Lesser known rods

mikench

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As I sit here with a glass of rosé watching the sky darken over the mountains( you didn't know Cheshire had mountains!:rolleyes:) i started to wonder about rods produced by. Shall I , dare I , say the less popular manufacturers. I'm thinking of Preston, Maver , Map, Garbolino as opposed to Hardy, Drennan, Shimano and Normark!

What rods old or new deserve to be up there as state of the art and well worth owning?

They must make half decent rods or they wouldn't still be in existence.
 
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john step

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All my rods except the Accy distance feeder. Don't get too drunk .:wh
 

theartist

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What about that black and red jobby from Woolworths we all rocked up at the bank with back in the day, was it Winfield or something like that. We were the 'dog's' with that, all 6 foot of it, we ruled! Now that's heritage
 

peter crabtree

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I wouldn't say Preston, Maver, Map or Garbolino are any less popular than any others.

I'd also say Hardy and Normark aren't as popular as you claim...?
 

The Sogster

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My first 'rod' was a five and a half foot red and black whipped winfield special with reel and two spinners.

Absolutely effing useless for roach fishing on the canal.
 

Philip

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What about that black and red jobby from Woolworths we all rocked up at the bank with back in the day, was it Winfield or something like that. We were the 'dog's' with that, all 6 foot of it, we ruled! Now that's heritage
Ah..do you mean this ? :w:)..

Rod3.jpg
 

sam vimes

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As I sit here with a glass of rosé watching the sky darken over the mountains( you didn't know Cheshire had mountains!:rolleyes:) i started to wonder about rods produced by. Shall I , dare I , say the less popular manufacturers. I'm thinking of Preston, Maver , Map, Garbolino as opposed to Hardy, Drennan, Shimano and Normark!

What rods old or new deserve to be up there as state of the art and well worth owning?

They must make half decent rods or they wouldn't still be in existence.
My suspicion is that you have been unduly influenced by this forum.

Hardy rods have/had a certain cachet with many, but their coarse rods were largely ignored by the vast bulk of coarse anglers. A lot of that was down to the original retail prices, but they are a prime example of rods that became more desirable once they were discontinued and sold out. Second hand prices of the Marksman range (especially the original range) often exceed the clearance prices when they were discontinued.

Huge swathes of Shimano's rod output have been largely ignored for the last ten years or so. Since Jan Porter's passing and Scotthorne/Ringer moving on, they've cut the match/feeder ranges to ribbons. Even the reels don't have quite the following that they once enjoyed amongst more match/general coarse anglers.

Normark were never quite as universally acclaimed as you might think now. That goes double for Carbotec. Nothing whatsoever to do with a lack of quality, rather that they weren't cheap, nor freely available. I can honestly say that, although I'd heard of both brands, I've never saw either in a tackle shop when they were current. Tri-Cast are quite similar in this respect, though the geographic spread of availability is pretty much opposite. Tri-Cast are firmly a northern brand and Normark/Carbotec southern.

Drennan are just Drennan. Their big advantage is their universal availability. There's barely a corner of the country that doesn't have a Drennan stockist. They'd probably be pretty popular even if they weren't that good. Fortunately, they tend not to produce poor gear (at a given price point).

As for the likes of Preston, Maver, MAP and Garbolino, much comes down to their availability. Preston are the odd ones out, they tend to have solid availability. Not quite in the Drennan league in this respect, but not far off. Their rod offerings (along with Korum) tend to be solid decent gear, though rarely spectacular. However, their prices are rarely spectacularly high. The likes of Maver and Garbolino suffer from a relative lack of availability. The stuff you do see tends to revolve around the commercial scene. That alone will result in relatively little coverage on FM. Both have produced good rods over the years. MAP is a bit of an enigma. They produced some belting rods when Dave Harrell was involved, often in collaboration with Harrison and Tri-Cast. Some of their more recent output, if you can find it, has been good, but tends to revolve around the commie scene.

Ultimately, I tend to find that almost any brand is capable of producing a belting rod at their price point. However, they are all capable of producing decidedly average rods too. There's no brand that always gets it spot on and no brand that rarely get things right. The saving grace is that it's actually quite difficult to buy a genuinely bad rod these days. The biggest trick as a buyer is sorting the wheat from the chaff whilst at least attempting to be blind to both brand and price.
 

Philip

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As often happens in any rod discussion the one manufacturer that tends to get overlooked and unless I missed it has not had a mention on this thread yet either is Daiwa.

I have owned a few of their rods of various guises & I can't think I have ever had a bad one. I am sure they make bad ones but all the ones I have had have been good solid all round rods. They had some bizzare moments...the Avon rod I have breaks down into odd lengths (for action reasons I learnt on here) which makes it an utter pain to carry made up & a couple of my Carp rods come with K frame rod rings which I am not a big fan of but they are still good rods.
 

nottskev

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I agree about the Daiwa rods - it can only be the drink that made you leave them out, Mike, as I believe you own one or two. Daiwa usually - forgive me if I'm out of touch with their current catalogue - have a range of coarse rods almost as extensive as Shimano's used to be. Many of their models have had long lives and have been classics of their kind - I've mainly preferred Shimano rods, but I've really enjoyed owning Whisker Kevlar, Amorphous Whisker, Connoisseur and Powermesh models. They offer rods across a wide price range, and if you like to buy expensive ones, Daiwa will certainly oblige. Sam mentioned the regional aspect; if you look at a forum like Talk Angling, you'll see how many match anglers in, for instance, South Yorkshire are big Daiwa fans. A couple of mine have been sold on to me by anglers from there.


