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Enthusiast Review

The Search for One : Shimano/Jackall's Biwako Versatile X


Date: 10/8/14
Tackle Type: Enthusiast
Manufacturer: Shimano/Jackall
Reviewer: Cal

Total Score: 8.2 - GREAT

One of the very special souvenirs I brought back with me on our trip to Japan during the Fall of 2013 with Megabass of America was a fishing rod from one of their rivals. It is one among many from a line that's been gaining interest here in the States simply for the story behind the line's origins - it's the result of the recent partnership between Shimano and Jackall. There were actually one or two sticks from this lineup that might have better suited my long term fishing applications back in the States, but this one won out simply for its name and the location of the store where I made the purchase - on the shores of Lake Biwa. Introducing our first look at the new joint venture Poison Glorious like from Shimano and Jackall. Here's our look at the 173MH Biwako (Lake Biwa) Versatile X.


Poison Glorious 173MH Biwako Versatile X Specifications

Material Shimano Spiral X Construction Blank
Length 7'-3"
Line Wt. 12-20lb
Lure Wt. 1/4-1oz
Pieces 2
Guides 8+tip (Fuji SS/SiC Kseries)
Rear Handle Length 10.75"
Power Rating Medium Heavy
Taper Mod-Fast
Rod Weight 5.1 ounces
Origin -no indication on rod
MSRP 56,700 JPY (~$560)


Shimano & Jackall team up to give us the Poison Glorious Biwako Versatile X.


Quality/Construction: The Biwako Versatile X is a two piece stick from Shimano/Jackall. Typical of JDM two-piece bass rods, the separation of each piece is at the handle. The blank is finished with a very fine gloss coat, the grip features a two piece design made from a mix of cork, compressed cork and the standard aluminum accent pieces. Alignment of all these materials and accent pieces appears spot on in our test model.


Quality Ratings for Poison Glorious 173MH Biwako Versatile X

Finish (1-5)
Grip (1-5)
Epoxy (1-5)
Blank (1-2)
Guides (1-2)
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)


Paired with a new Antares and ready to go.


Epoxy application over the guide wraps is light and very clean, with no signs of excess material. The blank itself appears straight and the standard sized guides are perfectly aligned. There's no tag or label on the rod indicating point of origin, so we're assuming it's somewhere other than Japan else that'd pedigree would be proudly displayed. Nonetheless this rod is a super clean build.


Lab Results for Poison Glorious 173MH Biwako Versatile X

Avg RoD (2-32 oz)
Measured Weight (oz)
Balance Point (inches)
Balancing Torque (ftlbs)
Poison Glorious 173MH Biwako Versatile X
MBR783C GLX2000
TSFO 26 Rod Avg

Performance: I paired the Shimano Jackall Poison Glorious 173MH Biwako Versatile X with the latest incarnation of Shimano's Antares reel. Spooled with 55lb Daiwa Samurai braid and topped with a 14lb Tatsu fluorocarbon leader, the primary testing ground for this stick was Clear Lake, CA.

Checking out the tip before making a cast.

Casting: The Biwako Versatile comes with a one quarter to one ounce (1/4 - 1 oz) lure rating and easily handles baits in this range. I went above the rod's rating fishing Savage Gear's eight inch Line Thru trout on this stick - a bait that's over three ounces. While I wouldn't recommend this rod as a dedicated stick for that bait, thanks to what I'd call a mod-fast taper, it can handle casting duties with baits of this heft easily as long as you employ a nice easy lob cast.

The Biwako Versatile X loads predictably and performs well casting and pitching.

Normal casting duties, as one might expect, are handled fine by the Biwako Versatile. It loads nicely and release of energy is predictable for accurate casting. Thanks to its seven foot, three inch (7'-3") length, the 173MH makes a very good pitching stick as well.

A look at the carbon weave on top of the blank.

Sensitivity: Keep in mind, fishing any rod with braided line and a fluorocarbon leader is going to maximize sensitivity. Having said that, the Biwako Versatile's blank has that crisp, hollow feel you get from a lot of the rods made from high grade material and despite its two piece construction, sensitivity on this stick is very good.

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