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Bone Drago 610M

By Stephen Booth

The Bone Drago 610M is a fantastic piece of fishing equipment for a multitude of Aussie fish species.

I've fallen deeply in love with this stick, forgiving its flaws easily as the bigger picture is that this rod is a machine and has caught some sensational fish for me in the last 12 months.

The Drago series is the elite series in the Bone Rod Range. The blank is constructed from Toray graphite and makes use of an ingenious 4 axis carbon slit cross wrapping that eliminates blank twist and reinforces the overall structural stability, giving these rods an incredible strength and ultimate performance in the field.

Now that's a pretty big mouthful.

In layman's terms it means the rods are incredibly light and tough to boot.

The componentry used on the Drago series is top of the range. Everything that can be up-spec'd has been. My only concern, which is the flaw I have forgiven, is the use of micro guides. I'm still a braid to leader type of angler and micro guides present all sorts of dramas to most Aussie anglers. But the rise of the FG Knot has meant that, once my ability to tie this knot increased, the micro guides became a non-issue very quickly.

The 610M is 6'10" long and is rated for lines from 10-20lb. Cast weight wise, this rod will cast 7-21g, which in the old scale is 1/4oz through to 3/4oz - a range that suits a lot of applications.

Three roads to heaven

I've used the Drago 610M for three species of freshwater fish. The three species are Australian bass, golden perch and Murray cod and I've chased them with three completely divergent styles of fishing.

Playing Footy with Aussie Bass

At the 2018/19 Australian Freshwater Masters the talk of the town was football jigs for bass.

Football jigs are an American bass creation that, after many years of being a fringe lure in Australia, has taken the bass fishing scene by storm. It's something I'd never done and not a tactic or lure I had given any thought to whatsoever, but the chatter was simply too great to ignore.

Our learning curve has been slow with only the odd snippet of information coming from the likes of Kris Hickson and Jono Big Sump Austin (who incidentally said the 610M was a brilliant rod for footy fishing).

Fishing the football jigs was quite an art in patience. For someone used to reaction bite fishing the edges, the need to slow down to snail's pace was a difficult transition. The basic method for footy fishing for bass was to throw out the jig, let it sink and literally crawl it across the bottom near laydown timber. While you could and we did catch bass on the open flats, they were far more prevalent next to under or over laydown timber.

The 610 delivered the 1/2oz football jigs easily and the rod was ideal for crawling them around the bottom. This rod was also a great tool when it came time to muscle fish out of the snags.  The backbone strength was immediately apparent on the prefish day when Shayne Banks landed a 420 fork length bass first cast!

Over the course of the Masters I only got bricked once fishing the Drago 610M and football jig combo, and that was just fine with me as we were pretty poor at the tactic catching about ¼ as many fish as everyone else, but we did manage some good fish allowing us to finish third overall for the comp.

We also fish the Bassman Jawknocker, a small chatterbait, on the Drago 610. To say it was brilliant with this lure would be a vast understatement. It was magic.

All this showed me that for the impoundment bass angler, the Drago 610M is a very worthwhile addition to the quiver of rods.

Brutally Finessed Goldens

I've been very lucky to fish alongside some of the very best golden perch impoundment anglers over the last 12 months. These anglers are as good as any angler I have fished with but with a real desire to keep it so much more low key than some of the elite tournament anglers.

One of the many tricks they have taught me is how to fish larger vibration lures for golden perch on the edges. It's a fascinating technique where you are really vicious on the shake, yet everything is set up to be a finesse approach. I know it makes no sense at all, but it is a method that works extremely well on larger goldens.

The 610M is a fantastic rod for working out this method with the Zerek Fish Trap 95. The Fish Trap 95 comes in at 23g, so it's theoretically right on the casting weight of the rod, but the 610 handles this lure with ease on the longest and hardest of casts.

The method involves throwing out the lure to sounded fish and then letting it sit on the bottom. After a few seconds you violently shake the rod tip to make the lure dance, all without trying to move the lure too far. The fast action of the Drago is perfect for this method as it whips the lure easily, giving the lure a very erratic shake.

The goldens hit at any time of the retrieve. From the pause on the bottom to the violent shake through to the fall of the lure back to the bottom. The lures are fitted with assist hooks and this was another great point of the 610M. The rod wasn't so stiff as to pull the fine assist hooks from the fish, yet when needed you could steer a fish away from a snag or fence line quite easily.

I really fell in love with this rod when I was taught this method and it is my favourite use of the rod by far.

Cod on Coat Hangers

I'll start by saying this rod is not a cod rod if you're after serious fish, but I was prefishing for the last leg of the Freshwater Masters in Lake Mulwala and looking for 55-65cm fish, fish that the 610M would handle easily.

Fishing the shallows at Mulwala and chasing cod, there are few lures better equipped than a 1/2oz spinnerbait. They fish well the entire retrieve, snag rarely and hook lots of fish and so it was proving on the prefish with plenty of encounters keeping the rod working.

The Drago cast the 1/2oz spinnerbaits easily and the lighter tip allowed you to easily see the blades working. If you were looking at your next target, you could feel the spinnerbait working through the braided line and rod. This left you in no doubt as to whether you were fishing effectively or not.

Cod are not great fighters, but they do hit hard and have a good deal of grunt if needed but the only time the Drago was truly tested at Mulwala was when a massive 106cm cod nailed the spinnerbait in 5 feet of water - not at all what was expected!

While the fish basically had control for the entire fight, the Drago did manage to steer the fish away from a couple of snags late in the fight that would have ended in disaster. It was a real good test of the power the rod had when you are going for the win or the loss. Luckily everything held and the 610M managed to win the day.

Overall

I really rate this rod, a lot!

It's a brilliant middle-sized freshwater fish rod. Things like golden perch, Aussie bass, smaller cod, saratoga and more are all perfect targets. The worry I had with micro guides has evaporated and the faster action, when compared to the Venom rods, took a little getting used to at the start.

All in all, this magic little stick can do a number of jobs well. I'm not so silly as to say it's the perfect all-rounder, but it will fish vibes, troll smaller hardbodies, fish football jigs, cast and retrieve small chatterbaits and throw 1/2oz spinnerbaits all day. That's a robust list of options for one rod and it does all of these jobs very well.

Check the Drago 610M out at your nearest Bone Dealer.

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