The minute you put a well-constructed rod in your hands, you can just feel it. The weight, the balance, the power and the cosmetics just seem to work in concert. Because there are so many rod companies in fishing, choosing one that has the right action, the perfect length and the right price can be a difficult task at times.
I use the blind test on just about every rod. I never look at price until the end of the test when evaluating them, and I do that for a reason. I want the rod to be judged on the quality versus how much it costs, and it’s amazing to me just how many great rods are priced from $100-200 based on that test. I found exactly that with the ALX IKOS Promise 73 rod.
We have all seen it at the local tackle store. When buying a rod, anglers do more shaking and bending than can be seen at a Chubby Checker concert. Everyone has a way to feel and test a rod, but it comes down to putting it to use and talking to others about their experiences. Most times it is not those that make them or on a pro staff that gets the straight scoop.
ALX IKOS Promise 73 Experiences
I look for some versatility in my rod selections. I want a spinnerbait rod to be more than just for spinnerbaits and a crankbait rod to be for more than crankbaits and that means finding a forgiving action but also finding backbone. The ALX IKOS Promise 73 has both.
The rod feel starts at the handle. I did the same thing with baseball bats in my earlier years. Simply by picking it up and wrapping my hands around the handle gives me the base line to see if the rod will feel the same after a full day of fishing with it. I like a slender handle that fits my hands. Just like the old 33 ounce/inch Mickey Mantle Louisville Slugger, it has to feel right. The ALX IKOS has a combination cork EVA grip that not only looks great but feels great too. I keep three fingers on the grip and one and my thumb on the reel so it has to feel balanced when held.
The blank is the business end of a rod, and just like the barrel of a bat, it has to be tapered correctly but have plenty of power. On a bat it tapers to a larger end, and a rod it’s just the opposite. It’s all about balance and the Promise 73 gives the feeling of power without weight.
The blank loads well and is forgiving on the strike too. For spinnerbaits, it’s important to let the fish absorb the bait and the Promise allows for that. The tip is fast down to guide 4 and still has plenty of backbone for a solid hookset.
The Promise 73 uses a low resin OS Carbon Hydra blank which makes it super light. The Kigan Z series guides, 10 plus tip, blend well on this blank, and the bait keeper is functional, large enough for big baits, and out of the way.
This rod is exceptionally good for spinnerbaits 3/8-ounce or heavier but also works well with smaller ones too. I like to throw a Chatterbait Freedom 1/2-ounce model with this rod as well.
I have found it also works great on medium-sized crankbaits like the Spro Little John DD 60. Because of its ability to load on the cast, you can make super long casts with this rod and the feel is perfect for deep divers too. I am truly impressed with this rod, and it’s now my go-to rod for cranking.
I have also thrown 1/2-ounce and heavier swimbaits on this rod as well. The Zoom Swimmer rigged with a Buckeye J-Will or a Revenge head is perfect on this rod. Long casts needed for this kind of fishing is no problem, and I like to work the bait slowly with the tip lowered towards the water, almost like fishing a crankbait. Hooksets are done with a sweeping motion almost like fishing a Carolina Rig.
The ALX IKOS Rod is a very versatile rod with plenty of beef, and I have swung fish up to 4 pounds easily with it. I really like the cork and grey accents and the balance and character of the rod are its bragging points.
This stick is powerful yet subtle, and I am especially fond of its balance. You can fish it all day without fatigue. The feel of the rod due its constructions allows you to detect even the most subtle bites but the comfort it will hold up when you set the wood to them too.