I’ve spent far too long trying to make sense of ECBT’s line of rods. Are they a good value? Here’s what I know.

bryharm

Newbie
May 6, 2021
2
2
25
San Diego
Name
Bryce
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Sea Pro 206CC
Since mid 2020 East County Bait & Tackle, Dana Landing, and as of recently Barnacle Bill’s (now under the same ownership as the aforementioned stores and renamed Lemon Grove Bait & Tackle) have carried ECBT branded bass rods. I went down this admittedly frivolous rabbit hole after purchasing a 7’2”MH casting rod with a bland wrap and an ECBT decal under the epoxy around a year ago. I chose it simply because it met the description of what I was looking and soon realized that I had no idea what exactly my $209 (the line ranges from $199-$229) had bought me.

I assumed it was a Phenix blank due to Gene at ECBT being a devoted Phenix peddler as well as my knowledge that they previously sold a rod marked “ECBT by Phenix”. I started comparing the specs of my rod with all the blanks offered by Phenix. There weren’t any matches as the length of the ECBT rod is a strange one for Phenix as is the 1/8-3/4oz lure rating. I did however notice that some handle components were identical to those featured in the Recon Elite series. I eventually reached out to Gene who simply told me “it’s our own blank” despite having the perfect chance to explain why they’re charging over $200 for their seemingly generic rods that share a but section with Phenix branded rod that retails for $20 less!

It wasn’t until I stumbled upon an article covering Phenix’s updated Ultra MBX that my indulgently priced store brand rod began making sense. The “Phenix proprietary carbon fiber custom reel seat” on the new UMBX looked awfully familiar, and wouldn’t you know my Kirkland/Equate/Up & Up/Great Value store brand rod had at least one component in common with a fairly high end rod.

I eventually got my hands on a current model UMBX (I have two older ones) and to my surprise it now has a carbon fiber scrim, and it perfectly matches the scrim on my ECBT rod with an identical weave pattern extending from the but to the first guide. Every other series of Phenix bass rod I’m aware of has a smaller weave that extends the length of the rod (other than the K2).

I still need to find a way to determine the guide ring material of the ECBT rods, but at the very least they share the same series of Fuji guides. The Phenix website specifies Fuji SiC MNSG on the UMBX rods although they look more like Fuji’s lighter duty LNSG guides. However my point is that when UMBX guides are compared to the guides on the ECBT special it’s apparent that they have the same outer guide structure.

So what does this all mean? And why did you read this far? It’s my belief that the rods sold with the ECBT name are built on slightly cut down Ultra MBX blanks incorporating synthetic grip materials from the Recon Elite series to keep down costs while retaining the flagship reel seat of the UMBX. This means that with the ECBT Fauxnix you get most of the meaningful performance features of the $300 Phenix Ultra MBX Classic for $200! Although I suspect that the bargain rod may feature alconite rings in liew of the more costly SiC rings in the name brand rod, I firmly believe that performance differences between these two materials is negligible. It’s strange to me that the local tackle shops that carry the ECBT rods don’t tout all of the high end features that they pack. Maybe an agreement with Phenix to prevent severe undercutting? Anyway, I’ve been so impressed with my sleeper of a rod that I purchased another one that will be forcing my decade old UMBX 707MH into retirement.
 
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bryharm

Newbie
May 6, 2021
2
2
25
San Diego
Name
Bryce
Boat
Sea Pro 206CC
So now we are writing 2000 word essays on what we speculate a rod is built like or from materials that we aren’t even sure of?? Maybe you could go find a job at the CDC???
It sure seems like you read a good portion of my 2000 words. I’ll chalk it up as a success! Now the next person wondering about this type of rod can hop on the internet and find, at the bare minimum, some information on it and look further into it themselves if they want.
 
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the SLIDER

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arima - the SLIDER
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pacificscout

Hey! You got any frozen ice?
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    Wait! What??....

    200.gif
     
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    titos334

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    Aug 19, 2012
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    Private label. What a concept.

    Probably more likely they're discontinued or surplus blanks that they bought for a good deal, that's why they're more hush hush about it instead of singing all it's praises why its unique and special.
     
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