APIA Foojin'AD Flow Hunt 89ML lure rod review (8'9'', max lure 34g)
You might well think that with the gear reviews on this blog that I am rarely satisfied, but in truth I just like playing around with new stuff and as it is I have enough gear of my own here at home to keep catching me fish for a while. But if there is one thing I am it's inquisitive when it comes to fishing and fishing tackle. I want to learn more all the time, and I am happy to admit that fishing tackle fascinates me - not for one second am I about to say that chopping and changing between all these different fishing rods that I get to use is catching me a heap more fish, but it's just something that I am personally interested in, and since this blog is by a bloke called Henry Gilbey (me), what you read here then is the kind of stuff that floats my boat.............
I have tended to start these rod reviews recently by telling you how little I care about the different rod lengths, casting weights, and rod actions in terms of what is better or worse - well let me assure you that I care even less about it than I already did if that is possible, because at the end of the day we are human beings and wouldn't it be incredibly dull if we all liked the same things ? I have a passion for black, thrash and death metal for example, but the chances are that you most likely don't share this obsession with me (and why not ??!!) - which I have to say sits just fine with me. I also happen to like certain kinds of rod actions and lengths and I seem to do ok with my own fishing like this, but not for one second would I expect you to agree with me here - which sits just fine with me. As for this desire amongst some anglers to almost try and smother other anglers with their own expert opinions and particular ways of doing things, well I'll never understand this kind of behaviour as long as I live. Sad it may be, but fishing tackle genuinely excites me and I love getting the chance to play with so much different stuff - and if any of my own experiences and/or thoughts help any of you out then that just about makes my day.
Anyway, let's get on with talking about this APIA Foojin'AD Flow Hunt 89ML lure rod - it's 8'9'' long and APIA give the rod a maximum lure rating of 34g. I have played around with a few different APIA rods now, with that IMA/APIA collaboration still being a lure rod that freaks the living daylights out of me - so to save me time and space here, head back and read my review of that particular rod right here, because in my mind these two rods are very, very similar, in fact I feel pretty sure that the 9'2'' IMA/APIA collaboration (Energy Flow) is based on this APIA Flow Hunt, or indeed the other way round (gotta love the rod names as well), but obviously this Flow Hunt is 5'' shorter. Please note though that this is pure speculation on my behalf and I don't understand a word of Japanese, but I have deliberately gone out with the two rods and cast/retrieved them repeatedly using the exact same lures and similar spinning reels, braid etc., and I can't get away from how incredibly similar they feel. Over a bit of time I did come up with a couple of minor differences, but believe me when I say they are marginal.
So why not just go for the IMA x APIA Foojin'AD Energy Flow 92ML rod and forget all about this slightly shorter APIA Foojin'AD Flow Hunt 89ML ? Well I learnt recently that the IMA/APIA collaboration rod is in fact a limited edition rod and therefore it has either sold out or will not be readily available at all - which kind of does my skull in because it's awesome. But then I started to fish with this APIA Foojin'AD Flow Hunt and I began to realise that all is not lost after all.............
I am very comfortable with a lure rod of 8'9'' long for my own shore based lure fishing (this APIA rod also did great for Nick and I out in France in November off the boat when we were casting the lighter Black Minnows at structure, as indeed you can see in the photos), but to be honest both rods feel that good when you cast them one after the other that the longer one feels much like the shorter one in the hand if that makes any sense - and the other way round. Both rods are rated at a max casting weight of 34g, but personally I reckon they are working at their best from 30g and below - which I have to say suits me down to the ground for me and my bass fishing. As I said earlier, read my review of that IMA/APIA collaboration here, because all that I want to say about this APIA Flow Hunt and how it fishes different kinds of lures is in there - except for this :
The APIA Foojin'AD Flow Hunt 89ML is I feel a very small amount "tighter" overall, in that I can feel a tiny bit more "steel" in the butt section - which I am going to presume is down to the rod's slightly shorter length (this I believe is simply physics, but then I never concentrated much in science when I was at school, except of course for certain parts of biology as most teenage boys do I am sure). This then translates to a tiny, tiny bit more "steel" in the tip, but that really is clutching at straws and perhaps is more a case of me trying to find almost anything different rather than there actually being something different apart from the lengths and the resulting feel because of this. The Flow Hunt has a slightly shorter handle which feels just fine to me, and yes, I am really liking these cork handles on the APIA rods, with that duplon grip where the back of your reel-hand sits on the rod. In my opinion both these lure rods are just awesome, but if you tied me down and forced me to choose one of them then I would go for the Flow Hunt, and this perhaps is because I tend to just feel that bit happier with the slightly shorter rods. In an ideal world I would have both though !! I play with plenty of different rods and my opinions as to what I personally want to fish with have changed/adapted over the last few years (and will continue to change/adapt I am sure), but as of the time of this review this APIA Foojin'AD Flow Hunt 89ML rod is up there as either the best or pretty damn close to the best (bass) lure rods that I have personally fished with so far - and no, I did not say it's the best lure rod out there, because it isn't. The best lure rod out there is what is best for you, and this thing just works for me in a major way. I am hoping that in time we get to see a few of these APIA rods for sale in the UK, and especially when the Japanese RRP YEN price of this Flow Hunt seems to work out around £330 as of the time of this review - so if after the various import duties and VAT etc. a rod like this were to become available over here for anything around or under the £400 mark then it's my personal opinion that it represents very good value for money when I compare it to the other (high end) rods I have fished with over the last few years. This rod quite simply does it for me.
But will it become available to buy here in the UK ? I don't know, but all I can advise you to do is to keep an eye on the Bass Lures website/Facebook page and see what might or might not develop. And if you want to believe that this review is one big conspiracy between me and the rather nice people I know at Bass Lures then you are of course perfectly entitled to. But if you want to instead believe that I am friends with the Bass Lures people and that they have imported a few of these APIA rods at some considerable expense to themselves to have a look and see what they might be like (and then if there might actually be any margins there to sell potentially suitable rods into the UK market), and then because we are friends I asked if I might have a proper go with this rod and perhaps blog about it because fishing tackle fascinates me (and I am fortunate enough to have various friends/contacts within the industry who are kind enough to lend me gear to play with), then that's another way of looking at a review like this. Does a company like Bass Lures then benefit because I review a rod like this on my blog ? Well if they do then I could not be happier, but what happens or does not happen on that front is nothing to do with me and I am happy that it be like that. Instead I simply count myself fortunate enough that these friends/contacts of mine let me use and review fishing tackle - because without that kind help there would be fewer reviews on this little blog of mine. I must let you decide what is going on here, but perhaps what I hope is my pretty obvious passion and enthusiasm might give you a hint. Oh, and you can call me Flow Hunt from now on.................(and yes, let's avoid the obvious word associations that I know you are itching to use !!)