REVIEW: Denali Kovert Flippin Rod
One of the more exciting entries from this year’s ICAST Eye Catcher series was definitely the new Kovert line of rods introduced by Denali. Their combination of features at a mid-range price point ($129-$149 MSRP) certainly piqued my interests. So, it was with great anticipation that I was able to get my hands on the 7’8″ Extra Heavy model, designated as a Flippin stick, for this review.
A “Fast” flex rod rated for 15-30 pound test line and baits up to 1.5 ounces, I was hopeful that this rod would hold more versatility than just tossing baits into heavy cover … and, I wasn’t disappointed, in the least! First, however, let’s take a detailed look at the specific features Denali poured into this rod.
The idea behind the Kovert line was to make them light and balanced without compromising on power and quality. To accomplish those loft goals, they merged many of the minimalist concept technologies that have been introduced in recent years.
It starts with a sensitive IM-8 flat black blank mounted with a Skeleton Reel Seat and ultra-light EVA handles. They also redesigned their trademark stabilized hardwood foregrip and added dimpled aluminum winding checks. All of which gives the Kovert rods a sharp look that equals their performance.
But, they didn’t stop there with high-tech appointments. The Flippin model is adorned with 15 Semi-Micro Guides which aid in the rod’s accuracy, as well as reducing the weight. The final outcome is a well balanced, ultra-lightweight rod that is comfortable in your hands, while reducing the stress and fatigue a day of flipping can bring to your arms, shoulders and back.
Of course, I couldn’t wait to get this impressive package onto the water. First, I had to compare it’s weight to the Shimano Crucial I had been using for the same techniques I was about to put the Kovert through. I was blown away to find the Denali was a full 35% lighter! So, I slapped the same Curado onto the rod and headed out to my local hole.
I was immediately delighted by the rod’s accuracy. Whether flipping, pitching, or full-on casting I was able to put my bait right on target. The fast flex allowed for effortless pitches and flips, yet it didn’t over-flex from side to side as so many rods will do, cutting down on precision. The balance of the rod was also dead-on. While this attribute, obviously, adds to it’s extreme comfort, it is also a key ingredient to the above mentioned accuracy.
Another amazing trait was the sensitivity. Quite often, this is a virtue that can be sacrificed in exchange for the power of an Extra-Heavy rod. However, the folks at Denali found a way around that compromise. While I won’t claim here that the Kovert is the most sensitive rod out there, there aren’t many on par in this price range. Feeling the bottom or a light bite is not a challenge.
When I hooked into my first fish with the Kovert, and with each fish after, I was taken by the extreme power of this rod. Pulling big fish quickly from cover is no problem at all!
The last thing I was hoping this rod possessed was versatility. It obviously excelled at it’s intended employ. But, could it also be used for large swimbaits, flutter spoons, and jigs? The answer is a resounding “YES!”. I was easily able to get the casting distance needed for some of these baits, while also feeling the thump of the spoon or large hard-bodied swimmie; and subtleties of the bottom and deft pick-ups with a heavy jig.
How Denali was able to pack all of these features into a rod at this price point is still a mystery to me. Comfort, looks, power, accuracy, sensitivity, versatility, and the latest technologies are all here for the taking with the Denali Kovert Flippin Rod.
MSRP – $149
Cave Club Rating: 4.5 Clubs
Cave Club Scale
5 Clubs = The Missing Link
4 Clubs = Rock Solid
3 Clubs = Better Than Sharp Stick
2 Clubs = Not Fully Evolved
1 Club = Should Be Extinct