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Rod Review


ARK Rods Strikes at Value with their Viper VIP72MHXC


Date: 12/10/18
Tackle Type: Rod
Manufacturer: Ark Rods
Reviewer: Cal

Total Score: 7.5 - GOOD

If the higher end series help to build a company's mystique, it's really the more value driven lines that builds the following. Anglers want a fishing rod they can put their hands on and fish, rather than one they can only admire at the tackle store, or perhaps more frustrating, only through pictures in reviews. Ok, maybe we're being a little extreme here, but there's no denying the allure of a nice, affordable fishing rod and no where is that value proposition driven more strongly than at that magical $99 price point. ARK Rods has burst onto the scene with several value driven rod series, but perhaps the most magical is the subject of today's review. Here's a look a the VIP72MHXC from their Viper line of rods.


Ark Rods Viper VIP72MHXC Specifications

Material High Modulus Toray Carbon Fiber
Length 7'-2"
Line Wt. 10-20lbs
Lure Wt. 1/4-1oz
Pieces One
Guides 10+tip SS Frames/Zirconium Inserts - Micro
Rear Handle Length 10.5
Power Rating Medium Heavy
Taper Extra Fast
Rod Weight 5.1oz
Origin Made in China
MSRP $99.99

Introducing ARK Rods Viper VIP72MHXC.

Impressions: The VIP72MHXC is a seven foot, two inch (7'-2") stick made from a blank rolled with what ARK Rods refers to as "high-modulus" carbon fiber from Toray. Toray and Mitsubishi seem to have the carbon fiber/graphite market cornered at least as far as the fishing industry is concerned. They are definitely the two companies we hear about the most when it comes to sourcing the raw material.


This stick from ARK's Viper series is built up with stainless steel micro guides featuring Zirconium inserts.


This stick from ARK's Viper series is built up with stainless steel micro guides featuring Zirconium inserts. The rod has a split rear grip and a small little foregrip that doubles as the reel seat locking mechanism. The reel seat is not specified, but shares a similar design to that of Fuji's ACS. This is stick is rated as medium heavy in power with an extra-fast taper and weighs five point one ounces (5.1oz).

Matched with an Abu Garcia Revo4 Inshore and ready for some action.

Real World Tests: The rod's color scheme is black and a sort of metallic, lime green. It screams for an old school Shimano Curado as a partner, but unfortunately, I had other plans. I paired it with an Abu Garcia Revo4 Inshore spooled it with fourteen pound (14lb) Sunline Sniper Fluorocarbon out of necessity - both the rod and reel were in line for our real world tests.

The rod's reel seat resembles the Fuji ACS seat.

Casting: The VIP72MHXC is rated with an extra fast taper, but it has a relatively soft tip that loads nicely on casts. I tied on old school, six inch, 22nd Century Triple Trout for some initial tests casting and searching for active fish. Though rated to a maximum of one ounce in lure weight, this stick handled the roughly one and a half ounce Triple Trout quite easily.

Success with an old school Triple Trout.

I also tied on an old Fintech Title Shot jighead and topped it with a Berkley Powerbait Bearded Crazy Legs Chigger Craw for some tests pitching this bait combo to visible structure. This turned out to be mostly docks and the VIP72MHXC did not disappoint. In fact, I think it makes a better pitching stick than casting.

The Viper series comes with a closed loop hook hangar.

Next Section: Sensitivity for less than a hundred dollars?









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