PRICE £290.00

The Zziplex Primo Hi-Flex is simply a stunning beach casting rod. When Paul Fenech took it out he couldn’t put it down

If you have ever experienced the pleasure of buying a new car, then you’ll appreciate the feeling you have when you climb in, close the door and just sit back and take it all in. The smell of the clean upholstery and interior is enough to put a grin on your face.

Then you start the engine to hear a comforting hum, because with your last car you noticed every annoying rattle and squeak. You put it into gear and drive off, but not for long because you don’t want to get it dirty, so you park up, get out and walk around it several times admiring its beauty.

When I unwrapped the Zziplex Primo Hi-Flex my eyes lit up. It looked absolutely stunning, almost like that feeling when you see your new car for the first time. I’m not exaggerating when I say that the quality and finish is the best I’ve seen on a beach rod. This wasn’t just workmanship of the highest quality – I would actually call this craftsmanship.

The Fuji Alconite guides – one on the butt section and eight along the tip – were fastened to the blank with fire engine red whipping and blue tippets. The sections between the last three guides were fitted with white, reflective tape. Everything stood out magnificently against the ebony blank, only interrupted by the non-slip grip on half of the butt section.

The livery is typical Zziplex style, but it is well protected and won’t disappear after a few sessions. Terry Carroll, the genius producing these rods, understands the importance of a rod keeping its appearance as well as its performance. I’m not a fan of coasters, but I know when you buy a Zziplex, you get coasters. You can always add a winch fitting.

The weather that greeted me on Weybourne beach in Norfolk was less than perfect. A stiff north-easterly breeze was creating quite a large swell that crunched on to the shingle with some force.

As I fitted my Daiwa 7HT Mag reel, I was nervous with anticipation. After all, many great casters had achieved some huge distances with a Zziplex. It truly is a great British institution in the world of beachfishing and tournament casting. The time had come for me to step up to the plate and put the Hi-Flex to the test.

Normally I would have a few gentle swings, just to get the feel of the rod, but the look on Lloyd the photographer’s face told me he was in no mood for hanging around. The clouds appeared to be getting darker, the wind was rising and spots of rain began to fall.

I swung the sinker away from me, pulled the rod back and then turned into a forceful punch stroke. As the camera clicked away, I knew that this was a good cast. I looked over to see Lloyd open-mouthed, as my reel was still emptying.

As well as looking the business, this rod is very lightweight. A fully built blank with coasters weighs just 26oz. Swishing the Hi-Flex around my head took no effort at all. I put the rod in my tripod and ran to the shelter to hide from the weather.

“Get your camera ready Lloyd, I’m having another go,” I said.

To put it bluntly, I enjoyed that first cast so much I didn’t care about the weather. To feel the rod bend and then come around sweetly… to see a shockleader and sinker climb high and long… that’s what gives this rod the thumbs-up from me. It’s amazing.

The Primo Hi-Flex has been built with a higher strength material, so you can get right into the rod during a cast. It’s not stiff, but it’s certainly not soft. In fact this rod will pull cod from the surf without a whimper, when other rods that claim to be in the same class could pull the hook from a decent fish in the backwash of a wave.

It sits superbly in the current and will not pull a spiked sinker from its anchor point during the strongest period of the tide. When your bait settles, rest assured that it will remain in the feeding zone and not be dragged away.

This is a fishing rod with fantastic casting capabilities. I’m sure it will do the business over grass, but if you’re the kind of angler who has always been afraid to even pick a Zzippy up then don’t be. They’re not designed for anglers or casters from another planet, they’re designed for anglers who have the experience to go on to a beach in any weather and finally see their bait reaching towards the horizon, with the minimum of effort.

Our day on Weybourne came to an end after three hours. Even Lloyd commented that the casting was impressive. The Zziplex Primo Hi-Flex is an outstanding rod and gets 10 out of 10. I love it and I guarantee you will too.