ALL ABOUT THE POWER

The Sonik Grav­ity X5 shore rod packs a heavy­weight punch with a light­weight feel

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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!

NOR­WAY-BOUND

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

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