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Rod Review

Cast, Crank, REACT!! : Cumara CUCX711MH


Date: 10/3/10
Tackle type: Rod
Manufacturer: Shimano America Corp.
Reviewer: Cal

Total Score: 8.17 - GREAT

Last year, during our Crankbait Rod Wars, we introduced you to the Shimano Cumara Reaction Series, a set of rods that brought support for moving baits in a lineup that once consisted sticks in support of only vertical bait presentations. After the debut of our article on the CUC70H, the first questions we got were whether or not Shimano included a stick for big baits in their reaction series!


Introducing the Shimano Cumara Reaction Series CUCX711MH.


It appears, even though the Swimbait Rod Wars have been over for more than two years, the fervor surrounding the big bait craze is still quite evident. Well, to answer those zealots, technically no, Shimano does not have a stick in their Cumara Reaction Series made specifically for big baits. BUT we put the biggest and baddest stick in that series to the test to see just what it can handle. Introducing our review of the Shimano Reaction Series CUCX711MH.


Shimano Cumara Reaction CUCX711MH Specifications

Material IM-10 Graphite
Length 7'11"
Line Wt. 12 - 25lb
Lure Wt. 1/2 - 1 1/2 oz.
Pieces 1
Guides 9 Guides + Tip Top Fuji Black Fame/SiC)
Power Rating Medium Heavy
Taper Extra Fast
Rod Weight 4.9 oz
Origin Made in China
MSRP $239.99


Impressions: The Cumara series is easily my favorite of the current USDM Shimano rod lineup. While both Zander and JIP got to fish the Cumara on El Salto prior to that series introduction, my introduction to these rods didn't happen until 2008 on DreamLake, Alabama where Shimano officially debuted the production run Curado and Citica E series reels and unofficially showed us the Chronarch D prototypes.


The CUCX711MH is a split rear grip stick, the same as the rest of the Cumara Reaction Series line.


I liked the Cumara series so much, I asked Justin Poe, at the time, fishing rod product manager for Shimano, when they were going to introduce a series of rods within the Cumara lineup for moving baits. His answer? "Not likely." In the spring of the following year, the Cumara Reaction Series was born and Justin disavows any knowledge or memory of our conversation though he does let out a wry smile whenever I poke fun at him about it.


Lab Results for Shimano Cumara Reaction CUCX711MH

Avg RoD (2-48 oz)
Measured Weight (oz)
Balance Point (inches)
Balancing Torque (ftlbs)
Shimano Cumara Reaction CUCX711MH
Big Stick Finesse Average 1.46
Big Stick All Purpose

The Lab: Off to the lab we went with the CUCX711MH to see how it lines up the traditional big bait sticks from our Swimbait Rod Wars. What we found is indeed, this stick charts out similar to our “Finesse Stick Average.”

Fig 1: This chart illustrates the deflection characteristics of the CUCX711MH (yellow curve) as compared to that of our Big Stick averages from the 2008 Swimbait Rod Wars. Not really a big bait stick and true to form, you can see the CUCX711MH is pretty soft up to about 20 ounces but then stiffens up nicely above this load and falls right in line with our Finesse Stick Average.

These were rods that did well with smaller, soft bodied swimbaits like the hollow bodied paddletails but also other baits up to about five or six inches in length and typically no more than three ounces in weight.

The CUCX711MH comes with stainless steel framed guides with SiC inserts courtesy of Fuji.

Field Tests: So with a lure rating of up to one and a half ounces, officially, the CUCX711MH is designed for big spinnerbaits, buzzbaits in heavy cover, chatterbaits, and hollow bodied swimbaits. Our time in the lab with this stick validates these recommendations, but with this stick's extra-fast taper, we had a feeling this stick might be able to handle more.

More due to its length than anything else, this stick gives you a lot of leverage which translates into a good amount of power.

Of course, you should be forewarned that the circumstances we are about to share and describe should not be attempted if you value your rod's warranty. We are taking the CUCX711MH above and beyond specification and if a failure occurs, we do NOT expect warranty coverage of our irresponsible behavior nor would we bother to file a claim.

Sacrilege? The Daiwa Pluton actually felt right at home on this Shimano rod.

Casting: I fished the CUCX711MH with two reels, a Shimano Calcutta 201DC and a Daiwa Pluton 200HL. Both reels felt great on this stick and I went right to work testing the rod's upper end. The biggest, heaviest bait I was able to cast on this stick somewhat comfortably? The three ounce Jerry Rago BV3D, but more realistically the sub two ounce Mattlures Hard Bluegill is just about perfect on this stick.

This might be the perfect stick for Mattlures Hard Bluegill.

Thanks to the CUCX711MH's extra fast taper you can go above the rod's spec in lure weight, but to do so, you need to be gentle with your cast and be sure to lob your bait sidearm instead of slinging it overhead. Using this method to cast, you can extend most sticks beyond their recommended rating, but sticks with an extra-fast taper behave better in these overload situations because the blanks bend less through their entire length which translates into better casting performance with heavier baits.

The CUCX711MH takes up A LOT of line when you swing.

I also tried the new Rago Smoothie on this stick but that bait, at 4.1 ounces, was indeed too much for the CUCX711MH to handle over an extended period of time. For best results, if you absolutely must have a Cumara Reaction series stick for big baits, I'd stick with baits under three ounces with one and a half to two ounces being just about right for this rod.

We should caution, this stick is really not intended for hard bodied big baits but more oversized conventional baits like 1 oz spinners.



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