As a travel rod most anglers are looking for an egg-laying wool-milk sow and I have taken a close look at a potential candidate. What is required is a rod that has to be as broad as possible to be able to handle any situation on holiday or on the road. A really wide rod is the new Shimano Beastmaster STC Shore-Boat, which I tested in the heaviest version.
Travel Rods Review
The rod casts 28-300g, how this is possible, most people will ask themselves now. Quite simply the rod has two different tips. With one the recommended casting weight is 28-122g and with the heavier one 150-300g. With the fine tip the rod is 3 m long. So it is perfect for chasing larger saltwater predators from the beach or rocks on holiday, while the rod with the heavy tip also cuts a good figure on a boat trip with pilkers or other heavy lures or simply towed plugs. Last but not least, with 2.4 m there is of course still an acceptable casting distance from the shore. In the end you get two rods, but unfortunately you can’t fish with them at the same time. Slitting out big fish is rather unlikely due to the slightly softer tip. The Bio Fibre Blank makes the rod almost unbreakable. Nevertheless the rod has much more reserves than the normal Beastmaster series and is much more robust. A further point that belongs to the all around carefree package is a noble and stable rod tube in which the well thought-out and with Velcro equipped cloth sheath fits in. This means that the rod is always well protected, even during transport on trips and holidays.
Equipment and processing
The rod rings are from Shimano’s own production and are of course made and suitable for salt water. The rod has throughout stable triple rings. The rod rings are perfectly in alignment and with long windings well made. The reel seat comes from
Fuji and is pleasantly slim. The Blank is an XT 60 Blank that charges nicely when casting and has an extremely strong backbone. Nevertheless, the sensitivity of the rod and the weight do not show that it is a 5-piece travel rod. There are no manufacturing faults, which must be a matter of course in this price range. The handle is not made of cork, but of a pleasant and high-quality EVA material to match the saltwater centre of gravity of the rod. The tenon joints are very well made, which is absolutely crucial and also accounts for the price difference of travel rods to two-piece rods.
Slitting out big fish is rather unlikely due to the slightly softer tip. According to the manufacturer, the Bio Fibre Blank ensures that the rod is virtually unbreakable. Nevertheless the rod has much more reserves than the normal Beastmaster series and is much more robust.
A further point that belongs to the all-round carefree package is a noble and stable rod tube in which the well thought-out and with Velcro fasteners equipped fabric case fits. So the rod is always well protected during transport on trips and holidays. The rod weighs 329g and both tips are marked with H for heavy, which I can confirm.
The design of the rod knows to please and comes along nobly. Unlike the other Beastmaster rods this rod does not come in a brown tone, but as a black carbon rod with gold accents. Shimano calls the design “black magic design”. I really like the design. I also like the length of the grip, so it is not too short, as it is usual with many other rods. So you still have a good lever for the big fish.
In practice, a certain top-heaviness is unfortunately noticeable at 3 m length. With a heavier reel than the Spro passion 750 (5000` size) the
but get better. Besides, the rod is a bit heavy, but it is not an easy rod for small fish, it is meant for bigger predators. Lures from 20g upwards can be cast well, but even at 130g there is no end to the lure. The action is very fast and the rod bends up to almost half of the casting weight when casting heavy lures. Under heavy load it also bends up to the handle, but then there must be a big fish on it. Unfortunately there was no fish to catch with the rod at the sea and on the boat. But with hand line there was
a Skipjack tuna.
In fresh water things looked different. With cloud-forming dough bait we went for marble carp and indeed a 65 cm long specimen could be persuaded to take the bait and delivered a good drill. No problem for the rod set up in 3m. You can see that the rod is designed for strong fish. Maybe there is still the opportunity and I will update the report as soon as it is ready (already done!).
Set up as a 2.4m rod and on the boat the rod also cuts a good figure the action is very fast and speed jigging is possible. Unfortunately the current was so strong at this point that even a 200g jig did not really get to the bottom. I assume that there is a lot you can do with the rod in Norway.
At the end of my stay in the Philippines I could test the rod again at the sea and hook a good fish on plugs and the rod showed me what it can really do. I will add a video of the drill shortly. The fish was either a big barracuda, a Giant Travelly or a shark. Anyway, it came off violently and I was happy to have fished with the strong rod. After the first escape I was able to pump the fish up well. But on the second escape it unfortunately blew the leader and I didn’t really get to see the fish. Judging by the bend of the rod (compared to 6 kg knife fish) the fish was at least twice as heavy or as strong. The video will follow soon on my Youtube channel.
The rod had its problems with the knifefish. The rod just didn’t have enough feathering to keep good contact when jumping. Only a medium action black bass rod could do that really well enough. So this is not a real point of criticism – this rod was made for big predators.
I can recommend this rod without hesitation. If you can overlook the price of about 185 €, you will get here almost 2 Shimano rods for the price of one. Even at home in Germany the rods can be used in many different ways and the heavy tip is always a match for any catfish. With the fine tip you can still fish for catfish and pike with plugs and rubber fish. If you want to use the rod for light fishing for small fish, I can only advise against the rod, because it is heavy and designed for bigger fish. Unfortunately a second rod is needed.