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Enthusiast Review


What Took So Long? Megabass's P5 Bait Finesse Stick


Date: 8/28/22
Tackle Type: Rod
Manufacturer: Megabass of America
Reviewer: Cal

Total Score: 8.25 - GREAT

Admittedly, since Megabass of America's decision to produce rod series tailored to needs of US anglers, I haven't felt as much need to sample their JDM lines. Afterall, the tapers and lengths of most JDM sticks feel like a compromise when fished the way to which we are accustomed on this side of the pond. However, one decidedly JDM approach that is growing in popularity here in the States is Bait Finesse. Traditionally, one of my favorite Megabass sticks to fish light line applications on casting gear with is my trusted, 15 year old, F3.5-65GTC Hien Type-S. That "Hien" spec in Megabass's lineage is a lot of fun. Well, as it turns out, there's a stick based on that classic specification in their recent JDM P5 Destroyer line. Introducing Megabass's P5 Destroyer F3-610X Bait Finesse.


Megabass Destroyer P5 (JDM) F3-610X Bait Finesse Specifications

Material 5-D Graphite System Blank
Length 6'-10"
Line Wt. 6-14lb
Lure Wt. 1/4 - 5/8oz
Pieces One
Guides 9 + tip Fuji Ti/SiC
Rear Handle Length 9.5"
Power Rating Medium Light
Taper Fast-Regular
Rod Weight 3.3oz
Origin Made in China
MSRP $475

Time to take a look at Megabass's P5 F3-610X Bait Finesse

Impressions: In various descriptions of their P5 F3-610X Bait Finesse stick, Megabass references their classic Hien. Why they chose a different name for it in this series confuses me and frankly delayed my interest in acquiring it, but as soon as I discovered the connection, I ordered one. Though all graphite, my previously mentioned Hien Type-S, was sold under the Tomahawk line as a cranking stick, and while it's perfectly suited for soft plastics, I like the idea of finally having a Hien that's intentionally built for more.


A closer look at that cork grip


Coming in at six feet, ten inches (6'-10") in length, the Destroyer P5 Bait Finesse actually reminds me of a casting version of my long retired F3-610DGS, a classic and beloved fishing rod from close to twenty years ago. This F3-610X casting rod is built with a split rear grip of cork and the usual custom reel seat and real seat locking mechanism. The rod's guides are by Fuji and feature titanium frames with SiC inserts. Attention to detail right down to the intricate thread wraps is typical Megabass.

The reel seat is custom designed but somewhat pedestrian by Megabass standards

Something you can't really see in this or any new rod really, is the design effort that goes into the blank. The majority of anglers take it for granted, but that blank, the soul of a fishing rod, is really where each manufacturer distinguishes themselves. For their P5 series, Megabass uses a new layering system to address blank stress in 5 key areas, vertical axis, horizontal axis, oblique axis, elongation and elasticity. This 5-D graphite system, the manufacturer explains, is custom designed for each rod in the series to address needs for each intended application. By addressing each rod individually, the manufacturer reduces the need for unnecessary material thus saving weight and increasing performance. Of course, without a factory visit, there's no real way for us to verify this information, but it certainly sounds promising.

Right into action

Real World Tests: Here at TackleTour, technology, specifications and attention to detail can get you in the door, but to really win us over, the product needs to perform out on the water. For the P5 F3-610X's tests, I pulled my original, 2013 Aldebaran BFS out of retirement and filled it with a fresh supply of Varivas Super Trout Advance Double Cross x8 braid with a leader of six pound (6lb) Seaguar Tatsu fluorocarbon (tied with an Albright knot). Later, I respooled my OG Aldebaran with #0.8 Spro Finesse Braid topped with Varivas's Infinity PE x8 #0.2 as a leader.

Paired with my 2013 Aldebaran BFS

Casting: Stamped with a recommended lure range of one quarter to five eighths (1/4 - 5/8) of an ounce, Megabass's P5 Bait Finesse stick carries with it a rather "medium heavy" to "heavy-ish" lure rating for finesse applications. Or so I thought. Turns out, taking a quick measurement of my most common drop shot and ned rig configurations, the lowest they register is a little over 1/4 of an ounce (7.7 grams to be precise).

Underside of the reel seat is intriguing

Bait setup weights aside, for me, the true test of how finesse capable any casting rod is, can be determined by tying on a drop shot rig. Compact jig profiles and plugs are one thing, but that long, gangly, bait setup with no precise center of gravity, while simple to cast on a spinning rod, can prove to be a challenge on a lot of casting stick. To my delight, drop shot setups fire off very reliably from the P5 Bait Finesse. Moreover, I can even be precise in my placement which surprised me a little.

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