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Rod Review


ARK Rod's New Series Delivers Reinforcements for Your Enthusiast Soul


Date: 2/12/20
Tackle Type: Rod
Manufacturer: ARK Rods
Reviewer: Cal

Total Score: 8.25 - EDITOR'S CHOICE AWARD

As we grow more and more conditioned to the different formulas (blank + components + grip material and design) for assembling a fishing rod at the various price points, it becomes increasingly difficult for an individual fishing rod or series thereof to capture our attention. What else can a manufacturer do to stir our enthusiasm? Well, ARK rods has accomplished this task by taking unique approach to a rather benign element of the blank.

ARK Rods steps up into the Enthusiast crowd with their latest

Part of the blank making process is to wrap the raw materials in a material not unlike cellophane in order to hold it all together over the mandrel during the baking/curing process. After the blank has been cooked, this material is usually sanded off because it serves no useful purpose afterwards. From that point, it's just extra weight that you don't need. However, some manufacturers skip that step with the goal of delivering a finished rod with more texture and intrigue in the blank.

The new Reinforcer series of rods features a wrapped blank with the company's name and an abstract pattern giving the rods a kind of animal print finish

With their brand new, Reinforcer Series, ARK has taken this approach to another level. Not only do they leave the blanks on this series unsanded, they've taken the extra step of printing their name and logo on the wrap material. When left on the blank after the baking and curing process, this wrap has the effect of giving the blank a sort of animalistic print pattern that immediately draws you in. Question is, does this wrap impede performance and are the Reinforcers truly worthy of such enthusiasm? Here's our first review of the rod from this series, so let's find out!


ARK Rods RFC76MHFC Casting Rod Specifications

Material 46T High Modulus Carbon Fiber
Length 7'-6"
Line Wt. 10-17lb
Lure Wt. 1/4-1oz
Pieces One
Guides 8+Tip Titanium Guides
Rear Handle Length 10.5
Power Rating Medium Heavy
Taper Fast
Rod Weight 5.1 oz
Origin Made in China
MSRP $350


Impressions: At first glance, there's not much remarkable about the sticks from this series. They feature the saturated design of a split rear grip, no foregrip (on the casting rods) assembly the majority of bass rods have today and the guides seem to be a generic, titanium frame with a metal insert we're told is also titanium.


First rod in this series up for review is the RFC76MHFC


Subject of today's review is the RFC76MHFC, a seven foot, six inch (7'6") casting rod. Where the interest begins to pick up with this stick is quality of cork used in that grip assembly along with the design of the reel seat. It's a Fuji PTS featuring an open blank design and very minimal flanges. For the blank itself, ARK is using 46T carbon fiber beneath that animal print wrap reinforced by some kind of nano-tube tech. The end result is a very crisp finished rod that definitely has a high end feel to it.

Matched with a truly enthusiast reel and balanced quite nicely

Real World Tests: Fresh back from Japan with a brand new Megabass Bespoke Grigio Titanio I picked up at a tackle shop I just happened to wander into, I was really anxious to find a home for that reel. When I held the RFC76MHC in my hand, it was like an epiphany. The two were made for each other. Only question after making this pairing was what line should I use to christen the partnership? Daiwa now offers their JBraid in a very high end looking light gray. This line serves as the perfect compliment to this combo.

The RFC76MHFC has almost proto-typical medium heavy specs save for the lure range that extends up to one full ounce (instead of just three quarters)

Casting: The micro-guide trend in bass rods has, for the most part, subsided. However, the concept has not been entirely abandoned. The real goal of the micro-guide approach was to reduce component weight on your fishing rod because extra weight affects performance. The fallout from that trend seems to be the use of a guide train that sits somewhere between micro and standard size. ARK makes use of these smaller sized guides on board their Reinforcer sticks.

We're told the guides are full on titanium - even what appears to be an insert

I point this out because the RFC76MHFC handles straight braid and braid tipped with a fluorocarbon leader just fine while casting. My leader knots are small, but not the smallest, so micro-guides can pose an issue. There's no such issue with guides on this stick. The blank itself is very crisp in casting and the fast taper loads well delivering predictable performance in both casting and pitching duties.

The reel seat is from Fuji

Next Section: Bring on the reinforcements...









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