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ICAST 2019 Update Coverage

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Enthusiast Review

What's New Is Old School : Megabass of America's F7-76X Valdivia (continued)

Sensitivity: Not only is that tip nice and soft for casting, but it does a very good job picking up ticks and bumps through the line and transmitting that activity to your fingertips so you have enough time to set the hook. All this was heightened by my choice in line of course, but Megabass of America's Destroyer lineup features blanks with very good sensitivity.

Fig 1 : The chart above illustrates the deflection characteristics of our Megabass of America F7-76X Valdivia against the averages of our general purpose rods separated by power. As you can see from the chart, the Valdivia lines up with our heavy powered curve

Power: An "F7" power for Megabass usually translates to extra-heavy, but there's often a little wiggle room when it comes to Megabass and their power ratings. Out on the water, the Valdivia is more than capable when setting the hook and battling your catch, but back in the lab we discovered this stick lines up well with the ten year average of our heavy powered rods. If you're familiar with G.Loomis's MBR line, the Valdivia feels very much like the old MBR844C GLX but with six extra inches.

Attention to detail is paid to every aspect of this rod

Design & Ergonomics: Megabass of America's 2017 Destroyer lineup is not quite the same as the early Destroyer rods each with a different handle design, but there are a couple different variations in the existing lineup. For example, the previously reviewed Onager and Javelin do not have the same handle design. The Valdivia shares a similar split rear grip handle design to the Javelin but where the Javelin featured a mix of cork and EVA foam, the Valdivia's handle sections are both cork.

Perhaps simply a convenient way to mark guide placement prior to wrapping, the carbon wrap beneath the guide is an excellent opportunity for more detail

Otherwise, they all share the same Ito Headlock design and the manufacturer's signature Spiral Architecture Reel Seat. The Valdivia's guide train consists of Fuji stainless steel framed guides with SiC inserts all coming together in a 7'-6" stick that weighs 5.3 ounces and balances out at eight inches above the centerline of the reel seat (balance and weight are about average).

Lab Results for Megabass of America F7-76X Valdivia

Avg RoD (2-32 oz)
Measured Weight (oz)
Balance Point (inches)
Balancing Torque (ftlbs)
Megabass of America F7-76X Valdivia
Heavy Power Avg
Medium Heavy Pwr Avg


Heavy Power Avg

The Valdivia is so much more than just a stick for frogs

Price & Applications: Retail price on Megabass of America's F7-76X Valdivia is $399, same as the previously reviewed Javelin. My favorite use for this rod is as a topwater stick throwing buzzbaits and soft plastic toads. It's designed to be a rod for frogs which explains why it casts so well, but don't hesitate to rely upon it for other walking baits like Strike King's Mega Dawg, Evergreen International's Shower Blows, or if you still have them, the good ole Black Dog Bait Company Lunker Punker.

In case you were wondering, yes, there is no hook keeper on this stick


Megabass of America F7-76X Valdivia Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality I had to wait for it but my Valdivia arrived as a super clean build 10
Performance Designed with an exceptional tip for casting frogs and similar baits, and a rear handle that's long enough for two handed casts, but short enough to where it won't jab you as you work your baits 9
Price All things considered with components, blank, rod sleeve and all, the Valdivia is competitively priced 7.5
Features Ti framed SiC guides, rod sleeve, split rear grip design, custom Megabass reel seat 7.5
Design (Ergonomics) Traditional MB aesthetic and about average in weight and balance 7.5
Application A good old fashioned multi-purpose, 7'-6" heavy powered rod 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:


+ A true, old school flipping stick feel - I'd actually prefer this stick with a full rear grip to help with balance
+ Nice soft tip for precise presentations  
+ Top end components  
+ Very good sensitivity  

Conclusion: The more I fish this stick, the more it reminds me of the flipping rods from fifteen to twenty years ago that we used on the California Delta for everything from traditional flipping and pitching to frogging, throwing buzzbaits, and yes, we even used flipping sticks as cranking rods back in the day. Presentations were more about pitching into tight quarters and power when you needed to set hook and direct your catch away from cover.

The Valdivia reminds me of the old school flipping sticks turned all purpose rods of fifteen to twenty years ago


Really, the only thing the Valdivia is missing from those old school flipping stick designs is a telescopic blank! There's certainly little need for that anymore, but there certainly is a continued need for a stick like the Valdivia - a long, powerful fishing rod with a soft enough tip to make precise casts and the backbone to help you bring those fish to the boat. As techniques evolve and rod designs change, sometimes, it's beneficial to revisit old ideas. That's how we make discoveries of what's old is new again or in the case of the Valdivia, what's new is old school.


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