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In this hands-on and tested review, we’ll look at the new Moonshine Outcast saltwater rod. This rod offers exceptional value to both beginners and experienced anglers.
Why Trust My Moonshine Outcast Review?
As a disclaimer, I must mention that Moonshine sent me two of their Outcast models to test and review. Throughout the test, I tried to remain unbiased, and I involved anglers with varying degrees of experience to see how they fared while fishing the rod.
I spent a month with both the 8 and 9 weight Outcast models, testing them in estuarine and saltwater environments. I tested them with various fly lines ranging from conservative tapered floating lines to heavy fast sinkers.
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Where Does the Outcast Shine?
Here are some key areas where I feel the Moonshine Outcast shines.
Wide Range of Applications
The 8 and 9 weight versions are suitable for a wide range of applications. The rod’s price and design mean that anglers can use them in both fresh and saltwater environments. Also, they can be used on a multitude of fish species.
Although the rod is classified as fast action, I’d feel comfortable recommending the rod to both experienced and beginner anglers.
This is probably one of the best parts of the rod for me. It’s a rod under $300 that fishes well. It’s light in hand and easy on the eye.
The Outcast’s components are all saltwater ready, which means that if you look after your rod, you’ll have a great fishing tool for many years to come.
Where Does the Outcast Fall Short?
There weren’t many issues that I could pick up. The rod performed how you’d expect it to and even better. If I had to nitpick, the only imperfection I could find was one minor detail on the build.
Minor Details in the Build
The two stripper guides on both of the rods’ butt sections did not align completely. Now, they weren’t off by 90-degrees or so, and that was about it.
What’s in the Box?
Moonshine ships the Outcast with the following:
The Outcast is shipped in a grey Cordura tube with an embroidered Moonshine logo. A sticker on the top of the tube makes for easy rod identification. The rod tube has five compartments, one for each section, including the spare tip. It doesn’t come with a rod sock.
Each Moonshine rod comes with a unique decal.
Moonshine Outcast Features & Specs
Let’s have a look at the rod itself:
The decent-sized fighting butt is made from a combination of high-quality cork and rubberized cork with the Moonshine Rods acronym laser engraved into it.
The black aluminum uplocking reel seat has two locking rings, each with Delrin bushings that prevent your reel from coming loose at the worst of times. Throughout all my testing, I never had the reel come loose by itself, and the locking rings did the job perfectly.
One of my favorite features of the Outcast is the grip. It’s made from the same quality cork as the fighting butt, with rubberized cork rings both in the front and the back to ensure long-term durability. What I love about the grip is the perfect full wells shape that fits your hand like a glove.
Moving forward, let’s first talk about the blank – the heart and soul of a rod. I feel this is where Moonshine got it right with the Outcast. It’s incredibly light and has a fast action and good recovery rate. This is why the Moonshine Outcast is such great value for money.
The 8 weight Outcast reminds me of the popular Temple Fork Outfitters BVK, one of the best value 8 weights out there.
The blank has a matte grey finish that reduces rod glare, and the texture of the carbon coils is visible. The binding wraps are grey with light blue accent wraps, which matches this saltwater-styled rod well.
On the butt section, you’ll also find orange accent wraps, which makes the rod stand out from the crowd.
Each section has light blue alignment dots that help you align the rod and get on the water faster.
The two stripper guides have titanium frames with silicon carbide inserts. The rest of the snake guides and the tip top are hard chromed stainless steel.
As mentioned earlier, the Outcast comes with a spare tip section. This is one of my favorite things about Moonshine rods and is something you should consider, especially if you travel to remote destinations.
The Outcast comes with a lifetime warranty against any defects in materials or craftsmanship, which is only applicable to the original owner. If you accidentally break a section, Moonshine will replace it for $45 with a turnaround time between 1-2 weeks.
Where Are Moonshine Rods Made?
The Moonshine Outcast is assembled in Korea, making it possible for Moonshine to offer this high-performance rod for under $300.
Fishing the Moonshine Outcast
I tested the 8 and 9 weight Outcast using various reels, including my saltwater-ready Shiltons and an Orvis Hydros. Knowing that these rods make for excellent cross-over fishing tools, I spooled the reels with different lines from floating to fast sinking.
In most cases, I used a leader between 12 and 15 feet long, as the fish were spooky and leader shy. For flies, I cast anything from big Poppers to small Crazy Charlies.
The Outcast is rated as a fast-action rod. I agree with this, as you can generate high line speed, throw tiny loops, and deal with wind efficiently. The rod doesn’t, however, have an in-your-face fast action. It’s not something you’re constantly reminded of. Moonshine did a great job on this blank.
Usually, I recommend medium-fast action rods to beginner anglers. But, due to the low weight and comfortable action, I’d easily recommend the Outcast to both beginners and experienced anglers.
The casting distance you can get out of a fly rod depends significantly on the specific line and taper you’re using. Despite this, the Outcast performed surprisingly well at all distances, even with the long leader.
Most fishing distances were easily reachable with one or two false casts. This rod responds really well to a well-timed double haul, so if you’re looking to get the most out of this rod, I suggest going for a lesson or two to get that technique dialed in.
With three back casts and a solid double haul, it was easy to cast the entire fly line out.
So, how well did the rod perform when fighting fish? Well, although I didn’t hook into a steam train, I fished with some of my fishing buddies for species such as guitar shark and other species of rays. We also caught some nice bluefish.
The rod has ample power, and having caught a ton of bonefish in my life, I can easily say both the 8 and 9 weights will excel in most saltwater scenarios. Will the 9 weight be able to pull a 25 lb milkfish up from the depths? That I cannot say, but it sure has a lot of fighting power, making it ideal for large freshwater species too, like carp, golden dorado, or steelhead.
My Personal Thoughts
So after spending a month with the Moonshine Outcast, what are my personal thoughts?
- I’m surprised how well these rods fish for the price.
- The rod is an absolute pleasure to cast and can easily be used as a primary or secondary rod for a big fishing trip.
- I also love the fact that Moonshine gives you a spare tip – it just makes so much sense, and I don’t understand why there aren’t more manufacturers doing this.
Well, I struggled to find any for a rod at this price point. If I had to nitpick, the two stripper guides on the second section weren’t 100% aligned. This didn’t have any effect on the performance or durability of the rod. And that was about it.
Who Should Buy the Moonshine Outcast?
So, who is this rod designed for? From the price point of view, the Outcast is perfect for the novice or intermediate angler looking for a solid do-it-all rod that can be used in both fresh and saltwater.
But that’s not where it stops. I believe that the rod’s performance is high enough that many experienced anglers would love fishing these rods. The Outcast would also make a perfect backup rod for big saltwater trips.
I hope you found this review helpful, and if you have any comments, questions, or suggestions, please leave them below the video. I always strive to improve these reviews, which ultimately are dedicated to you.
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