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Rod Review

Lipper's new Evolution Rods apply a solid "Neo-Carbon" blank for more fish moving muscle


Date: 12/15/05
Tackle type: Rod
Manufacturer: Lipper
Reviewer: Zander

Total Score: 8.66 + BEST VALUE!

Best known for their Landing tool, Lipper surprises anglers this season by introducing a new lineup of rods under their own brand. The Evolution series of rods is designed to target anything from bass to snook and redfish. This new offering bucks the trend by making use of a solid blank design. This “Neo-Carbon” rod offers anglers some unique benefits when it comes to certain applications. 

Lipper Evolution (C701M) Specifications

Material Solid "Neo-Carbon"
Length 7"
Rod Weight 5.6oz
Line Weight 10-20lb
Lure Weight 3/8-1oz
Guides 9 plus the tip
Action Moderate-Fast
Power Rating Medium
Color Black and Blue
MSRP $119.95

About Lipper:
Lipper is most known for introducing the tool that took on the Boga grip. The Lipper tool has grown in popularity since it was first introduced, and the 2006 improvements in build quality and ergonomic design is a statement that the company isn’t done improving their offerings yet. While the company continues to gain momentum in the landing tool niche market their latest endeavor is the introduction of a brand new lineup of fishing rods. These Lipper branded rods fall into three separate series, the Evolution for freshwater and inshore, the Evolution GT for offshore, and the Evolution IM7 telescopic flipping sticks. What sets these rods apart from everything else out there? Unlike most rods these new products make use of solid carbon construction to deliver some very distinctive characteristics.


Introducing a new entry into the rod market, the Lipper Evolution

Impressions: Is there room for another rod manufacturer? This hotly contested segment is among the most competitive in the tackle industry. The key to success is no longer making a rod for everybody, but making the right rod to match specific angling applications. This is more prevalent in bass circles than any other type of fishing. Gone are the days when bass anglers can make due with just one or two rods for all the varying techniques. This trend is becoming the norm in saltwater tackle as well, just take a look at the Shimano Trevala rod, designed exclusively to fish a certain type of jig.


The Evolution's composite reel seat holds the Daiwa Coastal securely

Is a branded rod a surprise move for Lipper? Yes and No. Yes, because the company has been in the landing tool business up till now, and No, because the company is no stranger to intense competition. The Lipper took on the Boga grip and has only grown in esteem, proving they have what it takes to compete. In fact the Lipper is so good that every editor on TackleTour has shelved our previous landing tools in favor of the more feature rich Lipper. Can the company make the same headway into the rod market? Richard Wieder, owner and CEO of Lipper thinks so.

The Evolution C701M features a thin 10mm diameter blank, made possible via the solid carbon design

Real World Test:
We were first introduced to the Lipper Evolution and Evolution GT rods earlier this year at ICAST in Las Vegas. The rods made an impression on us immediately as they were extremely thin across the board. The reason they can be so thin is that these rods are completely solid, and make use of “Neo-Carbon” in their composition.


Complete Test Rig for Lipper Evolution (C701M)

Rod Evolution C701M
Reel(s) Daiwa Coastal
Line 20lb PowerPro

We obtained a number of these rods across the Evolution and Evolution GT lineup to see just how the solid carbon design would translate to real applications. Our first review is of the C701M which is designed to take on everything from freshwater bass to inshore gamefish. We mated the rod with our low profile Daiwa Coastal for a sleek multipurpose rig. 

The Evolution makes use of Grade A cork grips

Casting/Retrieving: Before casting the Evolution C701M we took a moment to examine the rod’s general design and build quality. The rod makes use of proprietary components, and the blank is attractively finished with blue highlights. While the Neo-Carbon blank is matte black in color the lower half of the rod features metallic blue accents and is finished with a layer of gloss. Even though the gloss adds some thickness the overall diameter of the Evolution is only ½ to ¾ the thickness of most competing rods in this class. The rod makes use of “grade A” cork on both grips, and a composite trigger reel seat is employed to mount your reels.

Even though this exceeded the recommended rod spec during our tests the Evolution successfully casted everything from 1/2oz plugs to 4oz diamond jigs

We conducted the majority of our cast tests with ½oz casting plug, followed with a series of tests with varying bass lures. The C701M is a respectable caster, capable of tossing just about any lure ½ oz and up. Real light lures are a bit harder for this stick to cast as the rod has so much backbone. While the rod is spec’d to handle lures between 3/8 and 1oz we found that it actually excels at tossing bigger heavier lures. Later when we started tossing swimbaits and iron for rockcod we actually got away with casting lures all the way up to 4oz!One thing we did notice was that while the rod was very accurate to cast it was heavier than a normal graphite bass rod. The solid construction does add weight to the overall package, and the rod itself weighed in at 5.6oz, which is as much as some low profile bass reels.

The proprietary guides held up to the spectra based braid in our tests (also notice where the black matte rod blank begins and the blue metallic finished butt section ends)

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