We won’t lie, fishing with new tackle keeps time on the water interesting and fulfilling. Something about a new reel, a new lure, a new rig or a new rod just makes the experience on the water fun. Like a kid getting a new toy, we love our new tackle.
Some tackle like worms and terminal tackle doesn’t cost much yet is still effective. While other tackle is more expensive and adds to our overall enjoyment of time spent on the water chucking and winding thousands of casts every trip.
We’re fortunate to have access to the latest and greatest and often out of reach tackle to test. Many of our readers can afford nicer gear than we can, so we have an obligation to review all the gear from $0.20 worms to $400 rods. So it’s always a treat when we get to test some of the high-end gear.
This past month, we received a new rod from Megabass to test for a time and then send back with our review of the rod. Megabass makes high end fishing tackle that has just recently become more widely available in the states. The new rod they wanted us to test was from their new X4 Orochi line of rods – The Destroyer Orochi RattleViper Technical Game rod.
The Destroyer Orochi RattleViper Technical Game (F3-68X4) looks as wicked as it sounds. Immediately when you pick it up, it feels different. The blank is a very small diameter, yet it feels more like you’re holding a solid rod than a hollow graphite rod. It’s not heavy, but it feels more solid than other blanks we’ve felt.
In Japanese mythology, the Orochi was an 8-headed serpent who demanded human sacrifices. Orochi actually translates to big snake and truthfully it was a bit scary to fish with, not necessarily in a bad way. It’s like when you buy a new car, and for the first week, you’re terrified someone is going to ding it at the local Walmart. It’s a finely crafted rod with beautiful blank design, handles and guide wraps.
The unique reel seat features a proprietary locking nut on the fore grip. When you hold the rod without a reel, the locking cap is loose and sounds like metal rattling on graphite. But you seat the reel and lock it down, and you don’t have to worry about any play in the reel as you work a jerkbait, set the hook or fight a bass to the boat.
The handle is a very finely smoothed cork that features a high-balancing end cap to give the rod great balance and feel in your hands. The reel seat itself features high-polished custom Fuji components that blend beautifully with the rod and and quick tapering handle. The handle was critically designed by pros who have to fish all day to allow for good grip and comfort on long days of jerking and twitching a rod.
The guides are Fuji stainless steel SiC inserts that complete the solid feel and performance of the rod.
But the meat of this rod is how the materials are wrapped around the blank to give it a small profile yet incredibly strong and light backbones. Normally you think the lighter it is the weaker it is. But this rod is multilayered with tightly woven graphite in a braided matrix. There is a 4-braid layer of carbon graphite that is laid over a 2-braid layer of carbon fiber. They are laid across each other in opposite directions. The best explanation I heard was to take a “+” and then lay an “x” on top of it so you had two layers that went in all the directions to make it uniformly stronger while not adding weight.
The blanks are extremely narrow yet feel extremely solid and the F3 denotes a medium power in the X4 line of rods. So the rod has great backbone but has a bit softer power and moderate action. What this enables you to do is work a jerkbait or a small jig with miniscule twitches and pops of the rod and keep the bait in the fish’s zone longer. You feel the action of the bait and are able to control the slightest of movements with the rod.
We tested this rod on the water for a couple of weeks. We paired the Orochi F3-68X4 rod with the new Abu Garcia Revo MGX reel. We spooled it up with 12-pound Trilene XL Armor Coated and tested it with Megabass Ito Vision 110 + 1 jerkbaits and Cumberland Pro Lures 3/8 ounce Pro Caster jigs.
The rod will launch a jerkbait and small jig alike. The rod loads nicely to about 40 percent and fires the baits with precision over long distances. The rod is well balanced. We would shorten the rod handle just a bit for jerkbait fishing in colder weather. The rod handle is long for distance casting but it did snag in the sleeve a time or two while fishing a jerkbait with a downward jerk. But when you hit a fish, it’s nice to be able to lay that long handle along your forearm with the butt in your ribs and get a good hookset on a fish.
The rod is very sensitive and was very comfortable to fish all day. That can be a huge advantage when jerking all day trying to coax weary winter bass into falling for a jerkbait mimic dying forage. The rod spared no expense in design, formulation, concept and performance. When you take the materials and add the painstaking trial and testing of these rods by the designers, engineers and pro staff, you get a top-of-the-line rod.
The price point will be a sticker for many anglers. At $369, the expense can be very hard to justify. We have plenty of $79 rods that have performed well enough. But when you get to this level in materials, proprietary craftsmanship, and performance, it’s going to raise the price significantly. This is not a rod you buy 10 of. You buy one of these for your favorite techniques as budget allows. Then you take extra caution to care for the rod.
The rod comes with a beautiful rod sock that is not only thick and protective but also looks good with a zipper enclosure on the handle end and tie straps and padding for shortening and protecting the tip section of the rod. Add to that a 3-year defect-free warranty and you’ve got an investment in your fishing and fun.
I liken rods like this to Ferraris. Most of us will never be able to afford a Ferrari, but if we could, it sure would be a lot of fun to own. And we all like to window shop and check out what’s under the hood with top of the line gear whether it’s motorcycles or fishing rods.
That’s where these enthusiast line of rods fall. If you can afford to get one, you’ll be glad you did and have a ton of fun fishing with it. Not to mention you’ll be the envy of all your fishing buddies and tournament competitors. It’s definitely a conversation piece, and we’ve had a lot of fun fishing with it and talking to guys on the water about it.
To learn more about this rod and the other Orochi line of rods made for more power fishing applications in the United States, visit MegabassUSA.com.