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Enthusiast Tackle : Rod Review


A Rod to Truly Make Your Collection : The Megabass Super Destroyer III
 

Date: 4/06/05
Tackle type: Rod
Manufacturer: Megabass USA
Reviewer: Cal






Total Score: 9 + ULTIMATE ENTHUSIAST AWARD

Introduction: Pull up your trolling motor, drop anchor, and kick back on the deck of your bass rig because our first Megabass USA rod review has landed. Though ranked in the base model section of the Megabass Destroyer series of rods, this stick is touted by Megabass as their flagship product. We thought we'd bring one in for a test run and see just what a signature series rod direct from the US division of one of the most popular rod manufacturers in Japan is all about. Introducing the F6-69X Super Destroyer III.


Megabass F6-69X Specifications

Material Proprietary Graphite
Length 6'9"
Length from Front of Reel Seat to Tip 67"
Length from Back of Reel Seat to Base 9"
Line Wt. 12 - 25 lbs
Lure Wt. 1/4 - 1 1/4 oz
Pieces One
Guides Titanium Framed Guides ( 8 + tip)
Power Rating Heavy Action
Action Medium Fast
Rod Weight 5.1 oz
MSRP $403.00


Impressions: We knew we were in for a treat when our F6-69X arrived in a black PVC tube instead of the typical white tube used by so many other agencies to ship rods. When we opened the tube and pulled out what was inside, we found the rod was protected by a red velvet sheath bearing the Megabass logo - very impressive and this served to set very high expectations for what was inside.


The detailing in the handle of the Megabass F6-69X is reminiscent of an exquisitely crafted sword rather than a fishing rod.


Opening the zippered pocket of the velvet sheath, you are first greeted by the signature Megabass counterweight, an engraved brass ornament that caps off the base of this extraordinary rod. Following the butt cap is the rear portion of the split grip, a sculpted hypalon knob leading to a logo'd aluminum sheath installed over the rod's graphite base. The handle portion of the rear grip is top quality cork serving as one side of a bookend bracketing the very distinct faux-jade reelseat. The other bookend, and finishing off the handle assembly for this rod is a carbon fiber weave lockring and hypalon foregrip with an intricately detailed brass ring inset. Like a finely detailed sword, Megabass left little to the imagination when creating the grip and reelseat for the F6-69X. This is not your everyday bass rod and needless to say, we were all quite taken aback by the level of detail in this rod.


Our Megabass rod came wrapped in this red velvet sheath


Free from its sheath and holding the rod in hand, we found our F6-69X well balanced though a tad tip heavy - a sensation that should subside once mounted with a reel. Pressing the rod's tip against a carpeted floor to get a sense of the action for this rod revealed a very stout moderate to moderate fast tip backing up this rod's rating as a 6 power stick. Holding the rod in both hands and snapping both wrists to further judge the flexibility of the tip revealed a solid, unwavering blend of graphite down the length of the rod. There was no degree of wobble at the tip, and no mysterious snapping sounds from within the blank (which is something we are observing on more and more rods) or anywhere on the rod - again, solidly crafted.


Real World Test: To say we were anxious to get this rod on the water to see what it was made of would be a major understatement. The question was, which techniques could we apply to this rod? Megabass Pro-Staffer, Randy Blaukaut, describes the F6-69X as his gap rod - filling voids left by all the others. Since we didn't have the luxury of having all the other Megabass rods in front of us to help us decide how best to use our new weapon, we decided to put this rod to the test pitching and casting soft plastics, jigs and some hard bodied lures. This seemed the best compliment to the rod's rigid tip and delicate balance.


The rear grip assembly of the 2005 Megabass Super Destroyer III


Setup: What could be more appropriate than matching this rod up with the Daiwa TD-Z Type R+ and Ito reels? We brought along both reels in our field tests spooled with 12lb Seaguar Carbon Pro and 20lb Berkley Fireline respectively to see how the F6-69X handled both types of lines. From there, we tied on a series of jigs, soft plastics, and some hard bodied lures and pitched away searching for that first bass to fall prey to our new rig.


Detail shots of our F6-69X's blank and guides


Casting/Pitching: At such a short length for a rod of its power and stout tip, we had our doubts as to the castability of the Super Destroyer III. Interestingly enough, once we loaded the rod with a lure, it came alive. We were easily able to pitch and cast offerings ranging from 1/4 to 3/4 of an ounce including everything from jigs, Texas rigged worms, and jig-head plastics to lipless cranks and jerk baits. In fact, this rod pitches so incredibly well, we were able to send the lipless cranks and jerkbaits gliding just above the surface of the water to distances of approximately forty five to fifty feet or more including ultra-soft entries into the water.

 

Note the moderate power curve of the F6-69X matched here with one of our TD-Z Type R+ reels (inset).


