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Rod Review


Taking Aim at "The One" with Ark Rods's Sniper Series (continued)

Sensitivity: ARK Rod does not specify the exact grade of graphite in the blank of the Sniper other than to say "High Modulus Graphite". Truthfully, we really have no way of verifying this on any stick one way or the other anyway. What we can evaluate with the stick in hand though is how well it lets us know what's going on at the other end of the line.

These rods feature a simple, sophisticated style.

To determine this, I tied on a three eighths ounce (3/8oz) Missile Ike's Flip Out Jig and made a couple of pitches and casts near some docks. While I had zero success coaxing a bite, I could sense when the jig hit bottom and bump into the occasional rock or stump when I dragged it along the lake bed.

Checking out the rod's taper.

As it turned out, I had best success with this stick casting a trusty, Vision OneTen Silent. I really like this stick's taper and soft tip when working a jerkbait like the OneTen.

Fig 1 : The chart above illustrates the deflection characteristics of our
ARK Rods SNP70MXC against a couple of our baseline "medium" powered sticks.

Power: Not only does the SNP70MXC help you work a jerk bait well, once the fish hits, that soft tip transitions quickly to the backbone thanks to the rod's X-Fast taper so the power hit is immediate. Because it's so immediate, hits on tight and slack line are quite thrilling and this stick does a good job of helping you keep the fish buttoned.

The front section of the rod's EVA foam grip.

Design & Ergonomics: ARK Rods's Sniper casting rods are all built with a split rear grip of EVA foam, the afore mentioned Fuji ACS reel seat adorned with a decorative carbon lock ring, and stainless steel guides with Zirconium inserts. The blanks are sanded and unfinished from the logo area up to the tip top. It is a simple, tasteful, contemporary style that doesn't attract a lot of attention but still looks good.

A simple touch, but the grooves at the top of the grip make a nice, decorative shadow line.

The SNP70MXC specifically weighs in at just under four and a half ounces with a balance point of five and a half inches above the midline of the reel seat. This stick is very well balanced so it feel really light in hand to go with very good performance.

The rear portion of the grip is a good size to grasp for two handed casts.

Lab Results for ARK Rods SNP70MXC

Avg RoD (2-32 oz)
Measured Weight (oz)
Balance Point (inches)
Balancing Torque (ftlbs)
MBR783C GLX2000
TSFO 26 Rod Avg

The SNP70MXC features a closed loop hook hangar.

Price & Applications: Retail on this stick is $199.99 - right smack dab in the middle of what I'd consider an intermediate price point for a bass rod. Application wise, the SNP70MXC is a good choice for jerkbaits, lighter jigs and Texas rigs, and even weighted or unweighted Senko style baits. It's really quite versatile though I do question that lure rating of down to 1/16th ounce.

Ark Rods's Sniper series retails for $199.


ARK Rods SNP70MXC Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Really nice, clean build 8
Performance Nice tip for casting and pitching and good power and sensitivity 8
Price When you're ready to get a bit more serious 7.5
Features Good grade of components used throughout the rod, nothing premium but it is all decent 7
Design (Ergonomics) Nice, clean lines and detailing 8
Application Very versatile stick 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:


+ Excellent balance - Not sure this stick is capable of going down to 1/16oz in lure weight as specified in its rating
+ Nice, soft tip  
+ Good backbone & sensitivity  
+ Clean build with attractive color scheme  

The Sniper SNP70MXC lacks pizzazz but does not lack in terms of performance or feel.

Conclusion: Most flagship or top end product lines have a certain wow factor. The SNP70MXC lacks this pizzazz but does not lack in terms of performance or feel. The rod's soft tip is really nice in casting and pitching situations, and its balance is exceptional for a rod at this price point. Styling is always subjective, but the entire Sniper line has a very clean, professional look with the contemporary split rear grip, no foregrip design and its black and silver motif. The SNP70MXC may not have wowed me, but it is a solid choice if you value performance and affordability over pizzazz.


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