No. 8 Tackle BlackOut Review - Major League Fishing

No. 8 Tackle BlackOut Review

A workhorse for under $80 bucks
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No. 8 Tackle BlackOut rod Photo by Matt Pace.
September 30, 2015 • Jody White • Archives

There are a lot of really good rods on the market these days. While it’s still possible to buy a bad rod, by and large you can’t go wrong. Though the number of budget rods has exploded in recent years, it is still a little tricky to put together a really good combo for less than $200. The BlackOut series from No. 8 Tackle sets out to solve that problem.

I’ve fished the medium heavy-power, extra fast-action, 7-3 model since the winter, and I think the folks at No. 8 Tackle have a real winner. I’ve gone in-depth on a few notable features below.

– Steal of a deal

– Versatility

– Good finish


Steal of a deal

No. 8 Tackle BlackOut rod.

There are a lot of great rods on the market for under $200 right now, but the choices for a rod that is legitimately priced below $100 are a lot slimmer. Now to be honest, I haven’t shopped for a rod at full price recently, so my scale might be off, but I think this one is a real winner for the price. I’ve got rods that cost $40 more than it on the deck and I have a hard time differentiating them.



If you line up every medium heavy-power, extra fast-action rod in the world I expect this one would end up right in the middle of the range. That makes it very adaptable for mid-sized and bigger baits. In addition to having a really good action, it’s a very lightweight and sensitive rod. You can feel a lot with it and fish it all day without fatigue.

I’ve tossed about everything from a 5-inch swimbait to a 12-inch worm with this rod. Because I like using braid with a fluorocarbon leader for a lot of techniques, I’ve been able to expand the number of techniques I can work with this rod quite a bit. This isn’t the rod to pull out for really heavy cover or giant baits, but if you throw fluoro or mono with it, you can fish a crankbait just as well as you can fish a topwater or a jig when teaming it with braid.

If I had to pick a favorite technique for it I’d probably say just throwing the classic 4.8-inch Keitech Swing Impact FAT on a ½-ounce head with about 12-pound-test fluoro. The same rig with a 3/8-ounce jig also has a really nice feel to it. Additionally, it makes for a really nice spinnerbait rod. Finally, though I could go on, braid with a mono leader and a Zara Spook is a pretty slick combo.


Good finish

No. 8 Tackle BlackOut rod.

This rod looks pretty good. I’m a fan of blanks with no epoxy and the black-and-silver color scheme makes for a sharp rod. The foiled section below the foregrip is a little cheesy for my taste, but I could see some people really loving it, and it doesn’t negatively stand out from the overall package.

My only real quibbles on the non-fishing front relate to the epoxy on the wrap above the reel seat getting dinged up prematurely and the butt being rimmed with metal that slips when stand it on a wood floor and lean it against a wall. The metal butt is a very minor thing, and I haven’t seen any other endurance red flags on the rod. 

As far as fishing goes, I haven’t had any trouble with the guides, reel seat or hook keeper in multiple months of fishing. Because I do like using braid with a leader, I’ve noticed that the guides (which are somewhere in size between micro and regular) are just a hair small for the bigger knots to pass through comfortably.


The verdict

If budget is at all a concern, I think investing in this rod is a good call. You can spend more for a better one, but you’ll be hard-pressed to beat this one for the money.


– Great value

– Versatile

– Comfortable to fish with

– Durable where it counts


– Epoxy above the reel seat didn’t last

– I’d prefer slightly bigger guides



Company: No. 8 Tackle

Series: BlackOut (14 different models)

Power: Medium heavy

Action: Extra fast

Length: 7-3

Line rating: 12- to 20-pound-test

Lure rating: 3/8- to 1-ounce

Warranty: One year warranty against manufacturer defects

Price: $79.99 

Buy it at Tackle Warehouse