I haven’t reviewed a sub-£100 lure fishing rod for a long time now, and as much as I make no apologies for being a complete lure fishing tackle tart, I have been genuinely excited to fish with this not very expensive Favorite Cobalt CBL-902M 9’ 9g-28g lure rod. Why you might ask when I’ve got rods here that are worth considerably more? Quite simply because I wanted to see how much £69.99 could buy me these days on the lure rod front, and of course a lot of anglers who are into lure fishing or might be thinking about taking it up can’t or won’t spend a whole heap of cash on a rod.
Which might suggest that this Favorite Cobalt 9’ 9g-28g lure rod is a massive compromise - but it isn’t, indeed if you think about that £69.99 UK price then I reckon it’s a cracking rod which covers the broad spectrum of bass lure fishing here or over in Ireland. I like the 9’ length, I like the 9-28g rating, and it’s one of those rods that grows and grows on me. When I come from something considerably more expensive like that incredible HTO Shore Game 9’3’’ 7-30g lure rod I reviewed recently I can fully understand why the more expensive rods are worth the money - but over more time with the Cobalt 9’ rod it becomes more and more comfortable to fish with and I am more and more impressed.
Look, for me this Favorit Cobalt 9’ isn’t in the same league as the outrageous HTO Nebula 9’ 7-35g rod, but then that rod is not far off double the price - and as much as I love the 9’ Nebula, it’s a lightning fast rod that I think requires a good casting technique and a bit of thought to get the best out of it. This Favorite Cobalt 9’ 9g-28g is a much easier rod to cast your lures with - if the Nebula is a quoted “Ex Fast” action, then I reckon this Cobalt is say “Medium Fast”, and it’s a very, very easy rod to get at as such. I can see it working very well for plenty of anglers and there’s more than enough there to grow with the rod.
OK, so it’s not the last word in refinement, and you can feel the rod keep on bending into a heavier lure like the regular Xorus Patchinko, but to me that’s no bad thing at all because there’s plenty of grunt and ability there to get lures like this out to sea. This categorically isn’t just some old spinning blank that bends to the butt and has been pressed into service - it’s a genuinely nice rod to fish with soft lures like the 6’’ OSP DoLive Stick for example, and you can whack and crank all manner of hard lures until the cows come home. Your arms won’t fall off from the effort, the rod is plenty light enough, and I fancy this thing to keep on going and going………..
The tip on this Cobalt is bloody lovely to be honest with you - nice with the soft plastics as I said and works well with surface lures, and the rest of the blank feels like it’s working well together. It’s not quite as “precise” as the 9’ Nebula, but regardless of the price difference this Cobalt is a different kind of lure fishing rod anyway. It’s a bit of a bloody steal at the price in my opinion, and whilst my experience of sub-£100 lure fishing rods is not extensive, I just can’t see how an angler who for whatever reason isn’t going to spend a penny more than the £69.99 asking price could find anything to complain about.
I wonder though - the handle on the Cobalt works just fine albeit I would personally like it a little shorter, and the guides are obviously not the lightest or smallest profile you are going to find. Everything seems well put together though and it’s a lot of rod for the money as I said, but I do wonder if you took this Cobalt blank and used better/lighter fixtures and fittings how the rod would end up. Ring it with lighter Fuji guides, put a narrower profile and slightly shorter handle on there, up the price to say £89.00 to allow for these better fixtures and fittings and I reckon this Cobalt would be a bit better again than it already is. Conjecture for sure because we’ve got a lot of good lure fishing rod here already, but it just feels to me that there’s a little more to this rather lovely blank than first meets the eye. I have fished with a few Favorite lure rods now and they have all been impressive, so it makes my day that £69.99 can buy an out and out “proper” lure fishing rod here in the UK.
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