Pinnacle Perfecta, Optimus Xi HS ReviewPinnacle Perfecta, Optimus Xi HS Review How does the DHC5 paired with an Optimus Xi HS perform? This field test tells you!
By Jeff Howell
After purchasing a spinning rod on recommendation of a couple members on the BassResource message boards, I realized that the old reputation of Pinnacle had changed. Once known as a “discount” brand, the company has been making strides at constructing a premier line of rods and reels for serious anglers. They have teamed up with some of the top names in bass fishing, to provide anglers like you and me, top notch equipment at average market prices. This rod has quickly become my favorite spinning rod in my arsenal, so much so that I have put down my $300+ rods and even bought another. So with two of them now in my arsenal, I decided it was time to try out a casting rod, and while I was at it, put down my Shimano reels and try Pinnacle’s newest line of baitcasters as well.
When the packages arrived at my door, I was excited to open them up and give them the visual once over. Having held one of their baitcasters in my hand once before, I honestly didn’t know what to expect. The reel is the Pinnacle Optimus Xi HS Hand-Tuned Casting reel and retails for $249.99.
Compared to my lineup, the reel seemed a tad on the heavy side. Weighing in at 7.1 ounces for a low profile baitcaster, it was not much more than my Shimano reels. But it just seemed heavy in my hands. The flipping switch intrigued me. It is not a feature I normally seek out in a reel, but I could see it coming in handy for flipping and pitching. I am also not used to a magnetic brake system, but it seemed to dial in with ease. The carbon fiber handle is stock, which is a nice feature, but the knobs are just a bit bulky for my hands. This was not a problem as I just ordered a HawgTech 102mm swept handle to bolt on and now it is like a dream.
As far as other features of this reel, they are there. Quality duralumin reel components and a special Titanium Nitride finish for extra “boat rash” protection. Multi-stack carbon fiber drag washers are stock, as well as 10 stainless steel bearings, making this reel smooth as silk!
Next was to unbox the Pinnacle Perfecta rod. Packaged very nicely from the factory, the rod came packed in bubble wrap and had extra protection on the tip. When I pulled it out of the box, I immediately remembered why I love my spinning rods so much. Man is this thing light. Reminds me of the time I handed my spinning rod to a buddy and he asked what my Loomis rod weighs. I said it was a Pinnacle and he about fell to the floor.
All of the casting models have top quality components like Fuji ACS reel seat, AAA grade cork, and Fuji Alconite guides. All of the wraps were perfect and the rod is very aesthetically pleasing. Did I mention it is light?
The rod I ordered is the 7’3’’ MH/F rod rated as a Carolina rig rod. It is rated 3/8- 1 ¼ oz and 12-25lb line and retails for $154.99. While I think the “sweet spot” of the rod is around ¾ oz, it is plenty capable of throwing lighter lures as well as heavier. It has good backbone and the tip is truly fast. Not extra fast and not mod fast. It is technique specific for Carolina rigs, but I do believe it shines as an overall bottom contact rod. I am a fan of the St. Croix Avid line, which is a bit higher in price, and I would say this rod is made just as well if not better; MORE SENSITIVE, more like a $250 rod; and a better overall value than any other rod I have fished in the $125-200 price range. It has me thinking of getting more to replace some of the other rods in my line up.
Once saddled on the rod, you can see that Pinnacle put time and effort into this setup. The balance is just slightly in front of the reel and the total setup balances nicely. I spooled the reel with Yo-Zuri 12lb backing with a top shot of 15lb Seaguar Invisx. I was able to launch ½ oz jigs with trailers (about 3/4oz total weight) plenty far enough as well as the Carolina rig that I tied on to get my feel on their technique-specific rating. While I haven’t landed a lunker yet on this combo, I suspect it is just around the corner.
Starting from the top and working your way down is generally easier than starting at the bottom and working your way up. Pinnacle has done a good job at improving their lineup. I look forward to their new DHC7 offerings just around the corner!
Grow your fishing skills and improve your angling effectiveness.
Subscribe to the free weekly BassResource newsletter.