ALL ABOUT THE POWER
The Sonik Gravity X5 shore rod packs a heavyweight punch with a lightweight feel
The new Sonik Gravity X5 rod on test.
There was a time when I didn’t think twice about picking up one of my powerful beach rods and heading to some really rough ground in search of a cod or two. But I’m getting older, and nowadays I’m starting to feel it in my bones whenever I get to grips with a ‘pokey’ blank.
My back has been through a lot over the years and is now starting to creak under the strain, just enough to force me to think carefully about where I choose to fish. These days, though, I generally feel it more the following day, and I’ll usually take up residence on the sofa with plenty of water and Ibuprofen for comfort.
However, although age may be creeping up on me I think I may have just had my rough-ground codding mojo reignited by the latest rod to be introduced by Sonik.
The Northumberland tackle company has recently launched a new two-piece outfit called Gravity X5 and oh boy, it’s packed with plenty of power. The only difference being, it’s as light as a feather. And that is music to my ears… and my poor back!
I was soon to embark on a shore fishing trip to Bodo, in Norway, so I seized the opportunity to pack the Gravity X5 and take it with me.
Deep fjords, rough ground and some of the strongest currents in the world can be found near Bodo, in the Saltstraumen region of the country. Add the possibility of large cod, halibut, haddock and coalfish into the equation and it would certainly prove to be a true test for the powerful outfit.
The Gravity X5 is a 14ft, two-piece equalsection rod and is like nothing Sonik has ever produced before.
The finish is incredibly impressive without the need for bells and whistles or jazzy colours to catch your eye. The glossy-black tip section features a white bite-spotting tip, while the carbon weave butt boasts Japanese shrinkwrap to enable a perfect grip. An adjustable screw-winch reel seat is included, to be easily positioned in your favoured place and locked down when the reel is secured.
For those interested in its technical specifications, the Gravity X5 is manufactured using Japanese Toray X5 nano-carbon fibre. This is where the incredible lightness and power originate.
A super-fast, multi-directional tip section enables a quick recovery, while casting is incredibly smooth, improving accuracy. The butt section is lite-ply armoured with 1K carbon weave. This offers more supreme power throughout and the entire blank is furnished with Fuji black BMNAG alconite guides. These include super-hard liners that definitely give you the upper hand when using braided mainlines.
If you’re fishing in cold and wet conditions, the easy-grip finish around the spigot will certainly provide a firm hold when parting the two sections.
FIXED-SPOOL AND BRAID
My first session saw me heading to a fjord more than 500ft deep, with a fast-running tide. Venues like this require kit that will handle such situations. Also, I needed to use a large fixed-spool reel loaded with braid, simply because a multiplier won’t hold enough mainline to reach the seabed.
Actually, it really doesn’t matter how far you cast because such depths will always mean your mainline enters the water immediately below the rod-tip, once the lead weight and baited rig have settled.
However, I did need to cast at least 120 metres, simply to avoid my rig landing on the snaggy ledges located close to the edge.
A few practice casts to wet the braid later and I definitely sensed just how much power the Gravity X5 possessed. I clipped on my rig,
“The Gravity X5 is like nothing Sonik has ever produced before”
baited with a large chunk of herring, and went for a big wind-up.
I reckon the 7oz sinker and huge fishbait helped me to put a decent bend into the blank, as I fired my rig way out into the fastmoving water.
The power transfer is immense and pointing the rod to the sky after the hit sees an immediate recovery throughout.
One thing worth noting is the fact that, because it’s so light, I didn’t feel any pressure or tweak from my spine. Believe me, this is a good thing in my book!
After 90 seconds or so of mending the line as my baited rig descended through the depths, the braid finally stopped spilling from the spool. A little further winding to tighten up against the sinker soon created a slight bend in the tip, and I was ready for action.
A PROPER POWERHOUSE
I won’t mislead you or try to offer any illusion that this rod is easily manageable – far from it. It is, in fact, a real powerhouse of an outfit, but its superior lightness is what makes it so user-friendly.
Suddenly, a slight nod on the rod tip signalled interest, and, in true Norwegian style, the tip slowly arched forward, taking line from the spool with a set drag.
Lifting the rod into a running fish was pleasing. I did worry that the stiffness of the blank might lead to a hook pull. Not a chance, as the tip bent nicely into whatever had snatched my bait.
Now the test was really on, as with just 500ft to negotiate, I began to slowly pump the Gravity X5.
It performed superbly, soaking up every single nod and head-shake from the fish below, which was showing every sign of being a cod.
The shockleader knot came smoothly through the rings and on to the reel as the colour of the fish became evident in the crystal-clear water 10m below me.
Eventually, a plump double-figure cod surfaced and it was job done as far as my initial testing of the Gravity X5 was concerned. It had handled the terrain, depth and a decentsized fish with flying colours.
During the session, my casting became increasingly more competent and a surge of decent cod and haddock (plus a missed halibut run) didn’t pose a single problem for the rod.
My fishing partner and shore guide for the week was John Strange. He was interested to have a few casts with the rod and was soon smacking baits way out into the fjord with absolute ease.
UP FOR PUNISHMENT
The Sonik Gravity X5 is definitely designed to be used in testing ground and is almost perfectly suited to strong tides and deep water, where long-range casting is required.
But, the fact that it’s just so incredibly light makes it utterly impressive to use. Just ask my back – it hasn’t complained once since I returned from Norway.
Shore guide John Strange gets to grips with the Sonik Gravity X5
The Sonik Gravity X5 is finished impeccably
The rod easily coped with the deep water and this double-figure cod
Fuji BMNAG alconite guides are used