Smooth caster with hid­den power

Aleka 3XT rods from £84.98

Trout Fisherman (UK) - - Tackle - Web: www.alekas­ports.com Tel: 0845 5280566

THE 3XT is the lat­est to join the Aleka fly-fish­ing port­fo­lio and con­sists of six four-piece mod­els that will cover ev­ery­thing from small stream fish­ing to reser­voir and sin­gle-handed salmon sport. The range goes from a 7wt 6in 3wt at £84.98 up to a 10ft 7wt at £124.98 and I had the 9ft 5wt and 10ft 7wt for re­view. The rods have an at­trac­tive matt sil­ver fin­ish and the over­all build qual­ity looks very good with neat whip­pings and not too much epoxy fin­ish on top. The reel seat is also smart and, more im­por­tantly, func­tions re­ally smoothly. Just a flick of the up­lock­ing rings sends them spinning on the thread, and they lock off tightly on the reel foot. Both the full wells and the half wells han­dle on the lighter rod fit­ted well in the hand for a comfortable grip. The 10ft 7wt is not the light­est rod of its class on the mar­ket but I didn’t find it tir­ing on the arm through the day. Matched up with a 7wt float­ing line the rod loaded quickly, aeri­alised the line com­fort­ably and the first cast onto the wa­ter was smooth and pre­cise. It didn’t take long for me to get a feel for how the blank was work­ing and how I could get the best from it – it is very much a mid­dle to tip ac­tion but pro­gres­sively more tip. I ex­per­i­mented with dif­fer­ent lengths of line out­side the rod tip rang­ing from short quick-fire casts to dou­ble-haul­ing much longer lines. At short and medium range I found that I needed a shorter arm ac­tion and had to con­cen­trate a lit­tle more on line con­trol, while at dis­tance I adopted a slightly longer arm stroke and the rod just took over, do­ing all the work for me. It also had quite a hid­den depth of power that I could call on, es­pe­cially when try­ing to punch out denser medium to fast sink­ing lines into cross or head-on winds. I could re­ally lean into the blank and push it that lit­tle bit fur­ther with­out it fold­ing, ideal when fish­ing those more ex­posed larger wa­ters. The 7wt rat­ing is about spot-on both for floaters and a range of sink­ing lines and this rod will even han­dle one line weight above quite com­fort­ably. The 9ft 5wt has a sim­i­lar ac­tion to its big brother but is ob­vi­ously lighter in the hand and has a lit­tle more in the way of a pro­gres­sive arc in the blank, es­pe­cially no­tice­able when play­ing a fish. I could quite hap­pily fish with light tip­pets as the tip and the blank’s ac­tion gave that ex­tra cush­ion­ing to pro­tect them. Aeri­al­is­ing and false cast­ing was very smooth and pre­sen­ta­tion was very good in­deed. It will han­dle a multi-tip line and in­ter­me­di­ates with no prob­lem, and even denser sinkers if you need to.

VERDICT:

The 10ft 7wt is per­fect for larger wa­ters and can han­dle a good range of lines. The 9ft 5wt suits small still­wa­ters and top of the wa­ter sport. Very good price too.

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