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Old 09-12-10, 08:33 PM   #1
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Default Dobyns Champion 733C Review

I've been fishing this rod all summer, and have a good idea of how it performs.
Sorry... no pics.

Dobyns Champion 733C Review

Length: 7í3Ē
Power: MH
Action: F
Lure Rating: 1/4-3/4
Recommended Lures: Senkos, Flukes, Spooks, Spinnerbaits, and Horny Toads
Retail Price: $239.99

First Impression: Ah, that magical moment when you first pull your new rod out of the cardboard tube. But this one was special for me. This was the continuation in my search for the one rod. I had been reading nothing but good things about Dobyns Rods for months, and this one was my first. The rod had a lot of reputation to live up to.

As I removed the rod from the shipping tube, the first thing I noticed was all the details of the rod. The rod is also shipped with a foam tube covering the tip and the first couple guides to protect them. I couldnít wait to pair the rod up with its intended reel, my Daiwa Viento.

Ergonomics and Looks: The rod features a Fuji ECS reel seat; a classic but popular and comfortable reel seat. It felt very good in hand, alone and with Viento mounted on it.

One of the things I read over and over about Dobyns Rods was how well balanced they were. Without a reel, I found the rod balanced about 5-6Ē in front of the reel seat. But it balanced out perfectly with the Viento, bringing the balance point to about an inch in front of the reel seat.

One downside to this rod is the small butt section of the split grip. However, to make up for this, Dobyns offers some of the Champion Series rods in both split and full handle. The more I fished with the rod though, the more I got used to the smaller butt section.

The rod just plain looks great, thereís no doubting that. And it is a perfect match visually with the Viento. The blue winding checks and accents in the handle are a very nice touch. One thing I was leery about was the section of silver on the blank in front of the handle. However, once I had the rod in hand, the silver band was not as bright as online pictures show it to be. It is actually a bit darker and kind of muted. Iíve grown to actually like it.

The guides are wrapped with black with silver accents. They match the silver section of the blank nicely.

Quality and Craftsmanship: I have not had any issues with any of the components on this rod. The Fuji ECS reel seat is reliable, as expected. Some have had issues with the Kigan SiC guides, but I havenít experienced any issues with them yet. Iíve found most that have issues are having issues that have do to with the SiC insert. SiC inserts can crack or break no matter the brand, Kigan, Batson, and Fuji. In addition to high-grade cork with very few pits, Dobyns used filler to fill any pits, making the cork very smooth.

Craftsmanship of this rod is exceptional. The guides are straight and all the wraps are very neat. Winding checks are all centered, and fitted tight to the cork.

Power: The rod definitely lives up to its MH power rating, although the softer tip wouldnít lead you to believe so. But you can really feel when the backbone of the rod kicks in on a hook set or when fighting a fish.

Casting Performance: Iíve casted everything from t-rigged 7Ē Powerworms with 1/8oz weights to Senkos weighted with up to 1/4oz to small swimbaits like the Spro BBZ-1 Shad weighing in at 1 oz. While casting, the rod actually seems to favor the lower end of its 1/4-3/4 oz lure rating; however, it does handle the full range fine. I found I could actually cast rigs less than 1/4oz fine due to the softer tip of the rod.

Applications: If Iíve ever fished a versatile rod, this is it. Throughout my testing, Iíve thrown everything recommended on the rod, and more. It excels as a senko and worm rod. It also makes a good long-cast spinnerbait rod when using a spinnerbait as a search lure. If you like throwing topwaters on longer rods, this rod can handle poppers, and walk-the-dog type baits fine. The only recommendation where I donít think this rod is well suited is for throwing Horny Toads and other frogs. I prefer a heavier rod than this, although the extra length over a 7í rod is great. This rod will work for frogs in a pinch though. Aside from the recommended lures, this rod also fishes shaky heads, and wacky rigged senkos well too. It even makes a great lightweight (1/4-1/2oz) c-rig rod; the extra length is really a bonus there.

Sensitivity: The sensitivity of this rod is great. I could easily discern between weeds, rocks, and fish. I found the sensitivity is comparable to a G Loomis IMX. The sensitivity of these rods was a bit more than I expected from a series of rod in the low $200 range.

Conclusion: When it comes to tackle, especially rods, I fish a mixed bag. And thatís mostly because Iíve been looking for that ďOneĒ brand. Well, I think I may have found it in Dobyns Rods. Everything I like about my Loomis rods in a cheaper and prettier package. I could tell from the first time I fished this rod that this isnít going to be my last Dobyns Rod.

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