First off, I don’t work for Ben at the Art of Fishing tackle shop in Wadebridge, but I really like and respect what he does in the lure fishing tackle trade, and I am loving his brand new shop website - obviously it’s a place to go and buy all manner of lure fishing gear, but where you buy your stuff is nothing to do with me. Nope, what I am loving is firstly how seriously the Art of Fishing is doing lure fishing rods these days, and secondly, and indeed the main reason for this blog post - I know of no better (English language) resource to find so much helpful and useful information on lure fishing rods as this brand new Art of Fishing website………
Of course I am lucky in some respects because I get to play with a good number of lure rods, and whilst in some way this can wreck my head with how nice so many of them are, I do of course recognise that a lot of anglers are out there looking for new fishing rods and may not be able to see relevant stuff in a local tackle shop (which is why I try and help out with my blog reviews), and this might mean have no choice but to buy “blind” so to speak - which can be daunting and confusing.
This new website aside, I would urge any of you reading this who are thinking about a new lure fishing rod to do all you can to drop into the Art of Fishing tackle shop in Wadebridge, north Cornwall - seriously, I have been over there a few times recently and the range of lure rods in that shop at all kinds of prices is just frigging amazing. I had to leave my wallet at home because I could not trust myself not to walk out of there with a brand new fishing rod! I was seriously considering clobbering Ben over the head with a packet of DoLive Sticks and running away with APIA’s new version of the Flow Hunt for example, a lure rod that felt about as good as any rod I have ever picked up. Oh, and I’d have taken the DoLive Sticks as well. Obviously!
If you can’t get to the shop itself, have a proper look around the new Art of Fishing website, and especially at the amazing amount of information that Ben has been creating for the rods he is stocking, as per the screenshot above for example. Ben has done all that himself on each and every rod he is stocking, and if you go looking into this information you can really find out a hell of a lot about the rods. Want to know how a rod really bends? Check out the curves that come via hanging weights on the end. For me it’s fascinating to look through there and check the rod curves out especially on rods that I know and see if the information on the website marries up with what I think I know about a particular rod. Whilst fishing rods are such personal things, there is no disputing actual facts.
You’ve got all the diameters for different parts of each and every rod, the casting weights, lengths, ring type, number of sections, transport length, rod weight, and “tip speed” which I believe is Ben trying to arrive at some sort of figure that gives an indication as to how fast a rod is in relation to the tapering in the last metre of the tip section - combine this info with the visual representation of the actual curve of the rod and you should get a pretty good idea of how a rod is going to behave when you cast and fish with it. Granted, in an ideal world you want to at least have a bit of a waggle, but many anglers aren’t going to get this opportunity - I hope that some of my own rod reviews help a bit of course, and now there’s a shop website out there that has really gone to town and done what needed to be done. Bear in mind that all those measurements and rod curve diagrams are Ben’s own work and have not been lifted from some dodgy Google Translate of say a Japanese tackle website!
It interests me how Ben has used the sub-£200 Tailwalk Saltyshape Dash Seabass 90ML as a kind of benchmark rod against which many of the more “regular casting weight” bass lure rods are displayed against, and yes, from the information on the website I can’t help but seriously want to see how that particular rod might stack up against the best sub-£200 9’ lure rod I have fished with so far, the Major Craft Skyroad 9’ 10-30g. We need more choice here in the UK and I take my hat off to shops like the Art of Fishing for going so seriously into this. I understand that reels and everything else will be up on the new website in due course. Obviously my main interest here is in the bass lure rods, but there are of course a stack of other kinds of lure rods up there with the same sort of brilliant information to help the likes of you and I out.
It also interests me to see how the curve of this Favorite SkyLine 862ML (8’6’’, 4-16g) as per above really makes a lot of sense now I have actually fished with this rod and understood how it reacts when casting and retrieving lures - which then makes me like even more what Ben is doing with his new website and the information that is being made available to us. I will get a review of this rather special light lure rod up sometime soon, but for now, have a good weekend, enjoy drooling over all the lure rods on this most excellent new website, and may a bunch of bass be nailing your lures like they are just starting to do around here…………..