In the world of expensive rods, one model stood out. Tony Burman investigated and nearly got his fingers burnt…
More than 10 years ago a new beach rod with a staggering price tag of £1,000 came on the scene. It was the Grauvell Teklon Surf Competition II, which was like a multiple kit because there was another section, called a carrier, for fitting any of three smaller tips and two match tips.
Made of ultra-high modulus 72-ton carbon in four conical layers, the Spanish company’s rod came in 4250 (14ft) or 4500 (15ft) versions. It was fitted with top quality Fuji low rider guides and screw-winch reel seat. Rated for casting lead weights of three ounces to eight ounces (100-250g), the rod was very well made but was it worth it?
It got the glowing approval of some top international match anglers as the rod to use with fixed-spool reels and also for being versatile enough to cover many fishing scenarios. Where I live on the Lincolnshire coast, local match angler Jeff Volley splashed out on one.It suited his style of fishing, especially for smaller fish and he had a lot of success in local matches with this rod. In fact he still does and uses the same rod today.
A few years ago some started to appear on various online sales sites and, seemingly, you could get one for around £150. I decided it was too good an opportunity to miss and got the Teklon Surf II Competition 4250.
The three-piece rod arrived with a hollow tip that was exceptionally stiff and hardly bent. Great when grunt was needed, but what was I going to do with it? I contacted Grauvell and was told I needed the tip carrier system, which I discovered would cost £240. The carrier arrived with three small fibre glass tips, which are for normal beach conditions.
Where were the match tips that I thought came with the carrier? It seems the match tips were extra, costing £140 for the two. This was turning out to be very expensive. However, I managed to get them for £80. They were very similar to the quiver tips I use for my coarse fishing, which cost around £20 each.
ON THE BEACH
After an outlay of £470 what had I got for my money? Without the match tips the rod would have been a disappointment for me. With the match tips, the rod suddenly came alive and, hopefully, would be ideal for fishing for flatfish and small fish at my local beaches.
I have since seen deals with the carrier and all five tips. With the original tip, the rod was seriously stiff and hardly bent so casting would be interesting. A large fixed-spool reel was attached to the rod and a gentle swing resulted in a four-ounce weight flying away.
However, it was the match tips I was more interested in and so off I went for a fishing session. It performed like a dream when casting a three-ounce weight with fragile baits like maddies. A gentle flick produced an easy 60yds and there was definitely plenty in reserve.
Three ounces was about enough when using the yellow, lighter tip, which responded well with even lighter lead weights that can be needed when the fishing gets hard. The stiffer orange tip could handle a heavier lead, but whatever choice of tip it must be remembered that they are not for powerful casting. An overhead cast still produces distances of 100yds, which is usually enough when targeting the smaller fish.
Bite indication on the various tips was very good. With a fish on, I feel every movement and it brings a lot more enjoyment to the fishing especially if using braid. Hook a bonus fish, like a bass, and the rod handles it with ease. On one occasion when a smoothhound snaffled my bait the rod tip bent but there was still plenty in reserve.
JEKYLL & HYDE
Is the rod worth its original heavy price tag? In a word, no. In fairness though, it is made of first-class materials which is nothing less than I’d expect. This rod was well ahead of other manufacturers at the time, but it’s a Jekyll and Hyde character.
For my fishing, it is possibly one of the best rods that I have handled when using the match tips for smaller fish. Its stronger end section means you get a rod that will cast a long way too.
My mate Jeff, who splashed out on his Teklon Surf years ago, has found different tips from other manufacturers fit his rod and they were a lot cheaper. For instance, Tronixpro Medusa tips fit but they’re hard to find too.
It seems Grauvell lacks a presence in the UK now, although a few new Teklons are seen on some shop websites. Look out for them on the second-hand market where they are still fetching a good price.
A very similar rod in quality and build is the Grauvell Teklon Surf One 4250 (14ft 4in), made with high performance carbon, which has the carrier system because it is sold as a multi-tip rod.
This rod is a gold colour rather than red. They are supplied with the shorter fibre glass tips and are still advertised on some tackle websites. I’ve seen these recently online for £680. Having been told that the match tips would not fit the Surf One, I found they do.
Top quality multi-tip rods, of which there are several on the market, are useful to have in the bag if conditions change. If you have to go lighter or heavier, you have the tips to suit. At the moment the Teklon Surf rod will remain in my bag and is a go-to choice when conditions allow.