GAME CHANGER

Renowned for its pow­er­ful, two-piece tour­na­ment-style shore rods, Zzi­plex has en­tered the Con­ti­nen­tal mar­ket

Sea Angler (UK) - - CONTENTS - ZZI­PLEX TRIN­ITY GT RRP: £439.99

Zzi­plex joins the con­ti­nen­tal trend.

I’ll be straight up and ad­mit that I wasn’t par­tic­u­larly look­ing for­ward to go­ing out with this rod. You see, I’ve never been one to take any no­tice of in­ter­net hype be­cause more of­ten than not, those that pray to the al­tars of cer­tain brands can cer­tainly cre­ate a frenzy of heated on­line chat­ter.

I’d read (and heard) lots of pos­i­tive ban­ter, though, sur­round­ing the Trin­ity GT, a three­piece out­fit re­cently launched by Zzi­plex. At first I thought it may have been a windup, es­pe­cially as the rod com­pany based in New Rom­ney, Kent, is more recog­nised for pro­duc­ing some of the most pow­er­ful tour­na­ment-style beach rods avail­able.

But, in­ter­est­ingly, it was com­pletely true – Zzi­plex was in­deed dip­ping its toes into the ever-in­creas­ing three-piece Con­ti­nen­tal rod mar­ket. This range of rods (if you aren’t aware) is ab­so­lutely stuffed to the rafters with many dif­fer­ent blanks, from lots of com­pa­nies, all hop­ing to catch your eye in this grow­ing arena of shore fish­ing.

How­ever, I soon for­got about the topic and thought no more of it. But I was still hear­ing loud whis­pers that the Trin­ity GT was cre­at­ing a stir among an­glers.

So, when I re­ceived a phone call from Gerry’s Fish­ing boss Chris Foote – whose com­pany is lo­cated in More­cambe, Lan­cashire – singing the praises of the new ad­di­tion from Zzi­plex, I couldn’t ig­nore it any longer. It was time to see what all the fuss was about.

MIXED IM­PRES­SIONS

When the rod ar­rived, my ini­tial im­pres­sions of the blank were some­what mixed. Fin­ished in the un­mis­take­able black that Zzi­plex

is famed for, it has a fixed Fuji reel seat sand­wiched be­tween a cou­ple of neat foam hand­grips. There’s another foam hand­grip lo­cated at the base to grab while cast­ing.

Lined with Fuji ‘K’ guides, the first ring on the mid­dle sec­tion is whipped with black over-whip­ping, fin­ished with an or­ange tip, to­gether with an eye-catch­ing or­ange un­der­whip­ping, all im­pec­ca­bly fin­ished.

Sadly, that’s where it stops as the rest of the guides are whipped in black, which sort of gives the im­pres­sion of it be­ing slightly un­fin­ished. Gerry’s Fish­ing does, though, of­fer you an op­tion to have it cus­tom-built by tal­ented rod-builder Chris Dance in colours of your choice. It ends at a 3mm tip where two sec­tions of white tape are added to en­hance bites spot­ting.

Put to­gether, the rod has an over­all length of 14ft 4in and, as you would ex­pect, is in­cred­i­bly light­weight. If you’re a fan of rod bags, be aware that the rod I re­ceived ar­rived with­out one.

BRIL­LIANT BAL­ANCE

Catch re­ports from one of my trusted venues at Salt­house in North Nor­folk in­di­cated that plenty of smooth­hounds and bass were fall­ing to peeler crab baits, so I made the de­ci­sion to head there to put the pris­tine Trin­ity GT through its paces.

I matched the rod with a Shimano Bull’s Eye 9120 fixed-spool reel loaded with Asso 14lb mono main­line and a mono ta­pered shock­leader. The rod and reel to­gether were bril­liantly bal­anced with the over­all weight feel­ing su­per-light.

Be­fore clip­ping on a baited rig, I had a few casts with a 5oz sinker, to get an ini­tial feel for the blank. With just sim­ple, but pow­er­ful, over­head thumps, it casts su­perbly. There is an in­cred­i­ble amount of power in the butt

sec­tion, with the load trans­fer­ring beau­ti­fully along the mid­dle and the tip sec­tion soak­ing up all that en­ergy then, fi­nally, let­ting go in a su­per-smooth re­lease that’s high, straight and very long. A few casts later and I was whack­ing the sinker to im­pres­sive dis­tances.

I loaded a 2/0 Pennell pul­ley rig with a whole peeler crab and smacked it as hard as I could sea­wards. Some­thing worth not­ing here is that each cast goes re­ally high but pleas­ingly long, with none of that shud­der­ing sen­sa­tion through the blank that some Con­ti­nen­tal rods seem to cre­ate.

I let the tide mend the main­line be­fore the glass tip fi­nally bowed nicely into the tide and stayed there. A few min­utes later, the tip pulled for­ward ever so slightly be­fore go­ing right over and stay­ing over. I lifted the rod from the tri­pod, where it was nice to feel a fish pulling at the other end. It wasn’t a par­tic­u­larly big fish, but nev­er­the­less, a scrappy school bass of around a pound was soon drag­ging my pul­ley rig through the shal­low wa­ter.

Quickly un­hook­ing and re­leas­ing the bass, I clipped on another rig and the Trin­ity GT was once again loaded and ready. Again, the tip went over and stayed over as another schoolie had grabbed my juicy peeler crab.

This went on for al­most three hours with the bass (my best one was around 2lb 8oz) duly oblig­ing un­til the bites stopped when the tide eased. When the tide be­gan to run again I had a lovely pull-over and slack­line bite. This fish felt slightly bet­ter and was ac­tu­ally kit­ing to my left. The per­for­mance from the Trin­ity GT can only be de­scribed as out­stand­ing, as it soaked up each nod and surg­ing run from what­ever I’d hooked.

It then be­came ap­par­ent it was a de­cent smooth­hound as, just yards from me, I saw an un­mis­take­able dor­sal fin cut­ting the sur­face.

Low­er­ing the blank, I used both hands to pull and guide the fish closer to me. As the hound turned in the shal­low wa­ter, the tip fol­lowed it, but with just the right amount of power it stalled the fish, forc­ing it to turn slowly back to­wards me. Sadly, that was it as ev­ery­thing went light and the dor­sal fin dis­ap­peared sea­wards as the smooth­hound threw the hook. I may have lost the fish, but I cer­tainly couldn’t fault the rod at all, in fact I loved ev­ery minute that I used it.

To re­it­er­ate, I’ve never been a fan of Zzi­plex rods and nei­ther have I been a mas­sive lover of Con­ti­nen­tal-style fish­ing… how­ever, watch this space be­cause af­ter us­ing the Trin­ity GT, that may all have changed in an in­stant.

Avail­able from Gerry’s Fish­ing 52-54 Marine Road West, More­cambe, Lan­cashire, LA4 4EU. Tel: 01524 422146. www.ger­rysfish­ing.com ■

The trans­fer of power dur­ing the cast is su­perb

Right: The tip sec­tion soaks up hard nods from fish

Left: The blank’s fin­ish is out­stand­ing

Paul hooks into a de­cent smooth­hound

The blank is lined with Fuji ‘K’ guides

It’s fit­ted with a Fuji reel seat

Han­dling and per­for­mance are good

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