Henry Gilbey
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Henry Gilbey blog

My inner "finesse" (don't laugh !!)

I have surely used, abused, owned, tested and loved more 13' scaffold pole beachcasters over the years than a lot of UK sea anglers put together, indeed for many years I used little else for my fishing (mulleting aside). Ten years ago I would never have imagined being so into lure and light tackle fishing as I am now. Three years ago and I would never have imagined seriously fishing with lure rods under 10' long. Bang on the present day and I am becoming more and more interested in lure rods for my bass fishing that are around 7' to 8' long, and I am increasingly playing around with various rods that are rated somewhere in the region of 7g to 35g. Either it's my inner "finesse" crying to get out, or else the voices in my head are messing with me........

There are no hard and fast rules here, and there is certainly no cut and dried right or wrong - you either subscribe to shorter, lighter rods as being easier, more effective and more pleasurable to fish lures with, or you don't. All ways will catch you fish, but if I did not strive to learn as much as I can all the time and do different things then I think my love for fishing would stagnate. I think I was really interested in the ins and outs of fishing gear early on in my fishing "career", but then I suppose the rods and reels I was using tended to blend into a mass of out and out skull-dragging tools that gradually became less appealing to me.

But it seems to have come around full circle - once again the ins and outs of (modern, light tackle) fishing gear is really interesting me, and I am loving finding out more about it all on an almost daily basis. To think it was only at the 2009 Nantes bass show that the idea of a roughly 8' "do it all" bass lure rod really began to make sense when my friend Bruno Pebe (above) of Ultimate Fishing put me onto the Tenryu Super Mix 240.

And then later on last year the same guy put me onto the 7' Tenryu Injection which you will have noticed that I have resisted purchasing - marvel at my self-control !! By no means am I advocating that every bass angler needs to look at shorter and lighter rods, rather I am interested to see if lots of us end up going down a similar route whereby we begin to realise the merit in weapons like these for some of the fishing we either do now or might be doing soon. Like many things, it's not until you play around with these kinds of "finesse" rods that the lightbulbs go off in the head - or perhaps they don't............

Anyway, back to these more "finesse" kind of rods - bearing in mind that my learning curve here is really steep, I am coming to a kind of (temporary) conclusion that there are two kinds of shorter, lighter lure rods that can literally be used like wands, yet I reckon deal with any kind of bass we might run into. I know there are any number of fishing rods out there, but I am trying hard to simplify things........

"Finesse" rod 1 - somewhere between 7' and 8', generally rated somewhere around 10-35g. I am playing with this exact kind of rod at the moment and it is certainly opening my eyes up. A lure rod like this will deal with nearly the full spectrum of lures we might use from the shore, and if it's good it will give you a lot of "feel" for working all manner of hard and soft lures. This kind of rod should be dealing well with the larger bass lures like say an Xorus Patchinko that needs a bit of grunt in a rod to really power it out there. Granted, not the rod if you use only the heavier spectrum of bass lures and never scale down, but it is a kind of rod that a lot of us could use very effectively.

"Finesse" rod 2 - again, usually 7'-8' long, but rated somewhere in the region of 7-20g. In my mind, an out and out "finesse" rod that is perfectly suited to the lighter side of lure fishing (LRF etc. aside of course, another matter entirely), but having now played around with a rod or two, I am finding that they are just a joy to fish with, and that they seem to cope well with a wider range of the lures we might use than I previously thought. I don't know close to all the rods out there, so in this category I can't help but put that 7' Tenryu Injection as the benchmark against which I measure the stuff I play around with. Granted, the law of averages says there might well be better rods out there (personal things after all), but I can only talk about the gear I actually know. Speculation is not much use here. Without doubt this is not a rod to cover all eventualities, but the sheer "feel" you can get does open up a few doors.

One thing I am utterly blown away is my little "finesse" spinning reel - if there is a reel out there that offers more quality for the money than my Shimano Rarenium 3000 then I have yet to come across it. OK, so the Stella is still at the top of my tree, but I don't do enough of this "finesse" fishing yet to justify actually getting a Stella 3000. The moment that little Rarenium 3000 went on one of the rods I am playing around with and I fell in love. Sublime. So incredibly light and smooth. Seems like a lot of reel for the dosh, almost custom-made for my inner "finesse" coming out.........

All "finesse" aside though, I have a couple of meetings in London today, and then on Saturday evening it's time to get all proper and bang my head hard to the mighty Bolt Thrower and Rotting Christ (I am simply not worthy) who are playing at the London ULU. Rock on. Real music for real men with no inner "finesse" !!