The rod comes with a full grip, and what that means is the rear grip is not split but one piece, and the forgrip is present and full. The HMG GS66MH-F is not the lightest rod, especially with the full grip, but it did not feel like a boat anchor either.
I decided to test this rod over several days in different bodies of water. From the swamp to natural lakes, this rod got its workout. I paired it with a Shimano Stradic 2000 with 6lb test fluorocarbon line. The primary lure I fished were 4” to 8” worms. The weather conditions varied but were primarily pleasant summer weather, light west/southwest wind, humid, partly cloudy with the occasional storm.
The HMG GS66MH-F handled soft bodied 4” worms well, not great, but keep in mind it’s a MH. The 8” worms it casted with no problems and I could get good accuracy with the rod. Since the rod is stiff, I wanted to test its skipping potential. Upon finding some nice bushes which had space from the water receding, the skipping commenced. The HMG GS66MH-F was great to use, the lures went flying with good accuracy right under. Yes, yes I also tested a Senko on it, and when fished wacky boat and keep control over it style, the rod fished the bait with ease. I was able to work and avoid most of the snags.
Sensitivity was around where it should be with the price of the HMG GS66MH-F. It was good enough to detect all but the lightest of strikes. As I reeled in the worm you could feel the structure under water most of the time, and of course, could feel when you got snagged in weeds.
Being a medium heavy rod, the HMG GS66MH-F had enough backbone to handle bigger fish in the weeds, even though it did show some signs of give in thicker stuff. Setting the hook with the HMG GS66MH-F was no problem; even when I was a little overzealous, it still held its own. Once the fish was hooked, the HMG GS66MH-F handled very well, the fish ranged in size from 10” to 16 ½” and at no point did the rod feel like it was under too much strain, even with the monster Rock Bass that was hooked.
In all the HMG GS66MH-F is a very durable rod. It fished well all the whole time and did not show signs of weakness. The TAC handle stayed together and did not fall apart. The epoxy coating still looks great and shows no signs of cracks.
It was tough to get used to the full front grip, but once I did, it reminded me of the style of rods I fished before the short grip got popular. It was kind of nostalgic.
Good all-around heavier soft plastic rod.
With all the different tests I put the rod through, overall it handled well. The rod had enough backbone for solid hooksets, and could also cast heavier worms with ease. It skipped great with no problems reaching all the way back.