The Revelation Custom Rods Zoltar is a limited production, American made rod with some of the finest components available today. We were fortunate enough to be afforded the opportunity to review one of these rods, and to say we were impressed would be an enormous understatement.
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Unlike reels that require expensive machining tooling and extensive engineering, the rod is something that small businesses and hobbyists alike can build in home with a little investment. Do not undermine the skill required, as it is an art in the truest form of the word but also requires comprehensive understanding of how a rod is best balanced and making sure the guides are lined up along the straightest axis. Many other factors are to be considered when building a custom rod, which is why we left it to the experts over at Revelation Custom Rods. Offering a full shop to meet any of your custom rod needs, we were tasked with testing their new limited production rod, the Zoltar.
What is the Zoltar?
The Revelation Custom Rods Zoltar is a 7’ MH power rod, fast taper, perfect for an all purpose stick. The 7’ MH fast has often been a great go to for beginners and veterans alike due to its versatility and the Zoltar is no exception. The rod features an AMERICAN made unidirectional carbon fiber blank; let that sink in for a second, AMERICAN made (how great is that?). As patriots, we love to support local, small business and anything made in the USA (#1 country on the planet, look it up). Everytime you purchase a rod from Revelation Custom Rods, you are doing just that (less local, unless you live in Southern California). Sorry, back to the rod. The blank, being a unidirectional carbon fiber with no rod blank coating, makes the Zoltar a lean, mean, fighting machine. The rod is designed like an Italian sports car. Performance + aesthetics = Zoltar. The rod is able to achieve this by being built purposefully where every detail is considered with the angler in mind. That is to say, every aspect is intentional in design and function.
As we mentioned, the rod is chock full of top notch components including Fuji Fazlite Guides which are renowned for their hardness, thermal conductivity, and bending strength properties intermediate between traditional alconite guides and Concept O (all are types of aluminum oxide). Some have likened them to older Hardloy guides but are noticeably thinner and more attractive. Additionally these guides incorporate Fuji’s corrosion control technology, ensuring a lifetime of looking fresh and clean.
A Fuji ACS Double Trigger graphite reel seat not only reduces weight but also fits the hand nicely with no sharp molded edges that have been seen on other seats, causing discomfort and allows for direct contact to the blank for increased sensitivity. Other noteworthy components include a custom EVA split rear handle, and mini foregrip, along with tangle free heavy duty tip top, stainless steel hook keeper and a Fuji EVA cap for added hooksetting comfort when you really need to jack one. The rod on paper looks amazing, but how does it perform? Let’s take a look.
What We Liked About It
We paired the Zoltar up with a Daiwa Tatula Elite casting reel, and used it for everything from jigs and Texas rigged plastics, to topwater, spinnerbait, chatterbait and even some lipless crankbaits. The rod performs, in our humble opinion, more like a Mag Medium than true medium heavy, however, that power really fits the weight and balance of the rod perfectly. This rod, performed really well on techniques where you want a little slower load so as to not pull a hook, such as we noticed when fishing a chatterbait and topwater specifically. The rod, once loaded, kept the fish pinned and still had plenty of backbone to get em’ in away from the thick stuff. Another, often highly scrutinized attribute that we took notice of was the look of the rod. We have heard countless times of how people may love the performance of a rod, but may hate the color scheme or the thread colors used as accents on guide wraps but this rod is really a work of art.
The red and gold trims on the carbon blank really accentuate the Revelation logo along with the Zoltar namesake tag. Everything about it is just very clean and not overly flashy, which is appealing to most consumers. Another noteworthy and appealing attribute is just how light the rod is. Coming in at an extremely manageable 4.65oz, one often forgets that they’re even holding the rod at all. Paired up with the Daiwa Tatula Elite, the combo comes in <11.5oz which is awesome for all day fishing comfort without dealing with the fatigue associated with a heavier combo. In the not so distant past, if an angler wanted to lighten the overall rod weight, they often would have to sacrifice strength for weight or vice versa. Fortunately for us, rod blanks have come a long way and we no longer have to choose one over the other. Do not misunderstand, we wouldn’t plan on throwing a frog on 65lb braid with this rod, but we feel we can confidently put a good load on the rod and not worry about it breaking.
Although we found this rod to be superb in all aspects of aesthetics and performance, we did note one suggested improvement to the rod. The Fuji EVA cap is an ever so slightly smaller diameter than the lower portion of the custom EVA split grip, causing a very slight ridge where the two butt up to one another. This is a very minor note, and did not impact the performance of the rod or the comfort while casting in any way.
If you are in the market for a rod and are looking for a custom rod quality at a more affordable than average price point for a custom build, consider the Zoltar. At a $190 price tag, the rod will surely exceed your expectations; finding all the best attributes of a true custom, in an affordable, limited production rod. Additionally, if you are in the market for an American made custom rod featuring an American made blank, hit up Revelation Custom Rods to get you hooked up with an amazing stick.