Tackle Test 2012: The Best New Spinning and Baitcasting Rods and Reels

This year's crop of rods and reels is rich with features. High-end amenities found previously on premier models are now standard on lower-priced offerings, and pricing has plummeted across the tackle landscape. See the 2015 Tackle Test of 42 new fishing rods and reels here! We spent five days last October torture-testing these newly affordable rods and reels against big redfish and largemouths in the marshes of southern Louisiana. Here's our take on the best new tackle of 2012. - Best New Spinning Reels 2012
- Best New Baitcasting Reels 2012
- Best New Spinning Rods 2012
- Best New Baitcasting Rods 2012 Click here to see the video of how we tested the rods and reels.
Quantum Smoke SL25PTI The construction of the Smoke spinner uses a proprietary long-strand carbon-infused composite. The compact, 7.6-ounce reel has amazing component stiffness due to this extra-stout material; its aluminum frame remains rigid even under the harshest torque. The multi-stack drag can muster 16 pounds of fish-stopping power. A fat, comfortable EVA knob, oversize drag knob, attractive matte paint job, and stealth graphics round out the top reel in the spinning field. Test Result
Overall: ****
Price: $159
Performance: A
Design: A+
Price/Value: A-
Weight: 7.6 oz.
Retrieve Ratio: 5.28:1
Line Capacity: 150 yd./8 lb.
Company: Quantum
Shakespeare Contender CONT-30 This feisty 30-series econo-spinner shocked our entire test team with its sturdy design and fish-fighting performance. While somewhat heavy (8.4 ounces), it's ruggedly built, with a composite frame and rotor. An oversized line roller ably manages both mono and braid. As you would imagine, given the price, we did find a few flaws. The crank knob is a little sloppy, and the drag has a limited range. All in all, though, this reel impressed on many levels. Test Result
Overall: ***
Price: $25
Performance: B-
Design: B-
Price/Value: A+
Weight: 8.4 oz.
Retrieve Ratio: 5.5:1
Line Capacity: 110 yd./8 lb.
Company: Shakespeare
Lew's Speed Spool TSS4000 Featuring a carbon-fiber body and rotor, the Speed Spool holds an incredible 340 yards of 10-pound-test, and comes with a spool arbor to reduce capacity when using braid. All the components on this reel are beefy. The 4.2:1 retrieve ratio inhales line at 33 inches per turn, thanks to the large-diameter spool. The TSS4000 is a bit chubby at 9.9 ounces, due mainly to the heftiness of construction. The large directional knob is egg-shaped and was not universally loved by our panel. Test Result
Overall: ****
Price: $89
Performance: A-
Design: B+
Price/Value: A
Weight: 9.9 oz.
Retrieve Ratio: 4.2:1
Line Capacity: 340 yd./10 lb.
Company: Lew's
Shimano Stradic 1000FJ The Stradic delivered smoothness during the cast due to a proprietary spool lip that feathers line seemingly friction-free. The retrieve is Shimano-slick, thanks in part to five ball bearings. A cold-forged drive gear and brass pinion gear keep the reel turning without binding under the heaviest of loads. A 6.0:1 retrieve ratio is fast for a 30-series, and the drag was the best in the field, performing flawlessly under punishing use. Test Result
Overall: ***½
Price: $179
Performance: A-
Design: B+
Price/Value: B
Weight: 7.1 oz.
Retrieve Ratio: 6.01:1
Line Capacity: 110 yd./6 lb.
Company: Shimano
Abu Garcia Orra SX 30 The SX 30 is a workhorse. Eight main drive bearings and one roller bearing deliver a smooth retrieve. At 9.7 ounces, the Orra is a bit heavy; however, a massive brass drive gear offers unmatched durability. The Orra comes with two spools. The factory spool is machined to accept braid (125 yards of 10-pound-test). The second spool has a custom tapered lip designed to perform best with mono and fluoro. With a 5.8:1 retrieve ratio, the SX 30 is powerful and well suited for finesse techniques. Test Result
Overall: ****
Price: $99
Performance: A-
Design: A-
Price/Value: A
Weight: 9.7 oz.
Retrieve Ratio: 5.8:1
Line Capacity: 125 yd./10 lb.
