Having spent many of the last 20 years selling fishing tackle and sporting equipment, when I set myself the task of testing a travel range of fishing rods, I had to question myself why?
I can’t even count how many times during that period I was asked the same question; “I just want something that I can throw into the back of the car. Something I can easily put with my luggage. I want to go here and catch this, and this, and this, and this as well…oh and it can’t take up too much room either! What would you suggest?”
The fisherman inside me automatically thought of the two or three different outfits they would need, cringed at what I had been asked and then tried my best to suggest a good option.
Don’t get me wrong, there are many options in travel style rods; everything from telescopic rods to multi-piece rods. My dilemma wasn’t that nothing was available; it was more based on quality versus adaptability versus price point. Was I comfortable to sell it to the customer for what they wanted it for? Would I use it myself?
With these thoughts ringing in my ears, I have set about testing the Tairyo Megaspeed Travel fishing rods from Anglermate. Quality, versatility and value for money were set as criteria, so that many of these questions from the past would hopefully be answered.
Anglermate, the importer of Tairyo fishing rods, has made a name for themselves over the past couple of years by producing fishing rods made using cutting edge technologies and quality components. The Megaspeed Travel rods are no exception. Made using Power-Flex blanks (high density graphite with T-Glass reinforcement is the core of the blank producing a rod with excellent strength and power, plus increased compression resistance), they have Fuji Alconite guides and Fuji reel seats. A-grade quality cork grips are standard on the two spin and single baitcast models, with heavy-duty UVA grips used on the boat rod.
I think Anglermate has got it right with this range of four rods. A 3-5kg spin, 5-8kg spin, 6-10kg baitcast and a 10-15kg boat rod are the complete range and cover the light, medium, heavy and blue water fishing options generally required.
The spin and baitcast models are all 3-piece and the boat is 5-piece. All models come in their own heavy-duty rod bag and travel tube that is under a metre long. This means no extra trip to the oversize luggage booth at the airport is required and that very little space is required to store it in the car. A final note on this criterion is that the rod is finished beautifully. A lot of attention to detail has been spent on ensuring that the cosmetics of the rod complement the components. Machined wind checks with silver and black binding enhance their visual appeal.
Versatility for me is the biggest test of a travel rod. In this day and age we have outfits to target specific species and types of fishing (bait, lures, plastics etc), so the versatility aspect is a vital component of this testing process. I write this with a smile on my face because that also means getting out there and fishing.
I set off trying to cover as many of the fishing techniques I enjoy, focusing on the light spin and baitcast rods.
The light spin outfit has seen the most use. I have cast squid jigs and fished with bait for King George whiting in South Australia. Thrown spinnerbaits and soft plastics in our Queensland impoundments for Australian bass and yellowbelly and then only recently I visited East Gippsland in Victoria. I did everything from throw top water and hardbody lures as well as blades for bream, to hopping heavier jigheads and plastics for some great flathead. The rod has passed these tests with flying colours. While the rod wasn’t perfect for each of these styles of fishing, I was more than comfortable using it every time.
The baitcast model has a 6-10kg rating and lends itself more to the Northern Australian target species and I couldn’t think of a better test than the barramundi impoundments of Queensland. Unfortunately for me the fishing in these dams has slowed with the rain events we have had in recent years. I was however devoted to the task at hand and made a couple of trips to Lake Monduran near Bundaberg. After casting many plastics and lures around the dam, success was had. A 90cm barramundi put a solid bend in the rod and provided the ultimate test. It passed with flying colours. I spent a couple of years in the Northern Territory and this rod will take pride of place on any trip I take back up there.
The pleasant surprise for me is that the Tairyo Megaspeed Travel rods will not break the bank. Starting from $169.99, their quality and versatility definitely places them in the affordable bracket.
I guess the biggest question I have been asked while out using them is, would you spend your hard earned cash on them? The simple answer to that question is yes. They have ticked all the boxes and along with a reel and a compact selection of terminal tackle, I have managed to enjoy a fish on trips where I wouldn’t have tried in the past.
To check out the range of Taiyro products log onto www.anglermate.com.au or call (03) 9998 0668.Reads: 2845