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Rod Review

Flipping Week : Orochi Double X Aaron Martens Special!


Date: 9/16/14
Tackle Type: Rod
Manufacturer: Megabass of America
Reviewer: Cal

Total Score: 7.66 - GOOD

We’d be hard pressed to recall a single rod series from a manufacturer that’s garnered more inquiries, attention, and buzz, than Megabass’s Orochi Double X. Each time we publish a review on one stick, questions come up asking about yet another. Considered mid to high end for most anglers, it’s hard to imagine the Double X series is really an entry level offering for Megabass. But of course, “entry level” is a matter of interpretation. Just because this series is the lowest price offerings from Megabass, we’ve quickly found out that sacrifices were not made in terms of performance. Here now is our take on yet another rod in this series, the F8-79XX Aaron Martens Flipping Special.


Megabass F8-79XX Aaron Martens Flipping Special Specifications

Material Megabass XX Graphite
Length 7'-9"
Line Wt. 12-30lb
Lure Wt. 3/8oz - 1 1/2 oz
Pieces One
Guides 10+Tip, Fuji K Series Alconite Semi Micro
Rear Handle Length 10.5"
Power Rating XX-Heavy
Taper Fast
Rod Weight 6 oz
Origin Made in China
MSRP $299


Quality/Construction: The F8-79XX is a seven foot, nine inch (7'9") stick within Orochi DoubleX Series of rods. Each of these sticks features a core graphite blank wrapped with an outer layer of cross weave graphite serving to both protect and reinforce the structural integrity of the blank. It's a technology that's seemingly common place amongst Japanese rod manufacturers as we've seen the same treatment from Evergreen International, Daiwa Japan, Shimano Japan amongst others.


Introducing the Megabass Orochi XX F8-79XX.


Similar to other rods in this series, the F8-79XX's blank is unsanded and unfinished giving it a very raw, right out of the factory feel to it. It's full rear grip is made of a medium grade of cork and the epoxy work around the guide wraps and labeling is clean and precise. The blank and guides on our test model were all perfectly straight and aligned.


Quality Ratings for Megabass F8-79XX Aaron Martens Flipping Special

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


Each rod in Megabass's DoubleX lineup bears the name of one of their pros. The F8-79XX is named after Aaron Martens.

Performance: Primary testing grounds for this stick were the California Delta though we did make one or two trips up to Clear Lake with this stick as well. I paired it with my Quantum EXO casting reel spooled with 50lb Sunline FX braid.

A Megabass rod with a hook keeper? Yes!

Casting: The F8-79XX doesn't feel like it when you pick it up, but this is one beefy stick. So while I'm usually one to change course from the set program and test a rod's limits beyond its intended application, this rod's beef screams of flipping and pitching applications. I don't think I made one serious overhand or sidearm cast with this rod.

A look down the length of the F8-79XX's blank to check guide alignment and trueness of the blank.

For flipping, all you really need is length. Seven foot nine inches is plenty. But for pitching, you want a stick that will load well enough to allow a nice springy little launch of your lure as you pendulum it out toward your target. The F8-79XX has that tiny bit of give needed in the tip for a nice pitching rod and can easily pitch baits within its rated range.

Even the entry level Megabass sticks feature the Ito Headlocking System capped with a detailed hood ornament winding check.

Sensitivity: Though this stick is not as astonishing as the F3-611XXS I previously reviewed, the sensitivity of Megabass's Orochi Double XX line continues to impress. This stick reminds me very much of the old G.Loomis FSR flipping sticks in terms of feel and sensitivity. Just big, beefy sticks with a really lively feel.

The F8-79XX is tapered like a traditional flipping stick.

Power: Speaking of beefy, looking at the chart below you can see the F8-79XX has a much shallower deflection curve than that of the average taken across more than 12 of the more popular flipping sticks we've reviewed through the years. This shows the stick is has a lot of power to help you fish through a variety of heavy cover conditions.

Fig 1 : The chart above illustrates the deflection characteristics of our Megabass F8-79XX Aaron Martens Flipping Special against
the average values of flipping sticks we've reviewed over the years. Note how much lower the curve of the F8-79XX (orange) is as compared to the average (red) showing this stick is among the more powerful flipping rods we've reviewed.

I wasn't able to test the F8-79XX's power against a BOSS (bass of significant size), but hooksets and control were not an issue with any of the fish I did manage to catch during testing of this stick. If you need a stick to pitch or flip a jig into tight quarters and then be able to set hook and turn the fish's head away from cover as you direct it out into open water, the F8-79XX would be an excellent choice.

This stick has some really good power.

On the other hand, if punching, rather than flipping is your game, you might find the F8-79XX a bit too stout. Typically the more successful anglers who punch a lot like a stick with a softer, more moderate bend through the blank. Something that has a forgiving tip and sets up somewhere along the bottom two thirds of the stick when battling a fish. The F8-79XX is more along the lines of a traditional flipping rod where once you hook a fish, you're immediately pulling it out of that cover into more open water where you can fight it. You're not pinning the fish up against the matt as you work the boat closer in to the fish so you can grab it. In these instances ,if you're not careful, stouter rods tend to pull the hook out of the fish's mouth or worse yet, straighten hooks.

Performance Ratings for Megabass F8-79XX Aaron Martens Flipping Special

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

A standard, though painted, Fuji ECS reel seat.

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