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Rod Review

The e21 21 Gold Carrot Stix, an interesting blend to say the least (continued)

Lab tests cont'd: Statistically, the 21CRG781H-F-SBC performs very well weighing in at only 5.1 ounces as compared to 8.5 for the Gen 1 Dobyns 795ML (6.7 for Gen 2) and 8.5 ounces for the G.Loomis SWBR955C. Balance point for the 21 Carrot Gold swimbait stick is 10.5 inches out from the mid-line of the reel seat, not as good as the Dobyns 795ML (5.5”) or the G.Loomis SWBR955C (8.5”), but in terms of actual tip heaviness, the 21CRG781H-F-SBC came in with a balancing torque of 0.28 ft/lbs versus 0.20 ft/lbs for the Dobyns. Unfortunately, we did not collect this information for the SWBR955C.

An El Novillo Lake Bass courtesy of the 21CRG781H-F-SBC.

Of course, it should also be pointed out the 21CRG781H-F-SBC comes with a removable butt cap provided so that if you choose, you may install whatever type of weight is your preference to counterbalance the rod customizing it to suit your needs. This will of course add to the rod’s weight, but with better balance, the rod will actually feel lighter.

Like to customize the balance of your rods? e21 accommodates with this helpful, removable butt cap providing a space for owners to place counterweights and tune the rod's balance to their preferences.

What does it all mean? The 21CRG781H-F-SBC feels very good in hand. Light and a tad tip heavy, but not excessively so. Its taper is rated as fast, but it feels more mod-fast which together with its lure rating of one to three ounces means it should be right for anything from the soft plastic paddletail swimbaits to some of the lighter hard bodied swimbaits. Of course, there’s only one way to validate this off-the-wrack evaluation.

The Daiwa Big Bait Special looks right at home on this stick.

Field Tests: We tested the 21CRG781H-F-SBC amidst our Crankbait Rod War battles out on Clear Lake, California and the California Delta, and the rod even traveled with us to El Novillo Lake in Mexico. I fished a variety of reels on this rod including the Daiwa Big Bait Special, Shimano Conquest 101DC, Daiwa 50th Anniversary Zillion, Daiwa Luna and a Daiwa I'ZE Light.

The open ended hook keeper is a tad small for a rod built to throw big baits, but it serves its purpose.

I used everything from TripleFish Camo monofilament to Toray hollow braid with a fluorocarbon topshot, to straight braid on these reels enroute to seeing what the 21CRG781H-F-SBC was all about.

Nice detail touches at the top of the reel seat.

Casting: First up were casting duties with this rod and just as suspected after running it through our RoD WRACK, not only can the 21CRG781H-F-SBC handle baits over it’s three ounce rated range, it can cast baits below its lower range of one ounce as well as is evidenced when this rod pulled double duty as a deep cranking rod during our Deep Diving Crankbait Shootout. I was able to cast crankbaits like the Norman DD22 and Lucky Craft Flat CB D20 quite easily with this stick, as well as big baits in the approximate weight range of four and a half to five ounces like the Mattlures Hardbait Bass. From this perspective, the 21CRG781H-F-SBC is quite versatile.

Though rated for baits between one to three ounces, the rod is fully capable of casting baits between half an ounce on up to five ounces...

From a traditional big bait perspective, the rear handle could be longer but again, given the rod’s rating, it’s not intended to sling really big heavy baits off into the horizon and because the rod has a shorter rear handle it’s actually very well suited for working the topwater big baits like the new six inch injection molded Lunker Punker by Black Dog Bait Company.

... and actually works well not only as a big bait stick, but as a deep diving crankbait rod as well!

Power: In the category of actual power is where the rod’s line and lure ratings come into play. While the 21CRG781H-F-SBC is capable of launching up to five ounce baits, the actual power of this stick with a fish at the end of the line feels more like we’d expect from a rod rated to three ounce lures. It doesn’t quite have enough muscle to really control a big fish and I know this from my battle with a feisty eight pound largemouth using this rod.

The butt end of the split rear grip on this rod is just the right size to grasp during a two handed cast.

Next Section: How about Sensitivity and Durability?









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