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Rainshadow SW967 Swimbait Rod Review

Author: Rob Belloni

Rod Length: 8'
Line Rating: 15-25
Butt: .660
Tip: 6.0
Materials: Graphite/Glass Composite

Overview: This is a composite rod, which puts it somewhere between graphite and glass in terms of action and weight. If you could imagine a rod for fishing a huge 8 inch crankbait, this would be the rod. Oh wait, most trout plugs are like giant crankbaits. And that's what makes this rod, which is really a saltwater blank, just about the perfect fit for many swimbait applications. If you like cranking Manns 30+ or DD22's, this rod fishes those baits pretty nicely too.

Pros: I picked this rod up a few years ago after randomly combing through a rack of rods and seeing it for sale for a good price. There was something about the feel of the rod that I really liked, and after getting the first one wrapped up, I wound up getting two more because I liked them so much.

People often ask me, what is a good all around swimbait rod, and I always recommend this blank. I'll fish everything from a 5" Big Hammer to a 12" MS Slammer on this rod. It really feels good with 7 and 9" baits, but it can at least handle the big stuff, and it's not so stiff that you can't put something small out on it from time to time.

I want to describe the overall action as parabolic, but that might not be the right term to use because people associate that word with soft glass rods. Put is this way, if you load this rod up all the way, it will flex all the way into the handle. The flex of the rod is continuous, and the rod does not have a spot where it closes off or stiffens up. The rod recovers quickly and doesn't have any 'bounce' to it on the cast. When you have a fish on and the line starts to get slack, this rod picks up the slack quickly with no wobble.

Casting with the rod is great - just a nice fluid motion. And with hypalon grips, it's not a rod that will wear you out. The blanks are strong and not brittle at all. I've put some serious load on these rods with no problems whatsoever.

Cons: Finding a rod is going to be your first problem. Rainshadow blanks are a little hard to find right now. And of course you have to get the rod custom wrapped once you get it, which is going to bump up the cost.

The rods are not super light or super sensitive. This is much more of a work horse rod than a high end super light type rod. If you need a rod for fishing a bait like a mission fish where you want sensitivity and very strong hook setting power, this rod isn't quite right for that type of fishing. Overall though, I don't have much bad to say about this blank.

Average Rating out of 4 voters
Steve Bolton( Fairfield, CA) May 28, 2007
Rainshadow SW967
I've built 3 of these rods already and I'm on my 4th one now. The rod really whips the bait out there and is fluid, no bounce with this blank, casting the Slammer 9" and a few other baits like the 9" Castaic Trout feels good. I will contiue to buy this blank for my future swimbait needs. Steve Bolton
Jimbo( Canyon, TX) Jul 03, 2006
When I first got into big baits in 2002 I followed Rob's recommendation for the 967. Brian Long twisted one for me and I fell in love with it. Since then I have made 6-7 for myself and a select few friends and it HAS TO BE the primary tool for Talon's and Slammers that we have found. I want to thank you W. Coast guys for the heads up on the equipment side of things as it would have taken us West Texas cowboys a LONG time to figure it out. If you want an all around swimbait rod, the SW 967 has to be IT! Jim
Nico Jun 17, 2005
The perfect hard bait rod
This rod is perfect for MS Slammers and most other hard medium-sized hard baits/trout plugs. It has the right backbone to easily fling a swimbait but has a nice soft tip to prevent treble hooks from tearing out. If I were to have only one swimbait rod this would be it. It could handle almost any swimbait up to 5 oz if need be.
Brian Jun 14, 2005
This rod has payed my way through college. I've wrapped quite a few 967's for swimbait throwing. It's one of the best all around swimbait rods we could find. It's a little under-gunned for the really large baits, but it's perfect for 9" and under. Probably my favorite swimbait rod.
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