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DTro

Ultra Feel and Angel Hair rods

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I got a chance to try out both of these new rods on some cats last night. I figured I'd give a quick review of both of them.

The Angel Hair rod is very similar to other deadstick type rods that have popped up recently (meat stick, power noodle, etc). It has a short section at the tip that is very sensitive for detecting bites. It is bright white colored for visual aid. The rod handle and reel seat is made of a hard rubber type material and the reel seat screws and unscrews from the but section of the rod. The handle is ergonomically shaped to acoomodate a pencil type grip. The rod I have is an UL action (not sure if there are other actions available).

I have to say that the rod detected the light biting cats wonderfully. They bite so light normally that we just use foam bobbers to fish for them, so it was a nice change of pace. I can say that the Angel Hair tip actually detected bites even better than a bobber. This was a good and bad thing. I first made the mistake of trying to set the hook at first movement, but as it turns out, I needed to let that tip bounce a bit more before driving the hook home. After that it was one after another. Unfortunately the UL action was a bit light for the cats I was catching and I spent more time fighting the fish and getting tangled than catching them. This will definately be a great panfish/perch/tulibee rod and I'm really looking forward to chasing Tulibees with it later this season. I anticipate it will work great.

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The Ultra Feel rod has a design in which there is a "window" for you to rest your finger on the rod blank. The reel seat is like the Angel Hair and screws/unscrews from the butt section. I have to say that I wish more rods had a seat like this. I'm not really a taped reel kind of guy. I like to be able to change reels on the fly. Unfortunately, most decent rods don't have a reel seat at all. The handle is also shaped for a pencil grip, but is made of a hard plastic instead of the hard rubber on the Angel Hair. I think I preferred the hard rubber as it seemed to grip better. The rod action is listed L on the rod and I think it felt more like a M action. I caught about 50 cats on it last night and it was a perfect action. It was comfortable and fought the fish nice. I was not able to really test the Ultra Feel aspect of the rod for detecting bites as I was using a bobber. I can't say for certain if design helps in detecting bites, but I will try to test that a bit more later on.

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The reels that come with these combos worked OK, but as with a lot of combos I think the reels could use a couple of tweaks. I like the design and features that are geared towards ice fishing (quick folding handles, extended arm, and large spool arbor). The 2 things I would improve would be the bail spring and the backreel switch. In my opinion the bail spring is too weak and it seemed like the about half of times I was setting the hook the line would partially flip the bail open and when that happened I was not able to pick up line until I moved the bail back and manually tweaked the line back into the pickup guide. Also if you look in the picture you can see the backreel switch is positioned on the back of the reel which is fine until you are fighting a fish, and then the hard edge of the switch pokes you in the wrist a bit.

Other than those couple of minor issues, the combos worked great and I look forward to using them more.

Anyone else tried these yet?

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hey Dtro.. fantastic review.. Make sure however when using the ultra feel that your finger touches both the rod blank and the handle. I notice in your pict that your finger is just on the blank. Which works, but if your finger touches both ( I call it the pinch point) it magnifies it a ton!

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Thanks for the tip Deitz, I'll have to give that a try next time out.

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