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Rod Review

Better the Second Time Around?  The iRod Genesis II IRG744C-MH (continued)

Real World Test:  The iRod accompanied me to several small lakes in south Florida.  The rod was used with reels from Shimano, Daiwa, and Abu Garcia spooled with a range of lines from 14lb mono to 30lb braid.  To thoroughly test the versatility, bottom contact, mid range, and topwater baits were all used.

Wraps are simple and tidy.

Casting:  Casting the Genesis II IRG744C-MH is not only done with ease, but it's a lot of fun too!  The solid fast action and good balance combine for a very satisfying experience.  Something that I immediately noticed while both casting and fishing was the crispness of the blank.  Granted, this blank doesn't have the crispness of a premium stick like an NRX, but it has a nice bit of pop to it.  It really helps the blank to react and dampens quickly during a casting motion.

The fast, crisp action is really pleasing to fish with.

Perhaps it's due to my 6'3 stature, but I love longer rods.  7'0 is about a minimum for me, with my preferred range of multi purpose sticks being from 7'2 to 7'6.   As far as casting goes, the extra inches really count when it comes to distance and line control.  A shorter rod may be better for close range pinpoint target casting, but after you fish a longer stick for awhile you become accustomed to it and accuracy can match that of the shorter sticks.  This rod is accurate at all distances for me, and I really have a lot of fun casting it.

The 7'4 length allows for great distance and line control.

The rated lure range of 1/4-3/4 ounces is pretty much spot on for what I feel the rod is capable with.  As a paddle tail swimbait junkie, I loved it for throwing the small Berkley, Basstrix, and Keitech baits on 1/4 ounce weighted swimbait hooks.  It also makes a stellar 1/2 ounce jig rod, and the extra length is really a key here in keeping excess line off the water and aiding in long distance hook sets in deeper depths.  I did max it out once with some 3/4 ounce jigs and large trailers, and while it did fine, just like the ratings indicate I wouldn't eagerly push it too far past that mark.  Baits right around the 1/2 ounce zone are really in the sweet spot for me.

I kept the hook keeper in the up position most of the time and found it to never be in the way.

Sensitivity:  The sensitivity of the Genesis II feels a bit above average.  The 30 ton graphite is quite responsive, and the fact that a coat of epoxy isn't slathered on the blank keeps the sensitivity at a maximum.  I was never left wishing for more feel, especially when taking into consideration the modest price point.  This is a very satisfying rod in terms of sensitivity whether your choice is monofilament or braid!

The small trigger is immediately recognizable alongside one of standard size.

Power:  I feel this rod doesn't lack power one bit.  It's perfectly in line with it's ratings, and possesses ample power throughout the blank.  The butt section is plenty strong and provides needed moving power if you really lean into it.

Application, Price, Warranty:  This rod is definitely one of the more versatile models you can have on your rack.  With a longer length and medium heavy power rating, it lends itself well to an array of techniques.  Jigs, Senkos, open water frogs, paddle tail swimbaits, and light Carolina rigs are just a few that pop into mind.

Some of the minimal thread detail work can be found near the logo. The color scheme here reminds me of a Powell Max.

With a bunch of manufacturers all bunched into the mid to upper $100 range, picking out a stick can be a bit challenging.  With grin-inducing performance and a pleasing build quality,  at an MSRP of $149.99 the Genesis II IRG744C-MH is a solid value.

Genesis II rods carry a lifetime warranty.  If the rod breaks due to a manufacturing defect, it will be replaced at no charge.  If the rod breaks for any other reason, a no questions asked $50 fee will apply, plus the cost of shipping.

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):

iRod Genesis II IRG744C-MH Casting Rod Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Clean build quality with no sloppiness evident. 9
Performance This stick is a solid performer and boasts above average sensitivity. 8
Price For $149.99 the physical product is about what you'd expect, but the nice sensitivity bumps up the score slightly. 7.5
Features A simple stick overall.  Nice attributes include the 2 piece reel seat and adjustable hook keeper.  The rod needs a butt cap and would look much more refined if it did possesses one 7.5
Design (Ergonomics) This is a comfortable rod to use.  Nice to hold, with very good balance with a reel and the handle length is spot on. 8.5
Application A very versatile stick that covers a broad range of tactics. 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

+ Sensitivity - No butt end cap
+ Blank action/crispness  
+ Comfortable to hold/fish  
+ Distinct styling  
+ Affordable price  

Conclusion:  The IRG744C-MH has proven itself a worthy competitor in the mid range price category.  I've said it before....it's a crowded price point, and if your stick doesn't have an edge it will quickly be lost in the mix.  While the Genesis II doesn't have a super unique appearance, the fact that it performs above average helps set it apart.

A dark pond Bass was no match for the Genesis II.

Matt Newman and the team at iRod certainly produce a winning stick that can be appreciated by a hardcore tournament angler or a tackle junkie like myself.  If you are seeking a strong value in your next casting rod and don't require much bling associated with it, without a doubt this one should be considered.  It's a simple rod that simply performs!

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