OK, so we got done by the weather and conditions over in Ireland last week, but that didn't stop us from playing around with various bits of kit - not that every angler is a child at heart or anything like that !! I really wanted to give the lighter Grauvell Teklon Spin rod a proper work out, and I also wanted to get some other opinions other than just my own. I had a hunch from the off that the lighter 8' 10-40g 802ML model might be the one.......
First off, and bear in mind that this is only my opinion, but at the moment I reckon that the best all round bass plugging/spinning rod that we can get our hands on is the Tenryu Super Mix 240. If money is no object and you want the best rod to fish all kinds of lures (hard and soft) in all kinds of conditions, then so far no other rod I am aware of is as good as the Super Mix 240. But, and it's a big but, not everybody wants to or indeed can spend that kind of money on a fishing rod - the best prices I know of are still to be found right here though. You will never for one second regret investing in a rod like this. Just ask the increasing number of anglers fishing with them.
OK, so what about the lighter, slightly shorter Teklon Concept Spin ? At the price it is, can it possibly be one of the most impressive bass fishing rods that I have come across so far ? I was beginning to think so, but to confirm my suspicions, I asked Andy and Graham to give it a proper thrashing over in Ireland last week. Bear in mind that a lot of us these days are after carrying one rod that essentially does the lot for us - from casting and working surface lures (note working, you need a high degree of "feel"), cranking shallow divers, working jerkbait type lures, and doing all sorts with all kinds of different soft plastics. And feel is vital for working plastics. No shore bass anglers I fish with carry two plugging rods when they head out, so the more we can do well with one rod, the more effectively we are fishing. And the more effectively we fish, the more bass we should be catching - if all goes according to plan !!
If you had asked me a year ago, I would have told you that my optimum length for a bass plugging/spinning rod was around 9.5-10' (learning all the time), but having used the roughly 8' Tenryu Super Mix 240 for most of my bass fishing this year, I am completely and utterly sold on the idea of using a shorter rod. That 8' length just starts to feel more like a "wand" in your hands if that makes sense - the ease with which you can cast and vary your retrieves just seems to be a whole load easier to me, and I have never for one second subscribed to any notion of needing a longer rod for fishing higher up or in rougher conditions. And I am seeing more and more bass fishermen going over to the shorter rods and coming to the same conclusions as me. The 8' Teklon Concept Spin 802ML just feels perfect in my hands. Put a small spinning reel on it (like my beloved Shimano Stella 4000FD) and it feels extremely well balanced. The kind of set up that wants to be taken out fishing big time.
But the action is very, very important when it comes to working different bass lures - even with a rod as powerful as something like the Tenryu Red Dragon Express you still get an incredible degree of refinement and feel in the fast tip. The same goes for this stunning little Teklon rod we have been playing around with - Andy and Graham will not mind me saying that they were blown away by how much feel the rod gave them when they were playing around with different lures. The red rods are what they are (insanely special), but I am really happy that a few more rods are beginning to trickle into our UK bass fishing market that offer a truly high-end fishing experience for a low price. I would say that the lighter Grauvell Teklon Concept Spin has a wonderfully fast action that blends into a tip with real feel and subtlety. Plus the rod looks good and seems to be very well built, with Fuji eyes and a reel seat that is very comfortable to fish with.
From what I know about bass fishing at the moment, I would say that the lighter Teklon Concept Spin model (8' 10-40g 802ML) is one of those unique and somewhat rare plugging rods that you can take out bass fishing and do everything you need to do with it. I don't say that lightly either, and I am sure you guys know by now that I am not about to talk something up on this blog when I don't believe it. That's simply not my style. I put gear up here that I either own myself or have used and like. I have one of these Teklon rods and I am going to use it a lot - if the idea of one floats your boat as much as it does mine, then check them out here. As it stands right now, I am not aware of a better bass fishing rod out there for the money. I am not by any means saying that a rod like this does not exist for the same kind of price, but I can only talk about the gear I know about. I have to give the guys at Veals Mail Order huge credit for going out and finding a rod like this.
And just about the best thing is that you could win one of these little stunners by entering the photo competition that I announced on this blog the other day - check my post here. There has been some really good stuff sent in and I can not wait to be able to announce the winner early in the new year and be responsible for putting one of these stunning bass rods into somebody's hands. What a start to the year that will be. Keep the entries coming in..........