I am right into my lure fishing but have, for a couple years, been using cheap spinning rods because I broke a nice one when I first started and didn't want to repeat that. I didn't repeat that so I decided last week to treat myself to a quality spinning rod. Lure fishing involves a lot of walking and casting all day long so it makes sense to have a rod that is light and fairly short.
I had 2 cheaper spin rods with the heavier of the 2 (20-60g) being an Abu Diamond Crest 9' job which cost £19. I've caught some good fish on it but its heavy and pretty soft with a crappy reel seat. Still excellent value for under 20 quid.
After doing my research in the interweb I decided that the 8' 15-50g Savage Gear Bushwhacker XLNT looked like a good bet at about £70-£80.
Veals in Bristol http://www.veals4carp.com/ were doing them at £60 so I popped down there for a look at one. Veals is a good shop with a huge range of tackle and pleasant knowledgeable staff. Heaps recommended.
I took the Bushwhacker out of the rack and was sold immediately. It is light, has a lovely fuji reel seat and rings and is a real pleasure to look at and have in the hand. I also bought a Shimano Catana 3000 reel to fit as my old 4000 superGT would be a bit heavy for a light rod like this.
Arriving back in Oxford I grabbed my bag of lures and headed straight down with the 4000 reel to my favourite predator venue on the Thames to see how it casts. I didn't have much hope of catching as the rain had put the river up high with a nasty muddy colour.
The 15-50g casting weight seems low as the rod is stiff compared to the Abu. I tried a few lures and found that it was a bit too stiff for the smaller stuff and I got better 'feel' with rubber baits from my softer cheap rods. But the Bushwhacker is a serious casting tool. I put on a 45g 10cm Salmo slider jerkbait in flouro pink and went for a 'hero' cast to see how far it would go.
Second hero cast I hooked into something and the rod bent with a nice progression and some serious power low down. It was only a jack Pike about 3-4lb but I am very much looking forward to playing double figure fish on this rod.
So the extra casting distance put my lure into a new previously unreachable area and got me a bonus pike. Result.
My cheap rods are both 9' and the loss of a foot could be a pain fishing from the bank as I mostly do. However it is such a lovely looking quality rod that I shall be giving it some serious use and time will tell. At the moment I keep picking it up and admiring the sexy 2 piece handle.
Bloody weather. I want to go for a spin now.....
Since writing this review I have had several double figure pike on this rod including one that was nearer to 30lb than 20. It has loads of backbone for playing large fish and I am still very happy with it. The rod has also survived being bent double in a split second by an unseen brute of a fish that tried to snap it in India.
I'm inventing a rating system of 1 to 5 stars right now and I give it....
**** - 4
Its only because its too stiff to use softbaits very well that I don't give it 5 but then it is a great rod for using all hard baits and spinnerbaits 1/2 - 2 oz. I should probably buy a soft rod just for jigs. Excellent value for money.