Do You Believe in Magic? Gan Craft's Killers Dead Sword
Total Score: 7.50 + ULTIMATE ENTHUSIAST AWARD
Three is a magical number. From movie series, to some of our favorite musical groups, to the artist's rule of three, to the countdown at the beginning of a race or competition, three just has a comfortable rhythm. In bass fishing, if an angler can find a medium, medium heavy, and heavy powered rod he likes, he has a trio of rods to handle ninety percent of the popular techniques. Unfortunately, one of the techniques that falls into that extra ten percent are big baits, or more popularly, swimbaits. Fishing these oversized lures has grown in popularity over the last two decades to the point where manufacturers are finally addressing the tackle needs and doing so in a big way. How do we know? Well, Japanese tackle company, Gan Craft makes a trio of rods made to handle just about every lure size a swimbait fisherman could need. Here's our look at the first stick in the manufacturer's powerful trio, the Killers KG-00 6-710EXH Dead Sword.
Gan Craft Killers KG-00 6-710EXH Dead Sword
||Two (separates at handle)
||8+Tip (Fuji Ti/SiC - all double footed)
|Rear Handle Length
||Made in China
Gan Craft has been in the swimbait game for
a long time as commemorated by this limited
edition, 15 year anniversary Jointed Claw 178
Impressions: Gan Craft has been in the swimbait game for over fifteen years. In fact, back in 2019, they released a limited edition Jointed Claw 178 to commemorate the occasion. The Killers KG-00 6-710EXH Dead Sword was designed with the Jointed Claw 178 in mind. It is a seven foot, one inch (7'-1") fishing rod with a lure weight rating of one to three ounces (1-3oz). Yes, it is of that magical JDM spec similar to the recently reviewed Evergreen International Orion Black Rose.
KG-00 6-710EXH Dead Sword was designed with the Jointed Claw 178 in mind
The Gancraft rod comes in two pieces, separating at the handle for ease of transport. Once assembled, you hardly notice (or remember) it's a two piece stick. Adorned with a full array of double footed, titanium framed guides with SiC inserts by Fuji, the Dead Sword is a clean, finely detailed build that of course, does not come with a hook hangar.
I now have a stack of Fuji Ez Keepers I use on rods that either don't have a hook keeper or have one installed in a location I do not like.
comes in two pieces, separating at the handle for ease of transport. Once
assembled, you hardly notice
Real World Tests:
It took some time to find the right reel with which to pair the Dead Sword. A lot of that had to do with the fact I wanted three in the same series so my trilogy of Gan Craft big bait sticks would match. It came down to three different series of reels, each of which I afforded the opportunity to spend some time on the KG-00 6-710EXH Dead Sword. Those series of reels were Shimano Metanium, Conquest DC, and Antares DC. With the Metanium, I fished soft plastics while the Dead Sword saw big bait duties when paired with the Conquest and Antares DC reels.
It took some time to find the right reel with which to pair the Dead Sword
Casting: No matter what reel you decide to put on this stick, one thing is obvious, it is far more versatile than its lure rating would suggest. Though the upper limit is pretty accurate at three ounces, the stick can easily handle down to half ounce baits, if not lower at the bottom end. When matched with the current generation Metanium, I was fishing everything from a Megabass Uoze Swimmer matched with a Reaction Innovations Spicy Beaver, to a punch rig with that same Spicy Beaver and three quarter ounce tungsten bullet weight. The Dead Sword was remarkably lithe and responsive to all manner of casts with these baits just like you'd expect a 7'-1" stick to behave.
Note, the Dead Sword comes with the somewhat polarizing Fuji ACS
Switching up reels to something with a bit more capacity so I could take advantage of some heavier line (hollow braid with 20lb and 30lb mono top shots), the Dead Sword is equally adept at the purpose for which it was designed, fishing the Jointed Claw 178. Except in this case, I was fishing it with the Jointed Claw 178 Zepro. I also fished the Dead Sword with the reincarnated PB Rat. In casting these baits, I didn't even notice this stick was shorter than I usually prefer when launching big baits. Quite the contrary, I really enjoyed the accuracy the rod's shorter length afforded me in placing these baits.
KG-00 6-710EXH Dead Sword
surprised me when I used it as a lite punching stick
Sensitivity: This is where the KG-00 6-710EXH Dead Sword surprised me. Specifically when fishing this stick with the previously mentioned, albeit light, punch rig. Traditionally, when you think of punching, you think of using a two ounce or so tungsten bullet weight to crash through emergent weeds and other plant growth that's laying out over the surface of the water. But there's a time during the year where those weed patches are just under the surface and you can use a lighter bait combo to achieve the same result. You still need a heavy bullet weight to push through the weeds, it just doesn't need to be as heavy.
The rear grip is split and made of EVA foam that is contoured for
The back part of the rear grip is generous in size making ideal
for two handed casting
While using the Dead Sword in this application, paired with a JDM version of the 2020 Metanium (spooled with 40lb Power Pro Hollow Ace and a top shot of 15lb Seaguar Tatsu), the stick surprised me with the feel I was afforded at the end of the line. Graphite swimbait sticks with slower tapers are essentially heavy duty cranking sticks. Some have good sensitivity, others are just sufficient. Out of the shipping tube, the KG-00 6-710EXH's build left me with the impression it was the latter, but when used in this application, it proved to me it was definitely the former.
That decorative winding check at the top of the handle assembly
is a signature Gan Craft motif
I shouldn't have been surprised at the feel this stick afforded
me. It's stated right there on the back of the rod "The composite with extremely
strong and then very good sensitivity."
How sensitive can a Dead Sword be?