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ICAST 2021 Coverage


ARK Fishing Introduces Three New Affordable Rod Lines


Date: 7/28/21
Location: Orlando, Fl
Admission: Industry Only
Manufacturer: Ark Fishing
Reviewer: Zander

Introduction: The team at ARK fishing leveraged ICAST to roll out three new rod lines targeting value to mainstream oriented anglers. These build upon the success of the higher end Reinforcer lines and feature clean lines and the Essence Series in particular offers much of what we like about the Reinforcer but at a much lower price.


This year Ark Fishing launched a trip of more affordable rods starting with the Essence


Essence Series: The Essence looks like the little brother pf the Reinforcer with dark blanks and AAA grade cork handles. These rods all make use of solid handles mated to 40-ton carbon fiber blanks that are enhanced with nano-tubes between the various layers. Ark describes this construction as a method to improve both strength and sensitivity.


The Essence makes use of a custom designed reel seat


The reel seats are all custom-designed by Team Ark and paired with an aluminum finished hood while the guides are all Fuji K-concept tangle-free guides with Fazlite rings.


Pro Angler Randall Tharp shows us the $179 dollar Essence Series


The series consists of three spinning rods and fourteen casting rods, and all are designed to be application specific. Overall the rods felt light in hand and surprisingly crisp for their $179 dollar price point. The Essence rods also come backed with a 5 year warranty. 


Stepping down a level are the $109 dollar Viper Rods


Viper Refresh: For the 2021 season Ark is also rolling out a refresh for their mainstream Viper Series. The revamped Viper Classic rods are made of HM carbon-fiber, include High density EVA split grip handle, and are armed with black coated tangle-free guides with zirconium rings.


The Viper Series gets a major refresh that further refines the Series


Like the Essence Series all the Viper rods are designed with application specific tapers, addressing everything from drop shot to flipping. Both lines almost cover the entire gamut of applications but lack a true heavy duty swimbait stick. Though the Viper rods retail for just $109.99 they also come backed with a 5-Year limited warranty.


Looking for an even more affordable Series? The Catalyzer is only $59 dollars


Catalyzer: Targeting the value segment Ark is introducing the new Catalyzer Series rods which retail for the ultra aggressive price of only $59.99 each! These affordable rods are designed to provide features and styling of rods retailing for much more and make use of 36-ton  high modulus carbon fiber blanks.


The Catalyzer also makes use of a proprietary reel seat with EVA grips


The rods have similar styling as the Viper with a ARK custom reel seat, but the EVA grips don't have the detailed cork composite details. The guide-train consists of stainless steel guides and there area total of four rods, including one medium power spinning rod, in the lineup targeting general bass applications. These value oriented rods come with a 90 day warranty.


The Catalyzer rods make use of stainless steel guides


In addition to their lineup of rods the team at Ark has been busy bolstering their terminal tackle weight offerings and will soon offer no-chip matte green bullet weights. In addition the company has been really expanding the color palette in their popular hardbait lineups.


Ark is no longer just a rod company and has been expanding their line of hardbaits


The new finishes broaden the range of baitfish profiles and also break new ground in term or more artistic patterns. An example of this is the LY Special which is designed to mimic a wide range of forages.


The new LY Special is a great example of the quality new finishes on Ark baits and was designed by Louie, the company's owner and President


At ICAST Pro Angler Randall Tharp walked us through the new products and it is great to see Ark continue to expand their offerings and also focus on creating lines that are not only more accessible to anglers but still offer the features and styling that make them fun to fish. So often anglers have to sacrifice much when they get to the 100 dollar, and below, price point but with some of the new rods from Ark anglers just getting into the sport will be able to own rods that are designed to look, and perform, better than their reasonable price-point might otherwise indicate.










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