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#25.    Mystic Inception    9 foot #8     $120.00

Mystic Inception fly rod
Mystic Inception fly rod

George’s Notes:

Here’s our low price winner in the Shootout.  Unfortunately that was the only category it did well in.  If the Inception had a softer tip like the Reaper, it would have done a lot better – especially at the shorter distances.  This rod has a medium action and was the heaviest rod in our Shootout, in both overall and swing weights.  This killed the performance in close.  Compared to lighter and more lively rods, the Inception is not a pleasant rod to cast at any distance.

The blank is dark blue, trimmed with brighter blue wraps that are trimmed with silver on both butt sections.  The handle is a comfortable full wells design, with contrasting composite cork rings at top and bottom. The cork quality was decent, and better than what we found on the Reaper.  A blue anodized double uplock seat is used that matches the blank color.  The locking rings were a little easier for me to grip than what was on the Reaper, and a nylon ring is found between the two rings that helps give a positive lock up on heavier saltwater reels.  A short fighting butt is used with a good wide composite cork ring on the end.  The guide set up is two SiC stripping guides, followed with large size hard chrome snake guides and a big oversized tip top.  As on the Reaper, the guide wrap epoxy coatings were very good.  Like other Mystic rods, this rod is manufactured in Korea.

Performance at 35 feet:  16 points out of 20

The worst in our Shootout.   Heavy swing weight combined with a stiff tip never works well.

Performance at 60 feet:  17.5 points out of 20

Still pretty bad.  I had trouble getting any accuracy at all and had almost no feel whatsoever.

Performance at 80 feet:  18 points out of 20

All that swing weight made me work hard.  Only as good as the Crux and Axiom II. 

Performance at 100 feet:  17 points out of 20

Could be done, but required a huge amount of effort.

25.  Mystic Inception 9’#8 4pc $120

Mystic Inception saltwater fly rod
Mystic Inception saltwater fly rod

James’ Notes:

In hindsight, we probably should not have included the Mystic Inception in the Shootout.  We wanted to have a rod in the Shootout that retailed for around $100, since Echo did not want to participate, (despite the fact that the Echo Base would have out-performed many rods in the Shootout at only $99.95).

We thought the Inception might fill that void but it doesn’t.   It is simply too heavy, too slow, and too clunky to compete with the better inexpensive rods.  It does look attractive. In the end, if it gets you out fishing then there is really not much to complain about…

1st impressions:  Looks good, attractive blue color.  Massive cork grip.  Too heavy, slow, and stiff.  Like the TFO BVK, no hard case is included.

Performance at 35 feet: 15.5 points out of 20

Brutally tip heavy and slow in action.  Almost no feel or accuracy.  Not much fun to cast in close when compared to the other inexpensive rods like the Aetos.

Performance at 60 feet: 16.5 points out of 20

Heavy and clunky, the Mystic Reaper would be a much better choice.

Performance at 80 feet: 16.5 points out of 20

Distance was not a problem, but accuracy was out the window.  I had to open my loop and aim higher to get this rod to hit 80 feet.  The extra weight is making double hauling more of a chore, and is taking all the fun out of it. 

Performance at 100 feet: 16.5 points out of 20

I think I was getting 100 feet about 1 out of 10 casts with the Inception.  The heavy weight was killing me, and I think I’m ready to incept a drink or two. 

#25.  Mystic Inception   $120.00

Mystic Inception saltwater fly rod
Mystic Inception saltwater fly rod

Logan’s Notes:

The Mystic Inception was the least expensive rod in the Shootout and it didn’t perform for me as well for me as any of the other rod.  It was the heaviest rod in the Shootout, which might be expected for a rod that is only $120.  

Performance at 35 feet: 16 out of 20

I really didn’t enjoy the Inception at 35 feet.  Its heavy swing weight really took away from its performance at this distance.

Performance at 60 feet: 17 out of 20

At 60 feet it was better.  But the heavy swing weight still hurts the Inception’s performance.   

Performance at 80 feet: 18 out of 20

At this distance I saw the best qualities in this rod. For $120 this rod could actually throw it a long way.

24.  Mystic Inception   53.5/60     $120.00

Mystic Inception fly rod
Mystic Inception fly rod

JG’s Notes:

The Mystic inception is the most affordable rod that we tested at $120.00.  It’s also the heaviest, and the performance was noticeably lower than many of the rods we tested that were in that $190-$300 range.  This was another rod in our Shootout that I felt had an awfully large grip.

I specifically noted being uncomfortable, and ready to put the rod down after only 10 casts due to its weight and grip shape.

Because of the low price it gives the budget-conscious angler another choice that compares well with what Redington offers at twice the price. 

Performance at 35 feet:  18

Decent feel is what I liked most about the Inception.   It laid in gentle casts fairly accurately, but loses points at this distance for being heavy and cumbersome.

Performance at 60 feet:  18

The Inception was still a fair performer here, giving me acceptable accuracy and presentation. But the weight was a killer. 

Performance at 80 feet:  17.5

It was really just too much work to consider using the Inception much past 60 ft.  The rod becomes tiring and inaccurate due to the heavy swing weight.  

Performance at 100 feet:

There was no way I was going to get close to 100 feet without a huge amount of effort.