SHIMANO ZODIAS SPINNING ROD REVIEW
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The Zodias is a high quality freshwater water rod, ideal for fish species such as smallmouth and largemouth bass or walleye. But the $200+ rod is a premium priced stick and is an investment for the budgets of many anglers. Still, the Zodias is a fact-action rod that will deliver on a range of fish species and fishing styles, including dropshots, crankbaits, swimbaits.
The overall feel of the Zodias tested was very comfortable, well balanced, lightweight, and sensitive. Our primary method of testing included fishing 1/4oz tube jigs and other soft plastics from a boat along rocky shorelines and in open grass flats. The Zodias showed strong accuracy and good line control while working the structure along the banks. And it excelled with casting distance when searching for cruising fish on the flats. Even in the presence of a stiff wind during testing, the Zodias
demonstrated that it had plenty of backbone to get the job done. The rod showed plenty of power for casting, setting hooks, and was capable of picking up subtle strikes.
Handled line smoothly, both during casting and during retrieve
Plenty of power for casting, setting hooks, and playing fish
Not too stiff at the tip yet sensitive enough to pick up subtle strikes. Stiff enough to handle medium sized crankbaits yet sensitive enough to detect subtle strikes on jigs and soft plastics
The hook-keeper is well positioned on the underside of the rod, in between the reel seat and the butt of the rod
Price is definitely premium
The Shimano Zodias would do well as a stand alone, go-to choice for day in and day out fishing. The stick can cover a wide range of fishing styles/techniques, whether dropshots, crankbaits, swimbaits. The Zodias would be a strong addition to any rotation of rods, either as a good finesse rod to add to an established arsenal or as a good all-purpose stick that can cover the bases.
|Moderate Fast – Extra Fast
|Medium Light – Medium Heavy
|Number of Sections*
|Line Weight* (lbs)
|7 – 25
|6’ 10” – 7’ 5”
|Lure Weight* (oz)
|3/16 – 1 1/2
|Limited 1-Year Warranty
Unpacking the SHIMANO ZODIAS
The Shimano Zodias one-piece rod was packaged in a clear plastic sleeve with a simple hanging tag attached to one of the guides including a short list of features. The rod came with no other parts, tube, or protective sock.
In order to chase fish, it’s a matter of removing the rod from the bag, cutting off the tag, and attaching a well paired reel.
The rod blank is “unpolished” and isn’t smooth and glossy to the touch. The underlying blank design is visible, allowing the underlying wrapped rod material to show through. The rod is diagonally-wrapped with carbon tape to form an array of “X” shapes on the rod blank’s outermost layer. The tape and pattern are intended to provide more overall strength and added twist resistance. The Zodias comes with good quality Fuji ceramic guides in standard sizing and has a Fuji tip. The guide wraps are well placed and highlighted with sharp looking red accent material.The Shimano rod features a sturdy rod butt and handle. It comes with a “Carbon Monocoque” grip which is one of the stranger branding terms seen in a while.
The “Monocoque” grip is actually a carbon-molded grip that is meant to be lighter weight and provide high sensitivity. In testing, the rod was notably sensitive though this was not clearly attributable to any single factor, especially the uniquely named grip style.
The hook-keeper is well positioned on the underside of the rod, in between the reel seat and the butt of the rod. This is not only a good place to store a lure and keep line tight in storage, but it also simplifies the use of a tangle free rod storage sleeve more practical. The Zodias has a down locking reel seat that was easy to use and kept the reel in a sturdy locked position.
The Zodias is definitely a premium rod. Baitstick purchased the rod at a commonly found retail price of $220. This price puts it out of the reach of many anglers, given that pairing it with a similar quality reel can put the combination into the $300-$400 range or more. But anglers looking to make an investment in a quality rod will get a quality product in the Zodias.
Field Testing the ZODIAS
Baitstick tested a 7’ Zodias medium-light power, fast action rod. The one-piece rod performed well from a boat along rocky shorelines and in open grass flats. In putting the stick through its paces, Baitstick paired it with the Lews KVD 300 spooled with 30# braided line and with a 15# fluorocarbon leader. The combination was used to fish 1/4oz tube jigs and other soft plastics along rocky shorelines and in open grass flats.
In evaluating the Shimano Zodias spinning rod, Baitstick found the one-piece, fast action rod very comfortable, well balanced, lightweight, and sensitive. The Zodias handled the line smoothly, both during casting and during the retrieve. It’s a product that is designed to be in an angler’s hands for a full day on the water.
The rod showed plenty of power for casting, setting hooks, and playing fish. The Zodias is not too stiff at the tip and it loaded well for casting, Overall sensitivity was good and the rod was capable of picking up subtle strikes.
The Shimano Zodias is a strong performer and a good choice as a spinning rod for bass fishing and other freshwater fish. The rod would do well as a stand alone, go-to choice for day in and day out fishing. And it would be a strong addition to any rotation of rods if keeping a mix of rods in continuous play is part of an angler’s fishing strategy.
The Zodias comes as advertised. But the $200+ price may make the Zodias not the first rod a beginner or developing angler may look to. Still, if making an investment is part of the purchase plan then an angler will get a rod that can deliver on a range of fish types, style of fishing, and locations. Anglers going for bass and walleye may like what they find the most. The fact action version that Baitstick tested is a great finesse rod with soft plastics, jigs, drop shot and jerkbaits.