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