Sensitivity: One thing we've come to notice in fishing rods made from a very high modulus graphite - pickups and strikes are so much more crisp they're almost audible as that telltale "tick" travels through the rod and into your hands in that brief hundredth of a second. With lesser modulus graphite rods, this tick is more of an vague tap. There are no uncertainties with the F6-69X. During our first trip out with the Super Destroyer III, I rigged up a Gary Yamamoto Kreature on an eighth ounce jig-head. On my first pitch with this offering into a weedbed near shore, I HEARD that telltale "tick" as the bait was sinking in the 8 feet of water. In that split second of time, without hesitation and without the need to locate my line to see if it was moving, I dropped the rod tip, reeled in the slack and snapped the rod back and to my right for a ferocious hook set. The line went taught and pinged in the F6-69X's guides like a violin string. About twenty feet ahead, off the bow and to the right, a huge swirl could be seen at the surface right where I pitched my offering - fish on!


This healthy nine-pound largemouth bass was no match for the power of our Megabass Super Destroyer III


Power: The fish immediately dove as I yelled to JIP, "got one - good one!". The wind was blowing us right to the fish as I kept the pressure on with the help of the F6-69X. With the amount of pressure being applied by the pole and how strong the fish was pulling into the weeds, we were optimistic this was a bass but one can never truly tell in the California Delta. The mystery would soon be answered as it wasn't long before the fish tired and rose to the surface struggling against the power of the Super Destroyer III. But just before we could see it, our prey caught a second wind and dove right back down to the safety of the dense weed cover. This scenario repeated time after time as the fish struggled to gain hold in the weeds only to be pulled back up by our F6-69X.

 

JIP and I exchanged places a couple of times at the front and back of the boat as the wind played games with us and the mystery fish served as our anchor. The only question now was would the fishing line give out before we had a chance to see this incredible specimen, because by now, the rod had more than proved it's worth. Finally, on the 5th or 6th rise, the fish surfaced completely and expletives of amazement escaped from both of us as I dragged the exhausted nine pound largemouth bass across the surface of the water and into the net. She tried for one more charge as I pulled her next to the boat, but the F6-69X would have none of that. With a final pull of the rod, she was in the net, in the boat, and in our camera as our first bass on this amazing stick.


 

Detail shots of the handle assembly for the F6-69X

 

Features: The F6-69X sports a split rear grip, exposed blank reel seat, titanium framed guides with ceramic inserts, and a host of other, pretty standard features. Interestingly enough, the one thing missing on this rod is a hook hangar. As described above under Impressions, the sum of the parts of this rod result in an incredible masterpiece of a fishing rod, but perhaps one of the most impressive features of this rod is the red-velvet sheath in which it is shipped. Practicality aside, it is a feature often reserved for fly fisherman and provides a mystique and aura about the rod that is difficult even for this editor to describe.


The Megabass F6-69X and Ito, a match made in heaven

 

Warranty: If there's one thing about this rod that is disappointing, it is the warranty. Megabass offers only a limited one year warranty. All claims are handled directly through Megabass USA, and all Destroyer rods come with a 10 day inspection warranty. If the purchaser decides they do not want the rod or if something is wrong with it out of the package, an exchange or replacement of an unused rod can be arranged. After the initial 10-day inspection warranty, the one year limited warranty goes into affect and all claims must be sent with the original invoice to Megabass USA for inspection and processing. As with many rod companies these days, the warranty covers only manufacturer defects. While better than no warranty whatsoever, for a product of this stature, the backing is rather minimal.


Ratings:

Megabass F6-69X Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Not one thread nor one pinpoint of clearcoat finish was out of place on our test model. These rods exude perfection 10
Performance A very stout yet sensitive and well casting tip supported by unbelievable backbone and power. 9.5
Price Thanks to MegabassUSA, these rods are no longer as difficult to locate and as costly to ship. Don't get us wrong, the cost for this rod is still a premium but with some domestic brands approaching and surpassing the $400 mark, at least they are not quite as insane as before. 7
Features Velvet sheath rod bag, split rear grip, titanium framed guides, faux-jade reelseat, perfectly balanced, yet no hook keeper? 9.5
Design (Ergonomics) This rod is truly a work of art and even more amazing up close and in your hands than photographs can communicate. 10
Application Not an all purpose rod, but very versatile nonetheless. 9

Total Score

9


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Superbly Balanced L Price is at a premium
J Incredible Detailing L Warranty is very limited
J Extremely Sensitive  
J Very Powerful  
J Excels at Pitching


Conclusion: Given the detailing, price, and other unique characteristics of this entry-level Megabass stick, it's quite evident the company's target market is not the casual angler or collector. Rather, the type of person that would venture to own and truly appreciate a rod of this stature must be supremely tackle afflicted. The compelling aspect of this particular fishing rod is, once you overcome the financial barrier of its acquisition, recover from the culture shock of its insanely detailed composition, and find that oh so perfect reel to attach it to, it is an amazingly effective and powerful fishing tool.


From that first amazing fish forward, it was hard NOT to fish this rod, and it became increasingly reassuring that no matter what type of mess we hooked our next fish within, our Super Destroyer III would shine in convincing that fish to come out and swim into our net. Though not an all purpose stick, we still found it amazingly versatile for a rod of its power. We attribute this to its rather moderate action and therefore, somewhat forgiving tip. The Super Destroyer III, touted as the flagship of this company's rod lineup, has given us true insight into the inspiration behind the madness that is Megabass. Justification enough to earn this product the very first Tackle Tour Ultimate Enthusiast Tackle Award!



 

 

 

 

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