Fenwick HMG Spinning Rod GS66MH-F Ratings: 5.33 First Impressions: I thought the blank looked sharp, a nice deep rich color with a glossy finish. The reel seat and handle seemed a bit odd, like someone couldn’t make up their mind to commit to a split grip or keep it a full grip. The handle color and grainy appearance put me off a little. Even though it’s not cork but a material called TAC, it looked like the grainy cork handles of cheap 1960’s solid fiberglass rods.
I put #8 mono on a Daiwa Exceler 2500HA Spinning Reel for the mechanical part of the setup. I used it with finesse worms, small jerkbaits and grub fishing in lakes. I fished it in rainy and dry conditions, with water temperatures around 60 -75 degrees.
The action on the rod was fairly slow for a rod listed as a fast action rod. I got nice distance but little accuracy from the outfit. I had to slow my casting snap for the outfit to maximize the casts distance.
The rod is slower than usual action may have taken some of the sensitivity away, as I found that I couldn’t feel very much with the setup.
This was a big disappointment for me. The rod’s power curve wasn’t the J form that I’m used to in a fast action rod. The J form for me, is the top third of the rod forming a distinct tight curve and the remaining two thirds staying fairly straight to give the rod a backbone and generate lifting power. This rod curved from the tip through the handle. I could feel the handle bend when fighting a 3 pound walleye and a 15” smallie, and I was only using #8 mono line! I didn’t get the hooks into fish on some bites and fish were throwing the lure on the first jump. I ended up using multiple hook sets as a sweep wasn’t getting the light wire hooks in the fish.
The rod held up to the fishing I used it for, which was mostly finesse fishing for Largemouths in clear water. Nothing broke or came apart through a 5 day of fishing trip.
I wasn’t overly impressed by the handle set up. The rod balanced out in front of my grip, just a little past the point where I am comfortable (past my index finger). I have large hands; it should have done better with a 2500 reel. It’s a slim handle and the reel seat is exposed to your hands for the entire grip. The TAC material is supposed to improve your grip, but it is only making contact with your hand on the web of skin between your thumb and index finger. For the TAC to do its magic you have to have your entire hand either in front of the reel stem or behind it.
I didn’t find this rod to be a one I would grab for bass fishing. It would end up in my arsenal for bait fishing for trout or slow retrieve in line spinners for trout. Maybe bait fishing for panfish.
I was very disappointed in the rod. The action wasn’t as claimed and other than the color I was left wanting. The handle was uncomfortable and I didn’t find the rod very sensitive at all. I found myself avoiding it when fishing. I’m a junk fisherman and will have 10 or more rods on the deck. I don’t hesitate to grab a rig when conditions call for it, but I couldn’t find a technique that this rod would perform well.