Review Of The Pinnacle Perfecta DHC5 Rod and Optimus XiHS ReelReview Of The Pinnacle Perfecta DHC5 Rod and Optimus XiHS Reel See how the Review the Pinnacle Perfecta DHC5 Rod and Optimus XiHS reel perform!
By Glenn May
Several months ago, I took delivery of a Pinnacle Perfecta DHC5 7-foot rod and an Optimus XiHS Tournament Class reel. The following are my findings, having put the gear through its paces.
The first thing I noticed about the rod is how light it is. After my initial reaction, I carefully inspected the rod, and noted the quality craftsmanship. From the matt black finish, heavy epoxy coating (which gives it extra UV protection), and the Fuji components, it’s clear they put a lot of thought and engineering into this rod.
One feature I liked is the hook keeper design. It’s open, which makes it much easier to use than some of the closed designs on my other rods. It’s also located on the underside of the blank to prevent interference with my line when fishing.
Another often-overlooked feature is the knob used to tighten the reel to the reel seat. On some rods I’ve used, the knob juts out and rubs against my fingers as I fish. By the end of the day, my fingers feel raw and even sometimes start to blister on the spot where the knob hits my fingers. I was delighted to see a sleek and compact knob on the Pinnacle that sits almost flush against the reel seat. It’s unobtrusive as I fish, yet is easy enough to grip when I need to use it.
The DHC5 701 CAMH is an all-purpose rod that can be used for a variety of purposes. It’s a medium-heavy action rod rated for ten to twenty-pound line and 3/8 to 1-ounce lures. It has a fast-action, sensitive tip with plenty of backbone to pull a lunker out of heavy cover. I’ve used this rod for spinnerbait fishing, pitching thick cover, and worm fishing along docks, but it’s versatile enough to use for many other techniques as well, making it a great choice for starting out your arsenal, or filling out your rod lineup with a proverbial “Swiss Army knife.”
When I pulled the reel out of the box, I noticed excess oil on its exterior. Immediately I thought that if it had too much oil, then it probably had too much grease inside, as that’s a common practice among reel manufacturers these days. But as I put the reel through the rigors of fishing, I didn’t notice any sluggish feel you characteristically get from over-greased reels. As it turns out, the oil was the only issue I had with the reel.
The Optimus XiHS reel touts an astonishing eleven bearings, eight disk carbon fiber drag washers, a fast 7.3:1 gear ratio, and a compact, bent carbon handle that provides a more ergonomic design. This reel stacks up very well against its more expensive competition. But the kicker is what they do to it before it ships. They hand-tune it. That’s right, they manually calibrate the reel so it’s ready to fish, right out of the box. The only thing I had to do was adjust the drag and cast controls to match the weight of my lure.
Speaking of cast controls, I especially like the tandem magnetic and centrifugal cast controls. I find I can easily fine-tune the reel to my personal preferences as I switch lures and casting techniques – no need to remove plates and mess with tiny weights; a time-consuming and cumbersome task at best.
One feature that intrigued me was the QuickFlip button. It’s similar to traditional flipping switches, where you hold down the button to flip/pitch, and then as soon as you release the button the reel is engaged without turning the reel handle. However, the QuickFlip button is different in that it simply engages the reel when you press it. Some people find a flipping switch more annoying than convenient, while others view it as a gimmick. I wasn’t sure if I would like this feature. However, as I used it for pitching, I caught myself using it without even thinking about it. The switch is conveniently located next to where I naturally rest my thumb during a pitch, making it intuitive to use. For those of us who switch the reel to another hand after the bait lands, it can save you from losing a fish that takes the bait immediately before you have time to turn the reel handle. I really like this feature, and now wish all my other reels had it.
Overall, I’m pleased with the combo, and impressed with Pinnacle. Obviously they’ve upped their game and have become a legitimate contender among the more well known brands. Best of all, they’re priced below their competitors, at about $250 for the reel, and $150 for the rod. Pinnacle packs in a lot of features and quality normally seen in only higher priced equipment.
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