So I went to the Spring Fishing Classic at Bass Pro Shops a few weeks ago and purchased a combo. I normally don't buy combos at all because I like to taylor the reel to the rod for specific techniques. However, this seemed to good to pass up and to be honest, if it was not good, the whole combo was 119.00. Now, as you all probably know, I am a bit of a gear junky and buy normally high priced rods and reels so I was not expecting much from this but it was going to fit a specific technique that I needed to fill. I purchased a Carbonlite 2.0 rod and reel combo. The rod is a medium heavy fast action with a 7.5 to 1 Carbonlite 2.0 Reel.
Aesthetically, the rod and reel looked amazing however; looks do not catch fish. I picked it up and it seemed to be not the lightest combo but definitely adequate. The reel at 5.8oz felt balanced on the rod and the Winn Grips fit my hand very comfortably. It felt every bit as good as my Shimano Chronarch CI4 and that is a significantly higher priced reel. Some notable features of the reel are a standard recurve carbon fiber handle with eva grips, 1-piece machined aircraft grade aluminum frame, 10-bearing system, Dual Braking System, Carbon fiber drag washers, and Titanium nitride-coated line guide. I forgot to mention the price and this is what got me to make the purchase. The price of the rod and reel was 119.00 and this was an unbelievable price.
The rod was also had a nice feel to it. They're built with Carbon Coil Technology, an advanced construction process that creates a double-helix configuration of materials for structural reinforcement. Made with RT4 Graphite, rod blanks are light and also very sensitive, so they can be used even in the demanding tournament arena. Other features of this combo include a line ID system that allows you to keep track of and to easily identify the line weight used on each rod and reel setup. This could be important if you have more than one of these setups. Fuji FaZlite guides further reduce the weight of the combo. The CarbonLite 2.0 Casting Rod uses Winn grips that feel simply put, amazing, reducing stress in your hands and body leading to longer more accurate casts as the day goes on. A skeletonized Air reel seat improves sensitivity by maximizing blank exposure.
Now, all that said I can get to the good part. I used the combo this past week and it performed flawlessly. The rod and reel was very comfortable as I suspected. The dual cast control was smooth and the rig can cast a mile. I was using a straight shanked flippin hook with creature baits to work the rocks on some rip rap with a 3/8 tungsten bullet weight. The rod was extremely sensitive more so than I expected. I was picking up every little contour and rock. Then came the first actual test! I had a strike. Now I felt that this was a small fish because it was just an ever so slight tap on the line. I set the hook and it turned out to be a little silver catfish. I could not believe the sensitivity of this combo. I can compare it to my Kistler Jig Rod and that is paired with a Quantum Exo and that combo is probably 3.5 times the price. A few minutes later I got another hit and this was an aggressive hit. I figured it was a bass and it was. The bass was only about 2.0lbs but I got to see the drag and how that felt. The drag was smooth and the fast action of the tip allowed me to control the fish well because I was fishing off shore and wanted to keep the fish out of the rip rap.
Over all this is a great combo that I would recommend even at full price which is 209.98 on the website. If you can make it to The Bass Pro Shops fishing classic this weekend the price for the whole combo is 119.00 and well worth it. I really think I will be fishing this combo a lot this year and whether you are a seasoned veteran or just want a great entry level rig, this will handle it. The other great part is they are made in casting combos and spinning combos in just about every action and gear ratio. I hope this helps if you are in the market for a new rod and reel.
Great cast control
Not the lightest
Hook Keeper a bit small and hook will fall out if not enough tension is on the line
Here is the video to accompany the review!