The recently launched super-slim Tip Tornado Super Match LD beachcaster from Century packs a real punch, says Paul Fenech
I grew up using Century beach rods. The Washington, Tyne and Wear rod manufacturer produced a rod that gave me everything I wanted from it.
The marks I often fished required a pole that could not only cast well, but also take the stick I would give it. Rough seas and even rougher ground needed a tool that would not fail, especially if I was attached to a heavyweight winter cod.
Not being a company to stand still, Century regularly uses the expertise and experience of many anglers around the world for tough and thorough testing. Different venues and how a rod copes with handling certain species are all part of Century’s thoroughness before finally putting a finished rod on sale.
Now, Century’s new creation is the Tip Tornado Super Match LD and what a cracker it is too. Just because it has a Super Match label, don’t assume that this rod is an out and out match rod. The sensitive, softer tip means that any interest from a fish will be registered and Century says that the tip will move rather than rattle, which in my book is better for hooking prowess.
The first really noticeable aspect of this rod is the low diameter butt section and at 21mm, it truly is a slim outfit. Is this appealing to everyone though?
I have rather big hands so prefer slightly larger diameter rods, especially when power casting. You will, however, be truly amazed at the qualities that this rod has to offer.
The blank incorporates Century’s exclusive Gearbox design, which allows you to progressively step on the power when casting. Rather than snatching at a cast or badly mistiming it, simply slow everything down before winding it up. The gradual compression of the blank will be stored in a perfect ‘J’ curve until you hit it.
Century must be complimented on its high standard of build and finish; it is outstanding. The TTSM LD is lined with a new type of guide along its length; its Fuji KWAG stainless steel versions are designed to prevent mainline tangling caused by crosswinds or accidental line looping. These guides will be used on all of their shore rods in the future because they are so good.
Japanese shrink-wrap provides a comfortable handgrip and an adjustable Century screw winch with coaster is a trademark of the company – and works a treat.
The two equal sections are easy to part in wet and cold conditions with more shrink-wrap added to provide you with a firm hold.
With the rod rated to cast 2-5oz, I tried a 6oz sinker to see if such a slim rod could cope with a little extra. I used a slow gentle pendulum swing to begin with before turning into a slow, progressive punch stroke. First thing that struck me was just because it is so slim it is by no means a lightweight in pedigree. The power is awesome and whatever you decide to give it, it handles it superbly.
My next cast saw me go all-out with a thumping, powerful pendulum cast. This proved to be incredible as the rod swallowed up the immense power and, as it straightened, smacked my sinker skyward. Recovery wasn’t instant, but close enough. I spent the next two hours trying to find faults in the action but failed. I wish Century would conjure up the same rod with a bigger diameter because I found it difficult to use with my big hands.
Designed for using over clean ground the Tip Tornado Super Match LD is superb. Its fantastic fast-taper tip is sensitive enough to show shy bites while the butt and mid-section provide immense power when needed. It will handle double-figure fish from the beach easily and that includes fish like smoothhounds that like to pull back.
Just why it has to be so slim, I really don’t know. I enjoyed using it, but I know I would have enjoyed it more if it had a slightly bigger diameter. Finally, I love the Fuji KWAG guides. They serve a real purpose while giving the rod a super-cool look.