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Rod Review

The Search for One… Scary attention to detail, Zombie’s X-Heavy Pitching Rod


Date: 6/17/10
Tackle type: Rod
Manufacturer: Zombie Rod & Tackle
Reviewer: Zander

Total Score: 8.08 - GREAT

The Search for One continues with a rod designed right here in our backyard water of the California Delta. Zombie Rod and Tackle draws on their custom rod building experience to introduce a series that is designed for anglers that are looking for a rod that showcases a combination of performance and character. Is this custom solution really capable of rousing the dead to tie on a line?  


Zombie 7'3" X-Heavy Pitching Rod Specifications

Material Toray Graphite
Length 7'3"
Length of Rear Grip 11.5"
Line Wt. 15 - 35 lb.
Lure Rating 1/2 - 2oz
Pieces one
Guides 9 guides + tip (Fuji SiC)
Power Rating Extra Heavy
Taper Fast
Rod Weight 7.5 ounces
Origin Final assembly in USA
MSRP $311.08


Meet the Zombie 7'3" Pitching rod, a stick with enthusiast appeal and American custom rod flavor all wrapped into one rod


Impressions: When it comes to memorable rod company names “Zombie Rod & Tackle” might just take the cake. So just why is this company named after the undead? The Owner and Designer of the company’s rods got the suggestion from a friend and felt like it was a name that people would remember. Guess it worked.


We paired the rod with a number of reels including the Daiwa Steez and the rod remained balanced


The Zombie rods were created and field tested on the California Delta so it is no surprise that there is an emphasis on power fishing techniques like flipping and pitching when it comes to the company’s initial lineup. All of the casting rods are 7 feet or longer. They range from 7 feet even to 7 foot 10 inches and bear powers from medium to extra heavy. All the rods in the Zombie lineup currently make use of Toray blank material as the company liked the way that the blanks performed in both flipping and pitching applications. They are already working on other rods that may or may not make use of Toray materials in the future, the bottom line is that they plan to make use of the material that best fits the application they are seeking to address.


The custom painted Fuji reel seat looks different colors under various lighting conditions


With the exception of one spinning rod all the Zombie rods are all pretty robust actions and are by no means lightweights, with a combination of powerful blanks and plenty of metal components they weigh in above 7oz. (the 7’3” Extra-Heavy rod weighs in at 7.9oz.), the good news is even though they weigh slightly more than the average flipping stick they are well balanced. When it comes to cosmetics these rods are designed with a very “Enthusiast” look and feel and the attention to detail is evident the minute you pick up the rods. The rods feature a painted reel seat that appears black indoors but looks more green and purple under direct sunlight. The lower section of the rod features woven carbon fiber and the butt of the rod is finished with gold rings that match the winding check and lead into a butt cap with a “Z” that displays the rod specifications and company website.


The foregrip and winding checks are slick looking!


Above the small foregrip is a serious looking winding check. This implementation reminded me of premium JDM rods and contrasts various metals and colors like bronzes and golds. The winding check is actually a long flange that not only helps balance out the rod but can be seen no matter how large or small your reel footprint is because it extends all the way down to the top of the Fuji seat. Combined with the black EVA foam grips the rod has a very polished overall look and feel and pairs nicely with green, grey, white, gold and silver colored reels.


Under the small foregrip is a metal flange that is not just here for cosmetics, it helps balance out this x-heavy rated stick


Lab Tests: For this review we focused our attention on the 7 foot 3 inch Extra Heavy pitching rod. This stick features a fast action taper and can accommodate lines between 15-35lbs. and lure weights ranging from ˝ to a whopping 2 ounces. These sticks are characterized by their ability to handle deflection weights of up to 48 ounces (we go to 32 ounces with the other sticks). Typically, sticks we've seen in this space have been swimbait sticks, but really, this can include flipping sticks, punching sticks, frog sticks - basically anything that can handle really abusive duty whether that be slinging, big, heavy baits, or fishing in the middle of the nastiest slop you can find.


BIG Sticks Lab Results


Avg RoD (2-32oz)
Measured Weight (oz)
Balance Point (inches)
Balancing Torque (ftlbs)
St. Croix MOJO MBC79HF
Power Tackle PG104-76
Zombie 7'3" Heavy Pitch
e21 CMG701XH-F-C
e21 CMG761H-F-C


The Zombie 7'3" Heavy Pitch rod features a 11.5" Rear Handle and  9+Tip SiC Guides and unlike many other flipping sticks that are extremely stiff this rod tested out in between what we normally see in a finesse stick and an all purpose rod. Notice the rod has an interesting balance point at 3.25” and while the rod does feel balanced with most reels this rod is certainly heavier than average at 7.5oz. There are some rods that balance out the same but they are also typically characterized by being heavier than the others. Some manufacturers argue balance while some argue ultimate light weight, the real trick to getting a rod to feel right is often achieving the right compromise. Those that go purely for weight will often be too tip heavy, while those like Zombie that go for ultimate balance will often weigh in heavier overall.


A look at the top of the reel seat, it can look purple or green depending on the angle and lighting



Next Section: On to the real world tests!









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