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Enthusiast Review



Re-Test : Megabass's F4st-69RSDti Hedgehog Evoluzion!


Date: 8/20/16
Tackle Type: Enthusiast
Manufacturer: Megabass
Reviewer: Cal

Total Score: 7.61 - GOOD

In 2006, I fished a rod that met up with the most unfortunate demise in the F4st-69RSDti Orochi Hedgehot Evoluzion by Megabass and documented this occurrence in the product's incomplete review. Several years ago while sharing some time with then Megabass pro Aaron Martens, I was surprised to find out this rod was his go to drop shot stick. I told him about my experience with the rod and he shared that he's never had that happen. Whether he was being truthful or not the fact that a BASS Elite Series pro could have this stick in his daily arsenal and depend upon its durability to keep him in the money opened my eyes that perhaps I should give this stick another chance. The trouble is, I wasn't about to fork over another $600 to find out.


It's time to give the Hedgehog Evoluzion another chance.


As fortune would have it, with Megabass of America's move of their headquarters to the San Francisco Bay Area we now have more direct access to product and product announcements than ever before. Shortly after their arrival here in the Bay Area, we me with Yuskei Murayama, now president of Megabass of America, Inc., where the subject of our F4st-69RSDti's premature death came up. They wanted to give us the opportunity to complete the review on this rod by sending one over direct from Japan. I told him we'd be happy to do it, but if it breaks again, this won't fare very well for the product or the company. They were willing to take that risk and a week later, I had another copy in my hands. Then, early last year, after finally finishing the retest for this stick, I was told the rod was discontinued, so the review was shelved only to have a few select numbers of this exact rod remade late last year. So... given the resurrection and possible resurgence of this stick, here now is a closer, more complete look at Megabass's vaunted F4st-69RSDti.


Megabass F4st-69RSDti Orochi Hedgehog Evoluzion Specifications

Material Proprietary graphite blank with titanium fiber reinforcement
Length 6'-9"
Line Wt. 4-12lbs
Lure Wt. 1/16-3/8 oz
Pieces One
Guides 8 + Tip (Ti/SiC by Fuji)
Rear Handle Length 8.5"
Power Rating Medium Light
Taper Extra-Fast
Rod Weight 4.4 oz
Origin Mixed Origins (both China and Japan)
MSRP $599 (varies with exchange rate)


Quality/Construction: The Orochi Evoluzion was, at one time, Megabass's most expensive spinning rod for targeting black bass. With so many introductions over the past couple of years, I'm not certain it still holds this distinction. Nevertheless, it is exquisite in every detail.


Quality Ratings for Megabass F4st-69RSDti Orochi Hedgehog Evoluzion

Finish (1-5)
Grip (1-5)
Epoxy (1-5)
Blank (1-2)
Guides (1-2)
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)


Over the bottom third of the rod's length, its blank features a glossy clear coat, but over the remaining two thirds all the way up to the tip, the rod's blank features a clear, satin finish. The middle and top portion of the rod's grip is made of cork. Just below the cork is the reel's locking mechanism made from a decorative carbon tube. The rod's butt is a high density EVA foam. There are accent pieces throughout the rod's grip design and everything is aligned perfectly.


It's all about that stinger tip.


Epoxy work over the guide's threadwraps is generous but not excessive and there are no uneven drips or crooked lines at the edges of the epoxy. The rod's blank is straight and the guides are in good alignment..


Lab Results for Megabass F4st-69RSDti Orochi Hedgehog Evoluzion

Avg RoD (2-32 oz)
Measured Weight (oz)
Balance Point (inches)
Balancing Torque (ftlbs)
Megabass F4st-69RSDti Orochi Hedgehog Evoluzion
Megabass F3-611XXS Drop Shot

A little difficult to see, but the stinger tip gives the F4st-69RSDti an extra fast taper.

Performance: I paired Megabass's Orochi Hedgehog Evoluzion with a Daiwa Exist 2004 reel spooled with 6lb Seaguar Tatsu fluorocarbon line. The fluoro was spooled straight onto the spool with no braid backing and not as a leader.

The F4st-69RSDti is Aaron Marten's drop shot rod of choice.

Casting: No matter the reassurances from BASS Elite star, Aaron Martens, the tip on the Orochi Hedgehog Evoluzion still makes me nervous. Despite my trepidation, I did really fish this stick and found it quite adept at all manners of presentation of lures within its rated range. Really, it's no surprise that any spinning stick will perform well with baits in its rated range. For the Hedgehog Evoluzion in our tests, this included drop shot rigs, shakey heads, and split shot rigs.

Equipped with titanium framed SiC guides by Fuji.

Sensitivity: It's all about that solid carbon tip with this rod, but the stinger tip on the Hedgehog Evoluzion is different - or at least seems different to me - than some of the current generation sticks featuring similar technology like Daiwa's Megatop rods. While all of these sticks are about visual strike detection, the Hedgehog Evoluzion seems to have a bit more feel through that tip to the length of the rod than most.

A little closer look the tip action of this rod.

In fact, the implementation feels very similar to that on Evergreen International's Stingray 66 reviewed in November of 2012. Naturally, the Hedgehog Evoluzion was in production prior to the Stingray 66.

Like many spinning rods, the reel seat locks from the bottom. But unlike many spinning rods, Megabass goes to the extreme to make this functional element very interesting to look at.

In other words, sensitivity in the Hedgehog Evoluzion is very good. You can both see and feel strikes easily using this rod which I'm sure is part of the reason Aaron Martens favors this stick so much.

Fig1 : The deflection chart above illustrates how the F4st-69RSDTi (red curve) behaves under load. As you can see this rod's tip moves very easily, but sets up to a very strong backbone as compared to our two WTF baseline rods.

Power: But the real reason A.Martens enjoys this stick is its taper. Thanks to that stinger tip, this rod has a true extra-fast taper giving it a very unique quality of a soft, sensitive tip, yet a very stout backbone. This is evident in the stick's RoD graph above. Witness the very shallow curve showing the rod has really good flexibility in its tip - even better than the two baseline rods, yet, after we pass the half pound of pressure threshold (8 oz), the curve flattens out showing the rod deflects less than our baseline sticks and therefore delivers more fish fighting power.

Performance Ratings for Megabass F4st-69RSDti Orochi Hedgehog Evoluzion

Pitch (1-5)
Cast (1-5)
Sensitivity (1-5)
Hook Set (1-5)
Control (1-5)
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)

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