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Rod Review

CB Rod Wars Part 12: The Cumara Reaction Rods up the ante for Shimano


Date: 9/17/09
Tackle type: Rod
Manufacturer: Shimano
Reviewer: Zander

Total Score: 8.25 - EDITOR'S CHOICE!

After a couple months logged on the water with three of the Cumara Reaction rods we have formulated some pretty strong opinions of the new series. The Cumara Reaction rods are the company’s top of the line freshwater rods and are specifically designed for fishing moving baits in varying types of cover. Like the previously released Cumara contact rods these rods make use of IM-10 graphite construction and premium Fuji components.


Shimano Cumara Reaction Series CUC70H Specifications

Material IM-10 Graphite
Length 7'0"
Line Wt. 12 - 25lb
Lure Wt. 3/8 - 1oz.
Pieces 1
Guides 9 Guides + Tip Top Fuji Black Fame/SiC)
Power Rating Heavy
Taper Med-Fast
Rod Weight 4.1 oz
MSRP $219.99


Impressions: The Cumara Reaction Series features an IM-10 graphite construction that offers exceptional sensitivity, reduced weight, and soft forgiving action. Wait, what’s that last part? A “soft forgiving action” from a series previously known for contact fishing plastics? Justin Poe, Rod Product Manager at Shimano, explained that the rods make use Fuji SIC guides, custom performance reel seats, but the real magic is in the blank itself as he and Dan “Bantam1” Thorburn sought to create the most precise and lightweight reaction bait rod anglers have ever fished.


The Cumara Reaction Series matches up beautifully with the new Core 50mg


Justin commented that “anglers will find a specific Cumara Reaction rod whether they want to fish deep crankbaits in open water, or buzz baits in heavy grass cover. For those who have used our Cumara Bottom Contact rods, these are the perfect compliment when the fishing situation calls for spinnerbaits, topwaters, and rip baits. They’ll deliver maximum performance feel and comfort.”


The Cumara Reaction rod still focuses on sensitivity and makes use of the same proprietary reel seat of the contact series


The series includes a total of twelve new rods specifically for reaction bait fishing, seven of them are designed for hard cover and five are devoted to fishing soft cover. The three rods we focused on during our testing were the CUC76ML, CUC711MH, and the CUC70H. When I first held them in my hands I felt the rods were all very light, and at first glance unless I pulled on the tips they looked identical to the original contact bait Cumara rods.


Shimano's new lower profile baitcasters sit nicely on the Cumara


Once I started tugging on the tips of the rods the difference was immediately apparent. Like the other crankbait rods we have been testing all year long the Cumara Reaction rods have a soft parabolic tip, and while the tip is not as soft as some pure glass rods we have tested they certainly do exhibit the right type of forgiving action that anglers look for in a quality cranking stick.


Under the sun what looked like a matte finish showcases the graphite underneath the gloss


While I liked the way the rods looked and felt in hand I wondered why there wasn’t more differentiation in this series from the original. I understood that Shimano wanted to make an extension series of moving rods that maintained the same look and feel of their popular Cumara bottom rods but perhaps slightly different colors or a modified logo or extra winding check, anything, would make it easier to quickly identify these rods versus the original.


We paired the three Cumara test rods in our test with a variety of different Shimano reels


I even called Justin at Shimano to find out more about why the rods were not more differentiated. He explained that the feedback he was getting from consumers that were fishing the original rods was that they were employing them for applications well beyond their initial intended usages so he really didn’t want to handicap any of the rods. Though they come with recommended techniques he felt that putting an image of a crankbait or a ripbait on a rod would only limit the use of the rod, whereas if he kept it generic enough anglers that liked the look of the Cumara series would not feel locked into a particular application.


It looks like a normal Cumara contact rod until you check out the tip

Taking a closer look at the rod we noticed that the hook hanger in the grip of the original is now gone, instead the Reaction Series makes use of a more traditional wire hanger positioned above the tiny foregip (if you can even call it that at 3/5” length). This makes a lot of sense and keeps crankbaits up and away from the grip. This not only reduces damage to the foam grips but is also safer with all the exposed treble hooks on crankbaits. Overall the rods look clean, simple and feel incredibly light in hand. When paired with most of the low profile reels in the lab the rods balanced well with the tip slightly pulling downwards, this makes sense as most applications that this rod is designed for are tip down techniques.

The rods feature lightweight foam grips and a split grip

Next Section: The lab tests show unique personalities









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