Discussion in 'Jigging and Popping' started by benwah22, May 8, 2019.
OK.... they can be pre ordered now how about pricing. And more specific detail on the benefits of this new design would be helpful. And maybe a pic or two.
Preorder for USA only
Benny Ortiz Signature Series INNOVATE.
INN-80MH - 8’0” | 100-400g | Med Hvy | Mod Slow
INN-78H - 7’8” | 250-650g | Hvy | Mod Slow
Big fish, Big boats, Big power. Presenting the INNOVATE. A new concept for jigging. Featuring proprietary two-piece 70/30 joint design, the Innovate does what was previously impossible. It combines unrivaled action, incredible backbone and added length for long fall presentation as well as for maneuverability on today’s larger long-range boats. All Innovate rods come equipped with a unique combination of flagship Fuji KW and LBD guides allowing for the use of larger diameter leader while maintaining tangle free operation. At a mere 6oz (180g) its light enough to fish all day, but tough enough to stop nearly anything that swims. Whatever you’re targeting and wherever you’re targeting it, the INNOVATE has it covered.
The pricing on the new rods has been set at $349.00. There are two models, an 8'0MH and a 7'8H.
A little backstory first. When I started slow pitch jigging there was little information, and much of the gear was not tailored to the US market, or how we fish. As a result, many of us were left playing a very expensive game of trial and error for years, until we got it dialed as best we could, given what was out there. For me, before I was a part of Temple Reef, or Accurate, these were the products that I chose to buy because I objectively thought they were the best for what we were doing. That still holds true.
I got into talks with Temple Reef earlier this year about designing a rod for the US, particularly for larger boats that are very common in CA, the Northeast, and in the Southeast. I also took some time to listen to people at seminars and in online forums about what they wanted/needed in a rod, and did a whole lot of thinking on how to accomplish something that would be broadly appealing to anglers in many different applications. So, after about 5 rounds of prototypes, many fish caught, and all kinds of depths and jigs fished, we got it.
First issue, the length. I decided to go with an 8ft rod for a couple of reasons. As a practical matter, it helps keep the line away from the boat, or away from the keel (if the fish runs under), and gives the angler a bit of maneuverability that you don't have with a shorter rod on a large boat. The technical reason is that it still allows for shorter technical movements, but also allows for a long-fall action, which is simpler for beginner jig fisherman to learn. A slow, sweeping motion can generate good action on the jig and create a longer fall of the jig while in the strike zone. That means more opportunities for a strike. The bonus reason is that it's really fun to bow up on a 8ft rod.
The second issue, wide range of jig weights. Because this is a long fall rod, it allows a wider range of jig weights. Now, here's where it gets to be a bit technical. On one hand, I'm a stickler for action, and I won't fish something that doesn't have excellent action to work a jig. On the other, I wanted something to be very broad so that people don't have to think they need 17 rods to fish different weights of jigs. I got inspiration from some existing stuff that was out there, as well as a healthy dose of re-imagining what could be possible in a two-piece rod to accomplish what I wanted. To this end, we decided that the rod would be two piece, and at a 70/30 joint. This does a couple of things. The two sections of the rods are very different. The tip has action most similar to a Levitate 68-3. However, the rod completely shuts off in between 1/3 and 1/2 of the way down from the tip. Having a very rigid butt section provides greater strength and allows to power jigs through deep water. Lastly, the rods pack down to about 42" (give or take, I don't have the exact # - but it is the same length as a broken-down Levitate or Gravitate) so that you can travel with them.
The third issue, strength. Bottom line, people like to at least have the option of fighting the fish with the rod. In Florida, we have a lot of hard fighting bottom fish that run for structure. We needed something more to put the brakes on them. By using a novel process, we were able to get breaking strength at 45* at 11kg for the Innovate 8'0MH, and 13kg for the Innovate 7'8H (this is on par with many high end popping rods). This means that the rods can take a significant amount of heat that would otherwise snap most slow pitch rods in half. I'm not saying that they are unbreakable, not by any stretch. But, I did do some VERY reckless things with them on purpose when testing and they've held up fine. (I do not recommend it, but I did rail one under the reel seat when fighting a 50lb-ish amberjack). I think for almost any use I can think of, within reason, these rods will handle the job.
