Henry Gilbey
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Shimano Exsence Genos “Wild Contact 90” S90MH/R 9' 8-48g lure rod review - not cheap at all, but this is the most versatile lure rod I have ever fished with

Rather than me spend more time linking to my reviews of the various items of fishing tackle mentioned in this blog post, you can find them all here, linked to within the various tackle categories.

I have fished with a lot of different lure rods now, but up until this particular rod I haven’t come across the one rod which could genuinely cover all my shore based lure fishing for bass - and please note here that surf fishing is becoming more and more of a thing for me, hence some different needs to a few years ago (can we call it progression?!). If we’re talking about fishing all manner of hard and soft lures from say the 6’’ long OSP DoLive Stick, any number of regular, sub-surface and surface lures, bumping and/or swimming paddletails, plus hurling all manner of metals and so on into a raging surf, then ladies and gentlemen, I am offering up this truly remarkable Shimano (Japan) Exsence Genos “Wild Contact 90” S90MH/R 9' 8-48g as the most incredibly versatile , truly “do it all lure rod” I have ever come across………….

I have had my eyes on this rod for a while and then capitulated when a very good angler I know over in Ireland took a calculated punt on it and was smitten from day one. He doesn’t like longer rods and his lure rod of choice for a fair while now has been the Tenryu Injection SP82M LCF 8-30g (a rod I have never fished with), or at least it was until this particular Shimano rod dropped through his letterbox - and by no means am I having a pop at Tenryu rods here, indeed the first “proper” lure fishing rod I ever owned was the Tenryu Red Dragon Express. Over time I did start moving more towards some of these Japanese designed (sea) bass rods because I thought they better suited where my own lure fishing was going, but there’s no getting away from how good (and not cheap!) these French-designed Tenryu rods are. Lots of anglers find them to be perfect for their needs and who am I to disagree?


But this is not meant to be a chat about red rods. I want to review this Shimano Exsence Genos “Wild Contact 90” S90MH/R 9' 8-48g lure rod and tell you all about how this freak of a lure fishing rod is without doubt the most versatile and useful rod I have ever tested and/or owned for lure fishing. For sure it’s not remotely cheap, but I feel very confident suggesting that this single 9’ long lure rod I have here can perfectly cover all the lure fishing for bass from the shore that I currently do in the UK or Ireland - bearing in mind that I do feel very comfortable with a fast and powerful/steely style of rod. Okay, so that far cheaper HTO Nebula 10’ 12-42g rod I reviewed the other day is my surf rod of choice because I do like the length of it for the surf, but if you prefer a shorter rod for banging metals then this 9’ Shimano is bloody brilliant in the surf zone. All the lures, all the techniques, all the locations, all the conditions, hell, in many respects I could make my fishing life a bit easier and cheaper and fish with just this rod and nothing else.


But can a lure fishing rod really cover such a big casting range like this Shimano Exsence Genos S90MH/R 9' 8-48g says it can? Well at the top end I have absolutely leathered some of those Savage Gear Psycho Sprat metals in the 45g size and to be perfectly honest the rod isn’t creaking. Do I find myself putting 45g metals out there very much though? Not really, indeed if I can’t fish a surf for bass with a long-casting metal of say 40g and below then I would argue that it might be time to move locations anyway, but I do find myself erring towards some of the bigger paddletails from time to time for example. In some locations I might carry something like the 42g Savage Gear Sandeel or the 25g Offshore Head/120mm Fiiish Black Minnow (35g total weight), and this Genos doesn’t miss a beat when you clip lures like this on and properly bang them out. We had a few days fishing some very bouncy rock based conditions during that bad weather in August, and this Genos was an absolute dream for fishing paddletails especially into some strong winds and hectic seas.

Shimano Exsence Genos Wild Contact 90 S90MH:R 9' 8-48g.gif

This Genos is fast and pokey but it’s also supremely subtle and has as much “feel” as I could ever hope for. The tip doesn’t flap around at all in the wind which is something that can drive me loopy with some of the longer rods, indeed this is one reason why I so like a more powerful 9’ lure rod. By no means am I saying that I am some kind of expert lure caster here, but this Shimano Exsence Genos S90MH/R 9' 8-48g is not a forgiving lure rod and if you’re having a bad casting day then this thing isn’t going to help you out a whole lot. Get the different lures right though and it’s a frigging casting machine, with all manner of stuff going out like proverbial missiles. I handed it to a friend a while back, and after a couple of casts to get the timing (amateurs eh?!), it was very noticeable how much further his Patchinko 125 was going out on this Genos compared to his 9’7’’ Tenryu Swat.


