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Rod Review

Shimano's JDM Expride Lands in the US


Date: 11/19/15
Tackle Type: Rod
Manufacturer: Shimano
Reviewer: Cal

Total Score: 7.62 - GOOD

When Shimano America Corp.. opened the door to importing and making available in North America, their already very well know and popular fishing reels intended for their market in Japan only, the next question on the mind of each enthusiast was, what about the fishing rods? Their questions were answered when early last year, Shimano announced the Adrena, a series developed in cooperation with Jackall, and Expride, one of their very own JDM rod lines. We've already reviewed one stick from the former, today we take a look at a stick from the latter. Here now is our review of the 171H, a seven foot, one inch (7'1"), heavy powered rod from the Expride line.


Introducing Shimano's Expride 171H.


Shimano Expride 171H Specifications

Material Shimano Hi-Power X Construction Blank
Length 7'-1"
Line Wt. 12-30lb
Lure Wt. 7/16-1 1/4oz
Pieces 2
Guides 9+tip (Fuji SiC w/ SS Frames)
Rear Handle Length 10.5
Power Rating Heavy
Taper Fast
Rod Weight 5
Origin Made in China
MSRP $349.99


Quality/Construction: Shimano's Expride line of rods were designed with their home market (Japan) in mind. With that caveat comes an entirely different expectation with regards to fit and finish and the 171H did not disappoint. The rod's blank is finished with a very fine satin or semi-gloss coat while the grip assembly, a mix of EVA and cork, is assembled perfectly. There are no visible gaps or misalignments through all the intricate transitions between materials.


This is a two piece stick - if you look closely at the top of the reel seat you can see a gap between the metal accent piece and the reel seat. This is where the blank separates from the handle


Epoxy on the guides is very well executed and the blank is straight. Looking down from the reel seat down towards the tip of the rod, all the guides are also perfectly aligned. It's difficult to find fault with the assembly of this rod.


Quality Ratings for Shimano Expride 171H

Finish (1-5)
Grip (1-5)
Epoxy (1-5)
Blank (1-2)
Guides (1-2)
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)


Casting duties out on the CA Delta.

Performance: I fished my Expride 171H with a number of reels, but the one that felt most at home on this stick was my previously reviewed Shimano Excense DC. One of the questions we continue to field since we published that review is when will this reel hit the States? We still don't have an answer for you yet.

Once a reel is mounted, you cannot tell this is a two piece rod.

Casting: The Expride 171H is a heavy powered stick. With that power designation comes a certain expectation, or should I say lack there of, with regards to casting performance. There's no doubt I actually preferred to pitch with this stick than cast, but if you stick with baits half an ounce and over (i.e. within the 171H's recommended lure rating), it actually performs very well. Matched with the Excense DC and this combo is killer for lipless cranks, chatter-style baits, and large spinnerbaits in grass.

The forward part of the rear handle...

... and the back part of the rear handle.

Sensitivity: One of the reasons I enjoy pitching with this stick more than using it as a regular casting rod is its sensitivity. Tie a jig onto the end of the line, tip that jig with your favorite trailer, and the 171H make a killer jig rod. Despite its semi-glossy coat, the blank transmits info efficiently to your hands, and certainly well enough for you to feel what's going on at the end of your line.

Testing the rod's taper.

Power: Strapped to our RoD WRACK and charted below, we see the 171H compares rather favorably against our baseline Creature Fever stick, G.Loomis's MBR844C GLX and our recently reviewed Daiwa Tatula TAT721HFB. Playing around on the CA Delta with this stick, I decided to try punching with this stick a handful of times. I managed one bite that felt HUGE on the take stripping some line before I managed to recover and lay into the fish with the 171H. The rod did its work pinning the fish to the top of the matt while we worked the boat closer so Zander could reach over and lip the fish, but SOMETHING happened in that exchange because all I saw was a big splash after Zander put his hand in the water and POOF, the fish was gone!

Fig 1 : The chart above illustrates the deflection characteristics of our Shimano Expride 171H against

In several less dramatic situations, the 171H held its own as I relied on it to coax fish away from cover and into the boat, but you know what they always say about the one that got away. Zander contends it wasn't picture worthy anyway.

Performance Ratings for Shimano Expride 171H

Pitch (1-5)
Cast (1-5)
Sensitivity (1-5)
Hook Set (1-5)
Control (1-5)
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)

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