My Take on Dobyns Rods – All Hype or the Cure to All Our Fishing Rod Needs?
Introduction – I had read a few things when Dobyns was still on their 1st Generation rods. I had read about the overall satisfaction with performance, but also about the breakage problems. These were quickly dismissed from my list of potential rods due to the breakage issue.
Now, in January 2010, with cabin fever at its worst, I was in search of another rod. Over the summer of 2009, I had really gained a lot of confidence in t-rigged, weightless Senkos. In fact, it had become one of my go-to techniques. Now I wanted a rod dedicated to it since my 7’ M F rod didn’t have enough power, and my 6’6” MH F rod wasn’t long enough.
I spent the next month and a half reading reviews, doing research, and narrowing down my choices. My list consisted of a few rods, including the Shimano Cumara (7’2” MH F), the G Loomis Senko rod (7’5” MH XF), and various rods from Falcon, Fenwick, Kistler, and Daiwa. I was completely unaware of the new Generation 2 Dobyns rods gaining popularity around this time.
I was now searching for a good deal on the top few rods on my list. Early that spring I attended a fishing show where I got to handle some of the top runners on my list, including the Shimano Crucial, G Loomis Senko rod, and the Falcon Cara T7. Shortly afterward, I found a new Cumara for sale online for $150. I offered $125 and he accepted. On his request, I went to the post office and sent a money order.
A few days later, I sent him an email to confirm that he got my money order. My email was immediately returned to me… After some quick research, I learned the guy had scammed numerous people out of hundreds of dollars, including a couple thousand for a high end Hummingbird SI unit. I talked with an LEO from a town not far from this guy’s hometown. He said he had worked with their cybercrime division before and would send info to them if we could gather an adequate amount. Unfortunately, we couldn’t gather enough people’s information to do much. At this point, I assumed there was no chance of getting my money back. So I went back to saving up money…
Enter Dobyns Rods – By the time I had enough money saved up, the buzz on Dobyns Rods had grown a lot since I sent the money I’d never see again. The Dobyns Champion series rods quickly piqued my interest and were soon the first choice on my list. I took advantage of the Memorial Day sale at Tackle Warehouse and ordered my first Dobyns – a Champion 733C.
I came home to that cardboard tube on the porch a few days later. As I opened it up, first impressions were very good. The rod looked GREAT. But a great looking rod is nothing if it doesn’t perform well. The second thing I noticed was that, even without a reel, the seemed quite balanced. More so than the comparable 7’2” Cumara, actually.
With my Daiwa Viento mounted on the rod, it balanced great and I even compared to one of my 7’ rods to make sure it was really 7’3” (it was, by the way). The rod fishes great and is plenty sensitive; it is just as sensitive at my G. Loomis MBR844C IMX. The action isn’t quite a fast action, but it’s not moderate enough to affect its ability to fish contact baits.
I don’t want this to be a review of that Champion 733C, so long story short, I now own four Dobyns Rods; these include the 733C, a 765CB Glass, a DX703C, and a DX784CML.
Dobyns Detractors and “Those Dobyns Guys” – I could classify most of the people I’ve talked to about Dobyns rods into one of three categories: First, there are those who genuinely like the rods. Second, there’s those who may or may not have used them, but are tired of the “those Dobyns guys.” And finally, there’s “those Dobyns guys.”
I believe I fall into the first category for reasons I will touch on later. I also believe that many of the people I’ve talked to, in person, online, etc., are in this category.
The second category is growing larger every day, and I find this is more prevalent on online forums. And the third category, “those Dobyns guys,” is probably the group to blame for the increase in the Dobyns detractors.
Call them what you will: fan boys, “pro-staffers,” “those Dobyns guys,” or even $%&#@!, but they’re out there and probably not going away. I think most are familiar with this group of people. It’s the group who bring up Dobyns rods as often as they can no matter what the topic is about. I’ve seen this numerous times before and it gets awfully annoying. Here are just a few examples of things I’ve seen:
1. A topic comes up, comparing two rods (neither Dobyns). The original poster (or OP) is usually deciding on which to buy wants specific opinions on the rods he’s narrowed it down to. Yet here come those Dobyns guys and start recommending and talking up Dobyns Rods.
