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Enthusiast Review

The Search For One May Very Well Be Over... Evergreen International's Black Raven


Date: 4/21/10
Tackle type: Rod
Manufacturer: Evergreen International
Reviewer: Cal


My introduction to the Evergreen International product came four years ago during our 2006 SuperCast Shootout of enthusiast rods. Evergreen’s representative was the TXFC 66MR Steed which proved to be a nice rod though a lot lighter in power than I anticipated due to its ratings. In the end, though I liked the stick, I was left mostly disappointed. This pattern would repeat itself with TXFC 68MH Stallion in 2007 and again in 2008 during our Swimbait Rod Wars with the TMJC-74XXX Balista. I was just about to the point where I had lost faith in the Evergreen International fishing rod product. For some reason, all the sticks I had sampled thus far were just too moderate in action and not what I had come to expect from arguably Japan’s most popular rod manufacturer.

Formerly, at the top of Evergreen's lineup in the "all purpose" category was the TMJC-66MH Air Driver.

In 2008 I was afforded the opportunity to purchase a classic, the TMJC-68H Dengeki – a legendary stick which only proved to me that Evergreen used to build great rods and left me wondering what was up with the current, top end lineup from this manufacturing giant. The TCSC-70MG Super Nova fared well in our Crankbait Rod Wars, but this wasn’t a top end stick like the Crossfires and most of my enthusiasm is reserved for top of the line product. No, something just had to be lost in the translation or maybe it was the fact that Evergreen International sticks were just not for me. Such are the risks of purchasing and sampling rods sight unseen.

The Air Driver is a beautiful stick and Evergreen's implementation of a full handle somehow doesn't bore us.

Enter our 2010 theme, the Search For One. Certainly the “one” is not going to be the same for everyone and agreement will be nearly impossible to come by even amongst us TackleTour editors, but where it starts with me personally is within the exotic, higher end tackle. What does this mean for The Search? Well, while we’ll all be looking at sticks at different price points, for me, the majority of sticks I review this year will be enthusiast level rods.

Evergreen even released a limited edition, collector's version of this stick commemorating the 2001 World Series Champs, the Arizona Diamond Backs, but this manufacturing giant has something even more special in their lineup today.

The trouble with that preference in this economy is, while disposable income grows more scarce, the price for enthusiast product only inflates. This means we have to pick and choose where to apply this capital all the more carefully. Judging from my past experience with the Evergreen International product, that meant a possible exclusion of their sticks from our search. I just couldn’t see taking that leap of faith yet again with my own cash only for the likely possibility of being disappointed. Of course, that thought only lasted a little while for once I saw photos of the new, top end, Kaleido series of sticks within the Evergreen International lineup, curiosity got the better of me yet again and I just had to check them out for myself. Introducing the first of several Evergreen International submissions into our Search For One campaign, the TKLC-66MHX Back Raven.


Evergreen International TKLC-66MH Black Raven Specifications

Material Proprietary Interwoven Graphite
Length 6'6"
Line Wt. 8-16 lb test
Lure Wt. 1/4- 3/4 oz
Pieces one
Guides 8 + Tip (Fuji Ti/Sic)
Power Rating Medium Heavy
Taper Fast
Rod Weight 4.6 oz
MSRP 76,650 JPY (~$833)


Impressions: Well, it did not take long for Evergreen to restore my faith with their product. After I unsheathed the Black Raven from its custom, padded, protective sleeve what I found in my hand was a very well balanced, seemingly ultra light, modestly yet elegantly appointed stick with a crisp, responsive blank. Yes, this stick had a taper more reminiscent of a stick intended for the US market and I liked what I felt right out of the package.

Introducing the TKLC-66MH Temujin Kaleido Black Raven.


This stick almost renders the Air Driver insignificant.

In fact, we had on hand the TMJC-66MH Air Driver, another stick from Evergreen’s Crossfire series for direct comparison and while the Air Driver is a nice stick, the Black Raven renders it almost insignificant.

A closer look at the Air Driver SGS (Super Grand Slam).

The secret is in the Black Raven’s cross weave graphite blank, a technology growing in popularity over in Japan and featured in not only Evergreen’s Kaleido series, but also the Megabass Orochi rods, several lines of rods from Shimano Japan, and Daiwa’s popular Steez and Zillion rods. Rods with these cross weave blanks are noticeably crisp and responsive with little to no reverberation in the tip when whipping the rod around in the air like a sword. Evergreen takes it a step further by weaving the graphite within the cross weave for an even stronger blank.


The use of gold cermet guides helped to reduce the tip weight of this stick as compared to its standard issue counterpart (see lab results).



Next Section: The lab tests and field tests









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