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MyFishFinder Tips and Techniques => Fishing Equipment => Rods Reels Tackle => Topic started by: slipperybob on Feb 05, 2021, 03:31 PM

Title: Shimano Zodias Rods
Post by: slipperybob on Feb 05, 2021, 03:31 PM
Casting Rods:


I was looking for a medium light casting rod and this one sort of fill the specs I was looking for.  These rods retails for around $200 and getting a sale price on them makes them very attractive price point.  So I took a feel to it in the store and liked it enough to purchase it.  The rod has 8 Fuji Alconite guides plus a SiC tip guide.  Split Grip EVA foam handles and a Ci4+ graphite reel seat with an aluminum locking nut.   This particular 7' ML model is listed as a moderate action and has a G designation for some glass material in the blank.  While I checked the tip flex, it wasn't quite as flexible as I was expecting from like a crank bait rod.  The only other crank bait rod I have to compare is my old Shimano Crucial medium power moderate fast action.  The ZDS170MLG has a faster tip action and a much stronger main blank section. 

After using the rod for over a year, I personally don't do much cranking, but top water poppers and spooks I like.  A lot of typical jerkbaits like Xrap08 and Yo-Zuri 3DS 1/4 oz. I also like throwing a lot of inline spinners as well as light spoons.  This has been fulfilling it's intended purpose very well with the majority of weight in the 1/4 oz. and a few in the 3/8 oz.

2020 Zodias were updated with a carbon monocoque handle.  No big deal but seems like a lot of different model change.  Gone were many of the old blank action and power.


So by chance I got curious and decided to buy into a new updated model just recently. This casting model again featured the 8 Fuji Alconite line guides plus a SiC tip, but they came with a grey frame instead of the shiny silver frame from previous model.  A slight change to the reel seat and slight changes the the aluminum lock nut.  The biggest change was the carbon monocoque handle on the butt of the rod.  The 7'2" ML power rod is listed with an extra fast action tip.  I checked that again my St. Croix MXF rods and it's not exactly the same.  It's a little slower, a softer tip transition. 

I mounted my old Metanium MG7 reels with 15# Fireline Braid and went to do some backyard cold casting practice.  It's just going to be a side sling because of overhead tree limps.  Cold cuz it's freezing outside and there's plenty of snow on the ground.  I had prepped a 3/16th oz Torpedo without any hooks - used to be a Bill Dance special I think with a different weight from the other normal ones.  On my first attempt, much to my surprise is how different the casting effect was.  There was a definitive lightness and effortless casting effort.  I tried again and the wow factor hit me.  That's not all the whoah factor hit me as well in how much more distance I was getting with my cast.  Just to double check, I tried two other prepped hookless lures, a 1/2 oz. Spook and 1/4 oz Blue Fox Mininow Spin.  Again it confirms how effortless my casting stroke was and how light it was.  The carbon monocoque handle has this much noticeable effect.  The transfer of casting distance on this particular rod is just that it's a mere 2" over that of the other Zodias rod is was using before.

Again just to double check the following next two days I swapped reels between the two rods.  The other reel was my Shimano Chronarch MGL with 20# J-Braid x8 which is a slightly heavier line, but the spool was an updated lighter type.  Again the wow factor was still there.  The casting distance was there again.  I didn't feel that the Chronarch MGL was this good from before, but now apparently it would make me buy another one or give it my recommendation.  The initial cast motion was all the effort I put into it just enough to get the lure going.  The lightness of the rod overall means I don't need to impart anything more at the end of my cast. I can foresee a lot of fatigue reduction if I were to fish for extended periods.   If I had to compare distance results, it seemed like the new rod was getting easily 10 feet gain on the 3/16th oz., about 15 feet gain on the 1/4 oz. and about 20 plus feet gain on the 1/2 oz. based on a moderate effortless side cast.  Regardless it was very noticeable difference and results comparing to the other rod and the spots where the lure hits upon the snow.  Again all of this is with freezing cold hands and I had to cut it short each day.

I did also snagged some tree twigs and had to pull the rod tip against it.  Just to double check the tip flex and rod bend.  Yes really I intended to do that.  Well it really confirms that the extra fast tip isn't as fast as the St Croix MXF tips.  Also confirms that the moderate tip was much faster than a moderate fast medium crank bait rod.

