RINGS: Eight Fuji BNHG plus Fuji BPHT tip
REEL SEAT: Sliding with coaster
CASTING RATIO: 85-150g
ROD BAG: Yes
Rod maker Century has introduced the revamped Tip Tornado to our shores in the form of the LD. Paul Fenech reckons this low diameter model will catch your eye…
When I opened the rod tube in the office I genuinely thought Century had delivered me the wrong product. What I had in my hands was obviously the new carp rod…wasn’t it? Yet the silver livery on the butt section told me that I was indeed holding a Tip Tornado LD.
Century users will remember fondly when the first Tip Tornado rods were launched. They were light and slim, and whacked bait out far enough to ensure you hooked yourself a fish.
Development work is continuous within the walls of the Century factory, and standing still in an ever-changing
market is dangerous. The research and design team, along with consultant and world champion caster Danny Moeskops, knew that the demand on the beach was for a slimmer rod, but one that would still maintain enough backbone to combat strong tides, cast big baits and, most importantly, stand up and do battle against the species of fish that feed in our waters. After months of tests, the Tip Tornado LD was born.
LD stands for ‘low diameter’, and for those beach anglers who strive for a rod that you can totally wrap your hands around, look no further. This is what you’ve been waiting for.
This rod feels well balanced and lightweight, and has the characteristics expected of a Century product – such as the Gearbox Design in the butt section and Autoclave Technology that keeps the rod from ‘going soft’. Gone is the whipping that strengthens the top of the rod butt – instead it is replaced with a marine grade stainless steel band.
The guides are Fuji BNHG on the blank and BPHT at the tip, and they are factory finished in black with
purple metallic trims. Grip on the butt is provided by Japanese shrink rubber. The same material is found on the butt and tip to aid parting the rod when your hands are cold and wet.
The eye-catching feature of this rod is not the superb finish or the sliding reel seat with coaster, but the diameter. This rod is a super-slim 21mm. Just in case you didn’t believe me the first time – that’s 21mm! You can hang on to this model all day long. A small child will probably grab it with ease.
For the people who think that slim rods have no place on our beaches, or reckon a rod of less than 26mm is a floppy wand – you’re wrong.
On the beach
I attached my favourite beach reel – the Daiwa 7HT Mag – loaded with 15lb mainline and a 70lb shockleader. Normally I would dive straight in for a 150g sinker and start whacking away, but instead I opted to attach 130g. After a couple of gentle flicks to wet the line, I was ready.
For starters, I did a soft pendulum because I like to get the feel of a rod. Some of you might suggest going for the big hit straight away, but ever since I was a lad, when trying a new rod I like to see how it reacts.
The action of the LD is very smooth, it loads progressively and the recovery is superb. Even with a 130g sinker, I could feel everything through the blank. Conditions weren’t perfect, as there was a slight onshore breeze, but every chuck seemed to be landing further into the English Channel.
I exchanged the 130g lead for 150g, and prepared to wind this one up. The blank itself is only 13ft long and seemed to lock up very quickly, but on the punch stroke it slammed round, picked up the sinker and launched it with absolute ease. How something so slim can accommodate so much power is incredible. This is what can be achieved when quality carbon and cosmetics are used to their full potential.
I liked it with a 130g sinker, but liked it even more with 150g. It didn’t bite me on the backside, was very easy to handle, and casting it was a dream – maybe a longer version would be even better.
A couple of my pals were fishing nearby and each had a test drive. To say they were surprised too would be an understatement. They just couldn’t believe that such a slim rod was so full of power.
As a fishing rod it’s brilliant, although it won’t be my first choice when I venture out on to the beach. But when I want to have some fun, or perhaps when match fishing for far-off fish in an estuary, it will be.
The tip section is unground and I would still like to see the graphics protected with a lick of rod varnish, but, apart from that, Century is certainly expanding the boundaries of rod manufacture – long may it continue.