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Rod Review

Seeking perfection, the Pinnacle “Perfecta” Tournament Class rods (continued)


Retrieve & Power: I actually liked this rod better for flipping and pitching than for tossing frogs. While the fast taper makes it possible to deliver instant hooksets when fishing frogs I found the rod a bit too long for the application. For popping frogs the rod worked just fine but when it came to walking frogs I found working that extra long tip a little laborious. The same extra long tip that makes this rod a little clumsy for frogging makes this rod an excellent choice for pitching oversized jigs or even punching. This rod felt perfect for punching and I was able to drop large weights with Paycheck Punchskirts right into the Delta weedmats in search for hidden bass. Once fish took the bait, usually a split second after splashdown, the Perfecta rod proved to have just the right amount of backbone to haul those fish out of the thick cover, and because the blank is designed to address weights up to 3oz. tossing those 2oz. punching rigs all day was easy.


The unique wrap on the blank can be seen in the sunlight


Never once did I feel like the Perfecta rod was stressed or outrodded under the weight of punch fish. This is also what gave me the confidence to start tying on a variety of swimbaits in search of bass in open water. As with pitching jigs and punch rigs the Perfecta rod proved up to the task and is well suited for fishing large swimbaits. When a fish takes the lure all you need to do is pull back on the rod, not make a monstrous set, and the rod tip will kick in and bury the hooks.


Another look at the winding check positioned above the reel seat


The Perfecta 7’11” rod features a long 17” handle allowing for plenty of leverage when both casting and fighting fish. When it comes to ergonomics all you need to do is ask yourself if you like the aggressively styled Fuji ACS reel seat. I personally like the reel seat, and while it took some getting used to I now appreciate the angular design, especially when palming reels. There are others on our staff like JIP that still prefer the more traditional ECS seat, and at the end of the day it is all about personal preference.


This rod proves it can be used for swimbaits as well as flipping jigs


Sensitivity: Out of all the Perfecta rods that I have fished to date which includes the DHC5-701CAMH which is designed for Jerkbaits, Flukes, Senkos, small Casting Jigs the Perfecta 7’11” heavy rod is definitely a little less sensitive. The two piece design takes something away from overall sensitivity, but not a whole lot. The 7’11” rod while not the most sensitive pitching or swimbait rod that I have fished does do a good job overall when it comes to providing the right mix of power, overall weight and sensitivity.  I could feel bites at the end of the line when fishing plastics and whenever a fish tried to take on a swimbait the strike was unmistakable. While the 7’11” rod delivers decent overall sensitivity I can confirm that the lighter powered single piece rods in the Perfecta lineup do showcase very good overall sensitivity for a rod at this price point.


Time to see what this rod can do in open water...


Durability: The Pinnacle Perfecta 7’11” rod survived our tests with flying colors. Not only did the rod hold up well to tossing swimbaits even heavier than the rated capacity (we tried baits up to 4oz.) but each and every component on the rod from the cork handles to the Alconite guides showed no signs of wear and tear. Pinnacle seriously addressed durability when designing this blank and makes use of a two-part, slow-curing heavy epoxy coating process which is designed to deliver maximum protection against the cracking that can result from UV damage. This just shows the lengths in which the company went in which to design a rod that can stand up to the abuse of tournament fishing.


...it has plenty of backbone to make long distance lob casts


While we would have preferred SiC guide rings the deployed Alconite guides do their job well and we understand why the company went with them, making the rods much more affordable to anglers. Where Pinnacle does go the extra mile is on those sweet looking winding checks. Not only are they machined from aluminum but feature a diamond cut design on the foregrip check and each of the rings is double anodized which not only improves durability but adds to the overall elegant look and feel of the stick.


Rewarded with a swimbait fish!


Price & Applications: The Perfecta 7’11” rod is the most "expensive" rod in the Perfecta lineup retailing for $169.99. The rest of he rods in the series range from this price all the way down to $159.99 (MSRP) depending on the size of the rod. At this price the Perfecta rods are designed to move and while many anglers may be hesitant to give the rods a try simply because they haven’t fished a higher end Pinnacle rod they certainly deserve a look.


This is the best Pinnacle rod I have ever fished and definitely raises the ante for the company when it comes to addressing anglers interested in higher end offerings. These rods are indeed "Tournament Class"


The 7’11” Perfecta casting rod proved to be much more that a heavy powered pitch and flip stick. This rod feels right at home punching and can even be used as the occasional frog rod, though I personally prefer a slightly shorter stick for this application. What also impressed me about this rod was the stick’s ability to fish a large variety of swimbaits. It didn’t matter if I was fishing a soft bodied bottom hugger or a jointed wakebait, the Perfecta rod was able to not only cast them but react quickly with the muscle to back it up once there was a fish on the line. This ability to address a wide variety of heavy applications makes this a good stick to have in the boat when you just don’t know exactly what type of lure you will need to present to get the fish to bite. Whether it is working the structure up close or cruising the open water this rod can step up to the challenge. 


Ratings: (We've re-calibrated our ratings standard for 2008 and have included a key at the bottom of the following matrix as a guide):

Pinnacle Perfecta 7'11" Heavy Casting Rod Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality The Perfecta rods feature a quality blank construction coupled with proven components from Fuji, those machined checks are a very nice touch for a rod at this price point 8.3
Performance The performance of this rod surprised us. The 7'11" heavy rod though not the most sensitive was good for a variety of heavy applications. This is one rod that actually fishes as good as it looks 8.5
Price At only $169.99 this rod is actually worth the money and fishes like a custom rod while making use of quality components. Pinnacle does a good job adding features like a open hook hanger and telescoping design and keeping this rod within reach of all anglers 8
Features The features on this rod include the blank design, Fuji components and a telescoping design making it possible to carry this rod in just about any rod locker 8.5
Design (Ergonomics) While not the lightest rod the 7'11" heavy rod is by no means a heavy rod and does a good job balancing out power, weight and overall feel. This rod is easy to fish all day long 8
Application Probably the rod's strongest suit is the ability to fish so many applications. This rod can address a wide range of line and lure weights and the fast taper and heavy action give anglers the power to move big fish in and out of structure making this a good punch rod as well 9

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:

                 Plus                                    Minus

+ Well constructed rod that makes use of Fuji components - This particular rod is not as sensitive as the lighter action single piece models
+ Light and crisp feel  
+ The 7'11" rod is multi-talented and can be used for a variety of heavy applications  
+ The machined winding checks are a nice touch  
+ Reasonable price  


Conclusion: Hands down this is the best Pinnacle rod I have ever fished. The Perfecta rods successfully break the mold of what many anglers might expect from the brand. These rods make use of quality components and a successful blank design that blends both power and sensitivity into a surprisingly crisp and lightweight blank. I haven’t fished a telescopic rod for a long time, partly because I’ve been busy testing so many application specific sticks, but the multi-talented Perfecta 7’11” instantly brought me back to the days when I used to try and do it all with my trusty flipping sticks. If Pinnacle’s new Tournament Class baitcasting reels are as good as the Perfecta rods then things are about to get a lot more interesting. I’ll admit I was skeptical when I first heard that Pinnacle was offering “Tournament Class” rods to the market, but the Perfecta series proved to have what it takes to address serious fishermen and it is admirable that the company does so all while hitting aggressive price points, making them affordable to mainstream anglers. While it is hard to build a “perfect” rod Pinnacle comes pretty close with the Perfecta series when you consider the balance of both price and performance.


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