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Enthusiast Tackle : Rod Shootout

There Can Only Be One: The 2006 TackleTour SuperCast Shootout

Date: 6/5/06
Tackle Type: Rod
Manufacturer: Varied - See Below
Reviewer: Cal

Earlier this year, we previewed our 2006 TackleTour SuperCast Shootout: a promised battle between four of Japan's top rod manufacturers. The following pages represent quite possibly, our most detailed shootout to date culminating in our 2006 SuperCast Shootout winner. Our goal was to discover, which of these four premium rods was best suited as an all purpose baitcaster, but the acquisition of exotic, high dollar rods such as these is not simply a goal of high performance. Rather, the pursuit of Japanese Domestic Market rods can have the side benefit of art collecting. Certainly, as with most things, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.


Our 2006 SuperCast Contenders: Megabass F4-610XDti Elseil (Top Left); Evergreen Temujin Crossfire TXFC 66MR Steed (Top Right); Nories RoadRunner Voice HB680M (Bottom Left); Palms Edge Pride EPGC 664 (Bottom Right)


While the narrative of this article will concentrate on the performance characteristics of each stick and how they compare to one another, the assembly of photographs we are about to share is intended to give you a taste of the experience I've so often described in other articles. That is, opening the bag within which each of these rods arrived, and examining, for the very first time, the artistic composition from butt to tip, that is a Japanese Domestic Market rod. Let us begin our journey with a reintroduction to our four contenders.


Each of our four Japanese Domestic Market rods came in its own, custom designed rod sleeve


Megabass F4-610XDti Elseil: The Elseil is Megabass's High-Tech, extended length version of their popular, multi-application F4-66X Cyclone Destroyer rod. The additional four inches in length over the Cyclone is provided to afford the angler more casting distance as well as added leverage for hooksets. Additionally, the Elseil benefits from Megabass's Dti blank technology which consists of titanium wires fused to the outside of the graphite blank in a double helix, dna-like pattern. The use of exotic metals in this series of blanks is intended to reinforce the graphite and provide an added degree of power not available otherwise. All the rod's components are made by Fuji but designed by Yuki Ito, Owner, CEO, and Principal Designer of Megabass.


Opening the Megabass F4-610XDti's bag reveals this attractive butt cap


Megabass F4-610XDti Elseil Specifications

Material Proprietary Graphite w/ Titanium Wire Reinforcement
Length 6'-10"
Line Wt. 8 - 20 lbs
Lure Wt. 1/4 - 3/4 oz
Pieces One
Guides Titanium Framed SIC Guides ( 8 + tip)
Rod Weight 5.3 oz
MSRP $523


Evergreen TXFC 66MR Steed: From what we can gather, the Evergreen Crossfire series of rods is a special lineup within their widely popular Temujin rods. These rods all feature split, hypalon rear grips, custom colored Fuji reel seats, titanium framed SIC guides, and a factory tuned, fixed counterweight system at the butt end of the rod. As stated on their website, the Steed, in particular, represents their version of an all purpose rod with the qualification that it is intended more for fishing plastics and jigs rather than hard bait lures. At one time, Evergreen sourced their rod blanks from Daiko, but this is no longer the case. We are uncertain as to the origin of their blanks today.


Peaking out from within the Evergreen bag is this identifier


Evergreen TXFC 66MR Steed Specifications

Material Proprietary Graphite
Length 6'-6"
Line Wt. 6 - 16 lbs
Lure Wt. 1/4 - 3/4 oz
Pieces One
Guides Titanium Framed SIC Guides ( 9 + tip)
Rod Weight 4.4 oz
MSRP 59,850 Japanese Yen (JPY)

Nories HB680M: The Road Runner Voice series of rods by Nories are designed by Japan Bass Pro Norio Tanabe, the very first Japanese fisherman to win a B.A.S.S Tournament. The HB680M was specifically engineered to fish cranks, jerkbaits and spinnerbaits. As such, it is built on a low modulus graphite blank for forgiveness and features stainless steel SIC guides for better casting accuracy. Nories originally developed these rods with titanium framed guides but found the rebound factor was such that it made casting accuracy difficult so they switched materials. As a sidenote, we were able to learn that their blanks, while designed and specified by Nories, are actually rolled in the United States and shipped over to Japan for final buildup. I find it a bit ironic that the rods are not available domestically within the United States.


Our Nories rod had a rather disappointing butt cap - a standard, Fuji weight system end cap


Nories HB680M Specifications

Material Nories LM30 Graphite
Length 6'-8"
Line Wt. 12 - 16 lbs
Lure Wt. 3/8 - 3/4 oz
Pieces One
Guides Stainless Steel SIC Guides ( 9 + tip)
Rod Weight 7.0 oz
MSRP 47,000 Japanese Yen (JPY)


Palms Edge Pride EPGC 664: We were able to gather the least amount of information about our last contender, the Palms Edge Pride EPGC 664. As such, we have little to offer beyond what we've already discussed in the preview article, but make no bones about it, this rod is a serious player in this shootout.


Ready to great you from within the Palms Edge Pride bag is this playful logo


Palms Edge Pride EPGC 664 Specifications

Material Proprietary Graphite
Length 6'-6"
Line Wt. 8 - 20 lbs
Lure Wt. 1/4 - 3/4 oz
Pieces One
Guides Titanium Framed SIC Guides ( 8 + tip)
Rod Weight 4.1 oz
MSRP 47,250 Japanese Yen (JPY)


Lab Tests Summary: We shared with you, the results of our lab tests on these four rods in our March Preview article. What we present here is a graph illustrating the deflection totals for each rod so that you can see, in a slightly more clear format, how these rods stack up against one another. We've interjected the data from our G.Loomis MBR842C GLX as this rod seemed to be our best domestic RoD WRACK match to these four premium import rods.


The Deflection Chart for our 2006 SuperCast Import Rod Shootout Contenders. The lower the curve, the least amount of deflection experienced per given load


A close-up showing how closely each of the four sticks align with the deflection rate of our MBR842C GLX (Electric Blue)


It's rather clear from these charts that all four of our rods rate a higher degree of deflection when compared to US market rods with similar lure weight ratings, because the rod they did match up with was our G.Loomis MBR842C GLX - a medium powered rod by American Standards. In fact, of the four rods we're comparing, three had almost identical readings to our medium powered Loomis while the Evergreen Steed starts out in the same neighborhood but quickly deflects at a greater rate as the test load is increased.


A close-up of the tail end of our chart showing where each stick lines up with loads in the 16 and 20 ounce range


Almost immediately, you can see, our quest to find the ultimate multi-purpose import rod has hit a snag. While we were successful in finding four premium sticks that share similar ratings and are actually somewhat comparable in the lab, what we ultimately re-affirmed is that the ratings of rods overseas do not match that of what we've come to expect here in the US. What we had hoped were four medium heavy powered sticks, by American standards, are actually a step below. Despite this minor setback, we've put aside our preconceptions of medium powered sticks and took to the water with our four exotic imports. Let the shootout begin! 


Next Section: The shootout begins









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