It can hardly be overlooked, the miracle of Chinese development and technology. After the electric reel from Japan, now the self striking fishing rod from China. Unfortunately, the whole thing was a bit of fun, because I ordered this innovative rod once from the Far East to take a close look at it and check its practical suitability and discovered some weaknesses.
My first impression
The rod arrived very well packed and had not suffered any transport damage on its long journey. At first sight my assumption is already confirmed by the product pictures: the rod is simply a “sawed off” cheap Telerute, as you can find it for ~10-20 € in almost every fishing store. Only the metal mechanism is of course new and holds the handle and the rest of the blank together. The rod is of course also heavy due to all the metal. For braided line the plastic rings are certainly nothing and the rod looks cheap. But the integrated ground spike on the rod is certainly not a bad idea!
The casting weight is not mentioned on the rod, but I assume from 15 to 50 grams.
The technique of the self-stopping fishing rod
The mechanism seems to be quite stable to me, I can rule out an unintentional unfolding of the rod. First I had some headache how to set up the rod in the direction and unfold it. So here is a guide to illustrate how the rod works. First of all you have to cast the rod.
Step 1: The best way is to reach under the spring with your finger and pull the hook out of the rod. Now the rod can be unfolded quite easily.
Step 2: Now you can stick the rod with the integrated earth spike into the ground and that’s it.
Nothing for small fish
A big weakness of the rod is that the self stop mechanism only triggers when there is a very strong pull: 30 cm fish can do this easily in my opinion, but smaller fish should hardly trigger the rod. With my rod I overstretched the feather a bit to make it easier for small fish to set the stop. The next problem is, of course, if I hook a small fish and it triggers the mechanism at a short distance I’m pretty sure it will throw the fish out of the water – not necessarily in the right way.
The big construction mistake
The guide ring is the biggest ring on every rod and for good reason, because a bigger guide ring allows easy and wide casting. Stupid that the line has to go through the small ring (see picture on the left) of the trigger. This prevents long casts and is also not very good for the line, because the small ring is completely made of metal. On a big reel with a big spool there is something else to consider, here the line comes off the spool in bigger bends and this leads to the fact that the line gets caught quite reliably in the metal parts of the whole tension mechanism and so the cast ends abruptly. Furthermore the small ring also interferes with the reel.
Otherwise I tend to grab the lower hand to the ground spike while throwing, which leads to quite bad casts. Somehow I don’t care if the earth spike is folded out or not, it is always in the way when throwing.
An overview of Tele rods, which are better, you can find here on my page >>
With a smaller reel up to size ~3000 it is still possible to fish the whole thing and the mechanism works for careless and somewhat stronger fish. The only fish I can imagine using the rod like this is on eel in summer when things are going well and the fish don’t bite carefully. Then you effectively prevent the bait from being swallowed when bottom fishing and the rod may make sense. If you want to complete your collection of unusual rods or need something to “play” with I can recommend the rod, otherwise you’re just as well served with a cheap telerod. The small ring of the release mechanism through which the line passes is the weak point of the system, if it were somehow larger or the mechanism were further forward and the guide ring was converted to a trigger, the rod would be more usable. A set screw to adjust the sensitivity of the stop mechanism would also be desirable. If these two improvements would be given the rod would be really good to use. As it is, in my experience the rod is rather scrap!
Maybe it would be time for Western or Japanese companies to copy the Chinese, but then it wouldn’t be a cheap copy, but an expensive one with well thought out and high quality technology. That would be something for once 😉