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Rod Review


MB Levante Part 2 : Stinger Shot


Date: 12/19/16
Tackle Type: Rod
Manufacturer: Megabass
Reviewer: Cal

Total Score: 7.9 - BEST VALUE AWARD!

Earlier, we took an in depth look at Megabass's new, "entry level" lineup in Levante with our review of the F5-72C Diablo. Diablo is perhaps their most popular model through each and every bass rod series. Of course, that's a casting model. The most popular model for Megabass in spinning is their F3-610S spec - give or take an inch or two in length. Of course, throw in that infamous stinger tip and you approach the spec of their most coveted spinning rod the Hedgehog Evoluzion. One would expect that in the Levante lineup, a standard F3-610S like the former Aaron Martens Limited would be enough, wouldn't it? Perhaps, but never one to take something like a rod specification lightly, Megabass has gone the extra mile and built the F3st-610S with a stinger tip within the Levante lineup. Let's find out how it stacks up!


Megabass Levante F3st-610S Stinger Shot Specifications

Material Mitsubishi Pyrofil Graphite
Length 6'-10"
Line Wt. 4-12lb
Lure Wt. 1/16-1oz
Pieces One
Guides 7+Tip (Fuji SS/Alconite)
Rear Handle Length 8.5"
Power Rating Medium Light
Taper Extra-Fast
Rod Weight 3.7oz
Origin Made in China
MSRP $199


The F3st-610S combine's Megabass's most popular spinning rod specification with that coveted stinger tip from the Hedgehog Evoluzion.


Quality/Construction: The F3st-610S Stinger Shot is a six foot, ten inch graphite rod with that famous/infamous stinger tip. The blank is finished in a natural looking satin black and has a split rear grip of EVA foam. On our test model, there's an ever so slight lip between the EVA foam and reel seat where the foam is just a fraction of an inch higher than the reel seat. Otherwise, epoxy work on our test mode is very clean and the blank and guides are straight and perfectly aligned.


Quality Ratings for Megabass Levante F3st-610S Stinger Shot

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


Rigged and ready to go with a Megabass Luvito spinning reel.

Performance: I matched the F3st-610S Levante with a couple different reels over the course of our tests but mostly with the Megabass Luvito 256C spooled with 6lb Sunline Shooter Invisible. Tests were conducted on both Lake Berryessa and Clear Lake - both in Northern California of course.

Detailing at the top of the fore nut is simple by MB standards.

Casting: The F3st-610S casts like any other spinning stick but you do have to be mindful of that soft, stinger tip. It loads really easily and can be a little lazy to release that energy, so if you're in somewhere tight looking to make a pinpoint cast, make sure you have a chance at a few practice swings before going for the hole. If you're a veteran of the stinger tip phenomenon, you'll have little difficulty dialing in the Stinger Shot to your casting motion.

The simple yet refined (thanks to the metal reveal at the end) butt end of the Levante Stinger Shot.

Sensitivity: One thing that stinger tip does do is take away some of the blank's inherent sensitivity. The F3st-610S still has good feel because after all, it is a light powered spinning rod and I was fishing it with high end fluorocarbon, but there are times where you will definitely see the nibbles in your rod tip before you feel them. No matter how many of these stinger shot rods I fish, it still takes some getting used to.

Testing out that tip.

Power: As you can see in the rod's deflection chart below, the F3st-610S does not lack for power. It compares very favorably to our two baseline rods from our What the Finesse themed year showing a more flexible tip (left side of the chart) but a more powerful backbone (right side of the chart).

Fig 1 : The chart above illustrates the deflection characteristics of our Megabass Levante F3st-610S Stinger Shot against
our 2011 WTF baseline rods.

Out on the water, this all bore out as well. I never really swing on hooksets, but rather, just lifted the rod to take up slack and began reeling fast to apply pressure. This was enough to drive the hooks home (Gamakatsu Aaron Martens TGW Drop Shot Hook #2). Once the pressure was on, it was just a matter of waiting the fish out with the F3st-610S performing very well to tire the fish out.

Performance Ratings for Megabass Levante F3st-610S Stinger Shot

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

The open ended hook keeper is at the rear grip.

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