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Can anyone speak to these rods, primarily the Zolo series, in regards to performance, sensitivity, and quality of build.

 

Thanks

 

SNK

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Picked up the Maestro spinning rod over their Black Friday sale. Rod is sitting in the basement waiting for winter to pass. Paid around $180 shipped. Keep in mind their rods can only be bought through their website and they charge a good amount for shipping. Their Black Friday sale eliminated shipping while providing 10% off. Sign up to get on their email list for sales and specials. Rod feels exceptional for what I bought it for. The blank appears to be quite nice though I am probably 2 months out from using it.

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I have the 7'1" mh zolo b, absolutely love it. It's an extremely versatile rod. I use it for jigs, swim jigs, chatterbaits, frogs. It's plenty sensitive, I fish with at croix avids and kistler heliums and its right up there with them. My only gripe with the rod is I feel that the cork they use isn't as nice as on my other rods. I would highly recomend one.

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Ive heard that Alex makes a super, super rod.

I personally don't have one (yet) but a few friends do and I have to fight to get them to let me throw one when we're out together.

Mike

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A little more information. I currently have 13 ***, Dobyns Champion, and Loomis IMX rods. Trying to see where an ALX Zolo series would fit in as far as my original post is concerned. 

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Member "Tywithay" if I am close on the spelling, has used all the rods in question. If I recall he has 1 or 2 ALX rods one of which I believe is a custom. He could probably make a fair assessment of the rods in question.

I believe on sensitivity alone just dragging a jig across the floor in the basement that the rod is more sensitive than the IMX and Champion rods but couldn't compare it to the ***. Haven't fished mine yet but it has that "it" feel to it for its price.

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A little more information. I currently have 13 ***, Dobyns Champion, and Loomis IMX rods. Trying to see where an ALX Zolo series would fit in as far as my original post is concerned.

I haven't used the *** but I have no doubts that it's as good if not better than the other two

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Mike2841 - that is the same feeling I get based on a few comments I found online.

 

Kickerfish1 - I believe you are correct that he has used them, and I think he also has had experience with the ***, so hopefully he will give us his thoughts.

 

Oh, and thanks to the both of you and the others for posting.

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I don't know if this helps, but these are my own humble opinions. I will preface by saying I don't have any ties to anyone, so this is just based off my own experiences and personal preferences. If I miss anything, feel free to ask whatever you want.

 

I have used all of the the rods you mentioned, in various different lengths and actions. I had a 71MF *** spinning, 73MHF *** casting, 733CFH Champion, 873CRR in the new IMX (never used the old IMX), and I have a 7'1" Deputy (4-power MH) and a 7'4" Dragger (5-power H) from ALX, both are custom built on the exact same Hydra NG blanks as those models in the Zolo B lineup. Reels used on each rod weren't necessarily the same, though I have tried several different options on all of them. The ALX rods have had Curado 200IHG and  a Tatula Type R on them for the most part, *** had a ***, and a Stella 2500FE, the IMX had a Curado 200IHG, the Champion had a Daiwa Zillion 7.1. I've mixed and matched a little, but these spent the bulk of the time on them. The weights aren't identical, but they're similar enough I don't think any one rod had a huge advantage.

 

In terms of sensitivity I would rank them ***, ALX, IMX, Champion. It's a very small gap between the 4 of them, and I think the *** and ALX are just splitting hairs. The Hydra blanks use a scrimless design, which makes them lighter, and is supposed to help transmit vibrations better. I don't know if it works, but the ALX rods are extremely lightweight, which helps them in the sensitivity department. As far as balance, which can also aid in sensitivity, I'd rank them Champion, ALX, ***, IMX. My Deputy balances better than the Champion slightly, but it's shorter. The Dragger, which is longer and heavier, doesn't balance as well. I put them second, because I am assuming the production rods will not balance as well as mine, due to the split grip and the fact mine use less guides. None of the four are too bad, but the IMX is far and away the most tip heavy for me. The *** and IMX both had pretty short handles, compared to the first two, so that didn't help them. Components-wise, I do not care for the Kigan guides on the ALX rods, but they're similar to the guides on the Champion. They just don't feel like the same quality as a Fuji guide. I do prefer them over the recoil guides on the ***. The IMX has the best quality guides, in my opinion, with the Fuji K-series alconites. All four sets of the guides held up fine, it's just a personal preference thing. Since mine are custom, I can't speak for quality of cork or anything of that nature, but I know the build quality of the ALX rods will be on par, or better, than just about anything else out there. The Zolo rods fish a little slower than the fast or extra fast from these other companies. They're not moderate action necessarily, but they do bend a little further down the rod than a true "fast" action, in my opinion. It hasn't hurt production in my hands. Makes them more similar to a fast action from Megabass, which is a little more versatile, in my opinion. I can actually throw crankbaits on the Dragger in a pinch, and it has handled them beautifully. I mainly use the Deputy for weightless senkos, t-rigs, and 3/8oz jigs. The tip is light enough it makes a pretty good spinnerbait rod if need be, though that's not its sweet spot. The Dragger I've used for crankbaits, frogs, bigger jigs, c-rigs, and small swimbaits.

 

My Deputy only weighs 4.1oz, which is pretty good for a 7'1" MH rod, plus I added a full grip and foregrip to mine. The Dragger weighs 5oz, which I don't consider bad at all for a 7'4" heavy rod with a full grip and foregrip. The custom option is one of the main reasons I decided to try an ALX. After speaking with Alex, he's an accomplished rod builder that just happens to own a company, but he can still build a custom any way you want it. I had both of mine will full EVA rear grips, locking EVA foregrips, custom split Fuji ECS reel seat, spiral-wrapped micro guides, and a little bling for fun. They're nearly identical, except the Deputy has red highlights and the Dragger has blue. I can't speak on the warranty or service, because I've never needed them. I will say that Alex was extremely prompt and nothing but helpful during the custom process, so I can only assume he takes the same pride in his customer service elsewhere.

 

 

 

20130830_221011_resized.jpg

 

Hard to see this one, but you can see the blue label:

20140330_032840.jpg

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Thanks for taking the time to weigh in a few thoughts Ty. This should help the OP more from a comparison standpoint. I am anxious to try mine out in the spring.

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Much appreciated Tywithay, it was what I was looking for. 

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Any updates? Looking to get into nicer rods. had my eye on the ***, Ikos and Yolo for a while now. Thanks

On 1/18/2015 at 1:39 AM, Tywithay said:

I don't know if this helps, but these are my own humble opinions. I will preface by saying I don't have any ties to anyone, so this is just based off my own experiences and personal preferences. If I miss anything, feel free to ask whatever you want.

 

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52 minutes ago, Quarry Man said:

Any updates? Looking to get into nicer rods. had my eye on the ***, Ikos and Yolo for a while now. Thanks

 

Ty hasn't been active here or any of the other forums he used to frequent. Last I talked to him he was going through some personal issues.

 

If you have any questions about the ALX rods I would just contact the owner Alex.

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I own 3 custom ALX NG+ 5 and 6 power fast action jig and worm rods for 5 years now. IMO ALX custom rods under $300 are equal to Loomis NRX, very similar action and light weight. If interested PM and I will give you the s/n's.

Tom

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