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Rod Review

The Best of Both Worlds – The Shimano/Jackall Poison Adrena Rods (continued)

Ergonomics: The Adrena’s reel seat is clean and attractive looking and feels pretty natural in hand. The edges of the seat are all curved so that when casting or palming there are no uncomfortable edges digging into your hand. The rod weighs in at 3.9 oz. and is easy to balance with a variety or lighter weight reels. As mentioned earlier the choice of which reel to pair the rod with changes the whole feel of the rod and burdening the stick with a heavier reel detracts from the lightweight total feel that is achievable with a CI4 or magnesium based baitcaster.

The carbon monocoque butt section eliminates traditional rear components to further reduce weight and improve overall sensitivity

When the total rig weight is minimized on this rod it not only reduces fatigue but seems to heighten the sensitivity as you are able discern every single bump with structure that your crankbait is encountering below.

Design & Ergonomics Ratings for Jackall Poison Adrena 166M

Grip (1-5)
Colors / Graphics (1-5)
Balance (1-5)
Weight (1-5)
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)

Price & Applications: Our test rod retails for $399 dollars but the longer sticks in the lineup can cost up to $429 dollars, which is a major investment but not really out of whack when you compare the series to other premium offerings, including the highest end rods from Shimano’s own G.Loomis branded offerings. The Poison Adrena rods can also be paralleled with rods from the likes of Gancraft and Megabass, and when making this comparison the rods are priced pretty much right where we expected. The Series is backed by a Limited 1-year Warranty covering non-conformities in material and workmanship but unfortunately they are not covered by Shimano's excellent Over-the-Counter program.

At sunset the bigger fish come out to feed and give the Adrena a workout

There are rods out there that can compete with the Poison Adrena in terms of performance but there are few that are able to deliver that same level of refinement and JDM’esque feel. The new Poison Adrena is to Shimano as the Steez Series is to Daiwa, a truly premium cutting edge weapon of bass destruction. If you want some of the features found in this rod but do not want to make the 400 dollar investment Shimano also offers the new Expride series which retails for $309-$349 dollars.

The Adrena feels precise and confident and after a full day of fishing I didn't want to put this crisp feeling stick down

The PA166M is a great stick for all small to mid-range crankbaits and the only time I felt under-rodded was when I went outside of the specifications and tried to tie on 1oz. and heavier long lipped deep divers. If your primary goal is to run deep diving cranks there really isn’t a rod in the Poison Adrena lineup that is going to be ideal, these sticks are more about precision than brute force applications. My experience with this stick has been a very positive one and when I can muster up a few more dollars I am definitely planning to procure the company’s PA172H heavy rated rod which is designed for fishing worm and jigs to see how the series performs tossing plastics. If it is anything like how our test stick performed with reaction baits my Steez arsenal might just have some competition on the deck of my boat.


Jackall Poison Adrena 166M Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Very solid construction and the Spiral X design delivers in both durability and feel. The rod also makes use of quality components and I like the proprietary C14+ reel seat which is strong and lightweight 9.47
Performance Excellent overall performance that makes you just want to go out and fish. This rod feels like an extension of your arm when paired with a lightweight reel 9.2
Price A "fair" price. Even though this rod is expensive it delivers plenty of JDM like styling and performance and is not only easy to source but comes backed with local support. Too bad this rod doesn't come backed with Shimano's over the counter warranty support 6
Features The best of both worlds when it comes to features from both Shimano and Jackall. The use of Shimano's CI4+ materials is a not only a nice tie in but delivers in the performance department. The carbon monocoque rear grip really helps lighten up the rod and looks very slick too 8.4
Design (Ergonomics) Very good ergonomics make this rod a lightweight and comfortable rod to fish with all day long 9.0
Application Our 166M test rod was designed for lighter crank fishing which it does exceptionally well but we found this is also a very precise stick for fishing twitch baits and ripbaits as well. In a pinch it can also be used for finesse fishing plastics... yes it is that sensitive 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:


+ Is lightweight and sensitive yet delivers power when it matters - High quality product with a price to match
+ Offers JDM like styling and performance - Comes with local support but not Shimano's no hassle over the counter warranty support
+ Makes use of proprietary materials and designs  
+ More than just a cranking rod  
+ Paired with a lightweight reel this stick feels extremely precise  


Conclusion: The PA166M rod is a great example of what this new Poison Adrena series represents, a combination of Western and Eastern rod design to create a rod that is not only light and sensitive but powerful and durable. The combination of Shimano’s latest materials with Jackall design has resulted in the highest end rod to date in Shimano America’s lineup, one that really is the best of both world’s when you consider the level of refinement and performance that the new series has to offer.

The Poison Adrena is the most exciting Shimano rod I have fished in a while, offering enthusiast like feel and performance

With JDM styling and the attention to detail you would expect from a JDM rod this series is still designed and built to stand up to the rigors of power fishing. While the sensitivity and power on this rod are all impressive what really makes the Adrena special is the blank’s ability to recover so quickly, this is what gives that rod such a crisp and predictable feel when both casting and setting on fish.

The Poison Adrena offers the best of both worlds, blending Shimano technology with Jackall design to create a series that is not only high performing but fun to fish with!

Almost all of Shimano’s low profile baitcast reels look great paired with the Poison Adrena including the Chronarch CI4 and new Curado I, but pair the Adrena up with a Metanium or Antares and you have a rig that anglers will swear is a completely sourced straight from Japan. So often when companies enter marketing partnerships the soul of the original brand or the quality suffers as the two organizations struggle to transition and integrate. In the case of Shimano/Jackall this simply isn't an issue as the additional resources infused into product development has resulted in some pretty fruitful offerings like the Adrena, much faster than we anticipated. The new Poison Adrena Series is two steps forward and delivers excellent performance with the convenience of being able to purchase and support locally. The "Editor's Choice" award winning Adrena has set the bar high for the team that is Shimano and Jackall, and this collaboration has whet our appetite for what the two partnered organizations will come up with next.

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