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Rod Review

Swimbait Rod Wars Installment #14: The Big, Dominating, Overpowering Dobyns Rods 807MAGH (continued)

Power: As one might expect, with a power rating of "Mag Heavy" this stick lacks nothing in the power department. Because I was throwing such large baits with this stick, it was a long, difficult few months of fishing before I was able to hook into anything let alone something to test the rod's fish fighting ability.

Not a common sight on extra heavy powered rods, the 807MAGH features an exposed blank reel seat.

That moment finally did come one foggy morning on the California Delta while out on one of our field testing trips. I broke out the 807MAGH plus Daiwa Luna 300L combo and tied on a 3:16 Lure Company 1-up (a 5 ounce, 8 inch, hard bodied trout bait). I was mostly playing around with the rod and reel trying to get a feel for how it handles one of these "smaller" baits retrieving it along an edge of a weedbed when I felt the unmistakable *wham*wham* hit of a fish!

Dobyns Rods makes use of small detailing touches to give their rods just a little more interest... note here the use of compressed cork and an extra metal band (RSR) just before the reel seat.

I couldn't believe it and called out to both Zander and JIP, "Got One!" and the battle was on. I was hoping it was a black bass, but by the way this fish pulled, I knew immediately it was a quality striper. No matter, the 807MAGH arched beautifully as the crazed lineside peeled drag off my 300L. As soon as I turned the boat to follow her she turned right around and headed straight for us! I reeled frantically and the next thing I knew she was right under the boat pulling straight down. I leaned into her with the 807MAGH as JIP was scrambling to deploy the net. The striper didn't stand a chance.

The 807MAGH features a low profile, closed loop hook hanger.

Thanks to the power of the 807MAGH, I pulled her right up to the surface and into JIP's waiting net. Tale of the scale? A twelve pound brute of striper that took another five to ten minutes to lip and unhook as she thrashed around in the net. She was far from tired. A testament to the 807MAGH's ability to control that fish.

One of 12 double footed guides.

Features: Unlike the Dobyns Rods Mike Long series of swimbait sticks, the Champion Series Swimbait Rods feature a cork rear grip instead of hypalon. The hypalon foregrip is retained as are the Fuji Alconite guides. The buttcap badge on these sticks are recessed in the same manner as the DX703C we reviewed last year and on our specific 807MAGH you can see evidence the compressed cork surround is beginning to break down.

This rod has seen some use and abuse as is evidenced by the butt cap.

A nice touch on this particular rod is the use of the Fuji ECS reel seat. I've fished plenty of rods now both with and without this feature, so though I'm not a proponent of the theory these exposed blank seats provide the angler any more sensitivity than the reel seats without this feature, on these larger rods, an exposed blank seat seems to provide a smaller overall area for your hand to grasp making it more comfortable to hold.

The compressed cork surround on the butt cap of our 807MAGH has held up better than we expected though it still shows signs of wear.

Lastly, the hook keeper on the 807MAGH is a standard, closed loop hanger on the left side of the blank and low in profile. It works well for all the large baits with trebles or even exposed jig-style hooks.

The 807MAGH features all Fuji components.


Application: This is a big bait stick for serious big bait throwers. We were only able to test this rod with baits just shy of ten ounces, but it handled everything we tried to throw with it just fine. The tip wasn't quite lively enough to make us want to try it with the Wake Jr. or Lunker Punker, but it certainly handled 3:16 Lure Company's original Wake and Armageddon just fine. This rod's shorter handle in comparison to the 795ML proved a non-issue in working those huge topwater baits as well.

One last look at the big, dominating, overpowering (BDO) 807MAGH

Warranty: All Dobyns Rods product come with a limited lifetime warranty against defects in materials and workmanship. In addition, if one chooses not to go through the warranty inspection process, there is a "No Hassle" replacement plan for a set fee of $50 at participating dealers. This added insurance covers accidental breakages as well. For full details or additional questions please visit the Dobyns Rods website or contact them directly.  



Dobyns Rods Champion 807MAGH Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Fewer quirks than the 795ML, same solid construction 7
Performance Solid all the way around 8.5
Price Right inline with what to expect from a mid-range product 6.5
Features Solid components 7
Design (Ergonomics) The shorter grip is suitable for a variety of baits and retrieves 8
Application If magnum big baits are your game, this stick will suit you well. 8

Total Score

Ratings Key: Ratings Key: 1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = unbelievable!
(For a detailed explanation of the ratings go here)

Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Ten ounce baits only begin to tap into the rod's potential L Despite its balance, a tough stick to use all day
J Very powerful stick L Almost too powerful if all you're pursuing are black bass
J Good balance


Conclusion: If you were waiting for news on the biggest, beefiest stick in our swimbait rod wars, the 807MAGH was it. This is a stick built for trophy hunters who routinely pull in double digit fish and it makes no compromises to that end. At a full eight feet long, it is big; at almost ten ounces, it is heavy; and with the ability to pull in and almost man handle a twelve pound striped bass, it is powerful, yet it is balanced and doesn't get in the way of its owner when he or she is making a cast or trying to impart action into their bait.


Want to manhandle striped bass like this? The 807MAGH is an incredibly powerful stick.


Because of its mag heavy power, this is not the most enjoyable stick in our Rod Wars to use, but time and time again, when it came time to test the action of any of our baits over eight inches, the 807MAGH was the first stick in our group of representatives for which we reached. Considering the cadre of representatives enlisted in our Rod Wars, that's saying a lot. If Dobyns' goal really was to create one of the beefiest big bait sticks around, we say he met that goal and then some. Because if its power, I prefer this stick for striped bass, but then again, I'm not routinely pulling in double digit largemouth either. If power and leverage are your game, you'd do yourself well to check out this stick. For now, Dobyns Rods' 807MAGH wins this Editor's Choice as the biggest, baddest, beefiest stick in our Rod Wars.


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