I have recently aquired a Big Beach 14` rod, from Julian Shambrooks Anyfish Anywhere company, bought from Ian at Game Fishing Supplies, Morpeth Although Iâ€™ve so far only used the rod on a handful of occasions, I think I`d like to do a short review.
This is a very smart dark grey rod, made up of two equal length sections with a push-in joint, black whippings tipped with red (same as Greys?), and fitted throughout with Fuji BMNAG rings. The handle is covered with a black, non-slip shrink tube, and for whatever reason, is supplied with coasters, which I replaced immediately with an Imax reel seat for a more secure attachment. There is also an 18-inch reducer for anyone who casts and fishes with the reel â€œdown the buttâ€.
The rod graphics are so understated as to be almost invisible, so donâ€™t buy this if you want to stand out like a sore thumb on the beach with meters of fancy graphics. Thatâ€™s not what this rod is about. The first thing you notice is just how slim the rod is, build on a low diameter blank, and then how light. Even when I clamped my slosh 20 loaded with 20lb line in place, it felt feather light.
Fishing and Casting:
The first cast in anger was a couple of weeks ago, fishing a mixed bottom venue, using a 5oz lead and two decent sized baits. I am by no means an expert caster, but the rod is a real peach to use. A simple overhead thump put the rig out about 100yards. Next, my self-taught fishing pendulum (!?!) saw the end tackle fly around 150 yards, which is a good cast for me, especially using a new rod. From my laymanâ€™s point of view, the power in this rod seems to come from the bottom half of the tip section, there being almost no flex in the butt, and a brilliantly sensitive yet strong tip. Anyone who can really cast will enjoy using this rod. The action is described as â€œprogressiveâ€, which I take to mean not quite a true rock rod, with a fast recovery action, but more than an ordinary clean ground rod, with a slower action. At 150 yards, the rod tip clearly showed every crab and small coalie that attacked my bait, and on the retrieve you can feel every kick from the fish.
Two or three sessions later, and on to the really rough stuffâ€¦..Submarine Hole, the Doctors House and Howick Haven, this time using a Slosh 30 and 35lb line.
What a pleasant surprise. With an assortment of spark plugs and lead making up expendable 6oz sinkers, and with a pulley rig and rotten bottom set-up, I set about dragging the sea bed ashore. As I said before, this is not an out-and-out rock fishermans rod, but it handled the roughest conditions on the East coast quite well.
Unfortunately, I havenâ€™t yet had the pleasure of hauling a cod back through a kelp bed, but there is enough power in the rod to pull free from most snags.
Casting with 6oz felt slightly more comfortable than with 5, but I`d rather not push the rod to its stated 8oz limit, as I think this would be an ounce too much.
This is a true â€œall-rounderâ€ rod. If youâ€™re looking for one rod to fish clean, mixed and fairly rough venues, think hard about this one. Anything Julian Shambrook puts his name to has to be class, and this one wonâ€™t disappoint In the same price range as Century and Conoflex, it offers great value, and if anyone ever wants a chuck, just let me know and weâ€™ll sort something out!
Reviewer: Tony Cook