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Filling out the Arsenal - A Hands on Look at the Newest Megabass Destroyer Rods

Date: 6/5/19
Tackle Type: Rods
Manufacturer: Megabass
Reviewer: Zander




Introduction: For many Megabass fans it is the Destroyer Series that sets the benchmark for the company’s rod offerings, and there is a common saying that once you fish a Destroyer it is hard to go back to the brands more affordable offerings. Designed to deliver premium performance, features, refinement, and even artistry, these rods are crafted for enthusiasts that want to master particular applications. This season, in advance of ICAST, the company introduced five new casting and spinning models designed not only for particular applications, but also focused on actual baits in the brand’s own lineup. We hit the water with Kenichi Iiada,  Megabass America's Product Manager, to find out more about the latest additions to the Destroyer collection.

The Megabass Destroyer Series was first introduced in Japan in 1996, since then the series has evolved and improved with use of the latest materials and rod building technologies

An advantage in rod design? While Megabass is known first and foremost for their rods, the company is somewhat unique in the bass industry as a company that not only designs rods but also offers a complete line of signature lures as well. Baits like the Vision 110, Pop Max, X Pod, Dark Sleeper, and Magdraft have become so popular that anglers configure their setups not just for applications but to specifically better fish these specific baits. The popularity of baits like these are an advantage for Megabass rod designers as they have additional insight into how their lures were intended to be fished, as well as factor in the company’s future roadmap.

We hit the water with Megabass America Product Manager, Kenichi Iiada. who worked on the design of the new Destroyer models

While many rod manufacturers are focusing on application specific designs Megabass has the ability to go a step deeper. The new Destroyer rods do exactly that, and are designed to give serious anglers that extra edge, a noticeable performance and refinement boost over the Orochi XX line. These new Destroyer rods not only get more application specific, they get lure specific, for enthusiasts looking to get the very most out of their favorite Megabass baits.

Each Destroyer rod features an un-sanded blank and is constructed from a proprietary graphite that integrates carbon of varying modulus into a single blank. This is what gives each Destroyer a unique "personality" suited for individual intended application

F8-78X “MARK48”: Designed for magdraft 8” and other mid-sized this new rod fills a gap in the existing lineup by serving the weight range below the existing Onager and Leviathan models which are designed for heavier baits, and a big bait applications. The reason that Kenichi wanted to introduce the original Onager first was to showcase the strength of the Destroyer graphite in marketplace, even though he knew that this was somewhat of a niche market. The Mark48 is a great option for the larger range of mid-sized applications, and is designed to with excellent castability, and what Kenichi describes as “one of the easiest loading characteristics available in the market and an ideal balance between hook-set/lifting power and a smooth bend curve for swimbaits and oversized hardbaits.”

The Mark48 is designed for mid sized lures and fills the gap below the Onager and Leviathan models

Filling a much-needed role as the bridge to the Onager, the Destroyer Mark48 is designed to unlock the full potential of smaller swimbaits like the Magdraft 6” and 8” and I-Slide 185. The 7’8” length and carefully-tuned taper is especially tuned for imparting action to the I-Slide 185, skipping swimbaits, target casting, and roll-casting. 

The Mark48 is absolutely awesome for fishing the Magdraft 8" swimbaits

The Mark48’s sturdy 7’8” frame is built to drive thick-gauged hooks home with authority, and take the fight to trophy-class fish. I noticed when fishing the rod that the high torsional rigidity of Destroyer blank improves casting distance with minimal effort. The rod is finished with double-wrapped, double-footed guides for peak strength, and durability, to withstand the grueling demands of trophy anglers.

Kenichi explained how the new Megabass rods are designed to fill gaps in the existing lineup when it comes to applications

F7 1/2 - 77X “BUNKER BUSTER”: If flipping and pitching 1 and 1.2oz. swing heads is your thing  the new Bunker Buster may be the one to get. While this rod is great for anglers and other that favor these applications this rod can also launch smaller swimbaits such as Magdraft 6” and oversized hardbaits which are below the Mark48’s range.

Like slinging 1 and 1.2oz. swing heads? Megabass has a rod for you... mean the Bunker Buster

The Bunker Buster was created with a faster taper targeting improved crispness, and is positioned right between Mark48 and Valdivia which feature more traditional tapers that are favored by American anglers.

I found that the rod has a supple and balanced tip section, which makes the rod feel precise when imparting action on bottom-contact offerings. This rod is built to deliver heavy bottom-contact baits filling a gap in the current lineup where heavy jigs, heavy cover, gnarly brush piles, flipping and light-punching are the norm. 

The Bunker Buster is a F7 and capable of working heavy jigs through the nastiest structure

F4 1/2 - 71X “OTOMAT”: Topwater anglers rejoice! The Otomat is a new rod dedicated to topwater applications and incorporates the high modulus fast-recovery of Destroyer blank material with a more forgiving tip section that has been slowed down. This specially crafted rod is for anglers that prefer a crisp feel for topwater rod cadence but want a more forgiving tip to maximize hook-up ratios. Sound like an oxymoron? These two factors are converse, and posed the biggest challenge as Megabass tried to optimize the blank with the perfect blend.

The Otomat is an interesting rod designed specifically for topwater applications

Unlike other models in the Destroyer line, the Otomat features a slow tip section to tone down the recovery rate of higher modulus carbon, which can at times almost seems like it is “pulling” lures away from striking topwater targets. This unique design improves hook-up and landing ratios while preserving the sharp responsiveness of the blank’s mid and butt sections, powering crisp rod work for popping and walking style baits. 

The Otomat design posed an interesting challenge, make a rod with a fast recovery and a slower tip

Next Section: The Otomat delivers explosive action...









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