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ICAST 2017 Coverage


Ark Rods Demonstrates They Are Anything But Lost in the Bass Rod Market


Date: 7/14/17
Location: Orlando, FL
Admission: Buyers & Press Only
Manufacturer: Ark Rods
Reviewer: Cal

When all our appointments have been exhausted and we've seen all we can from the manufacturers we're familiar with, it's time to walk aisle upon aisle at ICAST and see if we can stumble upon something new and exciting. Such was the case when we stumbled upon a new brand, Ark Fishing rods. If you pay attention, like we do, to the product that pops up at places like TackleWarehouse, you'll know that Ark Rods is a new for 2017 company. We were happy to see they were at ICAST this year so we could see all of their product up close and personal and learn more about the brand.


There's a new bass rod player in town - Ark Rods.


Aggressive styling at aggressive price points.


Value and Performance: There are three existing rod lines within Ark's arsenal and one, soon to be released line announced at ICAST this year. To develop the lengths, powers, and actions within each series the company leaned upon Elite Series BASS angler Randall Tharp.


Taking Tharp's valuable input based on all his years fishing, the company then set out to design three rod series at different price points all with the goal of delivering to the customer top performance at a value price.


The Invoker Series is their signature line.


Designed with the help of BASS Elite Series Pro Randall Tharp.

Invoker : The signature series within Ark's lineup is Invoker. Featuring blanks rolled from 40 ton Toray graphite, each blank is put together using the company's proprietary multi-directional graphite layering process to deliver top notch strength to weight ratios while maintaining excellent sensitivity. The rods are finished with stainless steel framed guides featuring super thin zirconium inserts. There are 16 rods in all with a mix of 12 casting and 4 spinning with a family price of $149.95 per rod.

Sniper is positioned above Invoker but with fewer models.

Totaling 9 rods in all, the Sniper retail for $199.95.

Sniper : Sniper is actually a series positioned above Invoker but with a more limited number of rods - only 10 in the entire series (7 casting, 3 spinning). This series benefits from blanks rolled with Nano Resin technology further increasing strength and durability. Otherwise, all components remain the same. Sniper rods retail for $199.95.

Viper is the company's former value line.

Priced at $99.95 they are still a good value.

Viper : Ark Rod's Viper series offers the more budget minded angler a taste of the company's ideals but with blanks rolled from slightly lower modulus graphite. The guides, reel seat, grips and other components all remain the same. This series also features 10 rods (7 casting, 3 spinning) with all but one rod in the series retailing for $99.95. The last rod, a 7'-10" heavy powered, extra fast tapered flipping stick sells for $109.95.

Lancer, set to debut later this coming Fall is the company's new entry level series.

Made from IM-8 blanks, the Lancer will retail for $89.95.

Lancer : Finally, available this coming fall will be a brand new series from Ark Rods featuring IM-8 blanks built with the same multi-directional, multi-layering technology as the Invoker series and finished with stainless steel guides featuring aluminum oxide inserts. Grips will be a grey EVA foam and each rod will come with a graphite reel seat. There will be 9 models to choose from (7 casting, 2 spinning) and the Lancer rods are set to retail for $89.95 and will come with a 3 year limited warranty.

The Lancer series carries on the company's aggressive styling.

CEO Louie Zhang introduces us to his Ark-senal.

Conclusion: It's not often we come across a new manufacturer that really understands and is comfortable in the space within which they operate. Ark Rods doesn't claim to be the best in either performance or price but they do take ownership over the decisions they've made to place their product in the argument of value. We're excited to get a chance to take a closer look at these sticks out on the water to see what they're all about, but so far what we've seen, we really like.









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