2. A discussion on rod balance never fails to bring in those Dobyns guys. It’s like sharks to a chum slick. Again, this even happens when the discussion started is about specific, non-Dobyns rods.
3. I’ve even seen Dobyns rods recommended in discussions about reels because, “That reel feels great on a Dobyns.” Makes you ask yourself if someone seriously just said that.
4. And so often, I see such over glorified claims about the Dobyns, they’re almost laughable. And I know this is one of the things that the major detractors of Dobyns rods dislike the most.
Posts like these have caused numerous arguments between “Those Dobyns guys” and the guys who are getting fed up with them. To me, it’s sad what I’ve seen take place. The people who sick of all the crap are getting just as bad. I’ve seen people congratulate each other on recommending rods in a post before “those Dobyns guys” did. It’s ridiculous and childish.
The things that really irritates me is that “those Dobyns guys” are making it tough for those of us who really like the rods, think they’re a great product, and want to promote them because we believe in them, and not just because they’re getting paid to or because they’re the next big thing.
But trying to put a stop to any of it is where it gets tough. Because then you have to deal with determining who is sponsored by a company and who just really likes them. And then what do you do, tell people they can’t talk about their sponsors? No, that’s just ridiculous, but this is not a discussion for this post. What I feel would be the best compromise is for people sponsored by Dobyns to keep their recommendations to appropriate times and topics. Dobyns Rods shouldn’t come in a thread asking specifically about Loomis vs. St. Croix. I think there are plenty of threads about Dobyns that if the OP wanted opinions on the, they could easily find them or would have asked. I’m all for people promoting products they like, and I’m not against people promoting their sponsors’ products. That’s why there were sponsored in the first place. But both need to be done at the appropriate place and time.
Where I Stand – I tend to agree with some of the people on both sides of this argument. As stated above, I think “those Dobyns guys” are obnoxious and are giving a lot of people, who don’t do what they do, a bad name because they’re all being lumped together. And I also partially agree with those who think Dobyns rods are overrated and hyped up to be something they’re not.
However, Dobyns rods are great rods, I love all of them that I own, and I will continue to buy more. But they aren’t the be all, cure all of fishing rods. They look great, and perform great. From my experience, my Dobyns perform just as well as a comparative G Loomis, but I can’t honestly say they’re much better than a Loomis (which I have heard some say). Now I know issues of performance and sensitivity are very subjective, but I believe it’s just common sense that there is a limit to how much two rods can differ. And to use subjectivity as an excuse to overhype a product is just ridiculous.
As I mentioned before, balance is a big deal when talking about Dobyns rods. And I’ve found that my Dobyns rods DO balance better than most of the comparable rods I’ve used before. But it’s not what some of “those Dobyns guys” make it out to be. They aren’t perfect. They’re one of the best I’ve personally used, but they’re not perfect. Some people act like Dobyns has worked some rod balancing miracle. In fact, a simple counter weight is all that’s needed to get a rod to balance better. Some companies choose to follow the “Lighter is Better” philosophy and pass on counterbalancing their rods (but Weight vs. Balance is a whole new topic, lol).
Conclusion and Disclaimer – I know this article will be very controversial, and I want to get some things out of the way. I want to make it clear that I am NOT affiliated with Dobyns Rods, any retailers that sell them, or anyone sponsored by them in any way. I am a college student who works hard for his money and I spend my money on tackle that I think is worth it. And Dobyns Rods are worth it to me.
I know there are many people sponsored by Dobyns out there who don’t take part in what “those Dobyns guys” do, I’m not singling out those who are sponsored by them (or by any company).
I always appreciate and welcome intelligent discussion and constructive criticism, but I would prefer that anyone who has negative or argumentative comments please keep them to themselves. Also please refrain from flaming this post. I will personally report such responses and will not answer them.