On Gary Dobyns advice I purchased the new Champion Extreme HP DX 746C. The following is a Dobyns Rods Champion Extreme HP DX 746C review mixed with some personal impressions on the effectiveness of this rod and why I chose it.
There is one thing all successful bass anglers have in common; the proper tool for the job. In bass fishing there are many different techniques to catch bass, and one rod and reel combination will not effectively handle all the possible scenarios. There is no such thing as a “crescent wrench” in bass fishing. Having the proper tools for specific situations is vital to a successful day of catching bass. My current job is catching tournament winning bass in the thickest vegetation I can find, and the tool I’ll be using is the Dobyns Champion Extreme HP DX 746C.
Vegetation grows extremely thick here in the south and bass gravitate to the thickest parts. I needed a rod to pitch one to two ounce baits to these bass. These are long pitches which can be ten plus yards. The rod also had to be able to pull large bass out of the thick vegetation once hooked. With these variables in mind, the Champion Extreme HP DX 746C was a perfect fit.
Old school thinking believes an angler needs a pool cue stiff rod to be able to handle this situation. Experience has taught me, while a strong backbone is necessary, pitching accuracy and distance increases when the rod’s tip loads proportionate to the weight being used. This accuracy ultimately helps you get more bites. The 746C has the perfect tip action for baits ½ to 2 ounces. The backbone is outstanding, to see the strength and backbone of the 746C check out the video on DobynsRods.com where Gary Dobyns lifts a gallon of oil from the floor to the back of his boat.
After a mere three days shipping time, my Champion Extreme HP DX 746C was sitting on my doorstep. I’d like to take a moment and recognize Dan at Dobyns Rods who does most of the packaging. Dan is a fanatic about making sure your rod makes it to you as quick as possible and ready to fish. I had the opportunity to spend a day fishing with Dan and I asked him about the seemingly indestructible packaging Dobyns Rods uses when shipping a rod. He chuckled while saying, “The shipping companies are absolutely brutal.” He went on to say he has seen their [Dobyns Rods] PVC rod tubes returned flattened with tire tracks on the tubes. Dan continued, “We understand when an angler decides to buy a quality rod, they want it yesterday. We do our best to get it shipped the day of the order and follow it up with packaging to ensure it gets to the angler ready to fish. If it breaks in shipment, the angler has to wait even longer for another shipment.” Dan closed this conversation saying, “…any job worth doing is worth doing right, this is true from design all the way to arriving at our customer’s front door.”
Dobyns Rods Champion Extreme HP DX 746C Review
Rod in hand, I placed a new Shimano Curado I into the reel seat and spooled it with 65 pound braided line. My initial observations were, this is a very light rod for as strong as the video showed. However, for me, the entire Champion Extreme series is spooky light in weight. It’s difficult to believe that a rod so light can have so much power. However, the first bass takes all the worry away. My primary use for this rod is to catch bass living very deep in hydrilla and hyacinths growing along the oxbows of the Red River. My only option will be to make long pitches, punching one and a half ounce weights through the floating canopies extending several yards from shore. The biggest bass are using the canopies; however, still relating to shoreline wood.
Typically, when punching baits, anglers make very short lobs with heavy baits at the top of matted vegetation. Accuracy is not important in this situation, getting your bait through the canopy is the only goal. However, when you have overhanging limbs, cypress trees, and a variety of wood cover mixed in with the vegetation, bass will associate to the wood cover, and you must get your bait next to it. This is when punching accuracy comes into play. At 7 foot 4 inches, the DX 746C rod is pitching/punching perfection. The tip loads just enough to very easily and accurately pitch the one and half ounce baits I was using. I’ve experimented with pitching 2 ounce weights and the DX 746C still performs perfectly.
There are several other exceptional punching rods in the Dobyns Rods line up. The DX 795 Flip is one of my favorites for true punching applications, and the 805 Flip/Punch is Dobyns Rods most popular rod for punching. Both of these rods are too long for me when trying to make long accurate pitches, the Champion Extreme HP DX 746C not only handled the task very well but was comfortable enough to do it for hours. Don’t give up your punch rods, but if you need a heavy duty flipping or pitching rod the Champion Extreme HP DX 746C is a perfect combination of strength and sensitivity.
