Tailwalk Salty Shape Shore Stick S86ML lure rod review (just over £200)
This interestingly named Salty Shape Shore Stick S86ML lure rod is made by a Japanese company called Tailwalk whom I know nothing about - it's my thanks to the German online retailer Nippon Tackle (check here) that I got to have a play with this rod. Rated to cast 10-30g, this S86ML Shore Stick is 8'6'' long, rated Fast, weighs 148g and retails at 269.00 Euros (here), which equates to a little over £200.......
I don't think a lot of lure anglers could go far wrong with a lure rod like this - it's very much a proper lure fishing rod that for me deals with the techniques and lures I tend to fish with. I like the shortish handle, the rod seems to be well built with Fuji K guides etc., it feels light and well balanced in the hand, and like with most shorter rods, if you move the rod fast and load it up properly, this thing gets your lures out there really well. There's a lot of power in the butt section that you are going to need to access if you are after some decent distance.
The tip is pretty powerful albeit it's easy to load up if needs be, and I am perfectly comfortable with a rod around this length for working soft plastics and surface lures especially. Everything feels very much together, as in the tip feels like a natural extension to the butt and mid-section - this is a powerful 10-30g lure rod and I tend to think this casting rating is pretty much spot on. I don't feel the rod is that comfortable with lures of less than 10g for example.
If there is one gripe I do have though, it's that bit on the handle where your hand naturally sits behind the reel (above photo) - it's actually very comfortable to fish with, but when it gets wet it essentially provides a rubbish grip, and for the life of me I can't work out why lure rods ever have a non-grippy bit here (duplon, cork etc.). That now discontinued but rather special Daiwa Branzino 80ML had perhaps the most rubbish handle design I have come across on a lure rod, and I could never understand why - hook a fish when everything is wet and my hand kept trying to come off the rod when I fought the fish. I remember asking Daiwa France about it, only to get a shrug of the shoulders and no more!!
That minor quibble aside, this Tailwalk Salty Shape Shore Stick S86ML lure rod is in my opinion a really good lure rod - I like fishing with it, but I don't love fishing with it as I wholeheartedly love fishing with say the 8'6'' Major Craft Skyroad. Until a bunch of better rods for the money come along, I can't help but compare any lure rods I come across around the £200 UK retail price to the Skyroads - this Shore Stick S86ML is a more powerful rod overall, but that extra grunt in my mind doesn't give you such a feeling of precision that you get in spades with the Skyroads. This may not matter to you, but the more I learn about different lures and techniques, the more I do want that steely feeling of precision that rods like the ridiculously good Skyroads give me.
Forget about my needs though, because a rod review can only be personal and I can't speculate on what you might want from a lure rod - all I can do is tell you what I think and hope that this might help some of you out. Give me a choice and I'll go for the Skyroad, but I do know that that bit extra if you like in this Tailwalk rod would suit many lure anglers really well. If say you have accepted that many of us simply don't need lure rods rated to cast around the 20-60g mark, then this 10-30g Tailwalk Salty Shape Shore Stick S86ML might well feel like a very natural step down in casting weight but now with the ability to fish all manner of different lures really well.