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Rod Review


Flipping Week : Zombie or Immortal? Dee Thomas's Signature Series Flipping Rod

 

Date: 9/20/14
Tackle Type: Rod
Manufacturer: Zombie Rod and Tackle
Reviewer: Cal






Total Score: 7.23 - GOOD

Introduction:
From the popular, to the obscure, to the new, we now bring you to the somewhat rare entry in TT's Flipping Week. Zombie's Dee Thomas edition of their Immortal 76 is a limited edition, limited production stick made to the exacting specifications of the father of flipping himself, Dee Thomas. Last year, we brought you a preview of this stick featuring specially designed guides manufactured right here in the US, and today, we bring you the full blown review of this very stick..

 

Zombie Rods and Tackle Immortal 76 Specifications

Material Toray Graphite
Length 7'6"
Line Wt. 15 - 25 lbs
Lure Wt. 3/8 - 4 oz
Pieces One
Guides 12 + Tip (DT Guides)
Rear Handle Length 11
Power Rating XXtra Heavy
Taper Fast
Rod Weight 8
Origin Final Assembly in US
MSRP $349

 

Quality/Construction: Zombie Rod and Tackle has been around for quite some time now and this is only our second official look at their product. The company found its roots in owner Justin Fearn's background building custom rods for friends and customers. Justin continues the tradition with his retail rod business sourcing materials from around the globe but final assembly is in his own in his shop here in the San Francisco Bay Area. With such close attention as that, we expect a lot from our initial quality assessment.

 


Introducing the Limited Production, Zombie Rod & Tackle, Dee Thomas Signature series Immortal 76 flipping stick.

 

The Immortal 76 Dee Thomas edition is built on a blank rolled of Toray Graphite material. The blank is sanded and finished with a very fine satin sheen. The grip is a subtly shaped from EVA foam and all the joints and transitions are perfectly aligned - there are no gaps between materials. Epoxy work around the guide wraps and over the label is very good. Looking down the length of the rod I find the blank perfectly straight and all the guides are aligned as well. This rod is put together well.

 

Quality Ratings for Zombie Rods and Tackle Immortal 76

Finish (1-5)
Grip (1-5)
Epoxy (1-5)
Blank (1-2)
Guides (1-2)
Total
Possible
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)
5
5
4
2
2
18
19
9.47

 


This stick has a lure rating up to 4 ounces!

Performance: It's a little unclear how many people truly value the care that goes into such a clean build as we found on this rod, but while a clean build might get you off the showroom floor, the real question is will it earn you a repeat customer or better yet a recommended buy? The way to really prove yourself in that respect is with performance. To judge this for ourselves, we took the Immortal 76 out to our proving grounds on the California Delta and Clear Lake to see how it fared. For the tests, I fished this stick primarily with a Quantum EXO low profile baitcaster spooled with Sunline SX braid.


But the real story behind these sticks are the DT Guides.

Casting: The Immortal 76 has a very classic feel to it meaning that though the stick feels pretty stout, its tip is actually relatively soft and loads nicely for regular casting duties as well as flipping and pitching. The rod is rated from three eighths of an ounce on up to four ounces (3/8 - 4 oz) in recommended lure weight and that rating feels fairly accurate. Don't let this sticks' origins fool you, it is much more versatile than one might initially surmise.


Zombie sources the majority of materials for this rod overseas but final assembly is here in the United States.

Sensitivity: Zombie Rod and Tackle's philosophy is to stave off discussion of specific grades of graphite arguing that it's difficult for the consumer to know what really goes into building the blank just from statements about grade of graphite. There's a lot of truth to this statement because everything from the grade of graphite, to the resin used to bind the graphite, to how the graphite is cut, to the mandrel used to roll the graphite, to the pressure at which it is rolled, and so on all play a factor into a blanks final performance and durability.


I had higher hopes for this rod's sensitivity.

So instead, they argue simply that all considerations of how the rod will be used are taken into account and then they choose and specify the blank design to suit that purpose.


Zombie's aesthetic is reminiscent of JDM sticks.

This all makes perfect sense until you consider one factor - sensitivity. Even with all factors not being equal, knowing the grade of graphite that goes into the rolling of a particular blank does help give the consumer an impression of what to expect in terms of sensitivity. This metric can be affected by all the afore mentioned factors of course, but at least it's a starting point in consideration. Of course, all this can be rendered moot if you pick up a stick and it has that tell tale high tension, high energy feel to it - like with the early G.Loomis MBR GLX Sticks, Megabass Orochi DoubleX rods among others. But the Immortal 76 does not have this characteristic.


The blanks feature a light, satin clear coat finish.

Instead, the Immortal 76's blank feels kind of dead. It's a little ironic given the rod's name, but considering its price point, I was expecting a lot more from this stick in terms of sensitivity. Even fished with braided line I feel the sensitivity in this rod is below average and that's a shame because everything else about it fishes really well.


Power of this stick is very good.

Next Section: Power and Versatility


 

 

 

 

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