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Rod Review

FINALLY! The Dobyns Rods Champion Xtreme DX703C X-Fast

Date: 12/13/07
Tackle type: Rod
Manufacturer: Dobyns Rods
Reviewer: Cal

Total Score: 9.21


Introduction: It started in December 2006, when we first caught wind these signature series rods were in the works. It continued in January during a local consumer sport and boat show where we got our first peak at the prototypes. Finally, at ICAST, we held the production rods in hand, and it was there where the man responsible invited us out for an even closer, on the water look at his entire line at Clear Lake, California. Today, after nearly a year of unprecedented preview-like coverage, we present to you our first official take on this year long project. Presenting our review of the Dobyns Rods Champion Xtreme DX703C.

Introducing the Dobyns Rods Champion Xtreme DX703C X-Fast


Impressions: Our coverage on the pending arrival of this product has been so extensive, discussing this rod from a “first impression” perspective is virtually impossible. There were no surprises on our DX703C, so rather than discuss the rod’s already familiar characteristics, this is a good place to address one aspect of the Dobyns Rods lineup that is the cause of a little confusion among those who’ve not been following along with the story.


Dobyns Rods Champion Xtreme DX703C X-Fast Specifications

Material Proprietary Graphite
Length 7'-0"
Length from Back of Reel Seat to Base 9.5"
Line Wt. 10-17lb Test
Lure Wt. 1/4 - 3/4 ounce
Pieces One
Guides 10 + tip top (Fuji Alconite)
Power Rating Medium Heavy
Taper Extra Fast
Rod Weight 5.2 ounces
Manufacturing Country China
MSRP $249.99


Gary Dobyns created his signature series of rods more or less from the ground up and based on his own specifications. He's relying on production facilities oversees to save costs and rather than recreate the wheel with respect to the necessary infrastructure to sell, distribute and warranty his product, Dobyns has partnered with another rod manufacturer to help with the handling of these duties. Who is that manufacturer you ask? It is the Woodland, Washington based Lamiglas. This is why each and every Dobyns Rods stick features a Lamiglas logo – not because Lamiglas is producing these rods, but out of respect for their help in the sale, distribution and warranty service of the entire Dobyns line. Otherwise, the two companies remain distinctly different.


The Champion Xtreme series sits atop the Dobyns Rods line

Lab Tests: The natural next question regarding the Dobyns Rods lineup is, how different are these sticks from the company Gary Dobyns was affiliated with just a few short years ago, Powell Co.? The best place for us to address this question was in our lab and on our RoD WRACK. Though the DX703C X-Fast is not a direct match to our previously reviewed Powell Max 683C X-Fast, in terms of length and price point, it's close enough for the RoD WRACK. To then, broaden our perspective on the DX703C X-Fast, we also brought into the mix our G.Loomis MBR783C GLX and our Kistler He69APC. It's an official, unofficial, medium-heavy-power cage fight!


Lab Results for Dobyns Rods Champion Xtreme DX703C X-Fast

Avg RoD (2-32 oz)
Measured Weight
Balance Point
Dobyns Rods DX703C X-Fast
Extra Fast
5.2 ounces
Powell MAX 683C X-Fast
Extra Fast
3.7 ounces
G.Loomis MBR783C GLX
4.2 ounces
Kistler He69APC
3.4 ounces

Rate of Deflection (RoD): What we found was that, between the load ranges of 2 to 32 ounces, it's pretty much a dead heat between three of the four rods in our comparison. The Kistler He69APC tested out almost a full power less than the other three thanks in part, to its slower overall taper (it's rated as a fast action rod but behaves more like a mod-fast) and while the DX703C X-Fast's RoD rating at 1.83 is higher (and therefore slightly less powerful) than both the Powell MAX 683C X-Fast and G.Loomis MBR783C GLX, looking at the graph below shows the curves for all three of these rods are practically right on top of each other meaning that, in the end, they should behave more or less the same.

Fig. 1 : This RoD Deflection Chart shows the deflection characteristics of our DX703C X-Fast as compared to three other industry leading medium heavy rated rods

Comparing other statistics, while the Powell MAX 683C X-Fast weighs less than both the Dobyns and G.Loomis sticks, it is also considerably more tip heavy than those two rods. In fact, even though the Dobyns Rods DX703C X-Fast is the longest rod amongst the four tested in our lab, it feels surprisingly light in hand thanks to the best balance out of the bunch. In fact, it is so well balanced, I often forget it's a seven foot rod.


The DX703C is wrapped with 10 Fuji Alconite Guides plus the tip top

Though it does not appear so in this photograph, the DX703C is an extra-fast tapered rod

Real World Test: But enough with tests, measurements and other mundane statistics, how does this rod fish? That's the real question! My first taste of this rod was on that trip to Clear Lake, California in late July of 2007. Dobyns sent back with us a stack of rods for testing consideration among them, of course, was the DX703C X-Fast. On that day, I fished this rod with a Daiwa Alphas Ito Ai 103L. At some point, on our next few trips, I switched things up to also try this rod with the new Shimano Metanium MG - now available in left hand retrieve.

The DX703C matched with an Alphas Ito Ai

Complete Field Test Set-Up for Dobyns Rods Champion Xtreme DX703C X-Fast

Daiwa Alphas Ito Ai 103L
2007 Shimano Metanium MG
10lb Seaguar Invisx (100yds)
17lb Sunline Defier (85yds)

Shown here with the 2007 Shimano Metanium Mg

Pitching and Casting: The DX703C is actually benefiting, right now, from an unfair advantage. Not because Gary Dobyns was in tune with us during the early stages of development, and not because he gave us a personal tour of his rod lineup - we TT editors cannot be bought. The DX703C benefits from an unfair advantage over previously tested medium heavy powered rods because over the last few months I've been predominantly throwing swimbaits! Picking up this rod with either the Alphas Ito Ai or Metanium Mg and casting away is like running downhill with the wind at your back right after spending two hours trudging through mud with ankle weights on - it's just not fair!

Rigged and ready to go on the California Delta

All kidding aside, what the DX703C X-Fast has is an incredibly light, easy loading tip reminiscent of the Kistler He69APC. I find it quite interesting that a medium heavy rod designed by person who admits he typically prefers to use rods one power up from his fellow angler, was produced with such a light tip. It has such an odd feeling that on initial casts and pitches with baits that were over half an ounce (like the Lucky Craft LV-500 lipless crank and five inch Yamamoto Senkos), I had to continually reference the rod's specifications to be sure it wasn't a two power rod!

The DX703C Features a reinforcing woven graphite sleeve extending from the butt, through the reel seat, and halfway to the rod's first guide.


The DX703C is really an ideal pitching rod. I was so surprised at the path my Senkos and jigs would take on each pitch, that started to really exaggerate my motion in an effort to gain more distance with each pitch. On each occasion, I was met with the same, easy, low flight trajectory I'm so often accustomed to with my Kistler Helium sticks - impressive indeed.


Dobyns Rods has partnered with Lamiglas for distribution and warranty service support

A note of criticism some may find important is the size of the cork ball at the end of the split rear grip. Those who prefer to take full grasp of the rod's butt while making a two handed cast might find the grip at this spot to be undersized.

Dobyns Rods offers yet another interpretation on the hook hangar - this time, on the left side of the blank










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