March 20, 2019 Last Updated 11:45 am

* New Boat Season, New Boat Rod!

New season New Rod? A change in boat rod gets Jim searching…. Firstly, my change in boat rods was driven more for a desire to change rather

New season New Rod?

A change in boat rod gets Jim searching….

Firstly, my change in boat rods was driven more for a desire to change rather than a necessity to change. I have been using a set of Daiwa Kensakis for a good few years now and have gotten on very well with them thank you very much. I have a set of three weight classes and they all get used depending on the species being targeted. I have some other rods that get used from situation to situation but the Kensakis do the heavy lifting, the majority of my fishing in terms of my general boat bait fishing.

Three Classes:

When it comes to the Kenzaki’s:

The 6-12lb is the lightest of the team. It is a great all round rod. It will handle up to an eight ounce lead but is hppiest drifting with a six ounce or less.

The 12-20lb is a fine rod light enough to use scratching but beefy enough to take on smaller sharks and tope as well as congers.

The 20-30lb  Strong Rod but not as heavy as you’d expect. Perfect for all the heavier situations. It was at its limit catching skate in the mid hundreds.

The original Kensakis suffered badly from production problems. Eyes tended to break free and eventually were prone to premature rusting. Daiwa replaced many rods but the reputation took a while to shift. Most of these rods are in the 7’ – 7’ 8” range. They would have been classed as long in their day. The thing that set these apart from “normal” rods would be the lightness of the rod and the slimness of the blank.

Many rod ranges are getting a makeover in recent times. Looking at the Daiwa website the Kensaki has some new models being released, including a couple of fixed spool versions and of course travel versions. Maybe worth a look. Was there down sides to the Kensaki? Not many. The rods could do with a couple more eyes on the blanks. When under extreme pressure the line might just contact the blank. It didn’t look great, but in fairness the amount of times this would happen would be few. The eyes did get rusty but other than a tip eye, I never replaced any eyes.

The Search

Enough about the Kensaki, what about a replacement? The new Kensakis, recently launched, were too late for me. In any case, I felt a change of rod would be a good thing if I could locate a suitable set of rods; so I began to look at the marketplace. My first port of call was the Penn stable. I had gotten great service from a few Tidecutters years back. Penn seem to have pitched their wares in the mid-range price for rods. The latest boat rods are beautifully finished; the Rampage is well priced. I did look and feel these rods but I was looking for a two-piece rod, butt and blank let’s call it.  I like rods in this format as they tend to put up with far more abuse that the 50/50 or 60/40 split.

The trend for general boat rods is a trend towards longer rods. Lengths of 8’ are now common whereas 7’ 6” was once the benchmark. I have always liked a longer rod but not at the expense of a chunky blank. I like a slim blank so this tended to steer me away from uptide style rods for general fishing.

My trawl took me to look at the famous Suveran from Abu. To be honest I didn’t see myself buying a Suveran as the older rods were nice but tended to be very “tippy”. Not an action I like in a boat rod. The latest incarnation of the Suveran impressed. The 12lb class is a thing of understated beauty. At 8’ 6” it is longer than the norm. As you would expect the finish is of a very high quality. The action I would describe like a modern lure rod – it is progressive but it is not in the least floppy. It is close to the perfect action for my fishing.

A fine pair! On the left is the 20lb and the right the 12lb

The 20lb class is the real work horse of the range and again it doesn’t disappoint. It is 8’2” in length and is two piece, blank and butt. Again the action is similar across the range. That means that this machine loads progressively and is hugely powerful towards the end of the blank. This rod will handle most angling situations. It is light enough for drifting with 8oz leads and will be happy wrestling with all but the bigger sharks and skate. There are 20 and 30lb class rods in Travel format for the angler heading on a jet plane!

If you want to use heavy weights. If you want to tackle the biggest of fish from our waters like skate and big sharks. If you want to put big baits on deep wrecks, then the 30lb class Suveran is the big brother of range. I have to admit that after investing late last summer I still have not had the opportunity to give this rod a decent trial. I really think it will be a beast of a rod and it will be getting a run out as soon as weather condition all a decent crack at some big fish. There is a 50lb class for those who have need for such a beast of a rod!

Many rods come with hard cases nowadays. I personally have no use for these hard cases so it didn’t register with me that the Suveran comes only in a soft cover.

So after whanging the rods and marvelling at the quality I had to get over the price tag which is not cheap. There are lots of decent rods that are less expensive. The Suverans do stand apart due to the format and the quality of construction. If you have a notion to look at one or all of these rods I would suggest that you go and speak with your local tackle shop. Have a look online and see what offers are out there as Suverans do appear on offer from time to time. Your local shop will always check with the local Abu representative and will secure you the best deal possible.

Taken on the 12lb class. The 20lb would be useful as the tide got stronger and bigger leads necessary

Impressions from the water:

I mated my 12lb class Sueveran to a Daiwa BG 20H multiplier and I have the reel spooled with 30lb Braid. I do like using fixed spools for my lure fishing but I think there’s nothing to beat a multiplier when drifting. This rod loves five or six ounces of lead for scratching about. The rod will be happy with 3 oz of lead and will cope with 8oz in all but the strongest tide or drift. The tip is very sensitive and the action is superb when you have a fish on. The handle is short; this is no uptider but it is fine for flicking away from the boat. One unusual feature is the bare handle beneath the reel seat. I’ve heard some say that this takes getting used to but I like the bare bones feel. I’ve have some fine fish on this rod –  rays, decent conger, smoothies and spurs but it is drifting banks or rough ground that the rod is a joy to use.

The action of the New Suveran is more progressive than it’s tippy predecessor.

The 20lb class is a fab rod for the heavier species. I’ve had tope, big conger and big blonde rays not to mention blue sharks with on this rod. The 12lb and the 20lb make a superb pair on board the boat. They will cover most eventualities on open water bait fishing. The 20lb is a great rod drifting wrecks or deep water reefs where 8-12oz of lead would be required yet the tip is sensitive enough to take on smaller rays when you want a second rod in action teamed with the 12lb class.

It was late in the summer when I put the Suverans into action. I have not had opportunity to give the 30lb class a good bending yet. I have high hopes for this rod and hope that I am going to give it a serious testing as the year progresses. Sharks, Skate and even a chance of a small tuna have me really excited about this rod.

The Suveran blanks scream highly technical construction. The eyes are numerous and are perfectly spaced along the blank. The eyes are strong and the tip eye has put up with the usual abuse without any hassle yet.

In short, I am delighted so far with my Abu Suveran purchase. These are rods that I envisage using for a few years and I have no doubt that thy will last the pace. The Suveran is not a cheap rod. It is a high quality item and carries a price tag that reflects the quality of the materials and construction.
Keep an eye on your favourite retailers website and watch for occasional offers or better still call into you local tackle dealer and have him contact his local rep to get the best price at the time. You’ll not regret a move to a Suveran.


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