I would hope that my understanding of what works for lure fishing is increasing all the time, but temper that with the fact that I am always looking for stuff that suits me. Of course my hope is that some of this gear might work for you as well, but we all know how personal fishing gear tackle gets. I mess around with lots of bits of fishing gear, and this of course helps to shape my ideas and thoughts about what might or might not work best for me. A rod I might have used non-stop a couple of years ago for example may now feel a bit different to me in the context of how I am (hopefully) developing my fishing - but then that is life through and through is it not ? Standing still is not really much of an option for me.
Last week I went out for a few hours with John from Lure Heaven to play around with some of his Graphiteleader rods that have just come in from Japan. I will give you some thoughts on the "budget" Argento RV range of lure rods in due course (holy cow !!!!!!), but there was one particular rod that John brought along which in retrospect I almost wish he hadn't. Yes, I have a problem with fishing tackle, and yes, I might have got a bit overexcited about this rod from the off, but my initial impressions are that this particular lure rod is up there as one of the most outrageously impressive bits of kit that I have ever used - and I fish with a lot of different lure rods, more than you would realise from reading this blog.
I tend to like faster action rods that have a kind of "steely" feel to them, but I don't like a lure rod that is just stiff for being stiff's sake. Anybody can build a scaffold pole of a poker for very little money, but to make a rod with a fast but easy to fish with kind of action that manages to give you lots and lots of feel and feedback is a whole different ball game. Stiff does not equal fast does not equal "steely" does not equal feel, but some rods have a very clever mix of these qualities which combine to make something that extra bit special. They don't seem to grow on trees but they are out there. Without a doubt I "want" a different kind of lure rod to what I wanted a couple of years ago, but there is every chance that you don't. And it matters not one bit. Whilst I am increasingly interested in what makes a useful lure rod, my opinion of what is a good lure rod is bound to be different to yours. And that's the way it should be.
Anyway, THE rod. I think I need to lie down or have a cold shower. It's the Graphiteleader Tiro 832M-MR and it's been designed and made in Japan as a specialist kind of rock fishing lure rod (the MR in the rod name stands for Monster Rockfish. Yes, yes, yes !!!!!). In the Graphiteleader catalogue it's in the "Shore Light Casting Rod" section if that is any help. This Tiro is 8'3'' long, rated to cast/fish with 7-28g and they call it a Fast action - I guess that I feel most comfortable fishing with a lure rod somewhere in the 8'-9' range. All the numbers and codes aside, this is flat out one of the most impressive rods I have ever messed around with. First off I put on what might be called a typical wrasse rig - weedless hook, a 7g worm weight and a smallish soft plastic. I then whacked it into some nearby rocky ground (this rod casts just so effortlessly), let it sink, and then began to fish it back like I might if I was really targeting wrasse. "It's like having a telephone in your hand" is the expression that came to mind straight away, in that even at however far I could cast the rig I could still feel (almost hear in my head) every little tap and bump along the bottom as I worked the lure back to me. Talk about almost stupidly sensitive. I honestly can't think of a better word here than "steely". Lightning fast if you ask me as a rod action, but not remotely close to being too stiff (a problem that some lure rods seem to suffer from), and with the sort of tip on it that I could dream about. Seriously !! Dreaming about a rod tip ? Strange it may be, but this is one special rod. There is some serious grunt there for putting the gears on fish if needs be, but at the same time you get that fishing tip.
But, and this is where it gets more interesting for me. I love the idea of a specialist wrasse on plastics rod, and from my basic understanding of what is required, it seems to be almost off the scale good at this (yes, I do need to spend more time with the rod, but I also trust my instincts). Rightly or wrongly I am still interested in lure rods that can kind of nearly do it all for you. I don't actually know if a rod like this Tiro 832M-MR was conceived to be a rod like that, but right after the "simulated" wrasse fishing I wanted to see if my initial hunch might be right. I can't justify a specialist wrasse rod to myself quite yet, but I can talk myself into a rod that helps me fish for wrasse and bass with any number of different methods, and in this rod I think I have found just that. I chucked surface lures, hard minnows and even weightless senkos on this thing and from an admittedly fairly brief testing period I can't think of a rod that I have played with recently which has impressed me this much from the off. It's so easy to fish with, but it seems to do so much incredibly well.
If you like a very "steely but logical to fish with" kind of feel to a lure rod then this might just be worth a look - around £320 for a lure rod is what it is, but that £320 in my opinion is buying a rod that I would put up against anything that I have fished with at any price point, and I really mean that. Yes, I need to spend longer with this Tiro, but my initial impressions are that it's just frighteningly good, and that calling it a rock fishing rod does not come close to describing its all round abilities. For a year or so now I have had this kind of mental image of what my "ultimate" lure rod might feel like, and this Tiro 832M-MR is as near as damn it that rod. John from Lure Heaven is a thoroughly nice bloke, but for a moment or two I considered whacking him over the head and running off with this rod. I am going to try and have another, extended play with it sometime soon, but for the moment it blew me away that much that I am seriously having to consider buying one. I am in love with a fishing rod and I am proud to admit it. I'm way beyond help.........