Company: Abu Garcia
Daiwa Ballistic 2500SH A corrosion-proof carbon-based frame anchors the Ballistic 25000H, and innovation abounds on the 8.3-ounce offering. In addition to the Air Rotor, a hollow bail reduces weight and trips cleanly and crisply. Linked to a stout gearbox, the Ballistic has a speedy 6.01:1 ratio, gobbling up 35 inches of line per crank. A sealed waterproof drag keeps the discs dry and fade-free. Two bearings keep the drag washers in perfect alignment, virtually eliminating disc binding. Test Result
Overall: ****
Price: $199
Performance: A-
Design: A-
Price/Value: B+
Weight: 8.3 oz.
Retrieve Ratio: 6.01:1
Line Capacity: 150 yd./12 lb.
Company: Daiwa
WaveSpin DH3000Z The premise behind the unique spool design is reduced friction during casts as line skips from peak to peak. The advertised result is longer casts and no tangles. While we weren't able to make noticeably longer casts, line remained tangle-free during our test. Features include a graphite frame, eight bearings, and the best bail in the field. The drag has a large range and a great feel when fighting big fish. The two-year unconditional replacement warranty is noteworthy. Test Result
Overall: ***
Price: $88
Performance: B
Design: B
Price/Value: B
Weight: 10.3 oz.
Retrieve Ratio: 5.0:1
Line Capacity: 220 yd./8 lb.
Company: Wavespin
**BAITCASTNG REELS Quantum EXO PT EX100 SPT** Twelve bearings keep the lightweight EXO's spool spinning smoothly and its handle cranking effortlessly. An incredible 17 pounds of drag is applied through a series of stainless-steel, carbon, and ceramic discs. In an effort to keep weight down, the magnetic casting control was removed. While this may seem odd, the friction control is so good you won't miss it. The single control greatly simplifies the reel's operation, contributing to its best-of-test rating. Test Result
Overall: ****
Price: $249
Performance: A
Design:A+
Price/Value: A-
Weight: 6.1 oz.
Retrieve Ratio: 6.6:1
Line Capacity: 145 yd./12 lb.
Company: Quantum
Shimano Curado 200G5 The Curado's recessed reel seat keeps the reel low on the rod for all-day comfort. With a capacity of 155 yards of 10-pound-test, the 200G5 rotates on four shielded stainless-steel bearings and one roller clutch bearing. We found our test reel a bit noisy on the retrieve, though--very atypical for a Shimano offering. The automatic anti-reverse system was the best tested, allowing a positive stop for solid hooksets. The Septon grips are comfortable and durable. Test Result
Overall: ***
Price: $159
Performance: B
Design: B
Price/Value: B
Weight: 7.3 oz.
Retrieve Ratio: 5.5:1
Line Capacity: 155 yd./10 lb.
Company: Shimano
Daiwa T3 Ballistic 100H With its swooped styling, the Ballistic is one of 2012's most talked-about new reels. The T-shaped casting aperture promotes the free flow of line, and our team felt that it did increase casting distances. Twin casting controls, plus a third casting lever, yield almost unlimited control settings. The drag produces up to 13.2 pounds of friction. With its casting hood, the T3 nestles comfortably in hand. The spool is removable via a push-button side-plate. Test Result
Overall: ***½
Price: $249
Performance: B+
Design:B+
Price/Value: B-
Weight: 7.5 oz.
Retrieve Ratio: 6.3:1
Line Capacity: 140 yd./14 lb.
Company: Daiwa
Lew's Speed Spool TS1HMG After years in hiatus, Lew's reels are back and providing awesome value. The Speed Spool features a one-piece machined frame, a deep machined spool, and a carbon drag. The oversize magnetic cast control is easy to adjust, and the clicker friction control is among the best we've ever tested. Machined brass gears are the core of the reel's power plant, and mesh perfectly. The large star drag is tumbled to remove sharp edges, and it delivers an impressive 14 pounds of friction. Test Result
Overall: ****
Price: $129
Performance: A
Design: A
Price/Value: A
Weight: 8.3 oz.
Retrieve Ratio: 6.4:1
Line Capacity: 150 yd./12 lb.
Company: Lew's
Abu Garcia Revo MGX With a 7.1:1 retrieve, the MGX blisters baits back to the boat. Carbon composite materials abound, rendering this reel the lightest in the field at 5.4 ounces. The large, offset transmission hangs below the reel seat for a low-rider feel and easy palming. The one-piece magnesium frame is excellent and without torsional flex. The EVA knobs and deflexed graphite handle provide a "just right" feel. Dual casting controls allow for fine-tuning the cast for bait weight, rod action, and wind conditions on the fly. Test Result
Overall: ****
Price: $349
Performance: A
Design: A
Price/Value: B
Weight: 5.4 oz.
