PRICE £94.99

Length: 13ft 1in (3.97m)
Sections: Two, push in spigot
Guides: Nine Shimano SIC SS guides (tip section only)
Reel seat: Slide and grip (adjustable screw top and bottom)
Grips: Rubber shrink wrap
Casting weight: 4-8oz
Rod bag: Yes

For an off-the-peg rod costing under £100, the Catana Surf range has a lot going for it, says Alan Yates.
There are three models, all multiplier, although this is not mentioned on the rod. The range includes a 12ft 6in all-round model and two 13ft versions, one called long range and one rough ground.
For a cheap rod (I found the 130RD on the web for just £74.86), it offers exceptional value for money and is one of the few cheapies around that has an action anywhere near like its more expensive relatives.
I strapped on a multiplier reel loaded with 15lb mono and a 60lb shockleader and wound up a 6oz lead weight. It sailed away, and the recovery from a powerful pendulum swing was balanced and smooth.
Okay, so many anglers may have issues with the two different length sections but this may be the secret of the rod’s action. The stiff butt progresses to a longer, softer tip section, and where the action of the tip starts to kick in as the rod recovers from being bent it is not restricted or altered by a joint.
By luck or good judgement, that extra tip length produces a really smooth, balanced action. All models are designed for high reel position, but because of the smooth action I think the 13ft RD is suitable for someone out to try the reel low down for the first time.
One criticism – apart from saying Shimano should have produced a 14ft model. An adjustable reel seat is better than coasters, but the Slide and Grip reel seat is the pipe clamp design that allows sand to enter the threads and jam the lot. Washing the reel seat keeps the thread clean, and is essential if you intend moving the reel position.

Final thought

A perfect starter rod with none of the arm wrenching of similarly priced stiff rods.