I get why some lure anglers want longer rods, but that doesn't mean I necessarily agree with all the arguments that are put forward for them. I just don't want a longer lure rod that feels like a longer rod, and I can't pretend that I go bass fishing in the UK or Ireland and think wow, I really need a longer lure rod - but what if I can get the same wand like feeling with a longer rod that a shorter lure rod gives me? Well I'm all ears now. I want the one rod I take with me to be really good at fishing the methods I feel that I need to use to give me the best chance at fish - and I am perfectly open to this particular rod being that bit longer if it doesn't feel like a longer rod. Does that make any sense at all?
Go check some of the well known European tackle company catalogues and you'll struggle to find a lure rod around the 9'+ length that is around the 8-30g rating. Sure, you'll find them at say 15-50g or 20-60g, but I don't want this, because as much as I think I might sometimes want to chuck heavier and bigger lures in the UK and Ireland, I'm just not doing so (but should I be?). I'll fish the roughest conditions I can get away with, but the fact remains that when it gets too rough where I tend to fish, it's blown as regards lure fishing and I'll try somewhere else. It seems that I have little choice but to come back to the Japanese (sea) bass fishing market to look for lure rods around the length and casting weight that I want.
I reckon I could blindfold you, put this Major Craft Truzer TZS-962ML 9'6'' 10-30g lure rod (around £370.00 in the UK, somewhere like Chesil Bait n Tackle, Seaview Angling etc.) in your hand and give you ten casts with it, then swap the rod for a comparable feeling 8'6''/9' rod and give you ten casts again - and I reckon you'd struggle to say which was the longer rod. It's taken me a long time to start falling for lure rods of this length, but then it's a simple case of only fairly recently starting to come across ones that I really like fishing with. This Major Craft Truzer 9'6'' has no right to feel as light and responsive as it does, because surely that's the domain of the much shorter rods to feel like that? I think I've measured this rod at least five times now to check that it really is 9'6'' long............
The acid test for me on a rod like this is if I can go back and forth between a number of different kinds of hard and soft lures again and again and not feel that I am fishing any of them any less efficiently than the others. Let's start with say a fairly light 120mm sub-surface minnow like the MegaBass X120, then something heavier and longer range like the IMA Hound 125F Glide, and I don't think I have used a lure rod yet that puts this particular lure so far. Next up is my go-to surface lure, the IMA Salt Skimmer, and then I might change to say a 12g/120mm Fiiish Black Minnow. Let's follow this with my little experiment, the 20g Shore Head on the 120mm Black Minnow body, and then finish this test off with what to me can often find the chink in a rod - soft plastics rigged mostly weightless and weedless. Let's use a 6'' senko on a 6/0 weedless hook. Is there a weakness with this rod? Well not that I can find. It's absolutely incredible how good/effortless this thing is, and it's interesting how two guys I have fished with who have had a proper thrashing with it now both want one. We are talking here about one of the best lure fishing rods I have ever been lucky enough to fish with - at a price I grant you, but this is one insanely good fishing rod.
Very fast but not remotely too stiff (yes, it's steely), almost ridiculously light and wand like, yet with bags of grunt if needs be. No feeling of slackness at all in the butt section, hell it's some feat to make a 9'6'' rod as good as this. Is there much difference to the shorter 9' Truzer that I reviewed a while back? (check here). Well the 9' feels a little pokier because it's shorter, and if you read my 9' Truzer review you will note how I reckoned that you had to be on the money with your casting to get the best out of it - this 9'6'' Truzer to me is an easier rod to cast well. It's still incredibly precise, but that extra 6'' seems to help make the rod feel a little more "approachable", or kinder even if that makes sense. I really like shorter handles on my lure rods, and this 9'6'' Truzer is 13.5'' from the reel foot to the end of the butt section. I like cork grips, the reel seat is the same (excellent) one as on the 9' version, and so far I can't fault these new Fuji Torzite guides.
Which Truzer would I have then, the 9' or the 9'6''? Well in a perfect world I would have both of course, but is push came to shove I reckon I might go for the longer 9'6'' version. It's a strange day when I find myself lusting after the longer rod, but it's what I feel. I reckon I can do everything I want to do just as easily and efficiently with the 9'6'', so why not go for the longer one and get what an extra 6'' can give you on a good day? These Major Craft Truzer lure rods are some serious bits of kit that in my opinion are just about perfect for bass fishing in the UK and Ireland. I've had a bunch of bass on the one I have got here, and in some pretty serious conditions as well - the rod just does what I need while putting a bit smile on my face because it's just so gorgeous to fish with. I am trying to find something about this (not cheap) rod that niggles me, but for the life of me I can't. Can an item of fishing tackle be perfect?
And above are some previews from the new issue of Sea Angler that comes out this week - note that there is a full feature of mine on how to tie what is without doubt the best braid to fluoro/mono leader knot that I have ever come across. Illustrations come via the excellent (Andy Steer) Angling Knots (check here), and I am hoping that this well laid out and easy to understand feature will help a lot of anglers with learning how to tie the perfect leader knot.