Having a budget in mind as bass anglers can be challenging but a necessity in a sport as expensive as this one can be. The Spiralite Maverick Series is a great option for those looking for a budget rod starting at the $99 pricepoint that comes in a variety of lengths and actions to fit whatever need you may have. Today we review the Spiralite Maverick Series and show you why this series is one of the best available on the market in this budget friendly price range.
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The world of bass fishing is growing exponentially with no signs of slowing. With the introduction of fishing into colleges, high school and even middle schools, the sport is booming to say the least. With this surge of popularity within the bass angling world, so comes with it the drive by manufacturers and companies to reach these anglers, particularly the budget minded angler.
It is no surprise that bass fishing isn’t the cheapest sport to get into BUT unlike other outdoor sports, people can get into the scene on a relatively friendly budget. Due to competition within the industry to create rods and reels that perform well and are not overly expensive; the $100 price mark has been the most popular price point to get gear into anglers hands regardless of being a seasoned veteran or a young angler who has just purchased their first casting reel. The competition is fierce and promotes innovation and encourages performance to out-do one another. Many companies have gone so far as to specifically target this demographic of anglers who find themselves purchasing from this price range and have capitalized on it in a BIG way. Flashy advertisements and marketing can fool some, but the fact is the Spiralite Maverick series may be one of the best performing rod series on the market that hits this pricepoint, period.
What is the Spiralite Maverick Series?
The Spiralite Maverick Series is Spiralite’s budget friendly rod series that doesn’t sacrifice performance at the sake of a lower pricepoint. Per the company’s namesake, the most notable difference in these rods is the unique “Spiral Wrap.”
The spiral wrap design is nothing new as it was originally utilized in the saltwater industry nearly 100 years ago. In more recent years, the wrap style has been utilized in custom rods for its advantages of eliminating “torque-twist” so common in traditional set guides. By utilizing the first 3 transfer guides to the underside of the blank, the load is placed on the blank similar to a spinning rod eliminating plaguing torque-twist and does not limit the natural action of the blank. This wrap style has gained huge popularity in the custom swimbait rod game for its obvious benefits in fighting large fish by eliminating this torque.
Additionally, by utilizing the spiral wrap, the rod is able to utilize less guides similar to a spinning rod, decreasing drag on the line and increasing overall casting distance. This was noticeable during testing compared to traditional wrapped guides on rods of a similar length, taper, and power.
The rod is built around a 30ton Japanese Toray graphite blank. IM ratings and tonnages are mostly marketing ploys but here’s what you should understand, the higher the tonnage, the lighter and more sensitive the blank will be; HOWEVER, it also increases brittleness or the strength and durability of the rod. A 30ton blank will still be light, sensitive and strong but with an increase in the tonnage rating so does its brittleness unless they are aided by some kind of proprietary reinforcement coating such as Kevlar or others. The rod blank used in the Maverick series proved to be everything you want. Strong, sensitive, and overall lightweight for comfortable all-day use.
Incorporated into the rods overall build, one can also find the increasing popular Winn grips that have been popularized by other companies such as Lew’s that utilizes them in their casting reel handles and even some rods. The material is very grippy even in wet conditions making it ideal for a grip material over other common materials such as classic cork or even EVA foam. These Winn grips are both aesthetically pleasing and comfortable in the hand.
What We Liked About It
The model we tested was the SMC-70MHF (Spiralite Maverick Casting- 7’ medium-heavy fast) as an all-around rod that could be used in a variety of situations and techniques. The rod fishes like a true medium-heavy fast and was a delight to fish. Whether fishing compact jigs out deep, or swim jig in the shallows, the rod handles well, is well-balanced in the hand and had plenty of backbone to drive the hook home yet enough tip to keep fish pinned. The shorter rod length made accurate casts a breeze when throwing to specific targets. Most noteworthy was the unique spiral wrap when fighting larger fish that would dog us at the boat. The lack of torque on the wrist was much appreciated and made landing big fish much easier and instilled an extra bit of confidence when fighting these fish.
Though we never had to utilize it, Spiralite also offers an unprecedented lifetime warranty due to any defect determined to be a result of workmanship or materials for a nominal $30 shiping and handling fee. For a $100 rod, this is virtually not heard of and can give you a peace of mind to know that your rod is covered.
The rod is simple with a classy aesthetic. An unwrapped raw carbon blank with black wraps and gold accents on the guide wraps sets the rod off. The wraps are clean and true, the butt cap and handle grip show no visible glue from construction. The Alps No Bruise-No Slip EVA butt cap is comfortable in casting and tucked when you’ve got an ol’ big on the line and have to keep that rod in your ribs. The gold trim on the EVA butt cap and the handle grip were also nice touches to really set the rod off. The rod also comes topped with an Alps No-Loop Hi-Vis Strike Detect Tip-Top and Alps MXN Z Guides with zirconium inserts that were both smooth, strong and durable. The casting rods come in a split grip which helps reduce weight while still maintaining balance in the rod overall. The reel seat features an exposed seat that offers maximum sensitivity; allowing you to feel even the most subtle of bites.
As mentioned, the rod has a decreased number of guides due to the unique spiral wrap (8+ Tip), has a line rating of 10-17lb which we found to be accurate and a lure rating of 1/4oz to 3/4oz. In testing we very seldom through a ¼ oz but the rod did handle those lighter swim jigs well and in cold water situations, such as Winter time Jig Fishing (link video) throwing ½ and ¾ oz football jigs gave us no problem.
The really isn’t much to balk at with this rod that we found in nearly 16 months of use. The only bit of discomfort we noted was the joint of the molding on the reel seat. Using a small bit of some fine sandpaper like 360-grit took this little ridge down and eliminated the problem. We are unsure if this is common or if it was this particular rod. In spite of this minor defect, no others were noted during testing that caused any discomfort or any effect on overall performance of the rod.
If you are in the market for a rod series starting at $99 dollars, check out the Spiralite Maverick series rods. The series comes in 27, yes 27! casting models and 5 spinning models; ensuring you will find a model that suits you for ANY situation. Great performance, price, durability with an unmatched warranty and a slick aesthetic, this rod is sure to please.