Prior to even know what the EDGE rods would look for real, I had multiple conversations with Alex Maslov, the CEO of North Fork Composites regarding some rods’ true powers and ratings. Little did I know that The Heavy Beauty EDGE SB807-1 IM by Gary Loomis packed some serious punch in combination with the much needed „fishability”.
In short, I was dead set to get the EDGE SB808-1 IM factory rod rated up to 8 oz. Despite Alex’s repeated feedback that the rod was too stiff and too heavy for my current swimbaits, I repeated and insisted like a broken vinyl caught in a loop. However, when he sent me the EDGE SB807-1 IM model rated up to 5 oz. he also assured me the rod could easily cast 6 oz. and even heavier and backed it up with a comforting line: „If you break the rod, I’ll send you another one for free!”. Now this is what I call CONFIDENCE in the company’s products! With that being mentioned, let’s start the actual review of what I call The Heavy Beauty Swimbait Rod.
Manufacturer: EDGE Rods Company
Model: EDGE Swim bait 807-1 IM, individually numbered
Series: Black Widow
Material: Next Generation IM (Intermediate Modulus) graphite blank built by North Fork Composites
Length: 8′ (2.43 meter in metric system)
Casting weight: 1/2 – 5 oz. (14 – 142 grams)
Line weight: 12 – 30 lbs. (approx. 0.28 mm – 0.43 mm diameter according to Sunline products)
Power within its class: Heavy
Rod weight: I have yet to measure it
Guides: 8 + tip (first 4 double-foot, last 4 single-foot)
Made in: USA
Upon receiving the EDGE rods, the amazing SB805 that I reviewed here felt „deceivingly” lighter, while the SB807 seemed more than able to handle its upper limit of 5 oz. It didn’t feel stiffer, like a broomstick, yet it made the impression of being more than up for the task at hand of tossing baits around 6.5 oz., my main swimbaits for pike fishing this fall. The balance point with the reel on was impressively good, too, only 2″ (5 cm) from the middle of the reel seat.
Just like in SB805-1 HM’s case, I was in for a BIG surprise, because these two rods hide some major technology and innovative design under their quite discrete and „all black” appearance. I got used to them so much that I can’t imagine having another custom rod without these two main features: full carbon tubular handle and spiral wrapped guides. Build is clean, no epoxy is out of place, guides are perfectly aligned and the rod blank is as straight as you can get. You get flawless yet understated looks and personally I like the red accents of Gary Loomis’ signature on the rod decal.
The SB807-1 IM displays all the goodies her slender sister SB805-1 HM came with: full carbon rear grip measuring 35.5 cm in length, full carbon foregrip, split & triggerless reel seat and Fuji K-guides with ceramic inserts.
You may think that when slinging +6 oz. baits the triggerless seat would make your rod fly out of your hands uncontrollable. After a summer and a fall of casting everything but the kitchen sink with that rod, and that includes lures around 7 oz., I have yet to notice any attempt from the rod to leave my hands, even when wet, after releasing a fish.
Next Gen IM (Intermediate Modulus) construction means that the blank offers tons of high performance while still retaining all day toughness and durability. For big baits and tough fighting fish, this graphite should be better than the HM series.
The rod might seem stiff at first wiggle test, but trust me, it isn’t in fishing. And it lives up to its rating of a Moderate-Fast action stick. Actually, I found it perfect to set the hook with authority when using 30 lbs. monofilament line at distances as far as 15 to 25 meters. I also got some very short bites right at the boat that I recorded on my action camera, and if the rod would have been too stiff in the tip and mid-section, I could’ve lost those fish. Instead, I landed every one of them. The rod has a perfect action for casting large baits and tons of backbone to set the hook.
Rated 1/2 – 5 oz., the rod easily casts down to 3/4 oz., but the bigger surprise comes at its upper end. As per Alex’s comments, this 8′ stick packs a punch and then some. If during the first day of fishing big baits up to 6.5 oz. I reluctantly cast them trying not to „overload” the rod, the next days of filming with Fishing & Hunting TV on New Egreta, I was slinging them out there at least 30 meters or so with full power. Color me very impressed with the rod’s casting performance. I have used it for anything in my tackle boxes ranging from 2 to 7 oz. and the rod just kept on going. Great distance and control with every lure I threw at it. This is when I thought of naming her The Heavy Beauty.
Casting weight sweet spot
This term refers to that specific weight that the rod seems to throw at its best, with efficiency. Its sweet spot seems around 4 to 5 oz., but overloading it felt just as good. I’m quite puzzled by that blank and I’m still wondering „What did they put in it?”.
Given its powerful but not overly stiff nature and Mod-Fact action, the SB807-1 IM fishes great with both soft and hard swimbaits. I enjoyed retrieving either a Megabass MagDraft 10″ or a Savage Gear 3D Line Thru Trout of 8″ or 10″ as well as the Nekosogi DSR that’s „only” 1.7 oz. (this particular bait features a big lip and is best presented with a Dead Slow Retrieve, hence its name).
The power is there, with lots to spare: the SB807-1 IM stands behind its 1/2 – 5 oz. ratings and then some! Although casting baits around 6.5 oz. would void my warranty, I consciously did that because I was in need of a rod that could throw those baits during a trip in the Danube Delta. It can toss 6.5 oz baits all day long, even heavier around 7 oz., but under normal circumstances I would limit the weights to its official rating, for warranty purposes. Still, The Heavy Beauty is a lot of rod and Alex was right on the money to recommend this model instead of the SB808.
When fishing with really big baits, braided line is to be avoided because of its non-stretching, unforgiving nature. If the line digs in the spool and a backlash occurs during the cast, you can kiss your 3 to 11 oz. super expensive swimbait a very painful „goodbye” even with 60 or 80 lbs. braid. So, nylon, copolymer or fluorocarbon lines are widely used out there. I have only fished with Sunline Machinegun Cast low-stretch monofilament of 30 lbs. (0.43 mm) and thus far I could discern all the bites („shy” or discrete and violent ones) without any trouble through the line and rod, to my hand.
This is a beefy rod with some weight to it, but thanks to its long-lever rear grip, casting even the 6.5 oz. Deps Slideswimmer 250 was perfectly doable. After 3 consecutive days of casting those behemoths, I didn’t feel any pain in the forehand, shoulder or wrist. And the reel is pulling down to 10.6 oz (301 grams). The triggerless reel seat is very comfortable and I got used to it in no time.
The EDGE in action video
Watch The Heavy Beauty EDGE SB807-1 IM while catching fish with the DEPS Slideswimmer 250 in Nude Black color OG (the old version made of foam, highly sought after because of its great swim pattern). I had to downsize the final video edit due to uploading limitations of the host since I won’t post this to YouTube, but stay tuned for more EDGE SB807-1 IM action in the incoming episode of Delta Force series.
Everything about this rod is just the way I feel it should be, so to me it’s perfect. The ability to cast baits heavier than its maximum limit is a „nice to have” feature just in case and the rod sets the hooks like there’s no tomorrow. The power & action combination makes for a rod that doesn’t feel like a telephone pole, and that helps a lot with fishing abilities, for memorable experiences with each and every fishing trip.