By the way - what is the explanation for the 2 pieces-plus-separate-handle design of the Powermesh Avon? To improve the fish-playing action by keeping only one joint above the handle and keep it under 6' broken down? I wish they'd left it at two 6' pieces; I'd rather wrestle with that than mess about with the asymmetrical 3 pieces, and the rod gets a bit neglected because of its awkward design.
 

mikench

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Apologies to Daiwa. I do have a couple of older amorphous whisker rods which I like a lot. I can't believe I missed them off but I merely wanted to suggest names which as Sam says are universally stocked and others which may not be.

I have never seen any of the rods made by Garbolino and Map. I do have a Maver Abyss which I bought when I first started out.

I admit to being influenced by this forum and the rods I have acquired as a result are not regretted in the slightest. To me rods are more than just the carbon blank but the entire package which is why I like the Hardy Marksman range.

Funny old game fishing!:rolleyes:
 

Philip

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By the way - what is the explanation for the 2 pieces-plus-separate-handle design of the Powermesh Avon? To improve the fish-playing action by keeping only one joint above the handle and keep it under 6' broken down?
Initially I thought they did it to make it easier to fit in the boot of a car however it was Mr Vimes who alerted me to the fact they did it with the intention to improve the rod action. Thinking back I do have a vague recollection the rod came with something about that.

I have to say it is a very nice rod to play fish on but I dont think thats down to the sections. As well as being a pain to carry made up the butt also has an annoying habit of twisting out of alignment probably as the bottom section is so short. Not one of Daiwas better ideas.
 

waldi

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Where I live there is not a great choice of coarse rods to be found locally.

I bought a Sportex UL spin rod a couple of years ago and was so impressed with the Quality (and standard 10 year blank warranty) that I've reently bought a method feeder and light float rod from their Xclusive range. I'm really impressed. Imo they're on a par with Drennan rods which I love but the cost of getting them shipped over is blinding.

Anyone ever get the chance to handle one they should have a look.

Jon.
 

steve2

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By the way - what is the explanation for the 2 pieces-plus-separate-handle design of the Powermesh Avon? To improve the fish-playing action by keeping only one joint above the handle and keep it under 6' broken down? I wish they'd left it at two 6' pieces; I'd rather wrestle with that than mess about with the asymmetrical 3 pieces, and the rod gets a bit neglected because of its awkward design.
I have 2 of these in the shed that I haven't used for years. Stopped using them when I switched to Greys 1lb specimen rods and the water I was fishing at the time 12ft were not suitable because of trees. I never found a problem with the 3 piece construction.
 

s63

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I’ve just spent more money on a rod than I’ve ever done before:eek:mg:

It’s a borderless Tail Walk Eginn, I’m sure that fits nicely into the lesser known category, on this particular part of the forum anyway.
 

David Rogers 3

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My go-to float rod is still the Hardy Matchmaker 12' that I bought off eBay a few years ago for £45. Not only is it versatile, handling lines from 2-8lb bs happily, it's well-balanced and doesn't feel significantly heavier in the hand than a carbon equivalent. Unlike carbon float rods, the tips of which have become increasingly thin-walled and fragile, I'm not constantly worried it's going to snap, either (which has happened to both my previous two float rods, a MAP CFS Medium Waggler and a Shakespeare Mach III, both 13 footers). All my other rods are Korum...
 

sam vimes

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I'd noted Daiwas ommission too. Of the bigger brands, you could also add Browning and Shakespeare. Shakespeare seem to be on the wane when compared to their wall to wall availability in the 80s/early 90s. Browning have seemed to concentrate on the commie scene for a few years. However, with the Sphere range, they seem to be chasing the slightly more niche markets. Feeder rods suited to distance fishing and/or more natural venues and float rods for similar and rivers. If it's not their intention, the release of an entire range of Sphere hooks, which are all barbed, is particularly confusing.

Then there are the likes of Cadence, Sensas, Freespirit (coarse rods rather than specialist/carp), Harrison, Rive, Guru, Frenzee, Matrix (Fox Match), Greys, Middy, Okuma, Pro-Logic, Sonik, DAM, TFG, Leeda, Ron Thompson, Taktix, Rovex, and Spro.

Many of them suffer less attention on this forum because they are largely aiming at the commie scene. Some are a little too pricey for the general market. Pretty much all suffer from a general lack of visible availability.

I've certainly heard some very positive things about Rive rods, but I've never managed to lay hands on one. Freespirit and Harrison tend to revolve around the carp/specialist scene. I have handled examples of their coarse/match rods, but it was a fair effort to do so. Most barely get a second glance from me. I'm not remotely interested in yet another Pellet Waggler or Method Feeder rod.
 

Mark Wintle

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In the 1970s and into the 80s Bruce & Walker produced some top of the range float rods. the famous glass float rods were the CTM rods. I only had a very late glass rod, the XLS in 12ft which was a very good glass waggler rod. For some reason the 13ft felt cumbersome.

Into the 80s B&W began producing carbon match rods, including the XLT and XLE rods but the one I got was the John Dean Stick Float rod on which I caught an enormous number of fish. I also then bought the slightly more powerful MM (multi-modulus) rod which was lighter and better for waggler fishing and chub fishing. later I got a second John Dean rod, same as the first as there was a waggler version. I've still got the original JD rod though broke the second one and sold the MM. The JD rod feels heavy by modern standards (it dates back to 1981) though it's nice to fish with.

B&W brought out a Geoff Bibby match rod, possibly in the 1990s. These are rare and very nice but you'll be lucky to ever see one. They also did an ill-fated boron rod, the Green Dragon.

Nowadays they tend only to do their very expensive Hexagraph rods and no match rods.
 
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