I can foresee myself getting another updated 2020 Zodias rod in the future.  That carbon monocoque handle has intrigued me a lot.  Just need open water to see how the affect will be for real lures in the water.  Most of all, I feel that it's like an Ugly Stick reborn into it's full potential, minus the clear tip.
Title: Re: Shimano Zodias Rods
Post by: rgfixit on Feb 05, 2021, 03:42 PM
I couldnít read your whole post. My eyes and brain shut down after the first paragraph.

So, may I ask...did you like the rod or not?

I use rods Iíve built with the exception of 3 out of 20. What I build is what I get. What you buy is what you get.

Title: Re: Shimano Zodias Rods
Post by: slipperybob on Feb 05, 2021, 03:44 PM
I couldnít read your whole post. My eyes and brain shut down after the first paragraph.

So, may I ask...did you like the rod or not?

I use rods Iíve built with the exception of 3 out of 20. What I build is what I get. What you buy is what you get.


That newer updated 2020 one.  I really like it. 
Title: Re: Shimano Zodias Rods
Post by: slipperybob on Feb 05, 2021, 11:16 PM
Spinning Rods


I bought the 7' ML Fast action spinning rod at the same time I bought the baitcasting Zodias Rod.  Originally I was leaning more towards a L power rod, of which they did not produce such.  So I settled on this one as I was looking to replace a Cabela's XML 7' ML rod that fishes well but had that butt weight system that weighs it down.  The rod comes with the same 8 Fuji Alconite guides plus a SiC tip like the baitcasting models.  I did use the rod to toss a lot of light 1/8 oz. lures, to include in-line spinners, poppers, and Yo-zuri Pins Minnow of including the 2" 1/16th oz. version.  It's a good rod for the $200 price point and did everything fine.  No complaints from me, except that for spring fishing that aluminum lock nut is cold.  There is no hook keeper on this model, leaving me to either hook onto the line guides or remove lure altogether.  It was pretty much an utility rod for my intention and it did everything I needed it to do.  I have not tried any float fishing with the rod, as I seem to have been doing less and less of it within the last few years.


After getting that new 2020 Zodias updated model in a casting rod and getting won over by some cold casting backyard, I had to just pick up at least on new 2020 Zodias updated spinning model.  At first I saw the 6'9" ML model but I really was leaning towards a L power.  The limited selection there left me with the 7'6" L power moderate fast action as pretty much the only choice.  Which is acceptable, I was leaning towards a longer rod just for the casting distance leverage.  A lot of this is influenced by the casting effect and results from that new Zodias casting rod.  There are some cosmetic changes to the reel seat.  There is more EVA foam over the entire reel seat and some of it runs onto the top of the handle just opposite the reel.  The locking nut is same as the updated casting rod, it's slightly shorter but slightly larger diameter.  The frames are also changed over to the grey ones.  Instead of the more traditional frame, these have that flanged frame before the ring insert referred as Fuji K frames.

When I put my 1000 sized reel on and line check, what I found was that there was a slight negative line angle on the top side of the rotor to the stripper line guide.  Typically the line is straight, but I checked with a larger reel just to see if it's the same effect.  Used a 2500 sized reel and saw that the line still touches the the ring on the top of the rotor and all around the ring on the full rotor movement.  Hmmm...what does this mean?  How does this benefit or affect the overall performance.  Well I have to wait a see how on the water performance will do in a few months.

And looking at the rod and noticing this "Attention" label and two symbols on it.  I couldn't make out what they heck the symbols were as they were kind of small.  At first I thought maybe just a warning so people don't grab the rod high on the blank and then breaking their rods.  Nah that couldn't be it.  Maybe the aluminum lock nut might pinch their fingers or get stuck on the blank and leveraging will break the rod.  Then finally I always think fishing rod, lightning, oh yeah.  Don't go fishing while there's lightning and watch out for overhead power wires.  D'uh.

