Expert Review: Shimano Zodias Casting Rod

This review is my honest opinion of the fishing rod, which I purchased with my own money in April of 2021.

A fish being held by a hand.

Wind blown point with a lipless crankbait. All photos courtesy of Josh Saenz

About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the fishing rod, which I purchased with my own money in April of 2021.

My take

My 7’5” medium-heavy Shimano Zodias Casting Rod is a great all-around rod for fishermen just above that beginner angler level.

The Shimano Zodias Casting Rod.

About the rod I own

  • Model: 2021 Shimano Zodias casting rod
  • Rod Length: 7’5"
  • Rod Power: Medium/Heavy
  • Rod Action: Fast
  • Rod Pieces: 1 Piece
  • Rod Material: Carbon Monocoque Butt, High Power X Graphite Blank, Ci4+ Reel seat, Fuji Stainless Alconite K Guides

About me

  • Preferred fishing style(s): Power fishing in salt- and freshwater
  • Experience: 17 years of fishing

Test condition

  • When I bought this: April 2021
  • Reel Paired with Rod: Shimano Metanium DC
  • Line Paired Rod: #10 spider wire invisi braid with 10 yards of #5 mono backing
  • Days tested: 1.5 years
  • Waters I’ve used it on: Freshwater mainly, lakes and ponds
  • Species targeted with rod: Largemouth Bass/Striped Bass

How it performs

Casting Ease

What I was looking for:

I had recently just lost a rod my Abu Garcia Veritas rod paired with my Shimano SLX in the water when I was fishing with my buddy in a lake. After losing it, I was devastated and decided to get something more expensive to ease the pain. I was looking in the market for a quality rod to pair with my $500 reel and found another top-of-the-line Shimano product, the Zodias.

Why I chose this gear

When I was looking on the market, I came across a few rods I liked, but this was the one for me because of the rod's capabilities. It can handle heavy loads, it is extremely sensitive for those subtle bites, and it has saltwater capabilities. This rod checked all the boxes I needed for a killer baitcasting combo. I paired this up with my Shimano Metanium DC.

The Shimano Zodias Casting Rod.

What I love about it

  • Quality: This reel not only looks good but feels amazing. It definitely attracts attention because of the shine and noise that it makes. Not only do the materials feel good, but it looks good also. The Fuji Stainless Alconite Guides make it smoother and better for casting. The Carbon Butt improves overall vibration through the rod into my hand, ultimately letting me feel everything on my line/lure.
  • Durability: After using this for over a year and a half, dropping it, and even shutting my car door on it, it still is holding up as if nothing has happened to it—practically new. There's nothing more I can ask for from a rod at this price point.
  • Versatility: I've used it in fresh and salt, and I've used it for multiple applications, from finesse fishing all the way to throwing jigs. It gets done whatever I need it to with no issues. I personally think it best performs in power fishing applications like fishing a lipless crankbait or a chatterbait for active bass.
  • Performance: With the smoothness of the graphite and the fuji tips, paired with my Metanium DC, this performs flawlessly time after time. Every cast consistently whips my lure out there due Shimano's strong Power X blank. When reeling in my lure or when a bite occurs, I always feel everything with no delay and even after abusing this rod, it doesn't stop performing like it did when I first got it.
  • Materials: Carbon Monocoque Butt, High Power X Graphite Blank, Ci4+ Reel seat, Fuji Stainless Alconite K Guides. These materials listed here are materials also used in some of Shimano’s higher-tier rods; it's good to see that we're really getting our money's worth with the upgraded tech.

Issues I’ve encountered

  • Cost: There's not many issues or downfalls to this rod, but the price is the main one. Most novice anglers won’t want to buy this rod simply due to the cost.

Favorite moment with this gear:

My favorite moment with this gear would have to be when I first got it and fished with it at my grandparents’ lake house. My first bass with the new setup was a five-pounder. It was April, and bass were going shallow with the water warming up. I had seen the bass pushing bait up on shore and I casted my mega bass jerk bait. After twitching it twice, the bass absolutely destroyed it and the rod couldn't have handled it any better.

Value for the money vs. other options

People say you get what you pay for, and that is very true. This rod is no doubt worth the price: it's light, sensitive, and versatile. If I was going to buy another rod at this price point, I would choose either the St. Croix Victory or the Mojo Glass Bass. They are great rods, but as far as what I was looking for, the Zodius is the most versatile and checked more boxes for me.

Final verdict

I would definitely say this rod is an easy 4 out of 5 stars. It is extremely versatile and the sensitivity is like no other. I recommend this rod for just about everyone except for beginners.

Selling Shimano on
Shimano Zodias Casting Rod
From $209.99
Conventional Fishing Expert Josh Saenz
Josh Saenz
Conventional Fishing Expert
Josh here! How can I help?
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Written By
14+ years of fishing experience from Yosimite National park in montana all the way down to the beautiful coast of North Western Florida and everything in between. Experienced in Salt water fishing, all types of freshwater fishing, and mildly experienced in Fly fishing

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