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Rod Review

The Sticks With an Adjustable Backety Back : Introducing Mattlures Swimbait Rods

Date: 6/29/09
Tackle type: Rod
Manufacturer: Mattlures
Reviewer: Cal

Total Score: 7.67 -


Introduction: Our affection for the product from Mattlures is obvious. Matt Servant, the company’s owner and namesake has really cranked it up himself this year with the launch of his series of unbelievably realistic hardbaits. As if that weren’t enough, he now has his name on a full set of swimbait sticks. Manufactured for him via a partnership with another company known primarily for their baits, and coming to us on the heels of our Swimbait Rod Wars, are these sticks ready for prime time?

Mattlures 77/711 Signature Series Heavy Swimbait Rod Specifications

Material Graphite
Length 7'7" / 7'11" (with handle extended)
Length from Back of Reel Seat to Base 11" / 15 1/2" (with handle extended)
Line Wt. 15 - 25 lb test
Lure Wt. 2 - 6 ounces
Pieces 1
Guides 11 + Tip (all double footed Fuji SiC)
Power Rating Heavy
Taper Moderate
Rod Weight 8.2 oz
Manufacturing Country China
MSRP $299

Impressions: We were actually made aware of Servant’s intention to delve into the manufacturing of swimbait rods well before his product hit the market when he contacted us during the early stages of development as part of his market research. At that point, we were literally in the middle of our field tests for the Swimbait Rod Wars and we noted to Servant our frustration over the variations in rear handle length on all the rods.


Introducing Mattlures' new Swimbait Rods and a sneak peak at his soon to be released hardbait Baby Bass (shown here in Smallmouth pattern)!


He shared with us his own frustration over rods with long rear handles while bedfishing because he often makes pitching presentations under these circumstances and that long handle just gets in the way. Our own frustration over the long rear handles stem from fishing the big topwater baits like Black Dog Bait Company's Lunker Punker where a shorter handle helps make it easier to work the bait.


Here is the 77/711 Heavy in standard configuration...


Conversely rods with longer handles are invaluable when launching big baits and when fishing them slow. Tucking the long handle under your arm during the retrieve becomes very natural after a few trips practicing really slow retrieves. In the past, these contrasting styles have always involved at least two different rods and quite often rods from different manufacturers. Matt Servant's solution? How about a telescopic rear handle?


... and here is the same rod with the rear handle extended to full length.


Of course, the question in a lot of peoples' minds is probably how does a company or individual known for making baits get into the rod building business. Well, as in most cases, not without a little help. Mattlures' swimbait rods are actually built by Reaction Strike, a company known more to bass fisherman for baits, but actually, Reaction Strike has been building a line of saltwater and musky rods for some time now.


Coming very soon are Matt's line of hard bait baby bass!


Through this partnership, Matt Servant provides the rod designs and specifications, and Reaction Strike builds, distributes and warranties the product. Is this a successful marriage of two otherwise rival companies? Let's take a closer look at the rods and find out!


Note the detailing of the winding check at the top of the foregrip.


Matt's line of SB rods even feature a customized badge at the end.


Next Section: Into the lab we go









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