Part of the love of bass fishing comes from the tools, or toys as some would have it, we are fortunate to use to trick a bass. I grew up my whole life in the technology generation, building my first PC for home use when I was 13 from spare parts my dad brought home from work. So I appreciate the technology aspects of everything in life. It’s in my nature I suppose. It’s probably what first peaked my interest with Megabass fishing rods, including their new line of Megabass Levante rods.
Megabass has a rich history steeped in higher-end enthusiast fishing tackle for bass fishing anglers. The last few years, through close relationships with a lot of the top bass fishing pros in the sport, Megabass has been marrying their technically advanced application-specific features along with materials and complete packages more in the price range of everyday anglers.
Their latest series of rods from Megabass, the Levante, come as a blend of technically advanced processes, materials and craftsmanship at a price point around or under $200. You can make cheap rods with cheap blanks, cheap components and limited sensitivity and actions for $100. But in the end, manufacturers don’t sell a lot of them because anglers have come to equate a lack of quality if a rod has a lower price. Quite a conundrum.
If you’ve read my reviews before, you know I look for where technology improves while processes make production of the products and thus the end products more affordable for the consumer. So I was very excited to test the new Megabass Levante rods at $199. I was hoping for their same amazing quality at a price point I and others could afford.
What makes this fishing rod special
The Levante rods impressed me from the very beginning. From the custom EVA super-high-density foam to the intricate detailing of the guide wraps, reel seats, comfortable grips, as well as the sensitivity of the blanks and beautiful aesthetics of the finished rod, everything about the rod seemed right the first minute I got my rods out of the package.
I tested the Spinnerbait Special, Flat Side Special, Extreme Mission Type F, and the Leviathan in the new Levante rod line. I came away impressed with every individual and special action and power of these combinations. They seem like much more expensive rods in your hands. Part of that is due to the incorporation of an innovation in Japanese carbon material technology from Mitsubishi Rayon called Pyrofil.
Sheets of Pyrofil carbon fiber are layered in multi-axial directions and patterns depending on the power and action needed in the rod to produce a rod with a ton more durability and power without sacrificing sensitivity, possibly enhancing it.
The custom reel seat with an incredible ergonomic grip and their top-of-the-line high-density EVA grips were borrowed from their flagship line of ARMS products. The grips are some of the densest and best I’ve seen in a while in a foam grip. So you get a rod with a ton of technology, durability, and sensitivity without a ton of price.
What I liked about this fishing rod
I was sold before I ever took the rods fishing that they were going to be special. On the water, they even exceeded those expectations for me. I paired the rods with 13 Fishing Concept A and C reels. I put a Lew’s Super Duty reel on the Leviathan swimbait rod for throwing Umbrella rigs and big single swimbaits like the Megabass Magdraft 6-inch.
My favorite two rods by far were the Flat Side Special and the Spinnerbait Special. They have a ton of action and incredible sensitivity so you feel every movement of the lure, and more importantly, when that movement changes. A lot of my bites in cold water aren’t a hard “thunk” but just a change in pressure, less or more. Being able to perceive that change instantaneously results in a lot more hooked fish and a lot less swings and misses.
The rods load so well, and I’ve literally swung hundreds of bass in several trips this winter over the gunnel of the boat with all four of the rods I’ve been testing. I’ve swung 4 doubles with with umbrella rigs and swimbaits on that Leviathan rod. It’s a beast of a rod, but not so heavy and over-bearing that you can’t hold it all day long and wind on fish and still feel like they won’t tear loose.
The Spinnerbait Special has been my single swimbait rod with relatively light 12-pound fluorocarbon because I’m fishing down past 20 feet of water and fishing reel slow and methodical like I would slow rolling a spinnerbait. I got some great footage hooking fish after fish on the rod cast after cast. It’s fun because it loads so big but you still feel like you have a lot of power to steer the fish when you get them close to the boat. The rod flexes, however, to bow to those hard pulling fish up close which I like.
There are 12 rods in the line currently, but we’ve already heard about several more actions and powers (i.e. a jerkbait/topwater rod) that are in the works to round out their selections. These rods were built with North American bass fishing enthusiasts in mind. They took decades of design experience and innovations in new materials to deliver rods with high-end features at reasonable price points.