On collecting the rod I got it home and couldn’t wait to unwrap it too see what exactly £229 buys in terms of an up market up tide rod!
It comes in a black and red cloth bag that is well made but not thick at all no padding which I thought for the money wouldn’t be such a bad thing as companies like Tronix pro supply with some rods like the Blasterons or travel rod Xenon which are in the £69.99 - £125 price bracket... But putting that aside I slide it out of the rod sleeve and I have the butt section in my hands and upon first inspection looks nicely finished and has nice grips with the upper grip shaped into a fighting grip and sits nicely in the hand not too fat nor too thin and to finish it off with it has a Fuji reel seat. I take the top section out and again it’s very well finished has full set of Fuji line guides. The rod has a good stiffness to it but good movement in the tip which in my local waters of the Bristol channel you want so it can hold well when up tiding with big baits and weights and hopefully good bite indication but with some power in the rod as well but we shall see what it’s made off when we get some fish on the end. I put it together and the spigot goes in lovely and you have plenty of life in the spigot too, the rod is nice and light and well balanced as well.
I attach a Penn Rival multiplier to it with 20lb mono loaded on and take a quick walk over the park with it with a few leads for some typical up tide casting so I can feel how the rod performs when loaded and under weight whilst also reeling in. I also take a bunch of weights with me which are tied together in a bundle with 150lb line and weighs around 15lb or just under. I attach a 6oz lead with grips and cast like you would on a boat and it flies out with no hassle and the rod recovers quickly and takes it all in its stride going up at an ounce a time up too its max rating of 10 ounces I cast that and you can feel it loading into the mid section and fires out again no problem at all but you can start to feel the flexing of the upper mid section of the rod now. With the 10 oz weight already cast out I take it off the genie clip and clip on 15lb of lead, walking back to the rod I wind up the line and take the strain the rod tip curves over to face the leads 30 yards away. I winch it in more and there is resistance of the weights against the grass and its starting to engage the mid section of the rod as the mid section starts to bend you find a new power band and it starts to moves the weights closer until they snag up on a bunch of longer weeds and refuse to move it keeps bending and then I give the rod some grief to which it just starts to bend the bottom section at the top of the handle and the weights start moving again until they are just a few yards in front of me this rod has some serious backbone and will land large fish with no issues from what I can tell in the action and the power that mid section and butt section hold.
Whilst out with Tommo on his boat called Lorna doone out of Watchet, West Somerset I took this rod with me both times and tested the tip action for bite registration, I had numerous bites including a very small spotted ray about half a pound or so and the tip showed the bite well!
I had small whiting as well and all the bites showed clearly. I also had cod to 5lb and whiting to just under 2lb and it pulled them all in faultlessly and showed the bites clearly the rod sat very well in the tide and I was using a 9oz gripped weight that day.
Something I did notice was whilst on the boat we fished into dark and it was a bit awkward trying to see bites as the rod tip isn’t white or has any reflective tape on there for the headlamp to pick up which again at £229 RRP wouldn’t be a hardship to add to the rod for the benefit it gives the angler. So what do I make of this rod? Overall this rod is fantastic in my opinion and I won’t be getting rid of it! It is well suited to heavy tidal waters and capable of hauling in large fish the rod itself has no issues in my eyes as in performance or looks but would be beneficial to have a reflective tip for winter fishing/ after dark fishing and a padded rod sock to keep your rod that bit safer would also be a fantastic addition. But for £229 It think you would be hard pressed to beat this up tide rod it’s a lot of rod and very well made. Good Points: - Goods strong rod capable of hauling in large fish. - Fuji guides. - Fuji screw winch reel seat. - Pleasing aesthetics. - Fighting EVA upper grip. - Fantastic bite detection. Bad Points: - Cloth sock could be padded. - No highlighted rod tip or reflective tape for early/late sessions or winter sessions.