Each year Hamachi releases a number of limited edition, semi-custom rods in the form of the XOS GT ‘n’Doggie series, put simply they are bloody awesome, pricey, but bloody awesome

A rod so light you can balance the 8’2 on your little finger, yet it can crank in mega brutes like the dogtooth tuna and monster GT’s .

Built on high carbon content nano blanks, provides the best of everything for jigging and popper / lure casting, these blanks are where the money is, Hamachi have gone all out to build the very best possible.

The ultra high carbon content provides awesomely fast recovery, ultra sensitivity and in the casting models mega distance with big lures. The nanocomposite provides the toughness, the sheer resilience that gives Hamachi the confidence to offer a lifetime warranty on them!

xos-gtndoggie-6lwTraditionally the Doggies have been only available at the heavy tackle end starting at PE3-8, later this year they will be available in as light as PE1, man I can’t wait till those hit the shelves rumour has it in both overhead and spin versions!  I’ve been told expect the pre-orders to start next Feb sometime with delivery in late March and look out for the reviews soon after

So what’s available now, the first of the 2017 models, the XOS GT’n’Doggie Expedition series  hit the market August last year, and I was lucky enough to get my hands on a few different versions

Rod design & development has come a long way in the last couple of years & Hamachi for as long as I can remember has been devoted to staying at the front of the curve.

jumbo-gt3 piece rods more than capable of landing reef hugging bruisers like this one, has now become one of Hamachi’s trademarks

The expedition series are 3 piece rods, available in 8’2 and 10′ not only are they awesome for travel and storage, but they designed so the 3 piece configuration has zero effect on the rod’s performance. A number of the guys I handed the rods to dry test were stunned after they had loaded them up, to look closely and realize they were a 3 piece rod. Couple that with Hamachi’s lifetime warranty and you’re on a winner

Over the last 6 months, I’ve given the 7’6, 8’2 and 10′ Doggies a solid work out. In the 8’2 I’ve been running the PE3-5,  6-10 and PE8-12 , that selection covers pretty much anything you might want to toss around the ocean from or boat or even a jetty. For the land based, I’ve given the 10′ PE6-10 a good run

I’ve got to admit my passion is for big, no make that HORSE size GT’s, but the 7’6 or 8’2 range will cover you for all spinning options in a boat, from pitch baiting a Sailfish or Marlin to tossing plugs and slices to Tuna, through to poppers and stick baits for thumper GT’s Kingies and Doggies. They are also a great option for stray lining / floater baits when anchored.

6d7e220cef844dca9743699a4230c230The 8’2 PE3-5 Doggie is the perfect weapon to have some fun with red bass

If you’re into chasing the black 44 gallon drum size GT’s from the shore at places like Oyster reef on the Exmouth cape, or the rocky outcrops of Christmas Island, to name a couple, hats off to you!

Hamachi’s new 10-foot XOS GT’n’Doggie PE6-10 hands down is the only way to go, it’s one of the very few blanks on the market built specifically for chasing big fish with lures from the shore. It’s an ultra-light, ultra strong 3 piece nano blank. I know what you’re thinking, a 3 piece rod, 100lb braid, Hamachi offers a worldwide lifetime warranty and I have more than given the new 3 piece expedition series rods a work out on big sharks, GT’s and they are brilliant for travelling with. The 10′ packs down to a three and a half feet and the 8’2 about three feet. Being an ultra lightweight, high-performance blank, you can cast it all day and when it comes to fighting fish it will put the pressure on the fish, not the angler.

At around $1250 USD they are far from a low-cost option but in the top end of the market, you can’t beat them. Having experimented with a lot of other high-end and Japanese rods Smith’s, Carpenter, ripple fisher to name a few, all great options from a boat, but the Doggies with the extra length leave them for dead from the shore.

cid_3642ed23-618f-4b1f-9186-2f6b86dc2922Sometimes the big gears handy for getting 30 and 40 pounders away from the taxman

If budget is a concern every now and then http://www.FishingAndBoatingDeals.com puts one or two superseded models from the range up for auction on eBay http://stores.ebay.com.au/fishingandboatingdealsglobalstore as part of their advertising helps them out with search engine rankings and the like, the beauty is most people at top end of the market can’t be bothered with auctions preferring to buy  then and there, if you’ve got a little time up your sleeve and are happy with a one year warranty (hell if a rods going to fail, it will most likely do it on the first trip, I’ve got a cupboard full of Hamachi’s and yet to have an issue!) then you can pick them up for around half price or so

If you’re thinking I can get a nice custom rod for that price

A.) There are no blanks that compare to Hamachi’s new Doggie blanks!

