is one of the stealthiest looking rods on the market while only costing a measly $60. The rod blank, guides, thread, it’s all black with the exception of the EVA foam which is a charcoal gray. Starting at the handle section of the rod and working our way down, we will go over specs. Located between the butt section of the rod and the reel seat, we have our “snaggle tooth” hook keeper. In 13 Fishing’s terms the reel seat is an evolve custom seamless design and I will give it to them, even though it looks fairly basic, it’s very comfortable. The small padded foregrip also aids in this comfort. Even though it is made of some type of plastic, it is much more comfortable and ergonomic to handle for prolonged use than something with metal. The EVA foam in general on this rod is also fairly normal in terms of firmness. The Fate Black I reviewed has some oddly stiff foam, so this rod is already two points up in terms of comfort.
The blank material of the Defy Black is a PVG Japanese 24 ton. For those who do not really understand tonnage ratings, simply put, the larger the tonnage number, the stiffer the graphite becomes which means more intense vibrations will reach your hand and the less resin needed to hold the fibers together. For the most part 24 ton is the lowest you will see a company advertise on the tonnage scale. When you also have a lower tonnage, more resin is needed (thus more weight) to hold the rod together which means it isn’t as brittle or easy to break. For reference the specific rod I own is a 7’3″ Medium with a fast tip and it weighs 4.5oz, which is nearly a whole ounce lighter than similar rods I own of the same action. So even though the 24 ton requires a little extra resin, it is still featherlight. Easily one of the lightest rods I have owned.
Stainless steel makes up the frame of the eyelets while the rings are made from alconite. Alconite rings and stainless steel aren’t the best nor the worst, they’re fairly mid-tier which is plenty suitable considering how cheap the Defy Black is. I also was really happy to see how the physical size of the guides are almost a hybrid micro guide. In other words, they aren’t super small but they’re also not giant. This really helps to control your line and transmit vibrations to the blank a lot easier which this rod does very well in and is one of my favorite aspects of the rod; it’s a complete noodle. If you toss a squarebill on the medium action rod, that thing will be bouncing so hard you can hardly keep ahold of it. Okay, I may be exaggerating a little, but the Defy Black is perfect for those who want to toss vibration baits. I bought this rod specifically to use with those such lures and overall was very pleased.
Despite absolutely loving the rod thus far, there are two things I do not like. First is the position of the hook keeper. I personally cannot stand them in this location because when I cast I always grab around the butt section of the rod for both an overhand or sideways cast. Sometimes I even switch hands to get a perfect cast depending on where my target is. Inevitably I end up grabbing or landing a finger or the palm of my hand right on top of it and being as how this hook keeper is designed, its pointy, sharp and it hurts. It also catches in clothing from time to time. The second thing, which is not as evident on this particular rod is how uncomfortable these triggers can be when they are nearly a 90 degree design. They are far more comfortable when they curve a little and follow the contour of your fingers.
BFA’s score: 9/10. It would have been a 10/10 but truthfully the hook keeper is poorly designed in my opinion, it is too “sharp.” If you own one, run the palm of your hand over it and you will know exactly what I am talking about. Apart from that I believe this is one of the best rods you can get for the money. If you want to make an arsenal, this is one of the candidates to do it with.
Check out the Defy Black here:
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