Retrieve Ratio: 7.1:1
Line Capacity: 115 yd./12 lb.
Company: Abu Garcia
Bass Pro Shops EXT10HA The EXT10 continues in the BPS tradition of good reels at great prices. It has a seven-ball-bearing system and a four-disc aramid-fiber and stainless-steel washer drag system, which applies up to 12 pounds of friction. The dual casting controls allow for fine-tuning for a variety of baits and tactics. The ribbed handle drew mixed reviews, as did the stubby casting bar. At 7.4 ounces, the EXT10 is a bit chunky; however, given the price, the heft is easily overlooked. Test Result
Overall: ***
Price: $79
Performance: B
Design: B-
Price/Value: B
Weight: 7.4 oz.
Retrieve Ratio: 6.3:1
Line Capacity: 120 yd./12 lb.
Company: Bass Pro Shops
SPINNING RODS Cabela's Platinum ZX PZX704-1A The Platinum performed as well as or better than any rod we've ever tested. The blank is delightfully balanced, and its handling and sensitivity rival that of the most expensive custom rods. The ergonomic handle, with its sweet palm swell, is all-day comfortable. Stainless-steel Fuji K-frame guides, with braid-friendly ceramic inserts, round out this top performer's list of amenities. Test Result
Overall: ****
Price: $199
Performance: A
Design: A
Price/Value: A-
Length: 7'
Weight: 3.6 oz.
Action: Med.
Line-Test Rating: 6-12 lb.
Luree-Weight Rating: 1/4-5/8 oz.
Company: Cabela's
Daiwa Ballistic BLS701MFS The Ballistic's build is clean, featuring Fuji single-foot guides and a bias graphite blank. Aesthetically, the blood-red-and-black paint scheme is pure eye candy. The custom handle is the best in the field. The 13⁵⁄₈-inch split grip is just right for long two-handed casts. All of these impressive features, plus a sub-$100 price tag and a five-year limited warranty, earned the Ballistic our Great Buy award. Test Result
Overall: ****
Price: $99
Performance: A
Design: A-
Price/Value: A+
Length: 7'
Weight: 4.7 oz.
Action: Med.
Line-Test Rating: 6-14 lb.
Lure-Weight Rating: 1/4-3/4 oz.
Company: Daiwa
Castaway Microwave LT-DSM7

A smaller guide mounted within the Microwave's bottom guide is intended to lengthen casts and reduce tangles. After hours of testing, we didn't find that it improved casting distance to any appreciable degree. The 4-ounce rod is light and has an admirable action. The seven guides were a bit sparse, though, and the handle's design is dated and in dire need of padding. Test Result
Overall: ***
Price: $200
Performance: B-
Design: B-
Price/Value: C+
Length: 7'
Weight: 4.0 oz.
Action: Med.
Line-Test Rating: 8-14 lb.
Luree-Weight Rating: 1/4-1/2 oz.
Company: Castaway
E21 Wild Black CWZ701M-MF-S At 2.9 ounces, the Wild Black is ridiculously light. A high-modulus radially wrapped blank is laced with eight Fuji Alconite guides. The split reel seat offers maximum contact between rod and user while the split grip is tailor-made for two-handed casts. The tip is great, with a subtle action. It's rated for ¼- to ⁵⁄₈-ounce baits, but we feel the rod performs best with lures at the lower end of that range. Test Result
Overall: ***½
Price: $129
Performance: A-
Design: B+
Price/Value: B+
Length: 7'
Weight: 2.9 oz.
Action: Med.
Line-Test Rating: 6-14 lb.
Lure-Weight Rating: 1/4-5/8 oz.
Company: E21
Falcon BuCoo Micro BMS-7M The American-made FXB graphite blank had one of the best actions among our field. This 3.6-ounce rod fishes like an ultralight and is nicely balanced. Nine Fuji guides are spread evenly along the blank, offering a symmetrical flex when loaded and allowing for longer casts and a wonderful feel when fighting fish. However, the exposed threads are uncomfortable, and the hook keeper is poorly positioned. Test Result
Overall: ***½
Price: $129
Performance: A-
Design: B+
Price/Value: B+
Length: 7'
Weight: 3.6 oz.
Action: Med.
Line-Test Rating: 8-17 lb.
Lure-Weight Rating: 1/4-1/2 oz.
Company: Falcon
Fenwick Elite Tech Smallmouth ESMS69M-XF Rated for baits in the 1⁄16 - to ⁵⁄₈-ounce range, we found the Elite Tech was the only spinning rod capable of throwing 1⁄16-ounce baits with consistency. The titanium guides with zirconium inserts are friendly to both braid and clear lines. The cork handle has no exposed threads, so your hand touches only cork for greater comfort. Test Result
Overall: ****
Price: $129
Performance: A-
Design: A-
Price/Value: A-
Length: 6'9"
Weight: 3.6 oz.
Action: Med.
Line-Test Rating: 6-12 lb.
Lure-Weight Rating: 1/16-5/8 oz.
Company: Fenwick
Lew's Laser SL Speed Stick SL70MFS The new Speed Stick sports a premium HM 45 graphite blank, eight polished hard aluminum-oxide semi-micro guides, and a skeletal two-piece split reel seat (which had some sharp edges). Some testers felt the blank was too big, while others liked the larger diameter when battling unresponsive fish. No one could argue with the great price and limited lifetime warranty. Test Result
Overall: ****
Price: $99
Performance: A-
Design: A-
Price/Value: A-
Length: 7'
Weight: 4.2 oz.
Action: Med.
Line-Test Rating: 8-14 lb.
Lure-Weight Rating: 1/4-5/8 oz.
Company: Lew's
Quantum Smoke HSX70 The 7-foot Smoke fishes like it's 7½. The action is suited to finesse fishing, and the tip's soft action translates nearly halfway down the blank, making this rod perfect for deep-water drop-shotting or bouncing tubes. A super-sensitive HSX70 high-strain, million-modulus graphite blank transmits strikes nicely to a slender one-piece Fuji seat. The action is laser-engraved on the butt. Test Result
Overall: ****
Price: $129
Performance: A
Design: A
Price/Value: A
Length: 7'
Weight: 3.4 oz.
Action: Med.
Line-Test Rating: 8-14 lb.
Lure-Weight Rating: 1/8-1/4 oz.
Company: Quantum
Shimano Convergence CVS68MB For a relatively short spinning rod, the medium-action 6-foot 8-inch Convergence has a great feel. Fishermen who use spinning rods for crankbaits will covet the action. The innovative handle has a rear-mounted reel seat, which eliminates exposed threads. The rod is not light (4.7 ounces), but given the action, the extra weight will improve deep-water presentations. Test Result
Overall: ****
Price: $59
Performance: B+
Design: A-
Price/Value: A
Length: 6'8"
Weight: 4.7 oz.
Action: Med.
Line-Test Rating: 6-12 lb.
Lure-Weight Rating: 1/8-3/8 oz.
Company: Shimano
Temple Fork Outfitters Loomis Tactical Spinning Rod Legendary rod designer Gary Loomis blended proprietary scrim with TFO's high-modulus carbon-fiber blank to create a strong, light, 7-foot 3-inch rod that retains good sensitivity. A two-piece split reel seat allows access to the top of the blank. We'd like to see the 12 ¼-inch split grip stretched a bit longer on this extra-long spinner. Test Result
Overall: ****
Price: $149
Performance: A
Design: A-
Price/Value: B+
Length: 7'3"
Weight: 3.9 oz.
Action: Med.
Line-Test Rating: 6-12 lb.
Lure-Weight Rating: 1/4-3/8 oz.
Company: Temple Fork Outfitters
Tour Star Intimidator TSA-BS1 The Intimidator's length adjusts from 6 feet 8 inches to 7 feet 2 inches. A great hybrid 58mm IM10 graphite blank has eight single-foot stainless guides with inserts. We also liked the golf club-style handle, which, while adding weight (the 6.1-ounce Tour Star was the heaviest tested), also ensures a great grip when you're slinging baits with wet hands. Test Result
Overall: ***½
Price: $169
Performance: B+
Design: A-
Price/Value: C+
Length: 6'8"-7'2"
Weight: 6.1 oz.
Action: Med.-Fast
Line-Test Rating: 6-14 lb.
Lure-Weight Rating: 1/8-5/8 oz.
Company: Tour Star
Wright & McGill Skeet Reese Football Jig/Big Worm This 7-foot 2-inch technique-specific offering boasts a micro-honeycomb blank construction that we found quite sensitive. The 12 micro guides create a great distribution of load. The 16-inch split grip was great for distance casting; however, the far-forward reel seat makes the butt section unwieldy when working baits. Test Result
Overall: ***½
Price: $99
Performance: C+
Design: C+
Price/Value: C+
Length: 7'2"
Weight: 5.6 oz.
