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ICAST 2023 Coverage


The Ultimate Poison – Shimano and Jackall Bring JDM Poison Ultima Rods Stateside


Date: 7/10/23
Tackle type: Rods
Manufacturer: Shimano/Jackall
Reviewer: Zander

Introduction: In the Enthusiast tackle community there is often the feeling that some of the best, and highest-end offerings, are reserved for the home market. Shimano and Jackall are answering the call by bringing the ultra-high end Poison Ultima rods to U.S. shores stateside. These rods feature a number of unique design attributes and performance characteristics that make it the highest-end Shimano rod made available in the U.S. yet.


Shimano is bringing the highest end Poison rod to the US this season

Beware the Poison: The Poison Ultima are fittingly names and are the pinnacle of the Poison Series and like the Stella spinning reel is a halo product that serves as a showcase for Shimano’s most advanced technologies.

The Poison Ultima blends both Shimano and Jackall technology and design. All rods feature Spiral X Core and Hi-Power X for multi-directional strength and twist resistance

Both the casting and spinning Poison Ultima rods are stunning, and I compare them to a supercar in terms of both performance and styling. The most noticeable characteristics of the rods are the carbon grips. Casting models feature Shimano’s Full Carbon Monocoque grip that leverages a full-carbon design designed to deliver extreme sensitivity and showcasing a new handle shape that Shimano and Jackall developed by scientifically analyzing tournament anglers’ movement and holding posture to elevate performance.

I fished the rods with Shimano's Pro Anglers yesterday. Elite Angler Alex Wetherell lands a nice fish with the Poison Ultima casting rod

The Poison Ultima spinning rods feature what the companies are calling the “Carbon Shell Grip,” a lightweight, hollow structure that was created to enable anglers to determine even the slightest differences underwater as it transmits vibration through the hand.

The casting rods feature Full Carbon Monocoque grips for sensitivity

Spinning rods feature Carbon Shell Grips that are hollow for extra sensitivity

Shimano’s also leverages their flagship Spiral X Core technology to blend lightness and increased multi-directional strength while combining with Hi-Power X technology for added blank twist resistance. The hardware is also proprietary and high-performance and lightweight Shimano X-Guides which are designed to be tough and sensitive.

MLF Pro Angler with a fish caught with the Poison Ultima spinning rod

I fished the Poison Ultima rods on Lake Yale in Florida this week in advance of ICAST paired with a variety of reels, including the new Curado 200 and Stradic FM series. The rods feel even better than they look, and I mean that as a compliment.

The combo with this Poison rod and the Antares is pretty "ultimate"

The styling is modern, edgy, and yet very functional. As an example the rear grip on the rods are angled so that they will either rest flush against your inner arm, or tucked under your forearm so that depending on your application or fishing preferences there is maximum contact with your arm. I could feel vibration from baits moving all the way through the handle where I was grasping the rod through the very back of the handle. The front of the grips are also angled and not only felt very comfortable in hand and did not rotate at all when casting or battling fish.

I really like the ergonomic shape of the rear grip. It looks supercar sleek, and is very functional

There will be four Poison Ultima rods coming stateside, two casting models including a 6’10” Medium, 7’0 Medium Heavy, and two spinning models which include a 7’0” Medium Light and 7’0” Medium. All the new rods will be one piece models and retail for $879.99.

Bob Mahoney, Marketing Manager at Shimano and I had a great day on the Florida largemouth with the new Poison Ultima and more affordable Shimano Intenza rods

Our Quick Take: Shimano is bringing the Poison Ultima rods in first versus the Glorious to go straight to the halo rods and address the enthusiast audience. This is in keeping with how Shimano launches their highest end features in flagship products like Stella or Antares, and then starts to roll the technology and features down through the line in future products. At $879 dollars each these rods are not for everyone, and really speak to the user that wants the best.

The Enthusiast Bait Monkey is strong. After fishing the Poison Ultima rods I want one... bad.

Anglers that own Stella and Antares reels will want to pair these rods together for the ultimate Shimano bass combo. These rods look ultra-modern and refined and are likely the highest-end JDM rod to debut at this year’s show. When I first heard the price of these Ultima rods I couldn’t imagine shelling out nine Benjamins for a bass rod, but after fishing with them I find myself wanting one bad, and that little enthusiast voice inside voice saying “pick your Poison” just keeps getting louder. Yup, I’ll probably end up with two.









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