Wednesday, September 4, 2013

IBASSIN's Review: The New Redesigned 7'4" Simax Loca Casting Rods

Simax is a Canadian company with strong roots in China. They offer several rod series and have expanded into techniques specific rods such as drop shotting, jerkbait and steelhead.

The Loca series has been in production for several years. Made in China but designed in Canada, it has been refined several times. Here are their newest designs. is not providing a rating scale in this review. I feel that a rubric (scale) is a fine method of providing evaluation, but it is unjust to critically evaluate this style of equipment. Rods are tools and tools need to fit its owner. What is suburb for me might be a miss for you.
We are judging this rod on its own merits. Priced for around $200, it isn't an entry level rod nor at the top. Here are its features:

We got to sample two different 7'4" models. The top is the heavy action
and the lower rod is medium-heavy. Both have identical length.

 A primarily black blank with red accents and threading makes for a sharp,
attractive fishing rod. Each rod action was appropriately rated and had fast actions. The heavy action
rod was strong and powerful enough to double as a flipping rod. I found it perfect for pitching and jig fishing. It would also double for Carolina rigs, medium Alabama rigs, or swimbaits.

The medium heavy rod offered more of a tapered action than it's heavier action twin.
 This would be ideal for spinnerbaits, frogs (especially if you like to walk the dog), chatterbaits and swimbaits.

 Created out of black EVA foam this split grip handle and wrap is very stylish. Past models had cork with no fore grip. The 2013 models are all foam with a hard plastic fore grip. The first thing you'll notice is the handle difference. The heavy action (right) has a much longer handle. Each rod's fore grip is equal in size and is rigid plastic. Personally, I find the shorter handle more ideal for working topwaters, jerkbaits and frogs. I did find it a bit too short for pitching or deep worming. The longer handle model (heavy action) was very well balanced. I found it more comfortable and offered less fatigue especially when pitching or long range casting.  

One major change was omitting the balancing system. Prior models had a weigh system were the angler could add or subtract washers in the butt to fine tune the rod's balance. Simax has done away with this feature and offers a simple butt cap.

The lure keeper has been redesigned for the better. It is slightly beefier and more compact than past versions.  Located below the reel handle, a popular choice among rod manufacturers, I personally am not a fan. Many will argue that it creates a more streamlined plane in front of the rod; I simply prefer having the lures secured in front.  If you're a fan than this will work well for you.

One improvement is the size of the lure keeper. It will accommodate heavy gauge hooks, like this frog, with ease. Past models had a long, narrow keeper. This is a nice improvement.

There are 13 rod guides on each model. Surprised at first of the amount of guides, they provided great balance and tame the line nicely.  Casting and pitching was does with ease and casting distance was never a problem. 

These semi-micro guides are more solid than on past models. Each was wrapped well and done with pride. The two rods I tested didn't have any sloppy craftsmanship.

Line guides also went under review. The first Loca micro guides were tiny. These are considered micro guides but there is a taper from the reel to the tip. This is an improvement from past models. I did fine with braid but discovered that these guides are too narrow if you want to use a Fluorocarbon leader. While fishing topwaters with a uni to uni knot linking braid to Fluorocarbon, I constantly jammed the knot in the rod tip.  A huge pet peeve at the time but micro guides are not for every technique.

The handle and fore grip are very comfortable yet simple. A large section of the rod blank is exposed for great feel. The screw down, reel locking fore grip was smooth and solid. I found no burrs or rough spots which also displayed good craftsmanship. I tried a variety of reels on both rods with no problems. This is an Abu Revo and it fit snugly.

Overall Simax has a sexy, 7'4" rod that is well priced. Anglers will be happy with the quality and caliber of production.  The Simax Loca is following this current trend of using all foam handles and if you're a fan this will please you. Drop by a store to check out the Simax Loca for yourself.


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