The biggest breakthrough in in beachcaster design hit our shores in the 1970s when Swedish firm Abu produced the 484 Atlantic Zoom, a rod that combined casting power with fishing finesse.
This was early on in the development of glass fibre rods and never before had a manufacturer dared or been able to produce a beachcaster tip so thin and a rod taper so fast.
The 484 took the beach by storm, especially after Peter Bagnall notched up several record casts with the rod. His ‘zoom’ casting style gave the rod its nickname and on the beach the rod found lots of fans because of its wind-slicing casts and its bite indication. Original models had a cork handle, which many removed, then it stood out like a Ferrari in a Skoda garage.
The 484 was the groundbreaking rod. Constructed in glass fibre with a stiff butt section, its rapid taper improved lightness and power. Lightweight wire rings also added to its tip speed and it quickly became the beachcaster to own. It reigned supreme until the development of carbon fibre.
ABU ATLANTIC 464
The two-piece 464 really is totally different from the original and aimed at those anglers with a power alter ego.
But I say there are two sides to every argument and by producing two so different rods Abu has kept everyone happy. In fact, why not use both, then you can fish all year round whatever the conditions.
The 464 is fitted with a reducer and is designed for low reel casting that produces long-range pendulum and off-the-ground power. Its rating of 5-6oz is understated in my opinion and during testing it handled 7oz with some ease.
Like the 484, it has a full set of genuine Fuji guides that are as tough as old boots. Too many rods carry suspect rings that pop out or shatter easily.
The adjustable Grip Loc reel seat and built-in trigger is a great help when turning on the power, making this rod.