TESTED: T-Curve Tournament travel rods

There’s been a growing number of “travel” fishing rods released recently, a trend that in an era of long airport security queues and time poor travellers should continue. Before heading to Cape York last December, Brett Wilson of Shimano Australia suggested I take along a couple of new T-Curve travel rods to test. As I’d planned to pack light, especially in the hope of avoiding lugging a bulky rod tube through airport check-ins, the offer was timely.

The two test rods are the T-Curve Tournament Spin Medium and Baitcast. Both are six-foot (1.83m) three-piece models rated at 5-8kgs and 10-25gram casting weights. Both feature hi-modulus carbon fibre blanks, snug fitting ferrules and quality Fuji components – VSS and ACS reel seats and Alconite guides – and cork grip handles with stylish anodised caps. Both look pretty smick and come in a zip-top protective tube, which at 72cm in length will fit into most medium to large luggage bags. I slotted the two rods and a 10-weight fly rod into my check-in luggage, alongside clothes, a tackle bag, and fishing reels.

The Medium Spin was mated to a trusty Twin Power 4000 and 20-pound braid; the Baitcast to a new loaner Curado 200E5, also spooled with 20-pound braid. Pretty early on the Medium Spin earned a workhorse reputation. First trip out it bent to the tune of a solid golden trevally and during the following week had regular workouts on big fingermarks, queenfish, trevally, barra, and lots more. It also took on some serious bends during drawn out battles with some solid sharks. It’s a deceptively powerful rod that has plenty in reserve in its butt section. It also proved a versatile casting tool for all types of lures – jigheads and soft plastics, hard body minnows, poppers and stickbaits.

It was also put to the test by a couple of mates on the trip who came away pretty impressed by the travel rod’s fish-handling ability. While the baitcaster didn’t receive the same workload, it proved very capable with the Curado 200 E5 in the reel seat. Casting hard-body minnows at barra over sand flats and tight against cover was a good test of the outfit – and the caster. Thankfully some wild “rusty” casts early on were aided by the Curado’s cast controls, which once set pretty much stayed that way, apart from a few tweaks. Relying largely on an educated thumb, rotating the cast control dial to match lure weight provided occasional adjustment when needed. The Variable Braking System (VBS) is a well proven set-up that features six braking blocks that can be switched “on” or “off” by sliding them in or out to line up with the spool edge (accessed via handy turnkey spool access).  I left the brake blocks as per factory and found even casting lightweight 145mm Flickbaits on resinheads proved quite manageable, only aiming directly into wind proved more of a challenge; dialling up the cast control prevented any overruns.
The 200E5 features a low profile one-piece aluminium body and is finished in the signature Curado metallic green paint. It features 5.0:1 gearing, anti-rust & stainless steel bearings, Super Stopper anti-reverse, lightweight Magnumlite spool and a comfortable Power Handle. The new Curado is also available in 200E7 (7.0:1 gearing) and 201E7 (left hand wind) models.


T-Curve Tournament Spin Medium and Baitcast rods and Curado are available now for around $299 each. More information at:

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