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Rod Review

Exceptional comfort and sensitivity at a great price, Quarrow's OTS664F

Date: 3/28/02
Tackle type: Rod
Manufacturer: Quarrow
Reviewer: Zander

Total Score: 9.0 + Best Value!

Introduction: Last month we tested a casting rod from Quarrow's ML3 series and was impressed with the amount of features put into the OTC665F. This month we follow up by testing the OTS664F which offers a premium level of performance at a great price. Though based on the same IM7 graphite as the previous rod we tested, the OTS664F sports its own unique features that set it apart as a real spinning contender.


Quarrow OTS664F Specifications

Material High Modulus Graphite (IM7) (50ppm million)
Length 6'6"
Line Weight 6-14lb
Lure Weight 1/4-1/2
Sections 1pc
Rating Medium
Colors Dark Blue
Action Medium
MSRP $109.95

About Quarrow: Quarrow has been a major OEM player for over 15 years, and last year began producing high quality rods under its own brand name. Quarrow makes a full line of rods ranging from ML1 to their Premium Dream Catcher rods. Quarrow makes a full range of rod types from freshwater, to saltwater, and a large assortment of fly-fishing rods as well. Quarrow rods are designed, tested, and fished by some very well known pros, including OT Fears and Tom Lester.

Impressions: The first impression of the Green Country ML3 OTS664F was that it was extremely sleek, from grip to tip this rod has no bulk and is very light. The second thing we noticed was the large number of guides, a total of eight. In comparison to other 6'6" rods in the lab this rod sported 2 more guides then the average 6'6" rod. This is because of Quarrow's decision to utilize the Fuji's "New Guide Concept."


A combination of rounded cork grips over the new Fuji IPS seat not only is a good combination for comfort, but holds reels securely in position where the angler can extend his finger and reach the line easily to cast

In the lab telegraph sensitivity tests surprised us in terms of the great sensitivity we were getting. A lot of this has to deal with two factors: 1) The cork grip on the
OTS664F is shorter then average bringing the blank closer to the grip point so less vibration is dampened, and 2) The use of new extremely low profile Fuji IPS-16 seat. The final thing we noticed was when we put numerous reels in the seat the new seat holds the reels at a recessed level making it extremely comfortable.

Complete Rig for OTS664F

Rod Quarrow OTS665F
Reel Shimano Sustain 2000
Line 8lb Trilene XL

To test the
OTS664F in the field we paired it up with the lightweight Shimano Sustain 2000 which looked right at home on the rod. The entire combo not only looked sleek, but was extremely lightweight.

More about the Fuji "New Guide Concept": Designed by Fuji and implemented by Quarrow on the OTS664F, the new concept is based on two philosophies: a) Use a smaller rod tip and decrease the total weight of the guides b) Depending on the rod size optimize the correct number of guides. Using these two principles Fuji is able to achieve 7 functions that influence rod action.

                            1. Greater sensitivity

                            2. Greater casting distance

                            3. Greater accuracy

                            4. Greater balance

                            5. Greater hooking power

                            6. Reduction of line twist

                            7. Greater rod power

For complete details and test results of the new guide concept check out Fuji's detailed explanation.

Quarrow's extended cork design over the IPS reel seat puts the angler's entire palm over rounded soft cork rather then on top of standard reel clamps

Real World Test:
We took the OTS664F for 15 days of field testing that spanned 4 Northern California lakes. (Anderson, Coyote, Calero, and Uvas) What we found throughout the 15 days was a rod that demonstrated an exceptional amount of sensitivity using a large variation of lures and techniques. Here's what we found:

Casting: The
OTS664F is a pleasure to cast all day thanks to a lightweight construction and a fantastic grip design. The cork grip is contoured to fit your hand at the grip point, while the bottom of the cork is narrower reducing weight. The comfort of this rod is further boosted by extending the cork grip over the reel seat, so when casting your hand rests completely on the cork, never touching the graphite seat. Also as I mentioned earlier, the use of the new Fuji low profile IPS-16 seat puts the entire reel at the perfect height in which to grasp and cast.


