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Rod Review

The Search For One.. Damiki's Long Anticipated Angel Blade (continued)

Sensitivity: I predominately fished moving baits with this stick, but I did tie on a jig just to get a sense of the rod’s sensitivity and while I didn’t get any hits with the jig tied on, I did get the impression that the sensitivity of the C691MH was about average. I could certainly feel the half ounce jig moving across the bottom as I slowly dragged it with the rod’s tip and could discern between rocks and weeds when the jig would stop, but I didn’t have any big revelations with regards to what I was feeling at the end of the line, so I’d say performance here was just okay. Considering the rod’s price point, I was expecting a little bit more.

All Angel Blade rods come with Fuji, titanium coated stainless steel frame guides with SiC inserts.

On the other hand, this stick feels great with a spinnerbait or jerkbait tied to the end of the line which is why it didn’t see much duty with slow moving baits. Secondarily, it makes a pretty decent stick for soft swimbaits as I fished it a bit matched up with the new Owner Ribeye Swimbait and the new Sebile Magic Swimmer Soft Pro. It works particularly well with the Sebile bait.

Our modified Chronarch 101D matches up nicely to the C691MH

Power: It must be something to do with 2010 or maybe it’s the fact I’m back fishing normal sized baits, but I wasn’t able to hook into anything significant to really test the power of the Angel Blade C691MH. It rates on the RoD WRACK slightly more powerful than the MBR783 GLX2000, but only slightly. Realistically it feels a bit less powerful to me and that might possibly be attributed once again to the rod’s taper. It might be a small percentage less fast than the G.Loomis MBR783C.

Note the sculpted shape to the rear handle of the C691MH.

Two handed casters like myself, will find the back portion of the rear, split grip on the C691MH very comfortable to grasp.

I tried to land a striper with this stick tossing the seven inch Triton Mike Bull Shad out on the California Delta last fall, but all to no avail. It seems as soon as we started heavy duty testing in our Search For One campaign, the striper all got lock jaw. Guess they learned from our 2008 Swimbait Rod Wars.

Detailing at the split rear grip is clean and well executed.

The customary badge of honor on a stick whose detailing has been carefully planned out.

Features: We already touched upon the majority of features with this Angel Blade rod at the very beginning of the review, but one component bears some further discussion. What might that component be? Why of course, the Angel Blade’s hook keeper. We touched upon this keeper during our reviews of the two Dark Angel rods, but put it through different rigors this time around namely time with some larger than normal baits. The little circle loop right at the end of the hook keeper is really good for holding onto your bait’s hook but when used with larger baits, the keeper itself tends to get pulled out away from the blank. Not really a criticism here nor there, but a word of caution when using this keeper.

If a domestically available stick with JDM-esque styling and good performance is what you're after, the Damiki Angel Blade C691MH will fit the bill.

Warranty: The Angel Blade rods are covered by a five year warranty against manufacturer’s defects and workmanship. All claims must be made directly with the company and include a copy of your receipt. They are also offering a $125 replacement fee within that five year period that again, requires a copy of your receipt. For complete details about any warranty situation you might have, we suggest you contact the company directly.

Ratings: (We've re-calibrated our ratings standard for 2008 and have included a key at the bottom of the following matrix as a guide):

Damiki Angel Blade C691MH Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality A clean, well executed build 8
Performance A tad softer than I anticipated initially, but definitely up to par 7.5
Price Just a bit on the pricey side for a rod with ss framed guides and SiC inserts 6
Features A good group of components, but some will balk at the non exposed blank reel seat 7.5
Design (Ergonomics) A handsomely appointed stick 8
Application A worthy entry to our Search For One all purpose 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:


J Finely detailed stick L It's balanced, but at the price of weight
J JDM feel with domestic availability L A tad expensive especially when compared to the likes of Shimano Cumara and Daiwa Zillion
J High grade components  
J Well balanced, but...  


Conclusion: Overall and by comparison, the Angel Blade C691MH is a little heavy in weight but makes up for this by being very well balanced to the point where, when you pick it up off the wrack and hold it by the reel seat it floats in your hand. The blank is not quite as crisp as I would like, but it is very attractively appointed and built up with quality components. Casting performance is good as is sensitivity and power. My only real criticism of this stick is the blank is a tad slow for my liking but I know there are some out there that prefer this type of taper.

There's no denying the Angel Blade is a fun stick to fish and worthy of attention, but for now, The Search for One continues...

Was it worth the year and a half wait to finally get to fishing this stick? Not quite. In the final analysis, I guess I’m left a little under whelmed by the Angel Blade C691MH and I’m not really sure why. It’s a nice stick, performs well, but I guess I was expecting more. If it was 5.1 ounces instead of 6.1, that’d help. If it was priced at $259 with titanium coated, stainless steel framed, SiC insert guides instead of $359, or came with actual titanium framed, SiC guides at $300, that’d help too. In the end, I guess it is what it is and that’s a nice, well appointed, good performing rod at the top of Damiki’s lineup. If a domestically available stick with import stylings and good performance is what you're after, Damiki's Angel Blade will fit the bill. Unfortunately, I just can’t quite get enthused about it when it’s sitting up here against the other enthusiast level rods in this year’s search – even if the others are twice the price.

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