APIA Foojin’R Grand Swell 96MH 9’6’’ 7-42g lure rod review - £300+
Well one’s thing for sure about this APIA Foojin’R Grand Swell 96MH 7-42g lure rod - you aren’t going to lack for power in dealing with any bass that we are ever likely to connect with in European waters. I took this rod over to the US to fish for striped bass when we weren’t fishing the much heavier lures in the Cape Cod canal, and whilst 9’6’’ could well be considered too long for boat fishing, that’s exactly what I did with it. I landed stripers on surface lures off the boat that were nudging 30lbs, and believe me when I say that I gave them as much grief as I possibly could with this rod, a 5000 size Shimano spinning reel, and 26lb Sufix 832 braid I think it was. Not even remotely a problem, so me thinks it’s just about powerful enough for our own bass………..
Another of the APIA Foojin’R entry range of lure rods, this is the first from the “Grand Swell” category that I have fished with, and this 96MH is the shortest and lightest rated rod in there. Crumbs, I wonder what the other ones are like! (have a look here for the full range of APIA Foojin’R rods, and I wish you all the best deciphering the Japanese). These more powerful lure rods really interest me, but not just for chucking out much bigger bass lures so much as finding that a mix of being able to do that if I want to, plus that extra power in the tip being pretty helpful in strong crosswinds especially.
As with the other APIA Foojin’R rods that I have fished with, I like how understated they look, and I like how APIA put together their handles and handle lengths (36cms from reelfoot to end on this one). The grip on this Grand Swell 96MH is the same grip design as on the Best Bower 95M (review here) and 103MLX (review here), albeit a touch chunkier which I kinda like. These Foojin’R rods are APIA’s entry range on the bass front, but nothing about them smacks of anything less than lots of thought and stacks of quality and they are not remotely cheap anyway! Do you need a lure rod this powerful though for UK and Irish bass fishing though?
Well that’s just it. We are all different and we all like to go about our fishing in our own individual ways. I wouldn’t buy a rod like this APIA Foojin’R Grand Swell 96MH for my everyday bass fishing, but I like the idea of a rod this powerful for certain situations. It makes a great pollack rod for starters unless you need to be chucking out really heavy lures into very deep water and/or fast currents, so on that front alone I’d be sorely tempted to own it. I have never measured a lure cast, but I am pretty damn sure I have never put the regular size Xorus Patchinko out so far as I have on this rod. The 1.5oz/40g GT Ice Cream on this rod is nearly getting me to my backing! This is a casting machine, but as long as you are using lures that are heavy enough to really get it working, and as powerful as it might be, it’s incredibly easy to lure fish with.
A fast action and a powerful tip make this rod something else for getting the lures out there, but I have to question the 7-42g casting weight. As with almost any rod, you could put a 1g lure on it and get it at least into the water, but you aren’t going to be buying a bass rod like this Grand Swell 96MH for finessing stuff. I can get my beloved 14g IMA Salt Skimmer out just fine on this rod, but without a doubt it feels more comfortable with the Patchinko and a nice long drop - I think around a 15-42g or even 20-42g rating on this rod would be more realistic. My 20g/120mm Fiiish Black Minnow combination works perfectly on this rod (around 30g), as do the sorts of subsurface minnows you’re going to be chucking into rougher seas. I love this rod with an IMA Hound 125F Glide and a longer drop for example, yet I clip on that 1.5oz GT Ice Cream and although the 40g weight is near the quote 42g top end of this rod, to be honest it feels like there’s plenty more there if needs be. Holy cow you can wind the rod up with that lure.
The Major Craft X-Ride 9’6’’ 15-42g lure rod (review here) is an overall more rounded lure rod - not as powerful as this APIA one but it’s that easier to identify as one step up in power over the 10-30g rods. Let’s call this APIA Grand Swell a step and a half up in power over the 10-30g rods. There’s something about APIA rods that tend to float my boat, and I seriously like this APIA Grand Swell 96MH. Big seas and the heavier lures that want to be let loose make this rod sing. Hell, I love my pollack fishing that much I bet you I could justify this rod to myself pretty damn quickly for that alone (it’s born to fish a 150mm Crazy Sandeel and a 20g jig head), but I know a rod like this would work for plenty of bass anglers who fish rougher conditions, deeper water and fast currents. Another class lure rod from APIA and I am pleased to see that the Art of Fishing is starting to stock some APIA rods as it’s one brand I so wish we were seeing far more of here in the UK. The Modern Angler store over in Portugal also does these rods, check here.