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Rod Review


Swimbait Rod Wars Installment #10: Quantum's New Superlight (continued)

Sensitivity: Once I got the jig into the water and where I wanted it to be, the QTC711F's tip heaviness was little problem - at least when moving the jig slowly. Popping the rod tip to get the jig moving revealed the same frustrating ergonomics. Sensitivity, on the other hand, thanks to the QTC711F's almost broomstick-like status is good. Unfortunately, I was too distracted with my efforts to find a comfortable way to fish this stick to really concentrate on the rod's ability to transmit what was going on at the end of the line beyond the fact that it was acceptable.


One more try with a Spro BBZ-1

Power: This is really where the QTC711F shines and why we advise considering this rod for punching applications. Beefy does not begin to describe this stick yet it's deceivingly powerful because it is also relatively light. We fished this stick over the winter months and into early spring, so there were no mats to really test our theory of this stick being an awesome punching rod, but nothing in the course of fishing this rod leads us to believe it was really intended for any other purpose but punching thick, heavy, nasty vegetation.

 
Still little to no tip action during the cast

Features: As previously mentioned, the QTC711F is put together well with many attractive features. In addition to the afore mentioned Fuji ACS reelseat and split rear grip, no foregrip handle assembly, the QTC711F features an open ended hook hangar, and a shock corded telescopic blank making the stick a breeze to break down and slide back into those shorter rod lockers.


Rich in features, the QTC711F even sports an open ended hook hangar...

The guides are a product of American Tackle Company and consist of titanium frames with NanoLite® inserts. TT Gear Crew member Matt Davis did some digging for us to find out NanoLite® is a high grade Aluminum Oxide similar to Alconite. The NanoLite® inserts are touted as being not quite as hard as SiCs, but stronger and more resistant to chipping than the SiC material translating into more streamlined inserts which means less heat and friction on your line as it comes through the guides. We're not quite sold on this claim, but unfortunately, we don't have any methods to validate them one way or the other than to say the guides performed fine for us.

 
... and eva grips with attractive winding checks to cap off some very nice detailing

Application: As we revealed during the course of this review, the QTC711F is a prime example of coming to us at the wrong time and place. Through our own zeal to fit one of Quantum's new Superlite series of rods into an ongoing test regimen here at TackleTour we failed to realize this just was not going to be a good fit. It's certainly no fault of the rod's.


Quantum has these rods built overseas.

 

Looking beyond the rod's shortcomings in the areas we tried to fish it, where we really feel this rod will shine, again, is in heavy cover situations where the margin for error between hookset and raw, fish moving power is very small. These situations are in flipping and punching and with these techniques, the QTC711F will do well.

 
Top view of the Fuji ACS reel seat reveals more ergonomic contours.

Warranty: Quantum offers a blanket, one year warranty on all their products and is offered against defects in workmanship and/or materials only. Shipping costs to the factory for investigation are the responsibility of the owner. For more detailed information regarding warranty coverage it's best if you contact Quantum or an authorized dealer thereof directly.

 

Ratings:

Quantum Superlite QTC711F Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality The QTC711F is put together well 7
Performance It was our mistake trying to cram a square peg into a round hole, so no negative points as a result of using it for the wrong application 7
Price Quantum steps into the +$200 price range 6
Features Full of really good features 8
Design (Ergonomics) Unfortunately, too tip heavy for my liking 5
Application Best in close quarter presentations 6

Total Score

6.5
Ratings Key: Ratings Key: 1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = unbelievable!
(For a detailed explanation of the ratings go here)

  
Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J A powerful stick L Very tip heavy
J Well executed cosmetics L Not a rod made for long distance presentations
J Nice, up to date features

 

Conclusion: I take full blame for this whiff of trying to force the QTC711F into supporting a technique for which it was not designed. I was so looking forward to checking out Quantums new line of Superlites after seeing and handling them at ICAST, I lost sight of the fact that maybe they didn't make one intended for throwing big baits. This was made painfully obvious after about three casts, but I continued to try and force feed this application down the QTC711F's throat until finally I had no choice but to relent and re-think the rod's intended applications. It sounds silly now, but such are the pitfalls of becoming so singularly minded during an intense review period as we are experiencing now during the Rod Wars - everything is about big baits!

 


Not quite suitable for big bait fishing, the QTC711F could shine as a punching stick. This fish was caught while bouncing the new 1/2 ounce Kevkel jig along some shoreline rip rap on the CA Delta.

 

Backing off the accelerator and looking at the rod for the purpose it probably is more intended, one of the major criticisms still stands. That is the extreme tip heavy characteristic of this stick. This trait was less obvious during casting applications, but impossible to ignore when switching up to pitching and flipping in close quarters. Punching is a sort of compromise between casting and pitching as you make an underhanded lob up in the air, before having your bait crash down and through dense cover with as much momentum as possible. But because your fishing in such dense cover, you need a stick that is very stout so that you can control your potential catch. These requirements really speak to the QTC711F which is why we feel it is really intended for that technique. Such are the pitfalls of acquiring a stick before really feeling it out more closely. Looks like we'll have to investigate a replacement to ensure Quantum is properly represented in the Swimbait Rod Wars. For now, if you're looking for a rod to support growing technique of punching, the QTC711F might be worth a look, but for us, it's time to get back on track and move on to our next representative in the Swimbait Rod Wars.

 

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