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Rod Review

Power, Value, and a Great Hook Keeper are all attributes of Harmonix rods (continued)

Retrieving: While working diving and contact baits the Harmonix rod felt right at home and when it came time to hookset the rod responds well. While towing baits the fast tip feels confident and even the top few inches of the tip are not very light on this rod. These attributes make this a good choice for fishing everything from hardbaits and wirebaits to heavy plastics and jigs, but if you’re looking to do ultra finesse fishing like working a light drop shot you will want to look at a lighter rod in the lineup.

Plenty of guides keep the rod evenly distributed under load

Let’s turn our attention back to the drop shot weight keeper hanger fore a few moments. Perhaps the best feature on this rod is this original design that has been copied many a time over by other rod manufacturers. Designed to accommodate a wide range of baits the hook hanger arcs upwards then comes back down to make contact with the blank. Unlike other “U” shaped open hook hangers this one holds onto baits so that they do not easily come unhinged when the line is not completely taut.  

The hook hanger is great for weedless rigged plastics and drop shot weights

We really liked the design and found it easy to use for everything from crankbaits to weedless rigged plastics. While all Harmonix rods come with the keeper system (patent 7216454) the hanger is sold separately as well as a kit complete with self bonding tape to be used on other rods.

A metal butt cap finishes the rod

Power: Loading up on the rod and the stick responds with plenty of backbone all the way to the reel itself. The company actually tapers the blank in these rods fully through the cork handle to improve power and sensitivity. There wasn’t a moment fishing this rod when I felt outrodded or became worried that the rod would break under the strain of a fish or snag. In fact the two to three pound largemouth we caught during the field tests were easily controlled by this stout rod.

the hook hanger actually holds crankbaits more securely than other open design hangers

Sensitivity: The Harmonix rod while powerful did not feel as sensitive as some of the other test rods in our test arsenal. While the IM6 graphite used in the rod was just fine for fishing crankbaits and jerkbaits we were not as easily able to distinguish the slight bumps with structure when fishing with plastics. The rod offers decent sensitivity and detecting bites from fish is not a problem, but the rod doesn’t feel as crisp as some competing rods.  

Under bright sunlight the IM6 graphite blank fibers are very visible

Price & Applications: One of the key things that Harmonix wanted to do with the introduction of their rods was offer a balanced product that offered American design at a reasonable price. That price is 69.00 for the actual rod we tested and other rods in the company’s lineup range from 46.00-88.50 depending on rod model and length. There are rods in the lineup that can be used for freshwater and inshore fishing applications.

A metal winding check graces the top of the foregrip

To sweeten the total package each rod carries a limited lifetime warranty where the Reel Time Designs will repair or replace any Harmonix rod within 3 days of receipt that proves to be defective in workmanship or materials for the life of the rod. The warranty does not cover rods subjected to abnormal use, misuse, or unauthorized modifications. Currently distribution of the Harmonix rods is rather limited, and the best way to get the rods is direct from the manufacturer. Reel Time offers free shipping on any order of three rods or more, and at the price point three of these rods are about equivalent to one G.Loomis stick.

This rod may not be the most sensitive but it does offer a lot of power at a very reasonable price, not to mention the peace of mind of a lifetime warranty

Ratings: (We've re-calibrated our ratings standard for 2008 and have included a key at the bottom of the following matrix as a guide):

Harmonix 6'6" Spinning Rod Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Overall construction is good on this rod when you consider the aggressive price point. The materials are decent and the build quality is clean 7
Performance We ranked the Harmonix rod as good in overall performance, it does most things well but doesn't feel ultra refined in the finesse work. If it was lighter it would feel more crisp, but with a fish on the line the rod is all business and can muscle them in 7
Price An aggressive price for a custom designed rod that carries a lifetime warranty, here we ranked the rod "great" 8.5
Features Number on feature on the Harmonix rod... the very well designed hook keeper. the rod itself manages to feel very powerful with a tapered blank. The alconite guides look and perform well but add extra weight to the rod over higher end inserts 8
Design (Ergonomics) Hope you like blue, the Harmonix rod is all about blue from the blank to the guides to the threading. In terms of ergonomics the rod is conservative in design, no split grip here, and the rod would feel more balanced if it was lighter. It is in this category the Harmonix could be most improved and we rated it "fair" 6
Application This particular rod can handle bass and stripers and actually feels a bit much for smaller bass, it can muscle them in, but the extra backbone is welcome when fishing for stripers. The rod can easily handle lures heavier than its rating and this rod can even be used for light inshore applications 8

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:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Great hook hanger, a patented original L Heavier than competing rods
J Powerful rod, handles big baits and big fish L Could be more sensitive
J Not a me-too rod  
J Aggressive price and lifetime warranty  

Conclusion: There are a lot of rod manufacturers out there and all too often anglers, us included, forget that there are a lot of boutique rod manufacturers that may offer interesting and unique products. For those anglers that are looking for something that you wouldn’t normally find on the rod rack of your local tackle shop, Reel Time Designs offers the Harmonix series which makes use of the company’s very well designed hook keeper with a custom rod blank that unifies traditional elements with modern materials. For the price the Harmonix rods are a solid submission into a crowded category and comes backed with a lifetime warranty for ultimate peace of mind. Those anglers looking for an ultra refined lightweight rod will want to spend a little more money but if power and value are high up on the list of requirements then the Harmonix rods are worthy of consideration.   


This rod can be found at Reel Time Design's Website











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