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Rod Review


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

Sensitivity: Through the battle of our 2008 Swimbait Rod Wars, perhaps the least important factor to us when selecting a big bait rod is sensitivity. Perhaps because we've grown to favor the big hardbaits rather than the soft. Just the same, the Mattlures rods, with their moderate taper are competent in sensitivity but not the best nor the worst we've fished.

...the 77/711 handles the range quite easily.

Comparing from memory, I'd say the 77/711 Heavy is a little better in sensitivity than the Lamiglas XC807, not as good as the Dobyns Rods 795ML, and perhaps comparable to the Okuma big bait rods we fished.

Here's a nice El Novillo bass courtesy of the Mattlures' SB Rod and a 22nd Century Triple Trout!

Power: A definite advantage these rods have, along with their castability, is their power. Though moderately tapered, the power behind these rods is very good and their feel while battling a fish is akin to a glass crankbait rod. We suspect, given the blank's suppleness and performance under load, that there's a good degree of glass in the blank.

The Signature Series rods feature Fuji ACS reel seats...

...Fuji SiC double footed guides...

Features: Mattlures' signature series of rods come with Fuji SiC guides and ACS reel seats (on the MH - H rods only), foam grips, and of course, the telescopic rear handle. The 77/711 model is available in four different power ratings from medium heavy to extra extra extra heavy, and there is one 8' - 8'11" model available in the xxxheavy power only.

...and of course, the adjustable handle shown here retracted.

The standard series of rods come with the same specifications as the Signature series of rods only the guides are Fuji Hardloy and each rod in this series retails for $200 instead of $300.

When closed, the handle is held in place by screwing the rear portion of the grip in to the forward portion.

Application: We liked the Mattlures series of swimbait rods particularly for throwing the big hard baits. In fact, the medium heavy to heavy versions of this rod are perfect for Mattlures' new Hard Gill while the Heavy and Extra Heavy are well suited for Mattlure's upcoming new Hard Baby Bass.

The drilled winding check detailing is extended into the rear grip as well.

Warranty: Each Mattlures Signature Series of rods comes with a limited lifetime warranty against manufacturer defects and workmanship but as always, it's best to contact the manufacturer for specific details surrounding any questions or concerns you may have. 



Mattlures 77/711 Signature Series Heavy Swimbait RodRatings (?/10)

Construction/Quality A nicely crafted stick 7.5
Performance Very good casting performance and power, but average sensitivity 7.5
Price Unfortunately, a bit up there 6
Features Top end components 8
Design (Ergonomics) It's all about the adjustable handle length 8
Application The adjustable handle extends this rod's versatility between sub surface and topwater applications 9

Total Score

Ratings Key: Ratings Key: 1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = unbelievable!
(For a detailed explanation of the ratings go here)

Pluses and Minuses:


J Adjustable handle makes it easy to use for topwater and subsurface baits L On the pricey side
J Adjustable handle makes stowing rods in boats easier, the same goes for travel  
J Top end components  
J Exceptional casting performance  


Conclusion: My journey with Mattlure's Swimbait rods has been a long one. I started out with two and now have five! The biggest benefit for me has been that adjustable handle because the rod locker in my boat will not accept eight foot rods - four seven foot nine inch rods is the most I can do. But as anyone who's thrown big baits for a while knows, the longer the rod, the better control you have over both the bait and fish. This is part of the reason I enjoy the Megabass Super Destruction so much - it's on a telescopic blank and fits easily into my rod locker when retracted.


Another El Novillo Bass courtesy of Mattlures' new Swimbait Rods!


The difference with the Mattlures rod and the way it adjusts though, is by making the length of the handle adjustable, you actually extend the utility of the rod because you can use the long handle to cast, and then, if working a topwater bait or any other big bait that requires you to impart action with the rod tip, you can retract the handle and twitch away without bruising your ribs! If not, just fish it like a normal big bait rod and it works just as well. It's a design that seems so obvious, we're curious as to why other manufacturers haven't done something like this before. Nevertheless, for being the first to present us with this new, innovative feature on a very good big bait stick, Mattlure's wins TackleTour's Innovation Award! Congratulations Matt!


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