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Rod Review

What The Finesse?!? : Feeling Lucky... Craft? (continued)

Sensitivity: Where the real question lies in presenting such a light lure is whether or not the rod is sensitive enough to provide you with the feel you need to work your offering. So was I able to feel this wacky rigged finesse worm as it sank to the bottom of Lake Berryessa in fifteen feet of water with this medium powered spinning rod? No.

Two-handed casters will appreciate the generously sized rear grip.

Feel may have been enhanced if I were using fluorocarbon or braid, but judging by the 701MXF's true power curve as shown in our lab tests, it'd be a pretty tough go to expect this rod to give you any true feel of a lure rated below a quarter of an ounce. Certainly you can cast lures down to one sixteenth of an ounce and watch your line for any unusually movement as your bait descends (something you should make a practice of anyway), but we have to be realistic.

Dropshotting out on Lake Berryessa, CA.

With baits featuring a combined lure weight of one quarter of an ounce or more, enough resistance is created by dragging these lures in the water to where you can feel them on the bottom with the 701MXF. Truthfully, just by holding the rod in your hand, and shaking the rod tip around, this is the level of performance I would expect from this stick anyway so the fact it did not provide this feel with a sixteenth of an ounce lure weight really doesn't surprise me.

The LCS701MXF comes with stainless steel framed guides with SiC inserts manufactured by Fuji.

Power: The LCS 701MXF is rated with an extra-fast tip and appears to hold true to this rating. It sets up quickly and provides more than enough power when fishing finesse techniques and is probably safe to use with line weights up to its rating of twenty pounds as well. This is really a spinning rod with a lot of power and probably a good candidate for all purpose type applications – provided the extra-fast tip does not get in the way.

A look at the LCS701MXF's taper.

Design/Ergonomics: The LCS 701MXF handles nicely with both 1500 and 2000 sized reels. The cork Lucky Craft uses is very refined, and comfortable to grasp. The actual handle is subtly shaped and feels good in hand. The only thing some spinning gear aficionados might not appreciate is the large foregrip that makes it a challenge to hold the rod and reel in a manner allowing you to rest your forefinger on the blank.

2011 may be over, but WTF lives on!

The guides on this stick, same as the other Lucky Craft rods we've reviewed, are stainless steel framed SiC guides by Fuji. In an economy that is seeing prices for fishing equipment built with quality materials on the rise, it's good to see quite a number of rod manufacturers producing similarly spec'd fishing rods for right around $200 and less regardless of the products, country of origin.



Lucky Craft LCS 701MXF Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Very Clean Build 9
Performance Good Power & Sensitivity 7.5
Price Very good considering components and build quality 7.5
Features Top end components 8
Design (Ergonomics) Very JDM-like ... similar to a Daiko 7.5
Application A very good all around spinning stick 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:


+ A good general purpose spinning rod - Ratings threw us off a little. This stick is more general purpose than it is "finesse".
+ Very nice detailing  
+ Super clean cork, top end components  


Conclusion: Looking for a nicely crafted (pardon the pun), JDM-esque styled fishing rod that won't break the bank? Do you appreciate quality components? The LCS701MXF is all of the above and a stick providing an interesting dichotomy in a quality, value driven product from a company best known for breaking the price point barrier in fishing lures. Perhaps their combination of attention to detail, clean stylings, solid performance, quality components, and affordable price point, will help redefine the rod market in a similar manner. Too much to ask? Probably, but there's always hope, right?


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