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Enthusiast Review

CB Rod Wars part 18: Megabass's New GTZ Series

Date: 1/07/10
Tackle type: Rod
Manufacturer: Megabass
Reviewer: Cal

Total Score: 7.58 + EDITORS CHOICE!

Introduction: After having already reviewed product from each of their two series of crankbait rods, the GT3 and GTC series, we thought for sure our Year of the Crank Crankbait Rod Shootout was going to go on without a participant from Megabass. Then came word in the early part of the year, when our Crankbait Rod Wars were already well underway, that the company was scrapping the GTC line and replacing it with a new series of graphite cranking sticks, the GTZ series. Still we were reluctant. That is, until I was able to view some early images of these sticks, and once again I was sucked back in. Presenting our review of the Megabass F4-72GTZ ICBM Biwako Guide Special (BGS).


Introducing the Megabass Tomahawk F4-72GTZ ICBM Biwa Guide Special

Megabass Tomahawk F4-72GTZ ICBM BGS Specifications

Material Hi-10x Graphite
Length 7'-2"
Length of Rear Handle 10.5"
Line Rating 8-20lb
Lure Rating 1/4-3/4 oz
Pieces One
Guides 9 + tip, Fuji Ti/SiC
Power Rating Medium
Taper Moderate Fast
Rod Weight 5.5 oz
Manufacturing Country Unknown
MSRP $657

Impressions: Japanese rod manufacturers, it seems, have never been shy about trying new, exotic materials in their blanks. Boron, kevlar and titanium, materials abandoned by most US manufacturers due to the overwhelming costs associated blending these items into graphite blanks, are among the materials used by one or more rod manufacturers in Japan.


The F4-72GTZ is rated with a mod-fast taper, typical of most cranking rods.


Megabass, a company that’s not shy about marketing their three different series of titanium infused graphite blanks is at it again with a new synthetic material that has seen use in such applications as the fabric in bullet proof vests, in tethers to keep the wheels of Formula One Race cars from flying off the cars and into crowds during an accident, securing lines on racing yachts, and even parachute bridles on NASA spacecraft. What is this “new” material?


Despite this slower taper, the rod takes little adjustment in casting technique to dial in.

Zylon is a synthetic similar to Kevlar manufactured by Toyobo Corporation in Japan. In its most common form, it is woven into a web-like fabric and used in any of a variety of applications as already mentioned. Here, in Megabass’s new GTZ series of cranking sticks it is used to deliver a bit of flexibility to the blank while maintaining strength and sensitivity. Does it work? Let’s find out.


Fig. 1: This RoD Deflection Chart illustrates the deflection characteristics of the F4-72GTZ (yellow curve) versus the overall average for all our Crankbait Rod Wars participants per category. You can see by the curve the F4-72GTZ follows right along with the medium cranking rod average (red curve), showing this rod is likely a very good general purpose cranking stick.

Lab Tests: First up, of course, is a trip to the lab where the ICBM BGS had a date with our RoD WRACK. Looking at the RoD Deflection Chart, you can see the ICBM BGS graphs out pretty much right in line with our Medium Crankbait Rod average coming in with a RoD value of 2.26 taken between load ranges of two to thirty two ounces (2-32oz).


Lab Results for Megabass F4-72GTZ ICBM BGS


Avg Rod (2-32 oz)


Measured Weight (oz)

Balance Point (inches)

Balancing Torque (ftlbs)







G.Loomis CBR855C GLX






Fenwick ECC70M-MF






Falcon Cara CCB-5-173DR






Gancraft KB-003-68M Scarface







In the “Other Stats” department, we see the ICBM BGS is among the heavier rods that share RoD values close to 2.26, yet it compares favorably when it comes to balance and balancing torque. Indeed, in hand, the ICBM BGS feels relatively light and crisp.

First stop for the ICBM BGS was Pyramid Lake in Nevada to do battle with some Lahontan Cutthroat Trout!

Field Tests: So where do we take the ICBM BGS on its first outing during our Crankbait Rod Wars? Why trout fishing of course! Paired with a Conquest 101DC spooled with 14lb Sunline Shooter FC, the ICBM BGS joined us on one of several trips to Pyramid Lake in Nevada earlier this year. I also fished this stick with a Conquest 51, and the new Daiwa Megabass Ito Monoblock Bespoke Topaz reel.

The GTZ series of cranking sticks within Megabass's Tomahawk line were created to replace the GTC series and feature Zylon reinforced blanks.

Next Section: Casting tests begin









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