Rainshadow SW967 Swimbait Rod Review
Author: Rob Belloni
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.
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.
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.