Action: Med.
Line-Test Rating: 10-25 lb.
Lure-Weight Rating: 1/4-5/8 oz.
Company: Wright & McGill
St. Croix Rage RC71MF When bent under the weight of a fish, the consistency of flex along the Rage's high-modulus graphite blank is incredible, due to its taper and 12 Pac Bay Minima micro guides. The full-length neoprene-coated contoured handle is fantastic. The tip flicks light baits with ease, while the stout butt section muscles larger baits with authority. The Rage well deserves our Editor's Choice award. Test Result
Overall: ****
Price: $149
Performance: A
Design: A-
Price/Value: A-
Length: 7'1"
Weight: 4.4 oz.
Action: Med.
Line-Test Rating: 10-17 lb.
Lure-Weight Rating: 1/4-5/8 oz.
Company: St. Croix
Airrus KW Nanofusion ANFC684-1MHF The Nanofusion takes a quantum leap forward in rod design through the use of carbon nano-tube technology. We were concerned that the bare carbon handle would be slippery when wet, but the opposite proved to be true. At 4.2 ounces, the Airrus is agile on casts and a treat on retrieves, providing ample bait interaction and feedback. Test Result
Overall: ***½
Price: $299
Performance: A-
Design: B+
Price/Value: C+
Length: 6'8"
Weight: 4.2 oz.
Action: Med.-Heavy
Line-Test Rating: 8-16 lb.
Lure-Weight Rating: 3/8-3/4 oz.
Company: Airrus
Cabela's Tourney Trail IM7 TTBC704 The steel-blue IM7 blank is fantastic, with a surprisingly fast tip well suited for spinnerbaits, frogs, and worms. Nine impeccably wrapped dual-foot aluminum oxide guides send line down the blank perfectly. The graphite reel seat keeps reels lashed to an EVA split grip, while a screw-down foam foregrip covers threads. With a limited two-year warranty, this rod is a no-brainer for our Great Buy award. Test Result
Overall: ****
Price: $65
Performance: B+
Design: A-
Price/Value: A+
Length: 7'
Weight: 4.7 oz.
Action: Med.
Line-Test Rating: 8-17 lb.
Lure-Weight Rating: 1/4-5/8 oz.
Company: Cabela's
E21 Wild Black CWZ701M-F-C The Wild Black's multi-color metal-flaked radially wrapped black graphite blank is a major departure from e21's vibrant orange Carrot Stix. The helium-light (3.4 ounces) rod has 10 Pac Bay micro guides, and a Pac Bay reel seat keeps reels cemented. A thick natural-cork handle is a nice touch, and the EVA butt is comfortable for winching big fish. But the raised hook keeper is sharp and hampers two-handed casting. Test Result
Overall: ****
Price: $129
Performance: A-
Design: A-
Price/Value:
Length: 7'
Weight: 3.4 oz.
Action: Med.
Line-Test Rating: 8-20 lb.
Lure-Weight Rating: 1/4-1 oz.
Company: E21
Daiwa Team Daiwa TDT701MXB This beefy rod is built on an IM7 graphite blank with a split grip. The butt is laid up using omni-directional carbon fiber, and the top portion of the blank is radially wrapped, resulting in a stout butt section and an upper half with a softer feel. Dual EVA inserts provide a no-slip grip. While the Team Daiwa is rated for ¼- to ¾-ounce baits, we found ours more suited for baits at the upper end of that range. Test Result
Overall: ****
Price: $75
Performance: A-
Design: B+
Price/Value: A
Length: 7'
Weight: 4.8 oz.
Action: Med.
Line-Test Rating: 8-17 lb.
Lure-Weight Rating: 1/4-3/4 oz.
Company: Daiwa
Dobyns Savvy Series Micro SS704C Among the choice features on the 4.7-ounce Savvy Micro are 10 stainless-steel framed Kigan micro guides with Alconite inserts. The rod is very sensitive and balances naturally in hand. Dobyns left the foregrip off the rod to give anglers a better hand-to-blank interface. With its heavy action, the rod is ideal for freshwater applications that demand a stout rod with a sturdy butt. Test Result
Overall: ****
Price: $159
Performance: B
Design: B+
Price/Value: B
Length: 7'
Weight: 4.7 oz.
Action: Heavy
Line-Test Rating: 10-20 lb.
