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Shimano Sephia BB 80ML

Shimano’s Sephia rod series are proven performers, we’ve previously reviewed the 8ft6in and 9ft6in models and while they’re great land based rods, they’re a little too long for the boat. We were therefore stoked to see the new 8ft model added to the range for 2021. Like all Sephia models it’s fitted with Fuji K Silicon guides, a Fuji reel seat and it’s built around Shimano’s Hi Power X Blank, which is thin, light, sensitive, powerful and looks amazing.

The Sephia exudes quality at a price that we consider low for what’s on offer. It’s finished beautifully with great attention to detail and it’s what you’d expect from a rod from Shimano’s JDM range. While this might be a base model in Japan, in our market it presents as something high end and at $300 you’re getting a lot for your money.

The Sephia effortlessly casts jigs from 2.5 through to 3.5 and it could probably do a 1.8 pretty well too. The blank has that perfect mix of crisp and bouncy to cast even light jigs good distances. This is further aided by outstanding guide placement where more guides feature around the load points which transfers through to retrieving your jig and fighting squid. 

That same effortless feeling is present when retrieving your jig- it offers sensitivity and control so you can work your jigs in a variety of ways. While the shorter rod doesn’t need an ultra-high speed reel and we had it paired with the moderate-speed Sephia BB reel, a high speed reel would only enhance its performance.

It features heaps of power in the lower third and easily handled large squid, octopus and cuttlefish without any strain. While some may consider it too short for land based use, and that’s a fair assumption, it isn’t too light, and if you’re a fan of shorter rods it’s a great option for land based as well as the boat. I wouldn’t recommend jig sizes of 4.0 and heavier, but for anything less it’s the best rod you’ll find at the price point.

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