returns when speaking of rod balance versus weight, but the F4-610GT3 Shiryu is below this threshold.


The detailing is found just above the foregrip

Subtle silver and green highlights in the brown threadwrap

This Shiryu (Purple Dragon) for which the rod is named is be found on the exposed portion of the split rear grip

Warranty: The Megabass US warranty remains the same and covers manufacturer defects for the first year only and only on rods sold their United States distribution office, Megabass USA. Rods purchased outside of Megabass USA carry no official coverage and any possible warranty claims must be made through the original vendor. That's provided, of course, said vendor offers any assistance to this regard. For claims on rods purchased through Megabass USA, please verify the details of coverage and the warranty claim process through them directly.



This eight pound bass was kind enough to help us break in our F4-610GT3 Shiryu from Megabass


Megabass F4-610GT3 Shiryu Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Another flawless work of fishing art from the factories of Megabass 10
Performance This is not a lifeless fiberglass stick, but while sensitivity was better than we've experienced in other glass sticks, it was still not perfect. 9
Price Surprisingly, for a Megabass rod, the Shiryu is attractively priced 8
Features Spiral wrapped guides are a smart move on glass sticks, but still, no hook keeper 9
Design (Ergonomics) They had me at the purple dragon in the reel seat 10
Application A technique specific cranking stick capable of presenting both small and large cranks and everything in between 10

Total Score


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Good Value for a Megabass Rod L Warranty is limited
J Well balanced and light enough L Lack of a hook keeper
J High end components L Sensitive for glass, but not compared to graphite
J Exquisite detailing  
J Surprisingly powerful

Conclusion: While not the absolute perfect cranking stick, the F4-610GT3 Shiryu sure comes close in my mind. Were it just a tad lighter and a bit more sensitive, it may have scored a perfect 10. As it stands, the improvements over older generation glass sticks I've fished were obvious. Couple that with traditional Megabass touches like good balance and unreal detailing and I find it really hard to pick up any other stick these days when it's time to throw a treble hooked bait. The clincher was the hit from that kamikaze striper that practically knocked the rod out of my hands. I was certain, in the time it took me to recover and regrip my rod, that fish was lost, yet there it was - only a glass rod is so forgiving. Throw in there, the power this rod demonstrated while battling the eight pounder, and the sensitivity I experienced when pulling my crank through the weeds leading to that three pounder and boy, almost perfect. Add one last attribute to this almost perfect stick, the roughly $375 price tag for a Megabass rod and we have one of our rare, high dollar TackleTour Best Value awards for a product that surprised us in performance, wowed us with its detailing, and yet, didn't kill us in the pocket book as compared to it's more expensive siblings.











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