TESTED: Egrell rods

In a time when rods are factory rolled in their thousands and you need to re-mortgage your house to afford a custom built rod, Eric Grell from Egrell rods may have the perfect solution.
Eric has been a long-time rod developer for some well known brands and has capitalised on his excellent reputation in the business with his own line of quality high performance rods under his namesake, Egrell. The blanks are crafted to Eric’s exceptionally high standards and are hand bound and finished like a custom job. Only difference is they are built to a certain recipe so no customisation is possible.

I am one of the lucky NSW anglers to get his paws on some of the Egrell range. North of the border, specifically in south-east QLD, Egrell has a cult-like following but south of the border the brand lacks a little exposure. For the past six months I have been putting two rods from the bream range through their paces: the S1 Egrell and the S1 Bear.
The S1 Egrell is a high-modulus 1-5kg 7′ rod and is extremely light and sensitive. This is a unique power rating but Eric has achieved a rod that is extremely sensitive in the tip section and brutal down low. The ex-fast taper allows long casts with lures up 7grams; although 5 grams is about the optimal casting weight. For those who love flicking hard bodies at bream you won’t find much better than this neat little stick. I’ve had some beaut sessions pulling some honkers out of the racks. One of Egrell’s design characteristics is that the rod has a lock-up point in the working curve and allows a huge amount of force, every bit of that 5kg upper rating, to be applied if the situation demands you pull a fish out of tiger country. The rod looks the goods too with a dark blue blank and red binding.

The S1 Bear is an intermediate modulus 1-4kg 7′ rod designed for soft plastics. The softer action allows fish to inhale the plastic more easily and acts as a shock absorber for less pulled hooks on finesse tackle. The Bear throws weight up to 5gms so quite rightly is considered a true finesse rod. In my opinion the real upper limits of this rod is more 2-3kgs instead of the stated 4kg but with the applications it is intended for that should make little difference.
The Bear took some getting used to initially until I figured out how hard I needed to strike to gain a positive hook set. I dropped a lot of fish until I became more vigorous on the strike. In saying that, I do use ex-fast tapered rods almost exclusively. This was a small issue but one not all fishos will have. Depends what you’re used to.
If customisation was possible the only recommendation I would make, and this is once again a personal preference, would be to reduce the width of the cork grips. It seems there’s a preference in QLD for thicker grips on flick sticks. You often see fishos north of the border adding additional grip strips such as those used on tennis racquets. I tend to prefer a thinner more streamlined grip. It seems more comfortable in my hands and I seem to have more control of the rod. I’m hoping this little feature can be accommodated for.
If you’re in the market for a gun bream rod make sure you consider Egrell. They rival any top line brand or custom job on the market and best of all…it supports a local Australian business. The Egrell S1 Bear sells for $350, the S1 Egrell $430-$440. Visit the Egrell website for a listing of retail outlets at:  

John Meiers with a couple of Gold Coast bream caught on an Egrell rod. 

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