By Tim Carini
Special to BassFan
A few years ago, I had the pleasure of holding a Megabass ARMS rod, the companyís top-of-the-line custom rod with a hand-carved maple grip. It was honestly the most comfortable rod I had ever held. The detail and craftsmanship reminded me of some high dollar fly rods from my trout fishing days as a kid.
Unfortunately, the price was similar as well as the ARMS rods retails for $999. Thankfully, bass anglers can now have a similar comfortable grip with the new Megabass Levante series for a fraction of that price.
The Levante series features a Megabass molded reel seat and grip that literally fits like a glove with an ergonomical design that allows perfect finger placement as an angler palms the reel. Fishing with this rod for eight straight hours was extremely comfortable with no annoying pressure points on the hand or fingers.
Even the EVA foam grips were designed with comfort and functionality in mind. The butt grip was narrower than most rods and narrowed down towards the blank for another perfect fit for use in two-handed casts.
An aspect of this rod that fulfills the comfort portion as well as performance is its light weight. The Levante series is made of a carbon material called PYROFIL, a technology by Mitsubishi Rayon. This material reduces weight, increases strength, and preserves sensitivity.
Each model is designed with multi-axis blank construction specific to that model to achieve the appropriate actions. Coupled with Fuji Alconite guides that are strong, yet lighter than most guides, helps reduce the overall weight of the rod.
One of the rods we tested was the Flat-Side Special, technically known as the F4.5-70C, a 7-foot cranking stick. Like the name suggests, this rod was able to cast the smallest and lightest flat sided crankbaits a great distance, like a SPRO Little John or Rapala DT 6 with enough sensitivity to feel the bottom composition as the crankbait ticked along the bottom.
The handle length was a perfect fit, not too long to impede casting, but long enough to tuck the butt of the rod against my body for added support.
However, donít let the name of this model restrict you on its uses. We found this rod to be very versatile and performed well with larger square bills like the S-Crank or an RC 2.5.
Fishing in the winter with sluggish bass, the rod has enough give to allow even the shortest striking bass to get the bait fully in their mouth for secure hook placement. The rod has enough of a limber tip to even cast a weightless Fluke and enough backbone to set the hook as well.
The Tour Versatile rod (model F6-70C) is a 7-foot rod with a fairly fast tip for flipping and casting needs of plastics and jigs. Anything from skipping a 1/4-oz. soft plastic under docks, to flipping jigs, even working 3/4-oz. football jigs this rod can handle it all.
Itís not often you find a rod that has the tip to skip accurately and the power to winch a bass out of the heaviest cover. And with the light weight of this rod even the most subtle bites were easy to detect. Like its name, we found this to be versatile enough even for spinnerbaits, although at its 7-foot length it wasnít the best for roll casting, it will certainly work.
While the Levante series is not the cheapest rod on the market it has features one would expect from a much higher priced rod, making this a great deal at a retail price of $199. It is also backed by a Megabass 3-year warranty.
Learn more about the Levante series at the BassFan Store.
To see more of the Levante on the water, check out the gallery below: