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“The ul­ti­mate power is ut­terly im­mense and ev­i­dent dur­ing the cast­ing process”

How do you cre­ate a slim, three-piece rod, fea­tur­ing a sen­si­tive hol­low tip, light­ness, and enough grunt to blast your baited rig huge dis­tances?

I have ab­so­lutely no idea, but I know a com­pany that’s done ex­actly that.

Over the last cou­ple of years, Northum­ber­land-based Sonik has been busy cre­at­ing some in­cred­i­ble shore blanks. The very good news for us shore an­glers is that its lat­est out­fit shows ev­ery in­di­ca­tion of be­com­ing a real win­ner.

The Grav­ity X5 HT has a to­tal length of 15ft 4in, is rated to cast loads be­tween 4-8oz and is the fol­low-up to Sonik’s ex­tremely pop­u­lar Grav­ity Surf HT model.

What im­me­di­ately struck me is just how light it is… su­per-light weight. My at­ten­tion soon di­verted to the tip sec­tion, re­veal­ing how in­cred­i­bly slim it is in di­am­e­ter. Slim it may be, but when han­dling it I sensed an aw­ful lot of power and speed.

Yet an­other tick in the box (for me, at least), was the fact that Sonik has fo­cused on us­ing hi-spec com­po­nents, to­gether with a su­per-light­weight, high-mod­u­lus car­bon in the con­struc­tion. What’s more the dis­tinct lack of a point­less, bright lu­mi­nous paint job is cer­tainly a valu­able les­son that many rod man­u­fac­tur­ers should sit up and ul­ti­mately take no­tice of, in my opin­ion.

Cos­met­i­cally, the rod boasts Fuji ‘K’ style guides that are de­signed to be used in con­junc­tion with braid as well as mono. There’s also a Fuji screw-winch DPS reel seat po­si­tioned per­ma­nently high on the butt sec­tion.

Each sec­tion has vis­i­ble lines to en­able a swift align­ment when fit­ting the rod to­gether, while a white tip is just the job for bite-spot­ting.

On the beach I teamed the rod with a fixed-spool reel that I’d loaded with 14lb mono and a tapered shock leader. I reckon you would get away with us­ing a small, palm­sized mul­ti­plier if you wished, but you will cer­tainly ben­e­fit more from the for­mer.

Sonik has po­si­tioned the blank un­der the ‘Con­ti­nen­tal’ cat­e­gory, but this out­fit is pokey… in fact, it’s an ab­so­lute pow­er­house of a rod.

Us­ing a 5oz sinker, I opted for a lay-back style cast to start things off and went im­me­di­ately into a hard punch. To say I was as­ton­ished at the out­come would be an un­der­state­ment. This thing comes around so rapidly that by the time you re­lease the sinker it’s all over in a flash. It’s like pulling the trig­ger!

The ul­ti­mate power is im­mense and eas­ily ev­i­dent dur­ing the cast­ing process. The speed is in­cred­i­ble, too, and even bet­ter when you hit it sweetly. Fire the Grav­ity X5 HT pow­er­fully to­wards the sky and you will rel­ish its su­per-fast re­cov­ery, while watch­ing your shock leader dis­ap­pear­ing.

The fact I’d for­got­ten my cast­ing glove (again!) was par­tic­u­larly an­noy­ing. I re­ally wanted to push it harder and to its ex­trem­i­ties be­cause I know for cer­tain that the blank def­i­nitely had more to of­fer me.

Even though this rod is packed with power, it boasts an in­cred­i­ble hol­low tip. This works a treat when fish­ing at ex­treme dis­tances from the beach. Bites are reg­is­tered in­stantly, even from small whit­ing and dabs.

I was fish­ing from the beach at Trunch Lane, in Skeg­ness, where the tide run can be rather strong, but the Grav­ity X5 HT han­dled it su­perbly. Once the break­out sinker has set­tled into the seabed, the tip bent beau­ti­fully into the tide and at no time did it pull out the lead weight.

The ev­i­dence I have from us­ing it def­i­nitely leads me to be­lieve this blank will eas­ily han­dle cod, rays and smooth­hounds. I re­ally can’t wait to try it in a proper fish­ing sit­u­a­tion and to en­joy the fight from some­thing more sub­stan­tial.

Many shore an­glers re­gard Con­ti­nen­tal rods as be­ing rather spe­cial­ist out­fits, where only the likes of match an­glers get the best from them. This new model from Sonik bears all the hall­marks of a true all-rounder... a rod with which you can tar­get larger species feed­ing a long way from the shore or, at the other end of the scale, flick del­i­cate baits in the edge for flat­ties and bass.

It of­fers the added bonus of be­ing in­cred­i­bly sim­ple to master and cast, and I’m cer­tain your dis­tances will un­doubt­edly im­prove sig­nif­i­cantly too. It’s an ab­so­lutely fan­tas­tic shore rod – I’m just not sure the la­bel of ‘Con­ti­nen­tal’ does it any jus­tice.

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