Casting distance was impressive when I used lightweight plastic worms rigged with 1/8 bullet weights and downright spectacular when I threw 1/2oz spinners. The rod has a good amount of backbone coupled with a very fast tip which really gives the most action from the 4th guide on. Use of Fuji Hardloy guides allows the line to flow quickly and smoothly on each and every cast.

The OTS664F uses the new IPS-16 Fuji Reel seat which is able to recess the reel in a position that is extremely comfortable for those days of extended casting

Sensitivity: Here is where the OTS664F really shines. The use of 8 guides brings the line in more contact with the rod for increased sensitivity. Quarrow's IM7 graphite is very sensitive making this rod ideal for light plastics. For those familiar with wacko rigged Senkos, this is a great rod for weightless bait presentations.  The extremely quick tip of the OTS664F made it easy to fling lightweight lures and work them along the bottom of the lake and still be able to feel structure over 25 feet down! The same level of sensitivity can be felt when tossing heavier lures like 1/2oz spinners. The rod is so sensitive you can feel the spinner blades vibrating and set quickly because of the ability to easily detect subtle strikes.

The OTS664F has 8 high quality Fuji Hardloy guides, that's a lot for a rod of this length, but sensitivity definitely benefits from this design

Accuracy: The OTS664F is quite accurate, the same factors that make it so sensitive (rod tip) also make it a little harder to place lures where you want them. The ability to cast long with this rod help you position lures, but to compensate for the fast tip takes a bit of practice. Once you have it down casting accuracy is fine.

Power: The OTS664F is medium in power and does a good job of loading up under pressure. Evenly spaced guides cause the line and consequently the rod to arc nicely when under pressure. With a solid butt hooking into large bass is easy as the rod is quick and responsive, but reeling big fish in takes a slight toll on the rod as the tip vibrates violently. But we were pleased that even when muscling large back and out of the water into the boat the rod never seemed over stressed.

The OTS664F features a lightweight contoured cork grip complete with a formed cork butt cap instead of a plastic one

The Rundown: The OTS664F not only survived 15 days of intense fishing but excelled in categories like sensitivity and comfort. An excellent rod for lighter lures and working plastic worms and grubs, where increased sensitivity will help you navigate structure as well as take advantage of every opportunity to set that hook.

Warranty: To further add value Quarrow has an unconditional lifetime warranty that replaces any
rod that fails as a result of a defect in material or workmanship with a $19.95 shipping and handling fee.


Quarrow OTS664F Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality IM7 Graphite is very high quality and we were impressed by the construction quality and details of this rod that is able to rival rods twice its price 9
Performance Excellent sensitivity and durability, had complete confidence even when muscling large fish 9
Price This is a fantastic rod for the price 9
Features The use of all high quality Fuji components, increased number of guides, and contoured grip make this rod feature packed 9.5
Design (Ergonomics) Great ergonomics and use of a new rod seat and cork over design makes this the most comfortable spinning rod I have ever used 9.5
Application Good for many applications, and perfect for running light lures and plastics 8

Total Score


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Great detailed construction L Learning curve for accuracy
J Great Sensitivity  
J Fuji New Guide Concept  
J Ergonomic reel seat  
J Good price  

Conclusion: After completing all the tests I had a conversation with Quarrow Pro Tom Lester and he remarked "The ML3 series rod from Quarrow is the lightest, strongest and most durable rod, in it's price range, I have ever used.  If quality is an issue when selecting a fishing rod, you can't go wrong with a Quarrow ML3 rod," and after fishing with the OTS664F on four different lakes in varying conditions, and with everything from cranks to plastics I would have to agree. You would be hard pressed to find a rod with the OTS664F's great sensitivity, comfort, and strength at such a great price. In truth the OTS664F fishes with the same confidence as rods twice its price, and offers a level of sensitivity that can hold its own with any of the top rod manufacturer's premium offerings. It is for this reason that the OTS664F is the first rod to ever be awarded TackleTour's "Best Value" award, congratulations Quarrow!


Until next time....Tight Lines!









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