I’m going to make this nice and easy if you want to save yourself from reading another of my lure rod reviews - this brand new HTO Shore Game S932ML 9'3'' 7-30g lure rod is the best “available off the shelf in the UK”, as near as dammit “do it all” lure rod that I have ever fished with. There, I’ve said it. But how on earth can I come to that conclusion about a fishing rod that only arrived in the UK yesterday and will be in shops I guess either today or next week? Well the truth is that I have been fishing with the exact blank on which this new HTO rod is made on and off for nearly a year and a half already (in a couple of slightly different guises) - with plenty of on rather than off because it’s such an awesome lure fishing rod…………..
So how come this new HTO Shore Game S932ML 9'3'' 7-30g lure rod does it for me so much? Simple really - it just feels completely right for me and how I do the bulk of my bass fishing. Give me only the one rod length to fish with and I will go for 9’, so the 9’3’’ length sits perfectly in the middle for me - this rod feels like an outstanding 9’ lure rod when I am fishing with it, but that extra 3’’ will I imagine appeal to lure anglers who need or simply want to get their lures out there as far as possible but might not want to step up to a 9’6’’. And yes, before you ask, this new HTO Shore Game S932ML 9'3'' 7-30g sits perfectly in the middle of their current Shore Game range - the wand like 8’8’’ (review here) and the more powerful but very versatile 9’6’’ (review here).
I prefer the overall handle design on this new HTO version over the current handles on the other two Shore Game rods - these new 9’3’’ duplon grips are slightly chunkier compared to the handles on that HTO Shore Game 9’6’’ which I have found over a long period of time to be a little too slim for my liking (but that of course is a very personal thing), and thank the lord of flies there’s now some duplon at the back of the reelseat on this new HTO 9’3’’ instead of some plastic locking nut which isn’t much cop when your hands are wet. I also prefer the tougher butt cap design on this 9’3’’ over the 9’6’ as well, and I love that the not cheap but worth every penny HTO Shore Game range of lure rods are rung with the outstanding Fuji Torzite guides. As far as I can tell it’s the same or at least very similar overall handle design on this new Shore Game 9’3’’ as you find on the outrageous HTO Nebula rods, as per the photo above.
Because I am often trying different rods out it means that a rod which I like might then be left alone for a while until I come back to it - and if there is one surefire way to tell if I do actually like a rod as much as I think I do, it’s when you come back to it after a period of not fishing with it and how you now feel about it. This new HTO Shore Game S932ML 9'3'' 7-30g is exactly that rod - I couldn’t get enough of it when I first started fishing with it, and then each time I have left it alone to fish with something else and come back to it I have liked it even more. Yep, this rod is about as good as it gets for me.
If you read my rod reviews then I am sure you have gathered that I like at least moderately fast to fast lure rods with tips that don’t collapse, and if I could bottle up the way this new Shore Game 9’3’’ fishes and keep it as my go-to lure rod action then that would be great. I simply don’t get why soft rod tips are meant to work better with soft plastics and I tend to struggle with lure rods that don’t have enough grunt in the butt for how I cast - so I absolutely love how this rod bends and fishes. Awesome, just awesome.
If I feel that a lure rod fishes as well with a 6’’ DoLive Stick as it does when bumping a Black Minnow over sand and rock and then casting and walking the Xorus Patchinko at the serious range you can put that lure out then I am a happy angler, and you’ve got this in spades with this new HTO Shore Game S932ML 9'3'' 7-30g (and as versatile as the more powerful 9’6’’ Shore Game is, because I fish so much with soft plastics like the DoLive Stick, this new 9’3’’ would be the better all round rod for me). Hell, I have tried and tried over the course of all this time fishing with this 9’3’’ blank to trip it up with anything bass lure related up to 30g that I might turn to for my own bass fishing - and I’ve failed. The rod just doesn’t break a sweat and I am thinking of asking it to marry me. Polygamy in south east Cornwall? It’s the done thing around here!
The rod is nice and fast but not remotely overpowering, obviously it’s nice and light, I love the overall build, and I have absolute faith in the blank because of my extended time with it, as well as the slightly longer and more powerful HTO Shore Game 9’6’’. Yet again I must doff my cap to the HTO people for making a rod as good as this 9’3’’ available to anglers here in the UK. I don’t know what is in the water at the HTO headquarters, but they are doing some serious lure fishing gear - hell, if a better lure rod for the money than their outrageous Nebula 9’ 7-35g comes along then I will be gobsmacked (and I believe the 9’ 7-35g Nebula will be available again soon, review here). So there you go - as it stands at the time of this review, the new HTO Shore Game S932ML 9'3'' 7-30g is the best bass lure fishing rod that’s available off the shelf in the UK that I have fished with. Sure it’s not cheap, but with the lure rods I have used and with how much you are getting for your money here I actually think this brand new HTO Shore Game S932ML 9'3'' 7-30g is a bit of a steal. Holy frigging cow do I not want to send this one back!
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