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New Fenwick HMG Review

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I picked up one of the new Fenwick HMG rods. I got the GT66M-F. It's rated for 1/4oz to 7/8 oz lures. I paired it with a new Daiwa Sol and loaded it with Yo-Zuri Hybrid 8#. I fished it a bit Thursday and today.

The rod is "faster" than the previous HMG 6'6" medium rod. That rod was rated as a medium-fast and was very suitable for small cranks and top waters. The new HMG is noticably faster which suggests to me Fenwick is rating their rods properly. My new rod feels about right for shaky heads, light t-rigged worms, split-shot rigs. I also tried it with a few smaller jerkbaits.

The rod is very sensitive. It's not really any more sensitive than the old HMG, but that was a very sensitive rod. So is the new HMG.

The guide inserts are Alconite. Otherwise, the frames are the same as on the old HMG. Fujis.

The rod blank is flex coated its entire length, like the old HMG. It's darker red than the old HMG, and the graphics are a bit different. The hook keeper is just a little ring.

The real difference is in the grip. Fenwick went to a composite rubber/cork grip. The butt end is the same size and the old HMG, but the foregrip is a bit bulkier. I like a foregrip. Some people don't like foregrips so this may not appeal to them. But I like foregrips. The material chosen is extremely "grippy" feeling. From first picking it up, to using it with wet hands, my impression remains that it is superior to pure cork. It feels harder than either pure cork or foam. But it feels tackier than either. So far, I rate the grips as excellent. The top of the foregip has a nice looking metal winding check. The butt has the usual Fenwick logo cap.

The reel seat is a Fuji ACS with a soft-touch coating. As far as feel, it compliments the composite handles nicely. You get a nice grippy feel from the top of the foregrip to the bottom of the butt. I didn't think I would like the finger grooves, but with the Sol on top the set-up palms exceptionally well - and I have large hands..

The one thing that sort of put me off was that I could not tighten the reel ring down enough to keep the reel from moving in the seat. I put a little piece of electrical tape on the front of the reel foot and that did the trick. Now it's on nice and solid.

I can't tell if it weighs more than the old HMG. The old HMGs were very similar in weight to comparably rated Avids. The new HMG doesn't feel any different, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was a few grams heavier given the new grip material. But it certainly didn't strike me as heavy.

I only caught one small bass - about 1.5 lbs. So I didn't get to really see how well it will horse up a respectable bass. But given the blank's similarity to the old HMGs, I'm sure it will be fine.

Price is the same as the old HMG.  I got this one for $109.

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Yep, a 7' model.  Felt just like the old HMG 7" MH/F rod, but with the updated grips.

They also have a new MH/MF 6'6" model.  Might make a really nice spinner bait rod.  

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thanks for the review micro.

Is the ACS style reel seat not good for smaller hands? many newer rods are coming out with ACS seats but never got a chance to try them with the reel on yet.

edited for typo

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thanks for the review micro.

Is the ACS style reel seat not good smaller hands? more newer rods are coming out with ACS seats but never got a chance to try them with the reel on yet.

I think its better for smaller hands, but not as bad for bigger hands than I had feared.

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thanks for the review micro.

Is the ACS style reel seat not good smaller hands? more newer rods are coming out with ACS seats but never got a chance to try them with the reel on yet.

I think its better for smaller hands, but not as bad for bigger hands than I had feared.

I see.. I wasn't too keen on the ridges on the ACS seat compare to the rounder shape traditional reel seats. o well... i got 6 months before i can fish again anyway -  I should make up my mind then. ::)

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Thanks for a great review. I have been looking for a rod to replace a Falcon original I use for small cranks and topwater that has seen better days. This may be the one. I'll check them out.

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Actually I picked up three (sold some older All Stars), but have only tried one.  Here's a couple more.  One is a 6'6" medium-heavy/medium-fast.  The other is a 7' medium-heavy/fast.  These are three only three I have.

New_HMGs.jpg

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