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Rod Review

 

A Mix of Handling and Power Voodoo in the Witch Doctor Shaman Rods (continued)

 

Witch Doctor counts on ALPS for all the hardware employed on the Shaman, and while the black stainless steel guides are not the lightest on the market they certainly are plenty tough, and held up very well to the abuse of continuous fishing with braided lines. The use of the double footed guides in the first two guide positions to help bear the additional load under pressure is a good choice for this power fishing oriented rod.

 
After months of use the ALPS Black 316 SS guides have held up very well

The ALPS Tex Touch reel seat provides a natural foundation when casting, and plenty of access when palming, and as an added plus the integrated double locking nut keep reels firmly planted when successfully managing the pressure put on the reel during power fishing.


Though a pitch and punch rod first and foremost this rod also is a very nice buzzbait and frog rod thanks to the crisp moderate-fast action

Sensitivity: Overall this Shaman rod felt light and balanced during casts and retrieves, and when it comes to sensitivity the rod also proved decent. While I didn’t find the sensitivity to be significantly better than other similarly priced rods it certainly was on par.


The dual locking reel nut clamp nut does a great job keeping reels firmly in place

I was able to detect strikes easily, and when contact fishing got a good feel for the type of structure that jigs were bouncing on that were tied on the end of the line. The rod handles both braided and fluorocarbon line well, and adding to the overall sensitivity of the rod is a good guide layout and selection that implements more robust double footed guides in the lower section of the rod to better manage loads, and smaller single foot guides in the upper section to help reduce weight and make for a more balanced and responsive feeling tip.

Power: The Shaman 7’6” rod is rated Extra-Heavy and delivers the robust backbone that you expect out of a rod that is designed to handle larger and heavier baits. Even though it is rated with a MF action the rod does seem quite moderate at times which actually makes it suitable for more than just contact work, like fishing lightweight swimbaits and topwaters.

Witch Doctor Shaman XHF: 11" Rear Handle : 10+tip : Made in USA : Moderate-Fast Taper : Xtra Heavy Power : 3/8 - 2 oz: 15-30 lb
 

Lab Results for Witch Doctor Shaman 7'6" Extra Heavy Rod

Model

Avg RoD (2-32oz)
Taper
Measured Weight (oz)
Balance Point (inches)
Balancing Torque (ftlbs)
Witch Doctor Shaman 7'6" XHF
1.32
Fast
5.4
10.5
0.28
Flipping Rod Avg
1.38
---
6.3
8
0.27
Finesse SB Rod Avg
1.65
--
6.0
9.5
0.29
All Purpose SB Rod Avg
1.28
--
6.8
8.5
0.29
Heavy Hitters SB Rod Avg
0.95
--
7.7
10.2
0.44

In the lab it exhibited a smooth transition down the blank, and while it is certainly designed for pitching and flipping applications it is by no means a rigid broomstick. In stark contrast to many pitching rods the Shaman’s tip is light enough that it feels more precise than most extra-heavy rated rods which are designed for similar applications. 


The Shaman is not a broomstick like some other flipping sticks and actually casts and fishes crisply and is light enough that it handles more like a traditional casting rod

It is when fish are on the line that the Shaman rod really impresses, as the backbone has plenty of muscle to drag fish out of structure, or successfully pull frog fish through vegetation. The rod handles like a light swimbait stick under load, but it doesn’t weigh in very heavy, and because it balances out so well it fishes more effortlessly like a traditional casting rod.

Perhaps it is this combination of handling and strength that is the real voodoo in the Shaman rod, as it provides the quality handling of a significantly lighter action stick, and yet supplies plenty of fish pulling power when you need it most.

Next Section: A little voodoo in the Shaman's design...

 

   

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