The fourth issue, guides. Traditional slow pitch guides are dainty and micro. If you do not pay close attention to them you will probably run into issues at some point. To rectify this, we went another route - using Fuji LBD Closed Foot guides. This allows for a traditional conventional wrap without added or increased foul ups on the rod with line. Yes, you still need to pay attention to your line, but, on aggregate, the line slides off these guides very well. They should also accommodate heavier lines and leader. I would say that you could get 80lb leader through the guides with a good PR knot. I've gone up to 60lb Fluoro with 30lb J-braid and you could barely feel it going through. Lastly, by having a traditional conventional guide train both left and right handed anglers can use it with no issues.
The fifth issue, practical use. I've fished the 8'0MH up to 400g jigs in 550ft of water. I've fished the 7'8H up to 600g jigs in 900ft of water. But Benny, doesn't the longer rod make it more difficult in deeper water? Not really. It's slightly more resistance due to a longer rod, but the actions in deep water are more of a long fall anyway from my experience. From those who have fished it, they've complimented its ease of use in deep water and appreciated the longer length. Also, the very strong butt end of the rod really does help power jigs through the water for a very slow unload as the rod recoils.
Lastly, the weight. The rods come in at approximately 180g, or about 6oz in Freedom Units. When paired with an Accurate Valiant 500n or 600nn (as I use) you have a combo that weighs less than 1.5lbs, that can be fished all day from 60ft to 900ft, and can handle damned near anything that you're fishing. Don't think you're going fishing for giant tuna out of PEI and everything is going to be ok. But, after catching many, many fish on them - and allowing some others to test the limits - I'm very confident in the ability of these rods.
My goal was to make something that is fun to fish, has outstanding action, very good power, and can accommodate a wide range of anglers' needs in varying situations. I also didn't want something that was so crazy expensive that it would shy off people from getting into a really awesome way to fish.
I think I've got it. Only the market will tell if I did. But, if the preliminary response to the rod means anything (that every person that has held one has pre-ordered), I think this will change the way jig fishing is done in the US. You're going to see a lot of companies coming out with "slow pitch" rods over the next year. But, the train has left the station. While everyone else is scrambling to bring a "slow pitch jig" rod to the market based on what they thought it should be, we worked on something for what it actually needed.
I hope those that have the confidence in my design enjoy fishing them.
Thanks you sir for the detailed and in depth development process of the new Innovate. You obviously have put a tremendous amount of mental and physical effort into its creation.
Ooooooh flashy new lure. I'll bite, how soon to release?
slated for October.
Ben, I currently have a Gravitate G2. Can you compare/contrast the 8'MH Innovate to the G2? Are the tips of the two rods very different concerning their actions? Thanks very much for your help with this.
I'll be buying one, but probably later rather than sooner. Which one do I choose, the MH or the H?
The MH would be the one for you.
Benny, just to clarify the Innovate Rod is made to do the slow pitch technique as well as the long fall technique? I'm just in the learning stages of the slow pitch game but this seems like a pretty cool concept.
You are correct, thank you
Here's a couple of bendo shots for those wondering about the Innovate's capabilities, and why I designed it the way I did. The Amberjack pictured is what was on the other end of the line for reference:
Too bad it won't be out for my next trip. The length will help on the YC.
That rod sounds awesome, probably get one next year for grouper fishing in the panhandle
Benny, could a two tip rod be made that would have a universal butt section and tip sections from both the MH and H action rods? Would this be feasible and would the action(s) of the rod be up to your standards?
The honest answer is I don't know. I've thought about that idea - having an interchangeable tip section. But, as a practical use, I don't know if it would work. The action of the rod is primarily in the tip portion. However, as a result of different actions, the male end tends to have slightly different diameter which may not allow them to pair.
did you ever find the breaking point on these new rods? I love the gravitates that I have, but would love to get both of these for the Yankee capts..............and a couple of 600n valiants......those would be sweet
The destruction tests were:
11kg (24.25lbs) at 45 degrees for the 8'0 MH Innovate
13kg (28.66lbs) at 45 degrees for the 7'8 H Innovate
That being said, it's still more efficient to point and crank, and likely better on the rod, but these rods can take some heat. They are not indestructible, however they are significantly stronger than what would be considered a traditional slow pitch rod.
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