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Rod Review

Quarrow's new feature packed OTC665F rod designed by O.T. Fears

Date: 2/5/02
Tackle type: Rod
Manufacturer: Quarrow
Reviewer: Zander

Total Score: 8.95

Introduction: Quarrow continues to make a name for themselves by producing a new caliber of high performance rods designed by O.T. Fears. We take a look at one of these exciting new products, the OTC665F, to see just how well this new entry into the high performance rod market handles.


Quarrow OTC665F Specifications

Material High Modulus Graphite (IM7) (50ppm million)
Length 6'6"
Line Weight 8-20lb
Lure Weight 1/4-5/8
Sections 1pc
Rating Medium
Colors Dark Blue
Action Fast
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. Led by Don Beaulieu, Quarrow has experienced phenomenal growth and has grabbed the attention of tournament and weekend warrior anglers alike. Pro tournament angler, O.T. Fears helped design the new high performance "Dream Catcher" series rods that elevate Quarrow's premium performance offerings. One of the key things that Quarrow aims to do is produce innovative premium products at reasonable prices....and is able to deliver this by leveraging their OEM experience.

Impressions: When we first received the OTC665F from Quarrow it looked like a very high quality product that was designed with attention to fine details. The finish of the rod is matte blue and is clearly labeled "Designed by OT Fears." The next thing we noted was that there was a large number of guides for a 6'6" rod....10 guides! The OTC665F boasts 10 Fuji titanium guides mounted on Fuji stainless steel frames. Why so many? This rod utilizes the "New Guide Concept" from Fuji, and is the first rod we will have tested using this new system.


Quarrow's attention to detail is apparent, notice the small metal cap to securely hold the Portuguese cork firmly in place

For the tests we paired the OTC665F with Daiwa's Millionaire CV-X and spooled up with Trilene big game. We began the test by doing measurements in the lab. This is one of the stiffest rods we have ever tested based on similar blank sizes. In fact comparable rods with similar specs are rated for line weight's of 8-17lb, while Quarrow can handle 8-20lb line.

Complete Rig for OTC665F

Rod Quarrow OTC665F
Reel Daiwa Millionaire CV-X
Line 12lb Trilene Big Game

The placement of the guides is key to the way the rod bent when we put 15lb's of pressure on the rod. It bent in a very smooth arc and the line never touched the rod blank. To explain this and the benefits we needed to understand the Fuji "New Guide Concept."

The Fuji "New Guide Concept": Designed by Fuji and implemented by Quarrow on the OTC665F, 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.

Real World Test:
We took the OTC665F out for a full day of casting tests and 2 days of fishing. Throughout all the tests I noticed how comfortable this rod was to use for extended casting. The two main reasons for this was Quarrow's choice of grade A Portuguese cork which feels soft to the touch, and also a contoured design. Many other rods utilize evenly rounded cork handles but Quarrow has shaped the handle to be very ergonomically friendly with a larger more palm fitting contour right behind the reel seat and a smaller circumference below, reducing weight.

Casting: The casting distance of the OTC665F was impressive. I have used the CV-Z on other rods in other tests before, and while it casts well, it never has cast the distance I was able to achieve when mounted on the OTC665F. The design of the OTC665F uses very strategic guide placement (number and height) that has been tested to increase casting distance, and it works! The use of high quality Fuji guides provides for a very smooth even cast. The tip of the OTC665F is stiff enough to flick 1/4oz lures with very little effort, and strong enough to toss 5/8oz lures with confidence.

The OTC665F features a Fuji ecs seat with blank through design for more sensitivity

Sensitivity: The OTC665F turned out to be quite sensitive in telegraph and line vibration tests in the lab. But on the water the rod began to exhibit some more unique capabilities. When tossing lures that I crawled back on the ground I noticed more feel then I was traditionally used to. Like many other rods the Quarrow uses a high quality Fuji rod seat with a blank through design, but unlike other rods the number of guides brought the line in more contact with the rod itself. The guides also were placed closer together distributing vibration to the blank more evenly. With this increased sensitivity it was far easier to distinguish subtle strikes from fish.

The OTC665F has 10 of these high quality Fuji guides, notice the dual trim threads securing the guide

Accuracy: The OTC665F is built to be a high performance rod and casting with accuracy is a must. The rod is able to achieve increased accuracy by using very small guides on very low to the blank frames. This reduces the area in which the line can stray as well as reduces torque on the side of the guide. Time and time again I was able to cast farther and accurately to the target zone with this innovative design.

Power: The increased number of guides holds the line close to the blank so that when you fight those large fish the line has relatively small gap space between the blank, and results in a much smoother arc in the rod....even when hauling lunkers to the surface. This also makes the rod more responsive so faster hook sets are a reality. The 50ppm million graphite construction makes the rod feel solid, but under heavy stress the rod feels a bit light for a medium classification.

The OTC665F uses lightweight molded cork instead of a conventional plastic butt cap 

The Rundown: The OTC665F was impressive in all tests and demonstrated solid performance that anglers would expect from premium tackle....the amazing thing is that it comes at a mid-range price! The OTC665F is great just as good at tossing bottom hugging jigs as it is skirting topwater cranks.

Warranty: To further add value Quarrow has a 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 OTC665F 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 The input in design by OT Fears and the new Fuji Guide Concept make for a solid rod that is more sensitive, more powerful, and more accurate....simply a better rod 9
Price This is a premium rod at a impressive mid level price 8.5
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 that make casting all day easy and comfortable 8.9
Application Excellent versatility with a casting rod that can be used for multiple lures and applications. We were surprised by its line handling capabilities. 8.8

Total Score


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Great attention to detail L A bit light for medium class
J Good Construction  
J Fuji New Guide Concept  
J Top notch materials  
J Good price  

Conclusion: This is our first look at a Quarrow product and needless to say we were impressed. Quarrow should be very proud that they accomplished their goal of taking all their OEM experience and building a top notch rod packed with features and a innovative design...and still charge a reasonable price. The OTC665F performs like a dream and the successful implementation of the Fuji New Guide Concept really shows through with increased casting, accuracy, and sensitivity. Quarrow's rod sports a balance of innovation, performance, and price that makes the OTC665F the highest rated rod tested to date! Definitely take a look at the OTC665F the next you are in the market for a premium baitcast rod at a price that wont break your wallet!

Until next time....Tight Lines!









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