Construction: IM6 carbon blank finished in blue, level spigot joints.
Length: 15ft 4in, three sections of 5ft 4in
Casting weight: 3oz to 6oz.
Rings: Nine Fuji Alconite black guides whipped in black edged blue.
Fittings: Sliding reel seat, rubber butt cap, Japanese shrink tube butt, reflective tip.
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 484
The new Abu Atlantic 484 is a three-piece 15ft 4in beachcaster that extends the Abu/Pure Fishing range, which is why they gave it the 484 tag.
Most striking when you pick up this model is the through tip action, its light weight and slimness of the butt. It is a modern, long beachcaster and the old school will simply hate it because it bends lower down than the third ring from the tip.
For those who are realising that sea angling is not only about casting to the horizon and hauling cod ashore in the depths of winter, the new 484 is the solution to how to make fishing fun again. There is a degree of crossover here with the blank designed for the multiplier reel, but they feel very different from a UK pendulum beachcaster. The rod has a softer action, more akin to the fixed-spool long rod, and I think lots of power casters will simply describe it as too soft.
The trigger grip on the reel seat dictates the rod is for multiplier only, although it could cope with a fixed-spool and braid if you switched the reel seat around. However, as with most things there are two sides to every argument, and the crisper tip of the new 484 will make it more suitable for the less able multiplier caster and those lacking the skill or the power to pendulum cast.
I could bend the rod with ease and it is capable of beating 200 yards in the right hands with just a lead weight or small hook baits. Overhead it reaches the 150yd mark fairly easily. Okay, it folds slightly with larger baits when a pendulum cast is involved, but then it is more of a match or continental fishing rod than a tournament casting pole. This is the alternative that most anglers would benefit from using and without doubt it is a rod for rediscovering sea angling.
The Abu adjustable Grip Loc reel seat is a breath of fresh air; an adjustable reel seat seems common sense and yet many manufacturers still persist with a fixed reel seat or those awful coasters. Anglers have different arm lengths, different preferences and different styles, so a reel seat that allows you to put the reel precisely where you want it and move it when you want to is a priority for fishing nowadays – and Abu did it first years back.
Price wise, the 484 is not an economy blank at £180, but for that money you get a beachcaster that stands on its own.
There are few rods available of this build, style and price that are heading in the same direction as sea angling.