TESTED: Catchmore Surf 5400R

I’ve always been able to see the potential benefits of telescopic rods, but have been less than impressed with their construction and performance once extended. So with a level of skepticism, I agreed to field test the Catchmore X Line Surf telescopic beach rod.

When I received the rod I was amazed to discover it extended to 5.4m! When completely collapsed it measures 1.3m. I was also impressed by the package as a whole. The rod came in a light reinforced carry case with shoulder strap and protective tip cap.

I was keen to see how it went on the water, especially as the product information stated that the rod was rated in excess of 15kg and for casting weights up to 120 grams.

This rod is designed for experienced beach and rock anglers. The first time I took it out for a fish it was a rough day. A perfect opportunity to stick 120 grams of lead on and see if I could hurl it over the shore break. At 5.4m in length (more than 17 feet!) casting takes a bit of getting used to. The first few casts I made quite gingerly, however, once I slowed my cast right down, I have to admit the rod has an amazing amount of casting power. By the end of the session I was heaving into casts and achieving good distance. I reckon a 100g weight and associated rig is about optimal. I would describe the action as powerful but slow, although it does have a nice progressive bend when fighting a fish.

There are advantages in using ultra long beach rods, including extra clearance over waves and shore break . However, long rods can be tough on the angler. The most obvious convenience issue has been overcome with this telescopic rod as it easily fits in the boot of any car or can even be thrown over the shoulder of a mountain or motorbike rider. Even though it’s quite light (less than 800g), holding it while waiting for bites can put strain on the back. Placing the butt of the rod in a waist mounted rod bucket and keeping it as vertical as possible reduces this somewhat. This issue, however, goes for any long rod.

For under $150, this telescopic rod will suit many fishos as both a dedicated beach and rock rod or a spare that lives in the car boot.

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