My apologies for (unintentionally) dragging this one out, but at last I can finally reveal what these Rod "X" bass spinning rods are that I have been playing around with. I tried to make it clear from the start that I have had no hand at all in their development, indeed I was simply giving them a whirl for a bit of fun and to see what they were like - for "off the shelf", more modern style plugging rods at a price that does not break the bank, I reckon they are really good rods to go bass fishing with.
But you need to remember one important thing - they are good rods at a good price, but what they are not is high-end, top of the range bass plugging rods. The fishing marketplace has changed for ever. More and more we can get our hands on fantastic gear that these days does not cost the earth, and I am sure that a lot of us have at one point or another questioned whether anglers would still pay for top end fishing gear, and also whether the top end stuff was still really worth the money.
But if there is one thing I have learnt over the last few years of doing bits and pieces of consultancy work is that there is always going to be a place for high-end gear, and, most importantly of all, there is usually a reason why a lot of this high-end gear costs what it does. Quality. Plain and simple. Let's take these red Tenryu bass rods as a classic example - the more I learn about them and the more different plugging and spinning rods I get to see, the more I can see just why they have the reputation they do. If they were so easy to make, how come every other manufacturer who wants to make bass fishing gear isn't making rods as good as Ultimate Fishing's red Tenryu rods ? Quality tends to speak for itself. If it's any help, I do not work for Tenryu or Ultimate in any way, shape or form - I tend to shout about their rods because personally I believe they are just outstanding. I am sure there are plugging rods out there somewhere that are of similar quality, but I simply can't go around speculating......
Anyway, enough of that - how about these two rods I have put under the banner Rod "X" ? If you had asked me a year or two ago if rods around 8' long would be ideal for bass plugging I might have felt differently, but having spent the bulk of my fishing year using a rod around 8' long for all kinds of bass fishing (surface, sub-surface, plastics, jigs etc.), I am firmly of the opinion that it is a great length of rod for shore work. I have never subscribed to having to have a longer rod because you might be higher up off the water or the conditions might be challenging. - some feel that way, but I don't. Believe me, use a plugging rod around 8' for any length of time and you will wonder how on earth you fished properly before.
Grauvell Teklon Concept Spin 832M - 8'3'' long, casting weight 15-50g - very fast action, incredibly light, easy to fish with. Really well suited I reckon mostly to the more "substantial" sub-surface lures like the MegaBass Zonk 120 Gataride, Tide Minnow 145S, IMA Sasuke 140, Tackle House Feed Shallow etc - casts lures like these a country mile with ease. Fine for working poppers on the surface, but I would like more "subtlety" to the tip if I was going to use a lot of surface lures that required proper working (Xorus Patchinko, Zenith Z-Claw, Lucky Craft GunFish, MegaBass Giant Dog-X, etc.). You could fish soft plastics with this rod if you needed to, but knowing what I know now (remember, big learning curve), in reality you are going to struggle to really feel what is going on when you are fishing "avec la finesse". Both rods seem to be very well built, with decent eyes, good whippings and a really functional and modern looking real seat that just makes them very comfortable to fish with. Check the rod out here - from the off I believed these rods were a hell of a lot for the money and I stand by that. Hugely powerful, indeed I would happily press this rod into service for pollack and wrasse fishing as well.
Grauvell Teklon Concept Spin 802ML - 8' long, casting weight 10-40g - without doubt from the same "family" as the other one, but this particular rod does have more of a "subtle" tip that I reckon makes for more efficient bass fishing. I am not into the idea of carrying around two different rods when I am on the move and hopping from rock to rock or sandbank to gully and these days I tend to look for a bass rod that will come as close to "doing it all" in one model (hence I use the Tenryu Super Mix 240 most of the time). This particular rod comes that bit closer to this ethos, but nobody would ever try to claim that it has all the feel or subtlety of a really high-end bass rod. But then it is nowhere near that price point. Still a really fast action, very light to hold and fish with, the same build quality as above, but you can press this lighter model into using plastics and topwater lures that bit more effectively. A whole lot of rod for the money, indeed I am over the moon that at last we are starting to be offered fast action plugging rods over here at different price points. Check the rod out here.
I take my hat off to the people out there who are offering us more and more "modern" bass fishing gear, for it takes time and effort to research or build the goods and bring them to market. Nothing is ever guaranteed, but I reckon that these two Grauvell Teklon Concept Spin rods will do their bit towards bringing a greater degree of feel and efficiency in a spinning/plugging rod to a larger number of anglers. I am sure that plenty of anglers will happily fish with these plugging rods for a long time to come, but of course there is always a percentage who will use them, really like using them, but then might ask "what else is out there that might offer me that bit more and take my fishing to the next level ?". That's just a natural cycle. There, there rods have been revealed, and I hope my findings might prove to be a bit of use to some of you. It ain't that long until Christmas now...........!! Help.