So with this Shimano Exsence Genos S90MH/R 9' 8-48g I’ve got a lure fishing rod that works really well as a “next step up” weapon, but I need it to be more than that otherwise with what I already have here at home there is little point me keeping it. I didn’t initially get this rod to take with me when I might wander around an estuary with a single lure box stuffed with a bunch of DoLive Sticks, senkos, and smaller surface lures, but the more I use this rod to fish like this, the more I am struggling to put it down. In general I do prefer a less powerful kind of rod for fishing like this (mostly my beloved Shimano Exsence Infinity S900ML/RF 9’ 5-32g these days), but I am completely sold on how well this Genos handles the lighter lures and lighter approach, and the more I fish with it, the more the rod opens up with just how much it can do for me.

I have always liked a fast and pokey sort of lure rod whilst also being happy to have a bit of a tip on a lure rod if I think it suits (which it so does on the ridiculous Shimano Exsence Infinity S900ML/RF 9’ 5-32g), and every single time I take this Genos rod out I am left wondering if I should actually sell everything else because this thing is so versatile. This rod is just so “sharp” and precise that the more powerful way it can behave if needs be doesn’t seem to affect how I can fish the lighter lures on it. I honestly can’t recall coming across such a versatile lure rod before which genuinely covers such a wide range of lure weights.


With surface lures this Shimano Exsence Genos S90MH/R 9' 8-48g is just a dream to fish with, and it animalizes Patchinkos and Patchalas (my name for the newish Rapala ripoff of the Patchinko) out there, but then I drop down to the lethal and lighter Spittin’ Wire or even the lighter again Lurenzo Espetit and this rod sits in my hands and casts and works these lures like a dream. That new Seadra Surface LaunceR surface lure goes out a peach on this rod. Each to their own as always, but I can’t help preferring a slightly shorter rod for surface lures especially, and then I fish all the many lures I might fish on this ridiculous rod and I am left wondering what on earth it can’t actually do. As always though, I would urge you to go with a length of lure rod that works for you, and not for a length that other anglers tell you what you should be using because it works so well for them.


Everything about the build of the rod floats my boat, and I am amazed how a rod this powerful can be so light - a quoted 132g on the Shimano Japan website here. What has surprised me is how well this Shimano Exsence Genos S90MH/R 9' 8-48g takes the different spinning reels I was hoping it might work with. Okay, so you’d expect a 9’ lure rod like this to feel good with a small and light spinning reel such as my beloved little Shimano Twin Power XD C3000HG - and it seriously does, albeit I’ve had the brand new and rather lovely Shimano Stradic FL 2500HG on this rod for a while now and it’s an equally sweet combination. What I am extra pleased about though is how I can then stick the larger and heavier Penn Slammer III 3500 spinning reel on this very light lure rod and after a few minutes of adjustment it feels pretty good. Okay, so this combination doesn’t sit in the hands as easily as it does with the lighter spinning reel, but then I put the slightly lighter (than the Slammer) Penn Spinfisher VI 3500 on this rod and it all works great. Yet again, please Penn would you make a 2500 size Slammer III spinning reel!


My apologies, because this has turned into a bit of a mega review and a ramble! It’s worth it though when a lure fishing rod is as good as this. Most of you here will never see this rod and it obviously doesn’t matter a single bit, so whilst it’s not cheap and can also be hard to track down (JDMFishingTackle over in Ireland currently have this rod in stock), when you’ve got the one lure rod that can genuinely do as much as this Shimano Exsence Genos “Wild Contact 90” S90MH/R 9' 8-48g can, then potentially not having to buy another rod could actually end up being pretty cost effective. Damn, can you now see how an afflicted brain works in justifying purchases like this to oneself? The problem I have got now is that I like and am using this Shimano Exsence Genos “Wild Contact 90” S90MH/R 9' 8-48g so much I am starting to see the (expensive) logic behind two of them sitting on my rod racks - one with the little Shimano Twin Power XD C3000HG on it, and the other with a Penn Slammer III 3500 or Spinfisher VI 3500 on it. Help is indeed required……….


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