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Enthusiast Review

 

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

 

Sensitivity: Another area where the P5 Bait Finesse surprised me was in sensitivity. Perhaps it was the way the fish were biting on the several test trips I took with this combo, but communication from the end of the line, into the rod's tip, and into my hand was excellent.


This stick surprised me with its sensitivity

Somehow, upon handling the Bait Finesse out of its shipping tube, I was expecting less. Its blank didn't have that super crisp, hyper sensitive character many higher end rods have, so it surprised me at how responsive it truly was out on the water. It got to the point where it was a difficult combo to put down.


Fig 1 : The chart above illustrates the deflection characteristics of our Megabass Destroyer P5 (JDM) F3-610X Bait Finesse against the historical averages of similarly powered rods we've tested over the past twenty years

Power: We've taken the data from over twenty years of testing fishing rods from a wide variety of manufacturers and averaged out the values by power to develop our deflection curve graphs. We share these graphs to help our readers get a sense of how a specific fishing rod stacks up in its power curve when compared to that long standing average. Megabass's Destroyer P5 F4-610X Bait Finesse's curve practically sits right on top of our finesse rod average which tells us, it's just about ideal for finesse applications in the pursuit of black bass. Out on the water, the Bait Finesse reinforced this observation with sure hooksets and a reliable taper during battle.


I don't know what a "Fast-Regular" taper is but the Bait Finesse's taper suited me just fine

Design & Ergonomics: If you've been paying attention to my social media accounts, you'll know, in order to keep my creative mind engaged during these increasingly isolating times, I've taken more than one step down the long, dark path of building my own rods. It's one of many fishing related side hobbies. I bring this up because, from time to time, this journey has me unexpectedly zeroing in on a detail/design thought or two on the rods I'm fishing for review. One recent thought developed as I was studying my hand position while fishing vertical bait presentations with a casting rod. I noticed, while gripping the rod and reel, I had a tendency to extend my index finger down along the side of the reel seat. The tip of my finger does not reach the blank, but instead comes to rest along the reel seat locking mechanism.


A closer look at that decorative reel seat locking mechanism reveals something unexpected

I've probably been doing this for years, but for some reason never really paid attention until recently. My hand is in this position because it makes it easier to drag my bait along the bottom using the rod moving from right to left (I hold the rod in my right hand). The thought that came to mind was, wouldn't it be nice if there were some way I could touch the blank instead of the reel seat while doing this? Depending on the grip configuration, this can easily be done with a spinning rod, but on a casting rod, that darn lock ring gets in the way.


A place to rest your index finger and better feel the bite?

Then, by some odd stroke of chance, on that very same trip I was having this thought, I put the combo that I was using down and picked up my P5 Bait Finesse combo. The thought went away, but after a couple of casts, it came back and as I looked down at the Bait Finesse's reel seat, I noticed, that ornate Megabass Head Locking system may have been designed with this very thought in mind. There are openings in that reel seat locking mechanism that allow you better access to the blank with your index finger. You're still touching a metal sleeve, but that sleeve is in direct contact with the blank! I found this fascinating. Not only is that reel seat locking mechanism different and interesting to look at, it has a functional purpose behind the design.


Thread wraps are very intricate

Lab Results for Megabass Destroyer P5 (JDM) F3-610X Bait Finesse

Model
Avg RoD
Taper
Measured Weight (oz)
Balance Point (inches)
Balancing Torque (ftlbs)
Megabass Destroyer P5 (JDM) F3-610X Bait Finesse
2.93
Fast
3.3
6
0.11
What the Finesse Avg
2.94
--
3.9
7.3
0.15
Medium Pwr Avg
2.19
--
4.2
7.9
0.18


Megabass's Destroyer P5 F3-610X Bait Finesse retails for $475

Price & Applications: Megabass's Destroyer P5 F3-610X Bait Finesse stick retails for a somewhat pricey $475 through authorized retailers. It's a somewhat steep price tag until you take into account the rod's components and custom design features - then it's just "normal" expensive. Application wise, I never got off that drop shot and ned rig bite with this combo, but the stick's taper is certainly capable of some smaller plug and blade baits as well. "Finesse" doesn't just mean small, soft plastic baits. Any downsized bait appropriately designed for light line applications and within the rod's specifications can be fished here.

Ratings:

Megabass Destroyer P5 (JDM) F3-610X Bait Finesse Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality A very clean, precise build 9
Performance For some reason, I didn't expect much. The P5 Bait Finesse really impressed me 9
Price Expensive, but in line with what I'd expect given the grade of components 7.5
Features High end components and blank and of course, that custom rod sleeve 8
Design (Ergonomics) Good weight, excellent balance, very intriguing reel seat locking mechanism 8
Application A solid choice in a medium light powered stick for bass fishing 8

Total Score

8.25
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:

Plus

Minus
+ Excellent weight to balance ratio - It took me this long to pull the trigger on the purchase
+ More sensitive than you'd think  
+ Very good multi-use taper  


I don't know why it took me so long but now the P5 Bait Finesse has me anticipating the soon to debut North American lineup even more!

Conclusion: For a variety of reasons, I've been admittedly slow on the uptake with this Destroyer P5 line from Megabass mostly because I wanted to see what the manufacturer was going to do with a North American series. Now, with that anticipated series set to make its debut this winter (Dec 2022), I've completed my first look at the JDM line. Better late than never? What the P5 Bait Finesse has done is raise my anticipation for the coming debut because if the North American Destroyer P5s perform as well (or better) than the JDM line, then the Spring of 2023 is going to be a costly one for me.

 

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