Lure-Weight Rating: 1/4-1 oz.
Company: Dobyns
Fenwick Smallmouth ESMC610M-F This 6-foot 10-inch casting rod is billed as a smallmouth rod, but we felt it would be well suited for largemouths, too. A large all-cork handle and reel seat offer an extremely comfortable hold. At 3.5 ounces, this rod is ideal for all-day fishing. High-quality titanium frame guides with Zirconium inserts promise great casting, no matter what type of line is used. Test Result
Overall: ***½
Price: $129
Performance: B+
Design: B+
Price/Value: B
Length: 6'10"
Weight: 3.5 oz.
Action: Med.
Line-Test Rating: 12-20 lb.
Lure-Weight Rating: 3/8-1 oz.
Company: Fenwick
G. Loomis GL2 853C JWR At 7 feet 1 inch, the GL2 is designed for worms, swim jigs, and traditional jigs, and an illustration of the bait designation is printed on the end of the handle. An ergonomically sculpted cork grip and flat-sided fighting butt are great when battling fish or working baits through dense vegetation. Premium Fuji guides and reel seat, plus a limited lifetime warranty, add to the appeal of this delightful rod. Test Result
Overall: ****
Price: $200
Performance: A-
Design: A
Price/Value: B
Length: 7'1"
Weight: 5.1 oz.
Action: Med.-Heavy
Line-Test Rating: 12-16 lb.
Lure-Weight Rating: 3/16-5/8 oz.
Company: G. Loomis
Kistler Z-Bone ST-2m-73 The length of the Z-Bone (7 feet 3 inches) provides a real advantage when casting on windy days. The blank, a North Fork composite, is superb. The contoured handle, made of dense synthetic rubberized cork, is a great grip. An EVA sleeve slips over the reel-seat threads. We loved this American-made rod's 100 percent money-back guarantee. Test Result
Overall: ****
Price:$299
Performance: A-
Design: A
Price/Value: B-
Length: 7'3"
Weight: 4.9 oz.
Action: Med.
Line-Test Rating: 8-12 lb.
Lure-Weight Rating: 1/8-5/8 oz.
Company: Kistler
Pinnacle Perfecta Micro DHC5 The 7-foot 3-inch Perfecta is a lightweight big-bait rod. At 4 ounces, it's rated for 3/8- to 1¼-ounce baits, and with a 12- to 25-pound-test rating, it's great for heavy Carolina rigs and bulky jigs. The blank's construction is unique: Two layers of carbon tape are rolled on the mandrel in opposite directions, creating a rod less brittle than other carbon blanks. Test Result
Overall: ***½
Price: $179
Performance: A-
Design: A-
Price/Value: B-
Length: 7'3"
Weight: 4.0 oz.
Action: Med.-Heavy
Line-Test Rating: 12-25 lb.
Lure-Weight Rating: 3/8-11/4 oz.
Company: Pinnacle
Quantum EXO-PT EXC705F At 3.5 ounces, the EXO-PT is light and extremely sensitive. A proprietary EX4 carbon blank retains durability despite very thin walls, and the saved weight is especially noticeable at the end of a long day of fishing. The custom two-piece Fuji SK2 reel seat is 54 percent lighter than conventional seats and allows full finger-to-blank contact. The EXO-PT's EVA foam split grip is very comfortable. Test Result
Overall: ***½
Price: $179
Performance: A-
Design: B+
Price/Value: B-
Length: 7'
Weight: 3.5 oz.
Action: Med.-Heavy
Line-Test Rating: 8-17 lb.
Lure-Weight Rating: 1/4-3/4 oz.
Company: Quantum
BAITCASTING RODS Abu Garcia Veritas VRC70M-5 The Veritas does everything well, without any glaring faults or limitations. The 4.4-ounce medium-action rod has a great tip and plenty of power in the butt. The exposed 30-ton graphite blank at the reel seat provides plenty of feedback from lures and transmits strikes nicely. Ten titanium alloy micro guides manage line well, and the one-piece aluminum reel seat is ultra-secure. Test Result
Overall: ***½
Price: $99
Performance: A-
Design: B+
Price/Value: B+
Length: 7'
Weight: 4.4 oz.
Action: Med.
Line-Test Rating: 8-17 lb.
Lure-Weight Rating: 1/4-5/8 oz.
Company: Abu Garcia

For years Outdoor Life has run the toughest tackle test in the industry. Here's a look at the best new spinning and baitcasting rods and reels from our 2012 test.