Henry Gilbey
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Henry Gilbey blog

Major Craft Skyroad 9’ 7-23g lure rod review - presuming it’ll be under £200 if the UK market asks for it

I’ve had a hankering for a slightly lighter lure fishing rod for a while now, and whilst I’ve messed around with a few over the years and really liked some of them, I don’t remember picking one up, fishing with it, and having it make such an instant impression on me as this frigging stunning Major Craft Skyroad 9’ 7-23g lure rod. I am sure that in due course I will come across another lighter lure rod that I like a bit more than this, but yet again with the Major Craft Skyroad range I am left wondering how on earth they are able to make fishing rods this damn good for the price they are putting them out at - and yes, I am talking about UK retail prices here.

I fished for a while with the very impressive, lighter 9’ 7-23g Major Craft Truzer, indeed a mate of mine liked it so much he went and bought the loan rod I had here. A client of ours over in Ireland this year had the lighter 8’9’’ 7-23g Major Craft X-Ride which I must assume is essentially the same blank as the more expensive Truzer, and via the few chucks I had with the rod I quickly handed it back in case I went and ordered one that night. What a rod. I have also chucked various other lighter lure rods over the years (and I’m talking about rods here below that roughly 10-30g casting weight), but then along comes this Skyroad 9’ 7-23g and yet again with Major Craft I am left wondering how much more rod your money can actually buy you. Sure, because I have serious issues with lure fishing rods I will always keep looking around, but it’s going to have to be one hell of a blank to float my boat as much as this particular Skyroad does.

Do you need a slightly lighter lure fishing rod? I can’t answer that for you, but I can’t get away from how nice it is to fish with a lighter rod with certain lures in calmer conditions. Working a subtle surface lure like the rather killer little IMA Pugachev’s Cobra is just awesome on this rod. I’m not going to take a rod like this 9’ 7-23g one out in rough and/or windy conditions, and of course I’m not going to unleash it when there’s a chance I will need to get the heavier stuff out there for whatever reasons, but yes, I can find plenty of situations when using the lighter rod just makes me smile.

Short rod casting video

The rod’s very fast, but in no way is it too stiff to be a pure delight to fish with - twitching a roughly 15g, 6’’ OSP DoLive Stick around on this Skyroad is about as good as this lethal lure has ever felt to me, indeed it just strikes me as exactly the right amount of tension in the rod tip to give me the control I need. I can’t help but smile every single time I chuck this lure out on this rod. Same with those surface lures around the Skimmer/Pugachev’s Cobra size, and of course you can bang most of the minnows we might use out with consummate ease.

I recently bought a couple of truly stunning handmade lures off a guy in Plymouth, and one of them happens to weigh exactly 23g, which is right at the top of the suggested casting weight for this 9’ Skyroad - and the lure just flies out without any trouble at all. I am not about to recommend that you deliberately overload this rod, but it’s good to know how easily the thing deals with the heavier lures in its casting range if needs be. Some anglers might argue that a rod like this could be undergunned for really big bass, but let’s be realistic here and accept how big these fish we love can actually get, and also that it’s usually more about where you hook a decent bass rather than the actual weight of it. You can pull a 6lb bass in without any undue fuss at all in “regular” conditions, but now put that same fish in a snorting run of current and it’s a completely different story. So no, this rod is not remotely undergunned, and I would also politely point out that most anglers are scared of putting a serious bend in rod when trying to get a fish in anyway.

What a lure fishing rod, and whilst we are in the middle of the time of year when conditions often dictate the heavier stuff down here, when it calms right off and I head out at night with a white senko clipped on the end of my leader, this Major Craft Skyroad 9’ 7-23g lure rod does the business just beautifully with those lures as well. Lure fishing with a rod and reel setup that feels so light and responsive is an absolute joy and it makes me smile while I am fishing with it. What more could I ask from a fishing rod?

Oh, and come on England, let's stuff the Boks on Saturday afternoon. And how about Ireland v The All Blacks last weekend? What a game of rugby, can't believe the Irish turned them over like that, what a bunch of heroes.