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Real World Test: Finding the right reel for this stick was a journey in and of itself. Borrowing from the rod's name, the first reel up for the task was a supertuned Shimano Chronarch 101a with upgraded bearings, an 85mm ZPI Carbon handle, bearing supported Septon grips, and a Calais drag star assembly to maintain that clicking drag adjustment feature. This reel is a fine fit with the White Python.


Each of the White Python's 9 titanium framed SiC insert guides are double footed

Next up, and actually the reel we used for the majority of time on this rod was a Calcutta 201DC spooled with 100yds of 50lb Suffix Performance Braid. This is the combination that felt best with the 3:16 Wake Jr.

Cork grip wrapped and Ito Monoblock 100XRL mounted and ready to go


Then, Megabass and Daiwa finally brought out the Ito Monoblock 100XRL. A reel touted for "topwater" baits, so we carried this recommendation to the next insane level - BIG topwater baits! This evil combo can be reborn in your arsenal for the rough price tag of only $1,300!!


Complete Field Test Set-Up for Megabass F7-76RDti White Python

SuperTuned Shimano Chronarch 101a
Shimano Calcutta 201DC
Ito Monoblock 100XRL
120 yds 22lb Sunline Defier
100yds 50lb Suffix Performance Braid
100yds 19lb Sunline Defier
Primary Baits Fished
Black Dog Bait Company Lunker Punker
3:16 Lure Company Wake Jr.
Lucky Craft Staysee 90SP

Pitching and Casting: The White Python is rated for baits up to four ounces. I say four ounces is pushing it. Similar to the Balista, this rod feels best with baits under that threshold to about 3.5 or 3.75 ounces. It feels great when casting the Wake Jr. and even Black Dog Bait Company's Lunker Punker, but felt a little overloaded when trying to heave the Rago Real Trout. 

The slant bridge handle is a big benefit during casts

Thanks to the rod's unique slant-bridge handle, this stick has all the leverage of the Dobyns Rods 795ML, though not quite the same easy loading tip and raw backbone to hurl baits with unprecedented ease. Don't get me wrong, it can cast alright, but just not as sweetly as the Dobyns 795ML.

One of our favorite lures with this rod, the Lunker Punker

Interestingly enough, this stick is fine with baits below that big bait threshold of one ounce too. I took it all the way down to just under half an ounce with the seven-sixteenth of an ounce Lucky Craft Staysee 90sp, and the White Python handled this bait quite well.

Launch in progress!


Working Baits: Where the White Python really separates itself from other sticks with long handles is in fishing baits that need to be worked with your rod tip. That slant-bridge handle affords you the extra clearance needed to get the butt end of the rod out past your elbow when twitching the tip of your rod from side to side. It is the topwater big bait fisherman's dream.

Firing away! where did it go?

Sensitivity: I got so caught up fishing this rod with topwater plugs like the Wake Jr. and Lunker Punker, I didn't fish it with any baits to really put it through any significant sensitivity tests. I did throw some big, deep diving cranks, like the Norman DD22, a few spinnerbaits, the Lucky Craft LV500MAX, and the afore mentioned Lucky Craft Staysee 90sp, and I have to say, the White Python fished these baits really well!

Let's try that again

I could feel the vibration of the deep diving and lipless cranks through the rod as well as discern when my spinnerbaits were fouled up with weeds - and all this while using Sunline Defier monofilament. The only thing I did not try was bouncing the bottom with a jig or Carolina rig, but I'm quite certain the White Python could be relied upon to fish those two baits as well. My only concern would be its mod-fast taper in relation to hooksets with a jig or Carolina rig.

The Ito Monoblock 100XRL is touted as a topwater specialty reel - so that's exactly how we're using it!

Power: As I suspected after viewing the White Python's RoD WRACK data and deflection curve, it really does have more power than Evergreen's Balista. I did not have to overcompensate at all to land any fish, and in fact, on several occasions, on weak swings, this rod came through with a hookup where I thought for certain I had lost a fish. The hooksetting ability of the White Python is very good indeed.

In action near sundown on the California Delta

Add to that, the added leverage of the slant-bridge handle and you have a really solid, and powerful, fish landing tool in the White Python. It is a funky feature to say the least and one that Zander still cannot wrap his head around whenever I pull one of these sticks out, but once I hook into a fish, he marvels at how easy the fight seems to be. I simply cannot say enough about the control this one funky feature affords you.

Another favorite with this stick, 3:16's Wake Jr.

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