This rod is extremely light and strong, yet amazingly sensitive. Paired with the braided line, every strike seemed violent. With the Champion Extreme HP DX 746C you are hardwired to the bass and strikes feel like bass are on the tip of the rod.
The Dobyns Champion Extreme HP DX 746C is a very versatile rod in the realm of heavy action. Since this rod was designed to handle flipping and pitching presentations with heavier baits and heavy cover, I wanted to experiment with various weights to test the rods capabilities within the listed ranges.
I fish a lot of swim jigs in lily pad fields, over hydrilla beds, and around cypress trees. I may cast or pitch these jigs and being able to skip the jig up under limbs or docks can be vital to an effective presentation. Normally, I use half ounce jigs and my DX 744C for this presentation. I found the DX 746C was just as effective at pitching and skipping the half ounce jigs as the DX 744C. Dropping to a 3/8 ounce jig, the DX 746C started losing accuracy and it was more difficult to keep the jig skipping across the surface of the water. However, where the DX 746C shines is in skipping heavier jigs. I was able to easily skip a three-quarter ounce jig like a flat stone, and very accurately pitch and cast one ounce jigs to specific targets.
Next up was Texas Rigged plastics. The rod rating on the low end is 3/8th of an ounce; however, my go to is a quarter ounce. To my surprise the rod handled the lighter weight well with larger plastics. If I dropped to smaller plastics, the rod’s tip had trouble loading and casting distance suffered. Pitching became a chore; the lighter baits would fly higher making them difficult to pitch under targets. Keep in mind, I was exceeding the recommendations for the rod on the light side and expected this. It is not uncommon for me to use 3/8th to 3/4th ounce weights to kick up debris on the bottom or elicit a reaction strike on the fall. Staying within the recommendations of the rod with the same set up, pitching and casting distance was excellent, accuracy was pinpoint.
Dobyns Rods has labeled the Champion Extreme HP DX 746C with primary uses of Flipping / Pitching / Frogs. The Dobyns Champion Series 735C is my primary toad and frog rod, it does a fantastic job and I won’t be changing. However, I wanted to see how the DX 746C performed with frogs as part of this review. In my opinion, the DX 746C is over qualified for frog fishing. The extreme sensitivity is wasted on a surface bait application. The Champion Extreme HP DX 746C’s backbone and speed are so efficient an angler will have to exercise extreme awareness of the bait. If a bass does not fully have the frog in its mouth, anglers will pull the bait away from the bass. If an angler can mentally handle a violent surface strike and maintain hook set control, there isn’t vegetation growing that can prevent anglers from landing bass with this rod.
I have not tested the secondary uses listed on the Champion Extreme HP DX 746C. Dobyns has labeled this rod as capable of fishing heavy Carolina rigs and magnum top water baits. It takes at least 3/8th ounce baits to load the rod for casting, both Carolina rigs and big top water baits shouldn’t have a problem with this.
Anyone who’s held a Dobyns Rod knows Gary Dobyns and crew put a lot of effort into their lineup. For those who haven’t held a Dobyns Rod, I can tell you there is a major difference in how a quality rod feels when casting and then works a bass; however, until you experience it for yourself you just can’t fathom the difference. Dobyns Rods are the right tool for any bass fishing job.
Bass Fishing in heavy vegetation presents many challenges to an angler’s equipment. I fish a lot of waters with very heavy vegetation and our biggest bass live as deep in the vegetation as they can get. Punching heavy baits to penetrate this cover and get to the bass below can produce once in a lifetime catches and tournament winning stringers. Make sure you have the proper equipment to land a bass of a lifetime. If heavy baits, thick vegetation, and heavy bass are part of your bass fishing, then the Dobyns Champion Extreme DX 746C is the tool for the job.
Get the Net it’s a Hawg