Casting ratio: 3-5oz
Reel seat: Screw down Fuji
Rod bag: Yes, including rod bands
Action: Tip to middle
Use: Bass, estuary, light beach
DAVE WOODMANSEY, deputy editor of Sea Angler’s sister title, Improve Your Coarse Fishing, has travelled to Ireland’s west coast to fish for surf bass for almost two decades. At last he thinks he’s found the perfect bass rod
Eighteen years ago I fell in love when friends took me to the stunning County Kerry coastline, where I stood in the thundering surf in the hope of catching bass.
Every winter since, I have been drawn back to hunt the streamlined silver bullets of the surf. That first year my friends, all Cornish bass experts, introduced me to big, unyielding, rough ground beach rods, 6oz grip leads and multipliers loaded with rubbery monofilament.
Seeing a scale-perfect, 2lb 8oz school bass slide up the beach, sparkling in the sun with angry gill rakers flared and dorsal fins standing proud, left my heart racing. But as a lifelong coarse angler I missed the thrill of the fight that an average fish could never provide on such heavy tackle.
Over the years I’ve progressed to many purpose-built bass rods, but I reckon I’ve just discovered the ultimate combination of power, sensitivity and pure angling pleasure in the new Greys Platinum Bass rod.
At 12ft 6in, the smart, slimline and lightweight two-piece blank screams quality as soon as you lift it. Capable of fishing fixed-spool reels or multipliers, the Platinum Bass has a stiffness through the butt and into the lower part of the top section to blast leads beyond the third breaker where the bass patrol, yet still transmit a timid bite through the super-sensitive tip. Match the rod with 14lb non-stretch braid and the sensation is truly awesome.
The Platinum Bass will cast 3oz to 5oz (at a push), but I found it to be at its brilliant best with a 110g (3.9oz) lead.
Standing in the pure rolling surf of the visually jaw-dropping, shallow-shelving, County Kerry bass beaches with rod in hand and a sandeel or lugworm bait working in the current at anything from 20 to 100 yards range is a sublime sensation.
The combination of braid mainline and the blank’s sensitivity means you can read everything, right down to the lead rolling over a slight ridge of sand, or an ambitious, palm-sized flounder worrying the bait.
When a bass does take – even a schoolie – it’s like riding a pushbike at speed into a brick wall. The impact shock through the rod into your arm is tremendous, and you then feel every flick and flutter of the fight. If this kind of sport doesn’t put an-ear-to-ear grin on your face, you must be dead.
The rod’s svelte looks disguise its ability to bring double-figure fish through the heaviest surf. I wasn’t able to beach a monster, but last year my father effortlessly landed a 12lb 8oz bass on the lighter, 11ft 9in, 2-3oz BZE version of this rod.
Two hundred quid is a lot of money in anyone’s book, but you’re a long time dead – and I guarantee you’ll get £200-worth of pleasure out of this rod the first time you use it. Looking at it another way – that equates to 52 pints of Guinness at our current exchange rates! SA
For the sportsman looking for a light and capable beach rod or estuary/flattie tool you’ll genuinely struggle to find anything quite as polished or enjoyable as this.