I had also looked at several other rods in likeness to include Phenix Feather and Diawa Kage rods.
Title: Re: Shimano Zodias Rods
Post by: slipperybob on Feb 07, 2021, 01:44 PM
Now normally I don't do any practice casting with the spinning rods in the backyard but I just had to gauge the 7'6" L rod.  I got my 3/16th oz practice lure on it, and the first cast was a complete flop.  I have my old Sustain 1000FD with 4# ASSO Fluorolight line.  I wasn't putting much effort into it and my timing for the line release was off.  I've become bad at just flicking the spinning rods.  Took a few casts to get the timing on.  I'm not use to this light weight butt of a rod.  It's might change if I could do a full overhead cast motion.  For now I'm utilizing just the side fling.I think what was off and different to me again is that carbon monocoque handle that's very light weight.  There is so little weight on the counter balance in feel, yet the rod itself doesn't feel tip heavy to me.  The ASSO 4# Fuorolight line is also a heavy line in comparison to nylon lines.  It's heavy enough that one will feel the weight of the line during the cast and how it drags a lure just a bit.  The weight of the line is enough gravitational pull to affect the cast trajectory.

After some more practice rounds in the cold, I've somewhat got a handle of this rod.  Getting pretty good distance and typical casting trajectory for a spinning rod.  I'm satisfied with the results.  Not too whippy of a rod and appears to have quite a bit of a backbone to the lower section.
Title: Re: Shimano Zodias Rods
Post by: slipperybob on Apr 07, 2021, 11:15 PM
Spinning Rods: ZDS70LA and ZDS70MLA

I did buy two more of the updated 2020 Zodias Spinning Rods.  Both 7' length, one in Light power and the other in Medium Light power.  On the Light power rod, I had matched it with my Sustain 1000FE spooled with 14# YGK Soul Upgrade X-8 braid.  On the Medium Light power rod, I had matched it with Stradic 1000Ci4+ spooled with 5# Gamma Touch fluorocarbon line.  The one thing that sets these rods different from most other spinning rods I've used is that monocoque butt handle in the casting motion.  Another thing I notice is how effortless my entire casting motion has been reduced.  I find myself unaccustomed to how smoothly and how effortlessly the use of these rods are.  I also didn't find myself with any counterforce at the end of the casting motion to also include lacking a need to grip the rod to dampen any rod vibration.

During my retrieve I kept hearing this clanking sound and thought that perhaps it's my reel or the rod had something rattling.  Only afterwards did I figured it out that it was just the rod butt tapping the contact with some D rings on my clothing.  Working with 1/4 oz. spinning lures and jerk baits both rods almost feels like your typical medium rods.  Since I only caught fish on the Light power rod, I cannot get a comparative review on the Medium Light power rod.  With the exception that both rods caught some very tiny foraging minnows that were about 3 inches in length that tried to bite only my lures.  What I felt was like a snag on the bottom turned out to be these tiny foraging minnows. So for the Light power rod, there were a few white bass caught on it from 15-19 inches.  Being a light rod, it just loads up on the bite and the fish was hooked.  I didn't have a need to put a hook set nor did I feel the pronounced tap on the inhale to drive a reactionary hook set.  There is the feel of the bite, then the solid weight feel and the fish is securely hooked. 

The Light power rod felt almost like a Medium power Moderate action rod when loaded with a fish.  I had to double checked the rod a few times just to confirm that it is a Light power rod.  Still afterwards my senses still got confused and, I kept on double checking the rod with fish on.  Overall the rods performs almost like a medium rod with lure in retrieve.  The back bone to the rods are good complements to it's power rating.  If I only caught some fish on the Medium Light power rod, could I make out how it compares.

Looking forward to some more field testing of these Zodias series of rods.
Title: Re: Shimano Zodias Rods
Post by: slipperybob on Nov 23, 2021, 09:47 PM
After using the two spinning rods in 7' ML power I feel that the older model with the line guides that has a better visual flow through actually has a smoother line flow feel.  As opposed to the newer model with the Fuji K Concept style where the line chokes at the second line guide just up from the stripper line guide.  As to whether this affects the actual line casting distance, not sure cuz both rods do a very well job at achieve distance effortlessly.  The newer model with the monocoque rear grip does make them feel more effortless in the casting motion and ending motion counterforce resistance.