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Rod Review

 

Shimano's JDM-esque Zodias 172MH (continued)

Power: Based on the rod's lure rating alone, we had an idea the 172MH would test out heavier than our typical "medium-heavy" sticks and as we can see on its RoD Deflection chart below, it is on the heavier side of the curve especially considering its length.


Fig 1 : The chart above illustrates the deflection characteristics of our Shimano Zodias 172MH against
our 2010, The Search for One baseline rods.

Out on the water, this length and power translates into solid hooksets and good control over your catch once hooked. I had one fish headed straight for my trolling motor at one point and was able to steer it clear by locking on the Speed Freak's spool with my thumb and leaning on the 172MH to pull the fish away. I thought for sure I was going to pull the hook out of the fish's mouth, but instead, the fish acquiesced turning away from the trolling motor, then back under the boat where it THEN threw the hook! That was no fault of the rod's - I was pulling too hard and not allowing the drag to run out.

Performance Ratings for Shimano Zodias 172MH

Pitch (1-5)
Cast (1-5)
Sensitivity (1-5)
Hook Set (1-5)
Control (1-5)
Total
Possible
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)
5
4
3
4
4
20
25
8.0


I was hoping for really good sensitivity with this reel seat.

Features: The Zodias 172MH features a split rear grip made of dense EVA foam and no foregrip. The guides are Fuji K-Series semi-micro Alconites with stainless steel frames. The reel seat is Shimano's own, proprietary design and made from their CI4+ carbon material and one of my favorite parts of the rod overall. The 172MH was not supplied with a hook keeper or rod sleeve.

Features Ratings for Shimano Zodias 172MH

Grip (1-5)
Guides (1-5)
Reel Seat (1-5)
Hook Keeper (1-5)
Rod Sleeve (1-5)
Total
Possible
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)
5
4
5
1
1
16
25
6.4


The rod's black and red color scheme continues at the but end.

Design/Ergonomics: The Zodias gets high points in overall aesthetic. This is a sharp looking rod with a very JDM feel to it without being over the top. The grip has some nice, very thin metal highlights in both red and silver highlighting the rod's basic black color scheme.

Lab Results for Shimano Zodias 172MH

Model
Avg RoD (2-32 oz)
Taper
Measured Weight (oz)
Balance Point (inches)
Balancing Torque (ftlbs)
Shimano Zodias 172MH
1.61
Fast
4.5
9
0.23
MBR783C GLX2000
1.72
Fast
4.8
5
0.11
TSFO 26 Rod Avg
1.69
--
4.92
7.65
0.19

The 172MH's overall weight of four and a half ounces (4.5oz) is very good for a rod measuring seven feet, two inches (7'-2") in length and coming in on the heavier side of the power scale from medium heavy, but it does so at the expense of balance. The 172MH's balance point is nine inches above the midline of the reel seat and has a balancing torque of 0.23ftlbs. In other words, it's a bit tip heavy.

Design & Ergonomics Ratings for Shimano Zodias 172MH

Grip (1-5)
Colors / Graphics (1-5)
Balance (1-5)
Weight (1-5)
Total
Possible
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)
5
5
2
4
16
20
8.0


Silver and black is the choice at the upper end of the rear grip.

Application: The Zodias 172MH is very well suited for fishing jig-style baits or Texas rigged soft plastics. It can be used for jerkbaits and cranks in a pinch, but wouldn't be my first choice given other options out on the market today. This is much more a vertical bait technique rod, although, having said that, this would make a fun stick with which to throw buzzbaits and lipless cranks in grass.

Bass Rod Application Ratings for Shimano Zodias 172MH

Rip/Jerk (1-5)
Steady (1-5)
Lift & Drop (1-5)
Drag (1-5)
Twitch (1-5)
Total
Possible
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)
3
3
5
4
4
19
25
7.6


A CA Delta frog fish courtesy of the 172MH.

Ratings:

Shimano Zodias 172MH Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality A clean build 8.95
Performance A nice stick but only average sensitivity 8.0
Price Solid price point for a rod with JDM styling and really good components 7.5
Features Lack of hook keeper and rod sleeve hurts it here, but otherwise, very good components 6.4
Design (Ergonomics) This stick has a nice JDM feel to it 8.0
Application A good stick for vertical bait techniques 7.6

Total Score

7.74
Ratings Key: 1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = unbelievable!
For More Details of the updated rating system visit our explanation here

 

Pluses and Minuses:

Plus

Minus
+ JDM Styling at USDM prices - Tip Heavy
+ Solid components - Not as sensitive as we'd hoped
+ Comfortable reel seat  

  


The Zodias 172MH is still a fun stick to fish.

 

Conclusion: The Zodias 172MH is almost the rod I hoped it would be. The only thing really missing is a little more feel. Perhaps if the rod had an unfinished blank, there'd be less material to dampen the rod's feel. Given the reel seat's CI4+ composition, I was expecting Expride like performance or better in sensitivity but it appears those vibrations never have a chance to make it to the reel seat and into your hands with this stick - at least not in the fashion I was expecting. Then again, for the rod's price point, it's difficult to expect too much. Unfortunately, that's kind of how it's gone with Shimano's domestic rod offerings as of recent - "good enough" - and that's one of the reasons they continue to have to battle for recognition in this very hotly contested segment of the market.

 

Looking for a Shimano Zodias 172MH? Try TackleWarehouse

 


 

 

 

 

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