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Rod Review


Cranking It Up with Megabass's Orochi XX Swingfire


Date: 10/2/16
Tackle Type: Rod
Manufacturer: Megabass of America
Reviewer: Cal

Total Score: 7.34 - GOOD

On our trip with Megabass of America back to their factory in Japan in 2013, we bore witness to the design process involving pro-staff and factory designers - their STW program. One of the items on the drawing board at that time was a cranking stick for the Orochi XX series of rods. Actually, there were two cranking sticks they were speaking of but one was essentially recreating an existing stick in the Orochi XX lineup, and the other was a bit more, from the ground up design. The F5-72XXG Swingfire is unique in the Megabass lineup and was designed for shallow to medium running cranks. Today, we take a look at this stick and see just how successful, or not, the efforts of Megabass's new STW program has become.


Megabass Orochi XX F5-72XXG Swingfire Specifications

Material 40 ton Graphite + Glass composite
Length 7'2"
Line Wt. 10-25lb
Lure Wt. 3/8-1oz
Pieces One
Guides 10+tip SS/Alconite Kseries Fuji
Rear Handle Length 10
Power Rating Medium Heavy
Taper Fast
Rod Weight 5.3
Origin Made in China
MSRP $289


Quality/Construction: Most rod models through Megabass's lineup have a doppelganger within other series. The Swingfire is an entirely new specification for the manufacturer and is a one-piece graphite/glass composite with the 4-axis carbon wrap extending up to the second guide. From there, the blank has a rough, unsanded finish. The transition between the 40 ton graphite base and glass tip is not visible - at least not to my eyes.


Introducing Megabass of America's Orochi XX Swingfire cranking stick.


The rod's grip is of the same quality cork material found in the other Orochi XX rods we've reviewed meaning there's a lot of filler in the grip. The epoxy work on the perfectly aligned guides is good and the blank on our Swingfire is straight.


Quality Ratings for Megabass Orochi XX F5-72XXG Swingfire

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


Paired with a superttuned Shimano Chronarch 101D and ready for action.

Performance: I fished the Swingfire with a variety of reels including my Shimano Japan Calcutta 51DC before settling on my now "old school" Shimano Chronarch 101D. In all cases, I had spooled on some nylon monofilament in an effort to facilitate and re-ignite our line reviews.

The Swingfire's lure rating is from 3/8oz - 1oz and it can handle more on both ends of its rating.

Casting: The Swingfire is rated as a fast taper rod, but that glass tip section is so soft, I think I'd classify it as an extra-fast taper I bring this up because it takes a couple of casts to get accustomed to the Swingfire's unique loading characteristics, but once dialed in with your swing, casts are made easily.

The standard Fuji ECS reel seat custom painted for Megabass of course.

The rod's lure rating is from three eighths of an ounce on up to one full ounce (3/8 oz - 1 oz) and it handles casting baits within this range surprisingly well. In fact, in a pinch, I think it could go down to one quarter of an ounce and on the other end up to one and a half ounces with little difficulty. I made some easy lob casts with the one and five eighths ounce ( 1 5/8oz ) Megabass Grenade and didn't feel any issue from the Swingfire handling this bait.

If there's one thing that plagues the Orochi XX lineup, it's the quality of their cork grips.

Sensitivity: Sensitivity of the Swingfire is very good considering the blank is part glass. It's not the same heightened sensitivity as the previous rods I've fished from this series, but certainly more than adequate for a cranking stick.

This rod's tip is so soft, I'd say it's extra-fast rather than fast.

Power: Of course the strong suit with most any cranking stick, but a composite blank cranking stick especially, is that unique transition from the buttery soft tip to the strong, graphite reinforced backbone. The Swingfire has this and sets up very quickly when a fish is on the other hand - yet that soft tip ensures it doesn't set up too quickly.

Fig 1 : The chart above illustrates the deflection characteristics of our Megabass Orochi XX F5-72XXG Swingfire against
the averages from our 2009 Year of the Crank.

Thanks to this blend in materials, my landing ratio with the Swingfire was very good too. Granted, I'm not one to horse a fish in either choosing instead to enjoy the battle and then release them when the time is right.

Performance Ratings for Megabass Orochi XX F5-72XXG Swingfire

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

A look at the not-quite-micro guides on the Swingfire.

Next Section: Familiar Orochi Features









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