If you’ve read many (or any) of my reviews on the Team Ark rods, you’ll recognize a running theme— I’m a big fan. I have tested I believe 6 models of Ark rods now, and I haven’t found a fault with any of them. Such is the case again concerning today’s product that’s up for review, the Ark Cobb Series Casting Rod.
A GREAT VALUE FISHING ROD
One thing that does differ from one model rod to another in the Ark lineup is the price point. While the higher-end Reinforcer is an awesome rod if money is no object, and the Catalyzer is astonishingly good for the money, the Cobb Series is probably the best bang for your buck, right at $100.
This is a tournament tested rod, with design input from one of the best anglers on the Bassmaster Elite Series in Brandon Cobb— an angler with two Elite Series wins and a Bassmaster Century Belt to his name. Cobb is a fantastic all-around angler, so I chose the all-around “Kitchen Sink” model of his rod for testing; a 7-foot fast action rod with a medium heavy power.
OPTIONS AND SPECS ON COBB RODS
This rod comes in 11 casting options, as well as three spinning options. The blank is built of Japanese Toray 40T modulus carbon fiber using MDML (Multi-Directional Multi-Layer) technology. That’s a lot of fancy words, but the outcome is a light, strong and sensitive blank.
Ark went with graduated black coated stainless guides with aluminum oxide rings and a zirconium tip top insert. Again, fancy jargon for quality guides that have held up flawlessly to 6 months of testing and fairly regular abuse on my part. The guide nearest the reel is more traditional in size, with the remaining guides decreasing in size as you make your way towards the tip.
DIFFERENCES ON COBB SERIES
Cobb and Ark did a couple things a little differently with his signature line-up. Two things are seen on some other rods, but are still worth noting, while the other is closer to unique. For starters, the Cobb Series features an exposed rod blank at the reel seat. This is a feature that is certainly incorporated by some other companies, but it really sets a rod apart when it comes to sensitivity. Giving the angler a direct point of contact with the blank instead of having to detect a bite through additional layers of material makes for a better rod every time.
Ark also incorporated my favorite type of lure keeper, as well as positioned in the primo spot. Having an open lure keeper allows the angler to secure both treble hook baits as well as weedless rigged soft plastics, without having to remove the hook from the plastic first. This cuts down drastically on waste if you like to keep your rods and baits stowed neatly when fishing with Texas rigs and shaky heads, for examples. And the placement of this lure keeper on top of the rod, above the reel seat nearly eliminates any chance of your line hanging on the lure keeper when popping your bait free or casting.
Finally, something Ark did a little differently from other companies (and even other rod models within their own brand) is they used a combination of cork and EVA foam for their grips. The butt of the rod is cork, while the grip is made of a camouflage EVA foam. The combination is comfortable to fish with and the splash of camo makes for a stylish and unique looking rod, if nothing else.
PERSONAL EXPERIENCE AND RECOMMENDATIONS
Again, I went with the “Kitchen Sink” model of the Cobb Series rod for testing. This one was intentionally designed to use with a wide variety of techniques. At 7 feet with a medium heavy power and a fast action, it made for a great rod for spinnerbaits and Texas rigs. I think it would also pair well with a buzzbait, buzz toad and swim jig.
This model in particular would be a little stout for a squarebill, and a little light for flipping. I would look at the 6- foot, 11- inch medium “Century” for small cranks and jerkbaits or the 7- foot, 2- inch medium “One More” for squarebills. Moving to the 7- foot, 1- inch heavy action “Buzz Burner” would give you what you need if you’re looking for something a little stronger. Cobb offers insights on specific techniques that each model is designed for on Ark’s website.
OTHER NOTES ON COBB RODS
This is an easy recommendation for the person looking for a good, all-around rod. Whether you’re an angler walking the bank who is getting pretty serious about bass fishing and wanting to level up his gear, or a seasoned tournament angler looking for a quality technique-specific rod to add to the arsenal, the Brandon Cobb Series from Ark has you covered.
Built with cutting edge technology and premium parts, the Cobb Series is the perfect combination of style and quality. The EVA/cork combo on the grips is a nice touch aesthetically, and the exposed blank at the reel is the kind of attention to detail that makes this a top-notch rod when it comes to performance. At $100, this is one of the best rods I’ve found in this price range.