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Rod Review


Trippin' In Abu Garcia's IKE Finesse Series (continued)

Sensitivity: While capable of more, I mostly fished finesse techniques with this stick and in those applications, primarily the drop shot. There was some Ned rigging mixed in there as well as some time throwing underspins, but really, for some reason, I liked the drop shot with this rod. Anyone with experience drop shotting knows the bites can vary from light pressure to soft "ticks" to aggressive "tick-tick-ticks" and anything in between or further out on either side. All of these hits are easily sensed through the MIKES74-4 which is part of the reason I continued to fish it in this way.

Fig 1 : The chart above illustrates the deflection characteristics of our Abu Garcia IKE Finesse Series MIKES74-4 against the averages of our finesse rods over the past decade

Power: Then, when it comes time to hook up and battle your fish, that extra length really comes in handy because you have that much extra leverage on your catch. The MIKES74-4 charts out very favorably against the curve of our finesse rod averages over the last ten years and served me very well when under load during our real world tests.

Checking out the tip

Design & Ergonomics: Abu Garcia's MIKES74-4 won't win any weight or balance contests and comes out on the slightly above average scale on both ends, but keep in mind it is also longer than our historical average which is generally right around 6'10" - 7'-0". Weight and balance ergonomics with spinning gear has always been somewhat secondary however. As long as everything is close to average, it's all good and such is the case with this stick.

A finesse oriented rod with a close loop hook keeper

What followers of our reviews on this rod series from Abu Garcia will likely enjoy knowing is the grips on this stick do not feature those ergo molded contours for your fingers In fact, the EVA foam grip on this rod is pretty standard configuration right down to the bottom up locking mechanism on the reel seat. The shape of the rod's grip from the reel seat up even tapers down toward the blank giving your fingers nice, easy access to the blank.

Lab Results for Abu Garcia IKE Finesse Series MIKES74-4

Avg RoD (2-32 oz)
Measured Weight (oz)
Balance Point (inches)
Balancing Torque (ftlbs)
Abu Garcia IKE Finesse Series MIKES74-4
G.Loomis NRX 822S NRX
What the Finesse Avg

No ergo-molded grips in the spinning series

Price & Applications: If you enjoy using spinning gear with your light line applications or are looking for a spinning rod that can handle all the finesse techniques and maybe a little paddletail or underspin action, the MIKES74-4 is an excellent candidate for your search. It's very versatile and thanks to its taper is even a good choice for throwing shallow running cranks. Retail on this stick, like all rods in the series is $149.99.

Trippin' in Finesse...


Abu Garcia IKE Finesse Series MIKES74-4 Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality A little better craftsmanship than our MIKEC76-6 8.5
Performance Performs fine but takes a little adjustment period to get used to the length on casts. Overall sensitivity is good for a rod at this price point 8
Price Good price point considering the components 8
Features Solid line of components, standard grip design is less polarizing 7
Design (Ergonomics) Weight and balance a little above average, but it's also longer than average... nice color and graphics. As a finesse rod an open hook keeper would have been a better choice to easily stow drop shot weights 6.5
Application A good choice for horizontal or vertical bait presentations with light line 8

Total Score


Ratings Key: 1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = unbelievable!
For More Details of the updated rating system visit our explanation here


Pluses and Minuses:


+ Really versatile spinning rod - Not a great choice if you like to make quick, snap of your wrist casts with spinning gear
+ Good sensitivity - Hook keeper is closed so you can't use it to stow your drop shot weight
+ Attractively priced  
+ Length gives you good leverage when battling your catch  


Conclusion: Rod lengths are rarely an issue for me even with spinning gear, but for some reason, I had a difficult time adjusting to the MIKES74-4. More accurately, I had a difficult time syncing my normal spinning rod casting motion with this stick.


I usually like to make quick, snap of the wrist and forearm casts with my spinning gear to avoid those big, rainbow casts you usually get. Due to this rod's length and taper, I wasn't able to tune into that rhythm with this stick.


Abu Garcia has a winning formula with their Mike Iaconelli series of rods and reels.


Otherwise, with a normal casting motion and everything else associated with casting, working your baits, feeling the bite, hooking the fish, and battling/landing your catch, everything was great. The color scheme of Abu's IKE rod series is something I continue to enjoy and who doesn't like matching your rods to your reels? Abu Garcia has a winning formula with their Mike Iaconelli series of rods and reels.


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