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Enthusiast Review


There's High End, and Then There's Evergreen : The Grand Stallion GTX


Date: 12/24/21
Tackle Type: Rod
Manufacturer: Evergreen International
Reviewer: Cal


There are borderline enthusiast rods, there are obvious enthusiast rods, and then there are a handful that exceed the category like Evergreen International's entire Kaleido series. What really defines the label? Is it the grade of material and components? The craftsmanship? The detailing? The difficulty to acquire? That uncontrollable, giddy smile that comes across the face of its owner? For me, it is all of these characteristics and more including a certain reverence you feel when holding a stick like that for the first time. It doesn't happen often, but when it does, the ensuing experience fishing that piece of tackle can be consuming. Here's my journey with Evergreen International's Kaleido Inspirare Grand Stallion GTX.


Evergreen International Kaleido Inspirare GTX-C710XHX Specifications

Material Toray T1100G carbon fiber + Nanaloy technology featuring 50T carbon & +/-30d Super Quatro Cross weave (93% carbon content)
Length 7'-10"
Line Wt. 12-30lb
Lure Wt. 1/2-6oz
Pieces Two (separates at handle)
Guides 9+Tip (Fuji Ti/Torzite)
Rear Handle Length 11.5
Power Rating Extra-Heavy
Taper Mod-Fast
Rod Weight 6.6
Origin Made in Japan
MSRP 84,000 JPY (~$795)

In my quest for a high end swimbait stick, I turned to Evergreen International's GTX-C710XHX Grand Stallion GTX

Impressions: I am not unique in my opinion that Evergreen's TKLC-71MHX Super Stallion is one of the most versatile, high performing sticks the manufacturer has ever made. The stick is legendary. The Inspirare variant of that same stick, the TKIC-71MH is also special, but not quite the same. Perhaps it's just nostalgia. That wistful desire is exactly what I was taping into in my efforts to procure the Grand Stallion GTX. I was looking or a super high end rod with which to throw big baits, and with this stick's lure rating of up to six ounces (6oz), it was the perfect candidate.


This stick features a full rear grip of EVA foam


The GTX-C710XHX is a seven foot, ten inch (7'-10") stick that arrives in two pieces. It separates at the handle in the traditional manner most sticks that measure over seven feet are when designed for the Japanese market. The rod's blank has all the spec's, tech, and JDM wizardry we have grown accustomed to from the manufacturer all of which are laid out in the specifications table above. For those out there who value these stats, let's just say they are indicative of the rod's retail price. In other words, high end blank + top end components/guides + made in Japan equals a cost to acquire that is totally unreasonable yet all together one of the reasons you want to own this stick. That madness is a classic manifestation of "enthusiast."

The reel seat is simple, understated, and elegant

Real World Tests: I have to admit, after finally finding the wherewithal to acquire the Grand Stallion GTX, it sat on my rack of sticks to be fished for a few trips before I could wrap my brain around actually pairing it with a reel, using it, and risking damage. Naturally, I parked it in that spot at the back of my collection, away from the everyday sticks so as not to get a ding in the epoxy from an errant hook hangar or guide. Parking spaces on the back of the boat are reserved for domestic tackle only, hence my hesitation.

Exterior blank reinforced wrap is common theme among high end JDM sticks and Evergreen is one of the originators of this trend

Of course, eventually, my TackleTour mindset took over and shoved that unreasonable enthusiast to the side long enough to find a reel worthy of this stick. Those duties befell my Shimano Japan Antares DC MD spooled with 60lb Power Pro Hollow Ace and a topshot of 30lb Sunline Super Natural nylon monofilament.

Stout enough to handle Baitsanity's Explorer Glide?

Casting: When it comes to casting ability, the question with big bait sticks, typically, is how accurate is that upper end lure rating? Evergreen's GTX-C710XHX comes with a top end lure rating of six ounces (6oz). This is a threshold that should enable casting and working of baits like Baitsanity's Explorer 2, DockRat Lures's 11" Trout Glide, and Deps's Slide Swimmer 250. Indeed, the Grand Stallion GTX has the backbone to launch baits at this class of weight, however, that rear handle length of eleven and a half inches (11.5") doesn't give you much leverage to do so.

Actually, yes it is, but better if the rear handle were longer

Because of that, the stick's sweet spot is more along the lines of three or four ounces where the added leverage of your second hand is not as critical during a cast. Not surprising to my fellow enthusiasts who are as superstitious as I am at times about that rod, reel, bait matching karma, Evergreen's own BreamSlide topwater glide bait (weighing 3oz) is an excellent match for this stick. In fact, so are a host of other topwater big baits like the Monka Lure Works FPJ Crawler (2.3oz) and DRT's Joker (2.9oz).

The Grand Stallion GTX makes a wonderful rat/wake bait rod

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