Trika's Candidate in The Search for One, Their C73MHF
Total Score: 8.50 -
Similar to the recent influx of super hero films and limited series, there are now a wide number of available rod manufacturers vying for your tackle box office dollar. But unlike the characters in those films, we don't often hear much about the origin stories of these companies. Trika has been in the edit room working on their debut for at least two full years. With successful roots in archery and crossbow manufacturing, its founders wanted to redirect their attention to another passion of theirs, fishing. Setting out with the goal of delivering some of the best fishing rods on the planet, they leveraged their highly technical approach to deliver a full line of bass fishing rods. Introducing Trika's
Search for One candidate, the
C73MHF casting rod.
Trika C73MHF Casting Rod
||High Modulus Graphite (unspecified)
||11+Tip (Kigan Ti/Zirc)
|Rear Handle Length
||Made in USA
Earlier this week in our review of
the Trika C75MHF and C77XHF Zander went into the background of the
company, the design of the new series, and the company's unique
warranty/guarantee. While Zander was testing those two rods I had the C73MHF out
on the water and we didn't compare notes until after we completed the on the
water tests to see how our thoughts compared. We didn't agree on everything but
our opinions were similar when it came to our overall take on the rods, their
build, and how the blanks feel when casting and in overall sensitivity. For the
purpose of this review I will focus on the C73MHF as a standalone offering in
our "Search For One" ongoing series.
Introducing Trika's C73MHF
As a rod manufacturer, it's really difficult to distinguish your product from the competitors. For a while, the no foregrip deal was a thing, then split grips, split reel seats, micro guides, and now carbon grips. Trouble is, once a debut is made, five, six, even more competitors jump on the bandwagon. The result? A characteristic that once made you somewhat unique, becomes common place. It's not just in fishing. This is the way of the world. In that vein, Trika's C73MHF looks like a standard, run of the mill casting rod with a full carbon rear grip and, gasp, a foregrip. Despite the use of contemporary materials
and tactical styling, Trika's casting rods also bring some old school vibes. Of course, that foregrip is actually integrated to the reel seat hood, so it's not really what it appears to be... more on that later.
Look, gasp, it's a foregrip! - or is it?
Like some of the higher end JDM blanks we've fished, Trika's blank is made with an undisclosed formula of graphite whose fibers are cross woven to provide structural support along all the mysterious axises one could want (longitude, latitude, diagonal x2, etc.). The surface has been sanded with no hint of this underlying design or recipe. Guides are manufactured by Kigan with titanium frames and zirconium inserts, and the reel seat is Trika's own, proprietary design.
The rear grip is made of a woven graphite material
As I said, it's very difficult to distinguish yourself with a product such as this. So, after running the C73MHF through our series of checks and balances in the lab, I took it to a place where it could reveal its true character and discover whether or not there was any magic hidden within its assembly. That, of course, was out on the water.
Testing things out with Molix's Venator Spinnerbait
Real World Tests:
The arrival of Trika's C73MHF into my hands just happened to coincide with that of Abu Garcia's new Zenon MG-X casting reel, so it was just natural to put the two together. In the spirit of efficiency, it just accelerates the process when I can fish a new rod and reel together. I spooled my Zenon MG-X with #2 Spro Finesse braid and installed some 10lb Marboroshi FC as a leader using an albright knot. First order of the day? Some vertical bait presentations.
The new medium-heavy listing specifications formerly used for
heavy powered rods
Casting: Trika's C73MHF comes with what I like to call the new medium-heavy lure rating. What was once the range of one quarter to three quarters of an ounce (1/4oz-3/4oz) is now three eighths to one full ounce (3/8oz - 1oz), a range formerly associated with heavy powered rods. Yet even with this heavier lure rating, as you will see later in this article, the rod's deflection curve lines up with our traditional medium heavy curve. But what's really important here is, this stick handles that full range perfectly fine.
Matched with Abu Garcia's new Zenon MG-X
I fished mostly vertical bait techniques on the C73MHF with the only the occasional spinnerbait and vibrating jig to mix things up. I took this approach because I wanted to get a sense of the rod's sensitivity, but also because that's what the bite during the rod's review period dictated. The C73MHF performed well and loaded predictably during roll and overhead casts with good enough tip action for accurate pitching presentations. To me, the rod felt pretty status quo.
Like Zander I just didn't experience casting that was any different than other
rods at this price point, and certainly not the bold claims of 29% more on
Still getting the hang of this rig, but Gamakatsu's PowerDrop
with the Hybrid Worm Hook is intriguing
While I wouldn't say the tip is super limber, after a couple of casts, it's easy to dial in accuracy using baits within the rod's rated casting range. In fact, the C73MHF might even be able to handle casting a little bit over 1oz in lure weight. I get this impression because the heaviest bait I used with this stick was Big Bite Bait's B5 line through swimbait. The C73MHF handled this bait surprisingly well, and the weight of that bait on our scale was right at one ounce.
Kigan's titanium framed guides with zirconium inserts - this is
the side facing the angler
Sensitivity: So casting ability aside, the real, defining characteristic in any fishing rod, but especially one from a brand new company, is sensitivity. I'm just going to put it out there. Trika's C73MHF is up there with some of the best. Many manufacturer's make the claim of superior sensitivity, and I always take those claims with a grain of salt. Trika delivers on theirs with a carefully calculated build ensemble to deliver excellent feel into the hands of the angler.
This side, with the unfinished grooves and pits, faces towards
the water inviting accumulation of dirt and debris picked up by the fishing line
as you make your retrieve
I bring up the subject of the rod's ensemble because upon my first cast with the rod, I could literally feel and hear my line running through the guides. Other times, like when I was hoping a jig, I could hear and feel my line popping. While these sounds and sensations on a fishing rod are not necessarily unique, from where they emanate, at times, on this particular stick is.
Nit-picking aside, Trika does a nice job with spacing to minimize
line contact with the blank
The foregrip design and power