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Enthusiast Rod Review


Power and Balance in a Burgundy Wrap : The Shimano Japan Scorpion G4
 

Date: 11/10/05
Tackle type: Rods
Manufacturer: Shimano Japan
Reviewer: Cal






Total Score: 8.42

Introduction: Here in the states, when we think of Shimano, the typical names that come to mind are Calcutta, Curado, Chronarch, Stradic, Sustain, Trinidad, Torsa and a host of other reels. Some of us have to think a little harder to recall some of their more popular fishing rod offerings like Clarus, Crucial and Teramar. Straight out of Shimano Japan comes a rather intriguing product that shows design and innovation is strong within Shimano's rod lines.... the captivating interchangeable Scorpion G4 line of fishing rods.
 

Scorpion G4 1683R (15103R blank + 10" grip combo) Specifications

Material Proprietary Graphite
Length 6'10"
Pieces Two
Grip EVA Foam
Foregrip Length n/a
Reargrip Length 10"
Line Wt. 8 - 16 lbs
Lure Wt. 3/8 - 1 oz
Color Burgundy
Guides Stainless Steel Framed SiC Guides : 7 + tip
Power Rating Heavy
Action Fast
Rod Weight 6.1 oz
MSRP ~$300


Impressions: Our Scorpion G4 1683R/Blank + Grip assembly (15103R Blank + Grip B10) arrived in a black nylon rod sleeve. Not a particularly impressive sleeve, but the mere fact it had one was a very nice touch. When we pulled the rod out of this wrap, we were immediately struck by how solid and lively it felt. We could tell right away that there was something special about this stick. It felt heavy but balanced and the thin but sturdy graphite blank had us anxious to try out the rod's sensitivity and power out on the water.

 

It may sacrilege to some, but it looks so darn good... the Shimano G4 paired up with a Daiwa Alphas Ito Ai

 

The G4 Blank: Shimano employs what they refer to as BIAS and STX Reinforcement in the G4's blank design. In simple, non-marketing terms, what Shimano Japan has done here is to reinforce the lateral stiffness of the blank by incorporating criss-crossing graphite fibers around the outside of the blank. This pattern can be seen in the top half of the rod and in theory, helps to compensate against the twisting force on the blank as you fight a fish. Finished in burgundy, this wrap also gives the upper half of the rod a unique texture that neither detracts or adds to the rod's appeal but is merely an interesting decision in today's market of smooth, round, blank design.
 

The included G4 rod sock


The Field Tests:
At the risk of our rig going up in a puff of spontaneous combustion, we did the unthinkable for our field test: we paired our Shimano G4 fishing rod with our Daiwa Alphas Ito Ai fishing reel! For line, we chose 14lb Berkley Fireline and took to the water for a series of tests.

 

A close-up of the distinctive reelseat on our Scorpion G4 1683R

 

Casting & Pitching: Why did we do the unthinkable matching our Scorpion G4 with rival manufacturer's Alphas Ito Ai? Because we felt at the very moment we held the G4 in our hands, we were holding a pitching machine. The Daiwa Alphas Ito Ai matches this rod perfectly not only in finish, but performance as well. The Scorpion G4 B15103R blank has a great tip and loads easily for both casting and pitching presentations and really excels in this department. We were quite impressed with how well this heavy power rated rod performs in this department.

 

A close-up of the stainless steel framed, SIC insert guides on our G4.


Sensitivity: Our Scorpion G4 1683R performed equally as impressive transmitting every bump, drag, and tick under the water as we dragged our jigs and texas rigged worms along the bottom. All our hits on this rig felt aggressive. We were surprised expecting the two-piece construction to suffer in sensitivity, but perhaps the metal reel seat compensates for this feature as this rod feels every bit as sensitive as a one-piece stick.

 

A close-up of Shimano's BIAS & STX Reinforcement which incidentally, results in a blank that is not smooth and sleek (inset), but it is strong and sensitive

 

Power: Rated as a heavy power rod, we were skeptical of this rod's true power given the small diameter of the blank. Once again Shimano comes through with impressive performance. The true, fast taper design of this rod transfers power quickly to a very respectable backbone. The largest fish we managed with this rod was a three and a half pound largemouth but in battling several two and two and a half pound fish out of thick grass cover, our G4 performed flawlessly. We did not hook into any fish to sufficiently test the BIAS & STX Reinforcement, but we noticed no detriment to this this design.


The Scorpion G4 1683R's fast taper transfers power to quickly to the rod's considerable backbone


Features: The most notable feature of the Scorpion G4 line of rods from Shimano Japan is the interchangeable handle. Shimano makes the G4 handle in four (4) different sizes, 5, 7, 9 , & 10 inch lengths. The 5 inch length is the only handle assembly that does not feature a split grip design. The rods come in approximately 8 different configurations of power and length (from 5.5 feet to 6 feet) and you can purchase each separately or together in 8 standard configurations. It's an interesting concept to say the least but quite daunting for the average angler.


The handle assembly and rod on the Shimano G4 separate to provide the angler a great deal of versatility in custom configuring their setup


The rod itself features stainless steel framed SIC guides, a polished aluminum reel seat, and EVA foam grips. It's an attractive package that sits well in one's hand and is both powerful and sensitive despite the two piece construction. In fact, the overall soundness of the complete assembly is the same as that of a full, one-piece construction rod. Perhaps the greatest testament is during the course of testing this setup, we completely forgot that it was not a one-piece rod.

 

This chunky largemouth proved an inspirational battle on our Scorpion G4.

 

Ratings:

Scorpion G4 1683R Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Very well crafted rod with a fine finish and high quality components. 9
Performance Surprises around every corner with this rod. Very impressive. 9
Price Factoring shipping from overseas, costs are at a premium for these rods 7
Features Stainless steel framed SiC guides, polished aluminum reel seat, split grip design, mix and match handle assembly possibilities 9
Design (Ergonomics) Excellent balance, power, and feel in this rod. Our only comment is the reelseat can get very hot if left out in the sun on a hot day 8
Application This rod is very well suited medium and heavy cover situations for any vertical presentation baits. 8.5

Total Score

8.42

  
Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Solidly crafted L Though balanced, a bit heavy overall
J Wonderful sensitivity L No US Warranty Support
J Powerful taper L No hook keeper
J Very well balanced  

    
Conclusion: The power and balance this rod offers is unlike anything Shimano sells in their United States bass rod lineup. If offered in the United States, this intriguing line of rods could do very well. The soundness and balance of our test rig in hand are outstanding and the rod performed beyond expectations at each and every cast. Matched with our Daiwa Alphas Ito Ai, a reel to counter the overall heavy weight of this rod, this combo has proved deadly for fishing plastics and jigs from medium cover to the thickest stuff the California Delta can dish out. Excellent sensitivity with surprising power, the Shimano Scorpion G4 1683R is an excellent choice for those looking for something a little different from a company with a solid footing in the fishing industry.


                                        


 

 

 

 

 

 
 





 

 



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