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Rod Review

The innovative Renegade Evolution Series by Hookhider employs the latest patented grip for a great price, and is now available at Walmart!

Date: 9/30/02
Tackle type: Rod
Manufacturer: Hookhider
Reviewer: JIP

Total Score: 8.33

Introduction: For some Anglers the cost of the product is a major determining factor in their rod selection, but they still want the best features and quality available for the best price.  TackleTour goes to Walmart to see what kind of selection they have available in the best bang for the buck fishing rod category.  We examine one of Walmart's latest offerings, the Renegade Evolution Series by Hookhider.


Renegade Evolution Series by Hookhider Specifications

Material IM7 graphite
Length 6'6"
Line Weight 12-25lb.
Power Medium Heavy
Pieces 1
Color Grey
MSRP $29.88


Impressions: When walking down the fishing rods aisle at Walmart you will notice there's a new kid on the block.  The Renegade Evolution Series by Hookhider stands out from the others not because the rod blank is different in layout or material,  it catches your attention because this rod sports the innovative patented Hookhider grip.  This grip is tubular and provides a home for sharp lure hooks when the rig is not being used.


The Renegade Evolution Series by Hookhider is built using IM7 graphite and employs good components for an incredible price.  This rod also uses the innovative Hookhider grip that is useful for storing lure hooks when not in use


Complete Rig for the Tests

Rod Renegade Evolution Series by Hookhider
Reel Quantum Energy PT
Line 12lb. Sufix DNA

Furthermore this lightweight but durable IM7 graphite rod utilizes 9 Titanium Oxide eyelets held in strong gold stainless steel eye guides while applying Fuji's New Guide Concept.  The handle on this rod uses quality cork from Portugal for added comfort. 


Hookhider's Revolutionary Grip: This new revolutionary grip design features a slotted tubular section located within the butt of the Renegade rod.  The handle is constructed with glass-filled nylon to keep it light without sacrificing durability.  This ingenious grip design allows anglers to conveniently rig up and store the hooks of their lures when they are not in use to prevent something all anglers dislike... the hassle of unhooking snagged lures on marine carpet, other lures, fishing line, their pets, kids, and much more.


The revolutionary Hookhider grip adds a great value to the Renegade rod.  As you can tell the grip does not add any extra length to the handle


The Hookhider grip that comes on the Renegade Evolution Series rod is 5 inches in length and 1 inch in diameter.  This size accommodates most hook sizes with ease.  At the end of the tube is a rubber stopper that allows easy access to the lure at anytime.  The tiny amount of weight the grip adds to the overall rod does not affect the performance of the rod at all.  Instead it actually helps balance the rod to counteract the weight of the lure at the other end.


Field Testing the Rod: In March we tested the Hookhider IM8 Pro Series rod that received TackleTour's Innovation Award.  Now we will test a product that's a little less than half the price but still sports the patented Hookhider grip design on a well equipped Renegade Evolution Series rod that can be purchased at your local Walmart stores.  We field tested this rod under different fishing expeditions that involved largemouth bass and striped bass.


Rigged and ready!


Casting & Accuracy: When you take the Renegade Evolution Series by Hookhider rod onto the water and make your first cast you will feel just how easy and far you can toss lures with little effort.  The flexibility in the design of this rod assists in casting because with a nice whip of the rod you can present your lure to a distant spot.  Whenever a new Anglers start learning how to fish they think that the solution to casting far is by applying as much force as possible to the rod.  This is not true.  If you cast correctly, release your line at the right time, and allow the flexibility of the rod do its work, then one will achieve greater distances.  


The IM7 Renegade Evolution Series rod casts well for distance, but how about accuracy?  Like many people know already, when a rod applies the Fuji's New Guide Concept it improves many things and accuracy is one of them.  Aside from timing and other factors, the 9 guides on this rod improves the overall accuracy when presenting your lure or bait.


The flexibility makes this a good rod for using reaction baits


Power: During the tests I fished with many different types of lures ranging from spinnerbaits, crankbaits, jerkbaits, and plastics.  I found the IM7 rod to be best for the hard-baits because of it's design.  The flexibility is great for fishing reaction baits, similar to using fiberglass rods because the rod is softer and more forgiving.  While hauling in largemouth Bass the Renegade Evolution Series by Hookhider rod did an exceptional job.  But for striper fishing I would like to have more butt strength for more fighting power.  Not that you can't use this rod for stripers, it's just that having a stronger butt would offer more power to muscle in larger hard hitting Stripers.


Sensitivity: When fishing reaction baits sensitivity isn't looked at as much as other performance factors.  But it still is an important factor.  This Renegade rod demonstrates good sensitivity when fishing plastics.  Crawling the plastic worm rigged Texas style allowed me to test the feel I was able to get from this rod.  Each structure or rock pile the worm rolled over, each hit received by small baby-sized largemouth bass, I was able to feel it.  For additional sensitivity an exposed reel seat could be used, but for this price you really can't complain. 


The Grip: To see the detail tests and results on the Hookhider grip, click here, then scroll down to Section II: The Grip.


Loading a Rapala topwater bait into the Hookhider grip is so simple even kids can do it


But here's a quick summary of the Hookhider Grip that comes with the Renegade Evolution Series by Hookhider rod... it's very useful, prevents the hooks from snagging anything, and has great durability.


No matter which way you turn your rod the lure stays securely in the Hookhider grip


Where to buy: Right now you can only get the IM7 Renegade Evolution Series by Hookhider rod at over 450 Walmart stores in the following states: AL, AR, AZ, CT, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MO, MS, NC, NE, NH, NY, OH, OK, PA, and WV.  Click here to find a Walmart store near you that carry this exciting rod.


Renegade Evolution Series by Hookhider Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Built using a durable lightweight graphite, Titanium Oxide guides, and an innovative grip that has a heavy-duty solid construction 8
Performance Overall this rod performs well, but for larger and harder hitting fish like Stripers, a stiffer butt is preferred.  The Hookhider grip is extremely useful while fishing and when the rod sits at home with the lure attached 8
Price A great price for a rod of this level that sports the patented Hookhider grip that adds more than a value 9
Features The slotted tubular grip that's durable, useful, and works really well for your lures.  An added feature such as an exposed reel seat would increase the rod's overall performance, but that would lead to a higher price 8.5
Design (Ergonomics) The IM7 provides a rod with durability, but the weight of this graphite adds to the overall comfort level.  The grip actually counteracts your lure balancing the rod 8
Application Built with good flexibility this rod is good for running reaction baits.  The grip on this Walmart rod provides anglers with a no-snag day when the lure is not in the water 8.5

Total Score


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Innovative grip design L Needs more butt strength for larger fish
J Flexible  
J Durable  
J Great price!  

Conclusion: For those who can't afford premium rods, Walmart would be a good place to get yourself set up with affordable quality gear.  There are many rods to choose from on the shelves at Walmart, but if you spend some time and take a closer look, you can find rods that are built well and utilize average quality components at an incredible price. At less than $30 you can pick up a Renegade Evolution IM7 graphite rod that has a very durable and useful grip design that will give you a hassle-free day of fishing, preventing your hooks from snagging when the lure is not in use. With so many features and a very reasonable price the Hookhider Renegade is a great rod for anglers looking for a balance of performance, features, and great value.










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