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Rod Review

Blending multiple design methods to create a high performing rod, the AiRRUS Co-MATRiX 457

Date: 4/1/04
Tackle type: Rod
Manufacturer: AiRRUS
Reviewer: JIP

Total Score: 8.83

Introduction: As more and more companies attempt to build that inimitable rod, there is still nothing quite like the Airrus Co-MATRiX, an inventive formula in construction that brings fishing to a whole new level. We were impressed by the first Airrus rod we first took a look at last year, and now put the Co-MATRiX 457 spinning rod under the hot lamp.


AiRRUS Co-MATRiX 457 (AS661M) Specifications

Material Multi-modulus graphite
Length 6'6"
Grip Length 8"
Line Weight 4-10 lb
Lure Weight 1/8-3/8 oz
Pieces 1
Power Medium
Action Medium-Fast
Color Black
Weight (measured) 4.4 oz
MSRP $89.95


Impressions: At the end of 2003, we first reviewed the innovative Co-MATRiX 457 casting rod that demonstrated great performance as well as great value, ultimately the product even received our Editor's Choice award. We now take a closer look at another offering by AiRRUS Rods, yet another Co-MATRiX 457 but this time in spinning form.


The Co-MATRiX construction that's truly unique and powerful


This spinning rod utilizes AiRRUS's famous Co-MATRiX construction with the bottom section applying the filament wound, a process that gives the rod an extremely authoritative butt section, and mated together with a multi-modulus top portion that gives the rod the action. The 6'6" rod utilizes Fuji's Guide Concept using Hardloy guides. On this rod you'll also find a rod grip that is constructed from Hypalon and is comfortable to grasp with your hands, and at the end of the rod there is a cavity to add additional weights for a well balanced feel.


The Design: The design of the Co-MATRiX rod is definitely distinctive and a new way of constructing a blank that is advantageous for anglers. The butt section of this medium power rod is actually equal in diameter of the medium-heavy baitcast rod that we reviewed earlier. This might appear odd to anglers used to seeing smaller diameters in traditional rod designs for a medium power pole. The way AiRRUS rods work is by reducing the thickness of the wall instead of the diameter, and through this it reduces weight and is able to vary the power of the rod. For more information on Co-MATRiX, please refer to our previous review on the Co-MATRiX baitcast rod.


The larger grip and Hypalon material feels comfortable while fishing. Also notice how the Hypalon covers more of the reel seat, where you normally would grip a spinning reel


Complete Rig for Co-MATRiX 457 Spinning Rod Tests

Rod AiRRUS Co-MATRiX 457 (AS661M)
Reel Quantum Hypercast Ultra
Line 8 lb Sufix ProMix


Field Tests: The Co-MATRiX AS661M spinning rod was put through the topwater tests by school sized stripers the lurked around the shoals of a landlocked body of water, and also tested for bass in various local lakes fishing in open water and around structure/cover.

Casting: The AiRRUS Co-Matrix 457 spinning rod casts very nicely. Its taper produces a virtuous flex, capable of flinging a lure or bait with accuracy and powerful enough to toss heavier lures than the rod's own lure weight specification. While this rod is rated medium in power and medium-fast in action, it felt somewhat stiffer, which wasn't a concern at all since the rod was still easy to cast with each swing of the arm.  The AS661M applies Fuji's Guide Concept which places the guides in the proper location for a more effective cast. While casting lures for stripers and bass using Quantum's new Hypercast Ultra spinning reel, reaching the targeted spot with the Co-MATRiX was effortless.


The AS661M casts nicely, even with heavier lures than then specified on the rod

Sensitivity: The spinning rod blank showed excellent sensitivity, sending vibrations straight down the rod and into your hands. Each vibration was felt throughout the handle; cork and Hypalon, but while fishing on the bottom of the lake using jigs, I did notice something that can be improved in this spinning rod. The foregrip, also part of the reel seat where you screw to secure the reel, is nice and thick, great for a firm grip while fishing, but this portion isn't completely in contact with the rod blank. Yes, the vibrations were felt as the jig hit the bottom, rolled over rocks, and when the fish hit the lure, but a greater level was felt on the Hypalon and at the end of the rod than the foregrip. Overall this rod is still sensitive enough to be used for finesse fishing.


AiRRUS's Co-MATRiX rod provides a plug for you to add additional weight for a truly balanced rod

Power: Just by its appearance you can tell the AiRRUS Co-MATRiX rod is powerful.  When fighting stripers, the butt section gave me pure control of the fish at all times even though this rod is only rated medium in power. While other rods of this level would be able to handle these fish as well, the AS661M gave me more confidence in muscling the fish due to its filament wound design which produces a high performing butt section. The larger butt section minimized the fear of rod breakage, and while battling the fish, my concentration was focused on landing fish.


Warranty: When you buy an AiRRUS rod, it comes with an unlimited lifetime warranty along with super customer service.  When you call AiRRUS, you'll most likely talk to the President of AiRRUS rods himself, Mr. Ken Whiting, who personally designs these quality products and backs them up to the fullest degree.

AiRRUS Co-MATRiX 457 (AS661M) Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Quality construction using good materials that is solid and durable 9
Performance A great rod that performs well in many categories.  Its powerful filament wound butt section is super and matched well with its multi-modulus tip section with a nice taper 8
Price An affordable rod that shows good craftsmanship and performance 10
Features Designed with features to make your everyday fishing more pleasant such as the ergonomic grip, rod balancing, and more 9
Design (Ergonomics) Constructed for a comfortable grip, especially the thick foregrip that is nice to hold while the rest of your hand lays on the soft Hypalon 8.5
Application A spinning rod good for finesse bass fishing to handling larger fish such as stripers and more 8.5

Total Score


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Co-MATRiX design L Sensitivity slightly decreased on the foregrip
J Great price!  
J Powerful  
J Well balanced  

Conclusion: After completing our second in-depth tests on the Co-MATRiX rod, there are noticeable distinctive benefits from the AiRRUS design of mating two completely different sections to form a rod blank.  The AS661M spinning rod had an extremely powerful butt section thanks to the filament wound process which is specific to AiRRUS rods, while the upper tip section had a nice flexible taper giving it the right action for many different types of fishing. The innovative Co-MATRiX 457 spinning rod is well designed, shows quality craftsmanship, and comes with a very affordable price tag that's hard to resist; Once again making the AiRRUS rods a good candidate the next time you're on the market for a first-rate rod that won't put you in the poorhouse.









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