01 Jul Testing…Testing
how do you measure performance ?…
We’re talking about the new long cast rods and reels from Shimano as well as the other standouts in the field(no pun intended) which are designed to help provide an angler a relatively light rod and reel combination that achieves added distance using minimal effort and maximizes the advantages of braided lines. *Note the distance from the casters in the background and the shirt marking the average landing area of the casts. This may have impressed us more than anything when you consider the amount of water that could easily be covered with casts of this length.
Successful delivery of these features can provide an angler a more enjoyable overall experience on the water and the ability to reach fish in places that may not have been attainable for them otherwise. There are a few products on the market that, in combination, do this quite well.
After several opportunities to cast the new SHIMANO system we’ve found that it will perform as advertised, often with applaudable results. Through side by side casting comparisons with a Van Staal mounted on a CTS Vapor Trail as well as Zee Baas mounted on a St Croix Legend, the Shimano System, which was comprised of the Ultegra CI4 mounted on the 10’6″ Tiralejo, delivered long and efficient casts that kept it consistently in the range of what the other “top dogs” delivered. While not a scientific endeavor and with no account for line difference or the technique of the various casters, the results showed that all could provide more than adequate power and casting distance.
Our favorite anecdote which defined the argument for fishing a combination that happily marries rod, reel and line occurred when a customer by the name of Ed was standing at our counter discussing the new offerings. We suggested a ride to the beach for a little first hand experience. The conditions were not optimal with a stiff head on breeze and a heavily weeded shoreline but It took only a few casts for Ed to get a feel for the proper loading of the Tiralejo. He sailed a respectable cast out over the clutter to cleaner waters and quickly hooked up with a striper. He continued to hook up on subsequent casts. We can only hope that all product demos turnout this successfully. A step back and a critique of the conditions revealed that Ed could not have fished this situation as effectively with his current set up. Reaching the fish would have required a wade into the water or a walk along and out the rocks lining the edge of the beach rather than enjoying the comfort of the ankle deep water that he was working from.
Ultimately, as Chris at the SWE likes to say, “we’re in a golden age of fishing gear”. The technology available can really increase your enjoyment of the sport if it is properly applied to your situation.