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Enthusiast Review

Capping off Megabass's Trio of Finesse Application Spinning Sticks: The F3-69XS Shabbler

Date: 3/31/07
Tackle type: Rod
Manufacturer: Megabass
Reviewer: Cal

Total Score: 8.58


Introduction: In the Megabass line of spinning rods, there exists a trio of sticks that are considered to be the same basic tool only with different degrees of advancement, or as Megabass refers to it, evolution. In our roundabout way of discovering this trio, our first introduction was the F3-610DGS, a rod that gave this editor, a new hope when it came to spinning tackle. The second was our unfortunate encounter with the F4ST-69RSDti - the rod with a stinger tip that didn't snap back. Completing the trilogy, today we return to the baseline rod of this trio, the F3-69XS Shabbler.

Back to the "basics" with the Megabass F3-69XS Shabbler

F3-69XS Shabbler Specifications

Material Megabass Hi-10X Graphite
Length 6'9"
Length from Back of Reel Seat to Base 7.75"
Line Wt. 4-12lb
Lure Wt. 1/32-3/8 ounce
Pieces One
Guides 7 Guides + Tip (Fuji Ti/SiC)
Power Rating Medium Light
Taper Regular
Rod Weight 3.7 ounces
Manufacturing Country Japan
MSRP $375

Right off the bat, upon handling this rod, I could tell it had a different character than that of the other two rods in this alleged trio. It feels a tad less flexible than either the Aaron Martens Limited or the Orochi Evoluzion. It is also much more understated in its appointment though this is to be expected since it is in the base destroyer line. Still, there is beauty in simplicity and of course, it is all relative since simplicity for Megabass is not necessarily a universal interpretation.

The F3-69XS shown here with a Daiwa Certate Finesse 2004

Lab Tests: Naturally, the way we validate our rod impressions is to strap up the likely candidates to our RoD WRACK. In previous tests we were able to liken our Orochi Evoluzion (pre-tip break) to a G.Loomis DSR820C. We took the data for this rod from that test and added the results from our previously untested F3-610DGS and our new F3-69XS.


Fig.1 : Stacked up against one another, we can see that each rod in this trio does in fact, bring its own characteristics to the table, and if consistency is your game, the Shabbler might be ideal.

Lab Results for F3-69XS Shabbler

Avg RoD (2-16 oz)
Rated Action
Measured Weight
Balance Point
F3-69SX Shabbler
3.7 ounces
F3-69DGS A.M. Limited
Medium Fast
4.2 ounces
F4ST-69RSDti Orochi Evo
Extra Fast
4.4 ounces

Rate of Deflection (RoD): What we ended up with was validation on our initial impressions. The Shabbler is, indeed, a half to full degree more powerful thank our Aaron Martens Limited rod and quite a bit heavier in the tip than our Orochi Evoluzion. The F4ST-69RSDti quickly catches up to the Shabbler, however, as the load range increases perhaps demonstrating the benefit of the rod's stinger tip. More likely, what we're seeing is the difference between a fast (Shabbler) and extra-fast (Orochi Evoluzion) tapered rod.

Cal battles a smallie on the Shabbler

Spine, Weight, and Balance Point: This is where you can see the resemblance in each of the rods as they all balance out pretty similarly in hand. Interestingly enough, despite its more consistent power overall, the Shabbler is the lightest of the three rods but only by a small margin. In the end, each of the rods in this trio has its own innate characteristics, so let's go ahead and see what the Shabbler brings to the table on the water.

The Shabbler makes use of Fuji Ti/SiC guides

The "regular" or moderate taper of our MB Shabbler

Real World Test: Early on, I matched up the Shabbler with a Daiwa Certate Finesse 2004 reel. This is a special version of the Daiwa Certate made only for the Japanese Market. They're built for fresh and saltwater use with light line and as such, feature a shallow spool and a tuned finesse drag. The Certate Finesse also comes stock with an attractive machine cut handle. I spooled up about sixty yards of Original P-Line on my Certate Finesse 2004, mounted the reel on the Shabbler and took to the water.

Complete Field Test Set-Up for F3-69XS Shabbler

Daiwa Certate Finesse 2004
Daiwa Exist 2004
6lb Original P-Line (60yds)
6lb P-Line Floroclear (60yds)

A deadly finesse application trio of combo's

Can you handle all three?

The Shabbler may be the most understated amongst these three sticks, but it can certainly hold its own.

Next Section: Let's cast this bad boy!









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