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Rod Review

Savvy Duo:  Dobyns SS733C and SSM733C Micro Guide Rods

Date: 8/28/12
Tackle type: Rod
Manufacturer: Dobyns Rods
Reviewer: Wolbugger

Total Score: 8.16


Introduction: As one of the top tournament anglers to ever come from the west coast, Gary Dobyns knows what it takes to win.  When Gary's Bass rods hit the market several years ago, it didn't take long for them to become favorites of anglers everywhere.  The Dobyns rod lineup includes models to fit every budget, as well as every imaginable technique.  Their lowest-tier offering called the Savvy series promises tournament-level performance at affordable pricing.  The latest addition to the Savvy lineup includes spinning and casting rods featuring micro guides.  In this review we compare two 733C rods, one with micro guides and one without, to see the strengths and weaknesses of each. 

Dobyns Savvy SS733C and SSM733C Specifications

Material Graphite
Length 7'3"
Length from Back of Reel Seat to Base 10"
Line Wt. 10-17lbs
Lure Wt. 1/4-3/4 oz
Pieces 1

SS733C: 9+tip
SSM733C: 13+tip

Power Rating MH
Taper Fast
Rod Weight 4.7oz
Manufacturing Country Korea
MSRP $169

Both rods feature the same look and cosmetics.

Impressions:  The SS733C and SSM733C are very tastefully appointed with attractive cosmetics and good build quality.  Both rods feature Kigan guides and Fuji exposed blank reel seats.  The choice to use Kigan guides has been the source of some scrutiny amongst consumers, with some liking them and some feeling they fall a bit short in quality.

Those not familiar with micro guides will be shocked when they see how truly small they are in person!  Here, the micro guide model lays alongside the SS733C standard guide model.

Put side by side to a comparably priced rod featuring Fuji guides, the full sized Kigan guides do look a bit less refined up close.  I do however really like the sturdy, robust build of the micro guides.  They don't appear as fragile as some others I've seen.

The first guide of the SSM733C micro model (left) compared to that of the SS733C standard guide model.

The Savvy blanks are dark matte with black wraps.  The Dobyns logo is in red, with a smaller secondary “DR” logo below and white lettering on the reverse side showing the series and ratings.  Trim work around the logo and handle area is in black, red, and silver.  A small, closed hook keeper is used to keep baits secure.   A wavy, marbleized finish adorns the logo area of the blank adding visual appeal.              

These rods match beautifully with the JDM Shimano Scorpion 1000XT.

The rods feature no foregrips, and the Fuji reel seats have no exposed threads when a reel is locked into place.  No foregrip rods that leave exposed threads after a reel is tightened down is a huge annoyance for me, so this is a real plus.

No exposed threads here!  The reel seat is very comfortable to grip.

Down below, there is a split cork grip with complimenting composite cork rings.  Between the grips is the same matching marbleized finish found around the logo region.  The butt cap features an attractive “DR” inset logo for a totally finished look.

The inset butt cap and composite cork ring is a nice finishing touch.

Cosmetics aside, holding each of these rods brings a smile to your face.  They both are light and balanced in hand.  You know the feeling you get when you grab a rod off the store rack and it just feels right to you?  That's how these two sticks feel.

Lab Tests:  Since these two rods are both based off 733 blanks, you would expect them to have similar deflection results, wouldn't you?  The above chart shows just the complete opposite!  As the load increases on the two blanks, it is obvious that the SS733C yields a bit more power.  The differences were not exactly obvious to me while casting and fishing, but the chart does not lie.  The only conclusion one can draw from this data is that different blanks are being used in the construction of these rods. 

Lab Results for Dobyns Savvy SS733C and SSM733C

Avg RoD (2-32 oz)
Measured Weight
Balance Point
Dobyns Savvy Micro SSM733C 2.19 Fast 4.7 6 0.16
Dobyns Savvy SS733C 2.13 Fast 4.7 6.5 0.16
MBR783C GLX2000 1.72 Fast 4.8 5 0.11
TSFO 26 Rod Average 1.69 -- 4.92 7.65 0.19

Why would different blanks be used even though they are both indicated to be 733's?  Let's think of it this way: a softer blank will fish a bit heavier than it's rating when built with micro guides since the guides are lighter in weight and allow the blank to retain more responsiveness.  Here, they outfitted a lighter blank with the micros so it would supposedly fish equivalent to the regular SS733C.  Obviously by the chart data, the mark was missed.  This thinking defeats a big advantage of micros since a micro-equipped rod is supposed to be the crisper one.  In this case, the standard guide model is in fact the more powerful rod, so the results are really opposite of what they should be.

Tip top guides of the SS733C (left) and SSM733C (right).  It was refreshing to see that a micro tip top was in fact used on the SSM733C.   This picture also allows you to somewhat see the unrefined finish of these guides.

Next Section: Time to string up and cast those micros









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