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Rod Review

What the Finesse : Falcon's Jeff Kriet Signature Series Stick (continued)

Sensitivity: Overall, I’d rate the sensitivity of the CS-4-17M-S as good. I’ve fished rods in its price category that were worse, and I’ve fished rods above and below this rod’s price category that were better, but in no way did I feel this stick was lacking. Keeping in mind it’s a medium powered stick, you’re not going to get the same feel out of this rod as you would a light or ultra-light spinning rod.

The Squirrel Tail rod is a Jeff Kriet Signature Series stick.

Truthfully, in a rod intended for shakey head fishing, I’d want something a little less stout overall and with a softer tip for better feel. But then we’re talking more of a light powered spinning rod than medium.

Unlike the majority of manufacturers, Falcon did not trim the reel seat of this rod to remove the un-needed extra threads for the locking mechanism.

Power: The CS-4-17M-S lacks nothing in this department, but again, it is intended as a medium powered stick. Similar to the lure ratings on this rod, if it were up to me, I’d push the line ratings up too suggesting nothing lighter than eight pound test line. Six pound line feels too light on this stick, but fourteen is probably a good upper end recommendation.

All Cara series rods feature Fuji Alconite guides.

Otherwise the taper on this rod is a good fast to moderate fast taper. Fishing the rod with only six pound test line, I didn’t really get to test the limits of how strong the rod is for fear of breaking the line, but the Squirrel Tale is more than adequate in this department.

Falcon makes use of a standard hook keeper on their Falcon series rods.

Design/Ergonomics: As mentioned previously, the CS-4-17M-S is, more or less, a no nonsense rod. While the grip design is up to date with the industry, there are no fancy winding checks or other distractions on the rod. This is neither good or bad, but simply an observation.

Too much epoxy was applied on our test rod

One small criticism for this stick is the level of craftsmanship could use a little tightening up. One of the guides on the rod had an extra blob of epoxy in the guide ring, something that should have been caught and corrected before the rod ever left the factory.

The CS-4-17M-S is a solid, no nonsense spinning rod.

Warranty: Falcon offers a limited lifetime warranty to the original owner of all Cara rods. The warranty covers defects in materials and workmanship, so it will likely cover the issue described above with the extra epoxy. For additional concerns or questions we always advise to discuss matters directly with the manufacturer.



Falcon Cara CS-4-17M-S Spinning Rod Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality For the most part, solid, but one of our guides was covered in epoxy which leaked over the guide foot and into the ring. This should not be the norm for this rod and all other guides on our rod looked good but its still not something that should have made it through QC 6.5
Performance A solid performer in all categories 7.5
Price Unfortunately, these days, you pay extra for Made in the USA 7
Features Quality components 8
Design (Ergonomics) Contemporary styling though a bit tip heavy for our liking 7.5
Application We preferred it as a general purpose spinning stick rather than a shakey head rod 7

Total Score

Ratings Key: 1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = unbelievable!
For More Details of the updated rating system visit our explanation here


Pluses and Minuses:


+ Good, solid line of components - Pricey when comparing component for component against the competition
+ Attractive, contemporary styling - Epoxy bleed on our test rod, hopefully QC catches these
+ For those who desire domestic products, Made in the USA  


Conclusion: Once again Falcon steps up to the plate and delivers a solid performing rod. Aside from a couple of adjustments to the rod's specification and a small issue with quality control, overall, the CS-4-17M-S is a very good performing stick, especially if you're a spinning rod aficionado and are looking for a rod to handle general purpose applications. Objectively, yes, this rod is priced higher than most other similarly priced sticks from other manufacturers, but if Made in the USA claims are important to you, it's tough to beat what Falcon has to offer.


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