Henry Gilbey
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Henry Gilbey blog

Graphiteleader Argento RV 8'6'' 6-28g bass lure rod - long term test and review

If my thoughts and opinions on lure fishing gear did not change with the amount of stuff I play around with then there would be something wrong with me. The more I learn about lure fishing, the more I also hope I am learning about the gear that helps me out. A rod that I thought was awesome say a few years back is still in my opinion a great rod, but my thoughts as to what might work better for me surely must change as I get to use a greater variety of fishing tackle and work out what suits me and my fishing. Standing still on the fishing learning curve is not in my genetic makeup. These are my opinions, my thoughts, my experiences and my ramblings. I don't do conspiracy theories and this blog is not some secret government experiment to sell fishing tackle. My job is writing and photographing about fishing and I'm happy to keep it like that.

As it stands then around the middle part of 2012, hand on heart I reckon that the Graphiteleader Argento RV GOARS-862ML-PE rod is the most outstanding bass lure fishing rods for the money that I have ever been lucky enough to fish with. Hell, the (almost stupidly cheap for what it is) price aside, I am of the opinion that it's up there as one of the most impressive bass lure fishing rods I have ever fished with full stop. I got to have a brief thrash with these new "budget" Argento RV rods a while back (see here), and for a fair while now I have had possession of this 8'6'' long, 6-28g version for a longer term test. I happen to think they are thoroughly nice people at Lure Heaven, but I don't work for them, and I don't work for Graphiteleader. I ask the Lure Heaven people if they would kindly lend me various rods to test/review - they don't ask me if that helps, it's just not their style at all. I am starting to feel that the Japanese rod brand Graphiteleader makes some of the most impressive fishing rods that I have ever fished with. This Argento RV 862ML-PE rod is retailing just upwards of the £150 mark - I get to use a lot of different lure rods and I personally think it's an insane amount of bass lure rod for the money. I like it that much, and everybody who has fished with the rod I have got here is as blown away as I am with it..................

Longer rods, shorter rods, whatever. I simply don't care whether you like to fish with long rods or short rods because it just doesn't matter. Use what you like fishing with, and I'll do the same. Who would I be to try and tell you what to do ? But I can tell you what I like, and I very much like a lure rod around this length for my fishing. The moment I picked up this Graphiteleader Argento RV 8'6'' it felt pretty good, but obviously a strong personal opinion can only come about from longer term testing, and I have thrashed this thing big time. I feel as comfortable fishing hard lures with it as I do soft plastics (weightless, jig heads etc.), and it's a joy to work surface lures. I had never used a rod with these specialist low rider/PE guides before, and because they are so different and because I am a human being I will admit to initially thinking "crumbs, are they going to work ?". But they do, in fact they work just great. This rod puts lures out extremely well. Talk about effortless. I just can't find one single little niggly thing that I would like to change about this rod, and believe me, I can usually find some little thing I would want to change about most items of fishing tackle I use. It almost frustrates me that at this price I'm loving the rod this much if that makes sense ?

Trying to describe rod actions seems like an increasingly impossible task - to try and get across how a fishing rod feels via mere words is not easy, but I fully recognise that a lot of lure anglers have no choice but to buy their gear blind. Yes, this 8'6'' Argento RV has what is described as a fast action, but then so does that 8'3'' Graphiteleader Tiro rod that I ended up getting recently (see here) - yet they could not be two more different rods if you tried. Not better or worse, merely different and designed to do different things. Yes, I would also describe this particular 8'6'' Argento RV as being very "steely" (my new favourite rod description), but don't for one second mistake the term "steely" as being stupidly stiff or unfeeling. I know nothing about how Graphiteleader go about making or designing their lure rods, but for the life of me I just can't figure out how they can put this much feel, sensitivity and sheer "lure fishing gloriousness" into what these days tends to be termed a "mid-price" lure rod. It's just the most fabulous fishing rod and I love fishing with it. It really is that simple.

In these austere times I am somewhat loathe to call a fishing rod that is priced just north of £150 as "cheap" or even "mid-priced", but when compared to the other Graphiteleader Argento ranges then perhaps that term is fair for this Argento RV. There may of course be a bunch of lure rods out there in the world that are as good if not better than this Graphiteleader Argento RV 8'6'' 6-28g for the money, but if there are then I have not come across them yet. I am sure for example that within the vast range of Major Craft rods there must be some rods comparable to this one for the money. No, of course I have not tried everything out there and I never will, so what you have here are my personal opinions on this ridiculously good fishing rod. I get asked a lot about which gear to buy, and I recognise that it can be one hell of a daunting subject - until I come across what I feel is a better sub-£200 all-round bass lure fishing rod than this one then I am going to feel very comfortable suggesting to those anglers to go for or at least have a close look at this 8'6'' Argento RV. The new higher-end Argento range is coming into the UK later this year and I dread to think how special they might be. For the moment I know this particular rod is available from these people here, here and here if that is any help.

Oh, and I have fallen for this "budget" Graphiteleader Argento RV that much I ended up buying my review sample. Yes, I need help, but it's that good..........