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Rod Review

Target suspended bass with Rogue's highly technique specific Drop Shot rod (continued)

Sensitivity: This is where the Rogue Drop Shot rod excels. The MAX DS 704S GH rod is very sensitive thanks to the exclusive design and materials. The blank is an exceptional transmitter, somewhat reminding us of the G. Loomis IMX graphite. In addition the recoil guides do a great job transmitting even the slightest ticks while also helping minimize overall weight.


The graphite tube RoGrip amplifies the signal


It is true that materials of the same composition transmit better between one another. The RoGrip is a woven graphite tube that makes direct contact with the graphite blank. We tested its sensitivity both in the lab and in the field, and concluded that the RoGrip does indeed provide a better feel than standard cork grips. To take advantage of this design you must grasp the rod at the foregrip instead of at the reel seat because the reel seat will act as a dampener. It was during this point in our field tests that it made sense to us exactly why Rogue made the grips the length they did, and balanced the rod right in front of the reel seat.... sensitivity is everything on this rod!


JIP field tests the Rogue Drop Shot rod in 40 feet of water


Power: With the Rogue rod we could feel each and every bite far below the boat, and when we felt the bass tick our Roboworms we lifted to set and began reeling in our catch with confidence. The fast active tip does a great job bringing plastics to life and still has a good arc to it to take the load of the fish when they do run. The drop shot isn't a technique where you require a very powerful hook set like that employed when fishing a Texas rigged plastic worm, but whether you prefer a smooth lift type set or a violent jerk the MAX DS will act in accordance with your personal style. During our tests we found the MAX DS rod to perform quite well in terms of power to set the hook and fight the fish all the way up to the surface.


Good action and a lively nimble tip.. all characteristics of a good drop shot rod


Ergonomics: The RoGrip offers performance benefits especially in the sensitivity category, but it does add weight to the overall rod compared to traditional cork material. The added weight can be overcome by balancing the rod with a small reel. We paired the Rogue Drop Shot rod with a Quantum Catalyst PTi in the 10 size spooled with four pound test line, and when holding the combo up at the foregrip it was well balanced. If you hold the rod at the reel seat it will feel quite tip heavy.


On the plus side the woven graphite RoGrip is nice to grasp all day. Even though it has a slick graphite surface it didn't feel slick and will not slip out of your hand even when wet. We completely submerged the handle in the water and also wet our hands to test the RoGrip without any issues at all. Unlike cork that does absorb some amount of water you can simply wipe the graphite RoGrip dry immediately.


The RoGrip is nice to grasp even when wet

 The components used on this rod makes it one of the most durable we have ever tested. The recoil guides are made of Nickel-Titanium and are both strong and resilient, you won't have any problems with ceramic inserts falling out since there aren't any, but the tip still uses a standard tip with a ceramic insert.


Recoil guides are used on the Rogue Drop Shot rod for added durability, sensitivity, and much more


We all know how cork handles become over time especially under unremitting use. The cork material gets dirty and requires cleaning, and the cork will eventually deteriorate. The RoGrip surface is easily cleaned if it collects any dirt and its woven design provides superior structural integrity that can take impact without any damage to the grip. The graphite material resists the elements much better than cork, and is easier to clean and maintain.


Rogue Drop Shot MAX DS 704S GH Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality The craftsmanship of our test rod is first-rate. It makes use of quality recoil guides, good thread wraps, and an amazing graphite handle design 9
Performance The overall performance of this technique specific drop shot rod is good. Casting is poor but you wouldn't be doing much of that when you drop shot. The sensitivity is excellent on this rod 8.5
Price The price of the rod is not for everyone, but drop shot buffs that want a very distinctive technique specific rod will find that this rod is well worth the extra money 7.5
Features This drop shot model features durable recoil guides and the RoGrip, Rogue's woven graphite tube handle 8.5
Design (Ergonomics) Depending on your grip the rod can be balanced or not. You must find the right combo to obtain a balanced point. The addition of the woven graphite grip adds weights to the entire rod 8
Application This rod is great for one thing, drop shot fishing for bass 7.5

Total Score


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J High level of Sensitivity L RoGrip requires 60 days lead time
J Good action L Pricey
J RoGrip woven graphite handle L Very technique specific
J Has an enthusiast level look and feel  
J Very unique and attractive design  

Conclusion: The Rogue Drop Shot rod is an extremely technique specific piece of hardware and was designed to be an excellent drop shot rod...and in this pursuit it succeeds. Drop shotting requires a rod with the proper action to bring lures to life, deliver excellent sensitivity, and bring fish up from the depths. To us action and sensitivity are the most important features in a quality drop shot rod, and the MAX DS 704S GH answers back with a unique design and use of innovative materials. The graphite blank of this Rogue rod is an excellent transmitter of even the most minute of ticks, and when components such as recoil guides and the RoGrip are added sensitivity is increased to a breathtaking level. The rod also will appeal to those who collect enthusiast level tackle, as the rod looks and feels like a top-notch custom rod. If your looking for a rod that can do it all then this isn't it, but if drop shotting is your technique of choice, the Rogue Drop Shot MAX DS is the right tool for those of you dedicated to this deadly effective practice.












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