PRICE £84.99

Described as an affordable bread and butter beachcaster, the Shimano Vengeance Surf looks more expensive in terms of fixtures, fittings and finish.

This is an attractive rod sporting eye-catching, red cross-pattern grip handles with a slash of brilliant white above. Available in both fixed-spool and multiplier models, I beach tested the multiplier version, which proved to be a revelation because this is a proper beachcaster designed with the novice or beginner in mind.

This rod has a far more forgiving action than some of the over-stiff models currently available. The problem the novice faces is that very often he is sold a very cheap rod constructed from poor quality carbon, and the result is a heavy and floppy rod that is hard to fish with, or a medium-price rod that tends to be overly stiff and difficult to bend with the beginner’s overhead thump casting style.

The Vengeance moves away from the ‘action in the last 2ft’ design, which has become the norm for so many beachcasters. This has more of a soft action throughout the top section and into the top of the butt, which enables the limited caster to get the most from this 3.96m/13ft rod’s compression.

Lots of experienced anglers could benefit from returning to a rod with a similar action – so many are out-gunned by short, stiff blanks and a macho mentality that implodes if a rod dares bend. They persist with rods they cannot compress and therefore get nothing in return for their input.

The Vengeance is a rod suited to the beginner and is sold at a reasonable price – many novice rods are well below the standard of this one. The Vengeance performs admirably with a baited rig, and casts of 150 yards are possible with an off-the-ground, reel up casting style. I am not a fan of the over-large adjustable reel seat, although it is far better than coasters.