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Rod Review

A Touch of Class: The Denali Jadewood 843WJ (continued)

Sensitivity: Sensitivity is definitely one of the important points to consider when selecting a new rod.  Denali states their Jadewood features a “powerful intermediate material”, but I found the 843WJ to be average in the sensitivity category. When using monofilament line, I could feel bottom contours and cover but it was a bit vague around softer contours and cover.  I also had a similar experience when using a double willow spinnerbait and lipless crankbait. On a normal steady retrieve the feel was only fair, but burn the bait back or quickly sweep the rod tip a couple feet and the transmission was very good. While the sensitivity will not amaze anyone, this stick will be adequate for many anglers who don't seek ultra performance.

The rod feels like a true medium heavy fast tapered stick.

Denali states that their wooden fore grips are supposed to amplify sensitivity, but I look at the fore grip as being more of a cosmetic feature more than anything else. 

The Jadewood fore grip and adjacent hook keeper.

Power:  This Denali offers power that I feel is very accurate to it's ratings. As you can see from the deflection chart below, it is very similar to our baseline G. Loomis MBR783C GLX 2000. It feels and fishes just as you would expect a 7' MH casting rod should. The blank provides ample power to move a good fish, but is still friendly to those wanting to step down and fish 12lb test.

As you can see, the Denali acts very similar to the Loomis.  The most noticeable difference on the chart is throughout the rod's upper and mid section, as the Denali is slightly stiffer.  Once into the backbone, the power differences are just about dead even.  Please note that the 842WJ model number is an error on the chart.

Lab Results for Denali Jadewood 843WJ

Avgas Rod (2-32 oz)
Measured Weight
Balance Point
Balancing Torque (flubs)
Denali Jadewood 843WJ
MBR783C GLX2000
TSFO 26 rod average

Price, applications, warranty:  Are you hunting for an affordable, yet versatile rod for a multitude of techniques? At $99, the Jadewood 843WJ is a nice value for the money.  There is an army of competitors in and around that price range, but this rod should grab the attention of those seeking something outside the norm. Like to saltwater fish as well?  This would make an equally capable inshore weapon for species like Snook, Redfish, and Stripers. Denali rods offers a limited lifetime, original owner warranty against defects in materials or workmanship. If a rod is damaged due to normal wear and tear or carelessness, Denali will replace or repair the rod for a fee determined by them.

Be careful, there is no butt cap for protection.

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):

Denali Jadewood 843WJ Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality The design is clean and simple.  Overall quality seems ok for it's price point. I did find a drop of epoxy on a guide insert.  7.5
Performance Castability was good. Sensitivity was average for it's price point.  8
Price At $99, the price is very reasonable for the offering. 8
Features The components were a little “blah”, but everything worked.  The  Jadewood fore grip adds a really nice touch.  A rubber butt cap would be nice for protection and a more “finished” look. 7
Design (Ergonomics) The balance of this rod is great with a lightweight reel attached.  It felt very light in hand, and made fishing effortless.  The EVA grips and reel seat were comfortable.  The handle was also the right length for me 8.5
Application This rod can handle a variety of baits from topwaters to jigs.  With it's versatile ratings and power, inshore saltwater fishing is also within it's realm.  A multi-species stick! 9

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:

                 Plus                                    Minus

+ Great for a variety of baits - No butt cap
+ Lightweight and well balanced - Epoxy drop on guide insert on our test rod
+ Something different, a rod with a lot of personality  
+ Clean design  
+ Very reasonable price  


Conclusion: While certainly not one of the “big fish” in the rod market, Denali exhibits some interesting offerings. The Jadewood line slips in at the bottom of their lineup below their mid level Rosewood series, and high end Noirwood rods. For the money, the Jadewood 843WJ is a good option and certainly looks unique compared to other competitors.


A great popper fish!  This rod can handle many different baits.

Though I am used to fishing higher-end rods, I actually enjoyed fishing this rod quite a bit more than expected. Part of that enjoyment is due to the fact that I just enjoy fishing rods more that you don't see everyday. Even though the rod performed no different than many $99 rods out there, the simple fact that it is unique may help sway a buyer in it's direction. If you don't demand a top-tier rod and want a rod that may prompt fellow anglers to ask “what's that?”, then the Denali Jadewood 843WJ might be for you!

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