THIS MONTH: Banana Rods, Fox, Shi­mano, Swell­pro, Think­ing An­glers and Trakker Banana Rods Spod­marker X Range

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This month sees us re­view­ing the lat­est prod­ucts from com­pa­nies such as Banana Rods, Fox and Think­ing An­glers

Banana Rods Spod­marker X Range RRP: From £416 On­line: www.ba­na­nar­ods.com

This three rod line-up is the first from a man­u­fac­turer to com­bine the two func­tions of a long-range spod rod and a long-range marker rod into the same model. Thanks to the use of six types of car­bon, ex­pertly dis­trib­uted through­out the blank, this light, slim and pow­er­ful rod will al­low you to carry out both tasks with ease.

The blank has been de­signed to be easy to com­press, sig­nif­i­cantly re­duc­ing the fa­tigue caused by re­peated ses­sions of long-range spod­ding. This will en­able you to achieve greater ac­cu­racy and con­sis­tency more eas­ily and for a longer pe­riod of time.

The rods are hand-built in France, to strin­gent man­u­fac­tur­ing pro­to­cols, mar­ry­ing cut­ting-edge tech­nolo­gies and ex­clu­sive com­pos­ite ma­te­ri­als to Banana Rods’ ex­ist­ing know-how to cre­ate an in­cred­i­bly easy tool for the job.

Cos­met­i­cally, these truly are amongst some of the finest rods we have ever seen. Not just in the qual­ity of the fit­tings, but also in terms of the level of fin­ish ap­plied to each one. This is one ma­jor ben­e­fit of choos­ing to have them built to or­der. With re­gard to the fit­tings, as stan­dard the rods fea­ture Fuji K se­ries SIC guides with an anti-frap tip ring. ALPS cen­tra lock reel seats and the Easy Power butt grip. Two, no-cost op­tions are left to your dis­cre­tion, these be­ing the choice of ei­ther sin­gle or dou­ble-legged guides and car­bon or coloured whip­pings.

There are a whole host of cus­tom op­tions avail­able for those wish­ing to set them­selves apart from the crowd, with op­tions avail­able on han­dles, reel seats and ring-sets, as well as the more usual whip­pings, mark­ings and chevrons.

In use we found that they were fairly dif­fi­cult to fully com­press with leads more com­monly used for marker work in the UK whilst try­ing to reach the ex­treme dis­tances these rods are ca­pa­ble of. Hav­ing said that, they are de­signed with a dual-pur­pose in mind and once teamed with a 5oz or heav­ier lead, or a loaded spod/spomb, they were gen­uinely a joy to work with and we recorded con­sis­tent dis­tances up to 178 me­tres on the day – in the hands of some­one who isn’t, by his own ad­mis­sion, a gen­uinely mas­sive caster, with one enor­mous cast fly­ing some way past 200 me­tres.

There are three mod­els avail­able, a 12 foot 4¾lb TC and then two 13 foot mod­els which are 5lb and 6lb, re­spec­tively. Prices start from £416. For fur­ther de­tails please visit: www. ba­na­nar­ods.com

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