B.) Ever asked about the warranty on a custom rod and what it covers?

hamachi-maldives-gtSolid GT landed on a Hamachi XOS GT’n’Doggie in the Maldives

What’s my rod for landing absolute mammoth GT’s from a boat, well that’s a little harder as I do like  the Carpenter Blues Chaser / Monster hunter and the Ripple Fisher F stick both around the $1100USD mark , but I travel a lot and the Hamachi 8’2 PE8-12 XOS GT’n’Doggie packs down to less than half the length of either the Carpenter or Ripple Fisher, depending on the popper or stick bait it casts a little further but your only talking a few meters.

However the fighting power and Hamachi’s nano composite design wins hands down. The Carpenter Blues Chaser and even the Carpenter monster hunter cap at out between 20lb and 28lbs max drag and the Ripple Fisher is a little lighter again for max drag.  At 45 degrees I’ve cranked the Hamachi PE8-12 up to the 50lb of drag mark, great for dragging these creatures out into deeper water well away from their razor sharp coral lair. Once in the cleaner water I back the drag off to around the 30lb mark so we can move the boat to around a 60 degree fight angle, if the fish does duck under the boat, which they have an uncanny knack for, then I follow it with the rod tip to keep the load spread across the blank. Point loading / high sticking whatever you wish to call it is the quickest way to make a “LOTS OF PIECES” popping rod and almost certainly lose you the fish, sure the nano composite in the XOS GT’n’Doggie will give you a little more margin for error.


PE6-10 Doggie just starting to load up

2017 Hamachi XOS GT’n’Doggie line up


5’6       PE3-8                                      Butt Joint 2pc             Expected release March 2017

6’0       PE1-3             Slow Jig          Butt Joint 2pc             Expected release March 2017

6’0       PE2-4             Slow Jig          Butt Joint 2pc             Expected release March 2017

7’6      PE3-5              Expedition      3 piece                                    Available now

7’6      PE5-10              Expedition    3 piece                                    Available now

7’6      PE8-12              Expedition      3 piece                                    Available now

8’2       PE3-5              Expedition      3 piece                                    Available now

8’2       PE6-10           Expedition      3 piece                                    Available now

8’2       PE8-12            Expedition      3 piece                                    Available now

10′        PE6-10            Expedition      3 piece                                    Available now

10′        PE6-10            Expedition      3 piece                                    Available now


I’m on the list for the March release of 5’6 and 6 footers, as soon as I’ve given them a good work-out you’ll read the review here. In the meantime do yourself a huge favour and grab one of the XOS GT’n’Doggie Expeditions, you won’t be disappointed

UPDATE : 20/NOV/2019

With the huge popularity of the XOS GTnDoggie series, Hamachi has added quite a few more rods to the range.

In 3 piece popper/stick bait rods they are now available in 7’6 , 8’2 and 10′ in PE3-5, PE6-10 and PE8-12

They have added a full range of speed jig rod up to 600g PE5-13 monster stick

They also added a 7’6 crossover rod ideal for travelling anglers capable of slow pitch jigging as well as light popper casting and soft plastics the PE2-4 has become one of my favourites

FishingAndBoatingDeals.com also has the Japanese Domestic Market (JDM) versions of many of the XOS GT’n’Doggie rods.

The prices of all the established brands including Hamachi have gone up, Hamachi mainly use they are using even higher grade nano carbons than before the 3 piece XOS GTnDoggie rods will run you around $1200USD for the latest model, but you can still snag a bargain on eBay with a few of the older models they allow dealers to auction going around half that price.