BROMANoDELL’s Esox Lucius 9ft #9/10 Fly Rod (3-piece) Review

OK, its winter and you know what that means for Pike fly fishing – yup, casting enormous flies towards particularly belligerent pike which are sulking near the bottom of their frigid home – you will be using intermediate or sinking lines and will need a 10 weight to manage the harsh conditions that winter throws at you – freezing temperatures and an ice cold wind causing white horses to break on your back – a bit like a typical Scottish summer. Consequently I got my hands on BROMANoDELL’s Esox Lucius 9ft #9/10 Fly Rod (3-piece)  to continue my fight with the beasts.

The blurb from the site says:

BROMANoDELL’s Esox Lucius rods have a progressive action, which means that when casting the top section does most of the work, but when fighting powerful fish the rest of the blank comes into play, deep down in the butt section. To be able to give XL rods the best of both casting performance and fighting ability, all rods in the series are produced using mixed modulus construction (combining different types of graphite in different sections of the same rod).

9ft #9/10 Fly Rod (3-piece) is powerful so that it is equally capable of throwing big pike flies with ease and landing big trophy fish;

- Mixed modulus matt grey blank to avoid reflection and flash when casting

- 129 gram rod weight

- Constructed with double footed snake rings for low profile and lined stripping guide rings

- Equipped with top quality Cork / EVA combination, with a gun metal reel seat for a long and durable life

- Finished with black silk wrappings and lime green highlights then triple epoxy coated for optimal strength and durability

- Supplied in a protective camouflage cordura tube

I have fished with this rod since the weather got too cold to fish smaller flies – lets say pushing on to nearly double figure amount of trips.

I don’t need to tell you that I like my bling, it is not that important on a rod or reel however there is no need to have something that looks shabby, so…

Does it look Sexy?

Yes actually, although nothing too fancy – a matt grey blank in three pieces with (what seemed like) an over-sized handle. Thank goodness more manufacturers are realising that anglers don’t want their rods to be shiny and bright. At the moment it just seems to be the odd rod which has this as standard – I always think it is a good sign when I see it as somehow I assume a little more thought has gone into the designing side of things. Sometimes Pike follow the fly to within a few feet of your rod tip and you run out of line to retrieve – you must then turn yourself in a slow circle with the Pike still following your fly – what you do not want is to get a sudden glint from the sun on your rod as this will immediately spook the Pike. Considering it was probably the brief appearance of the sun in the first place that caused the Pike to want a snack you would want it to remain your friend rather than your foe.

There is of course a little bit of gloss where they have stamped the make and model – the rod is known in the game as the XL

The blank is complemented by black wrappings and very nice green highlights – quirky, I like it!

 

A side note – the rod comes in a camouflage tube and bag – I kept smiling when I looked at it – I was tempted to mail BROMANoDELL complaining that I had lost their rod in the bushes and could not find it. Even when my pal saw it he commented on it – although to be fair when he saw the fly I was tying on he stated he thought it had been a joke for the camera. I suppose everything to do with Pike has to have a little bit of camo on it. 

I use a Vision Koma 7/9 fly reel – it felt nice on the rod not over or undersized – the whole outfit felt comfortable in the hand and the reel was firm and unmoving.

A fighting butt at the reel end as you would expect – a cork handle with decent enough cork, it felt comfortable in the hand.

Which more importantly brings us nicely on to how the set up casts..

Castability – does the fancy stick feel good to cast?

The first time I cast this rod was for a day showing kids (and adults) how to fly fish for Pike. It was a day organised at some reservoirs outside Glasgow (the Barrhead Dams) by some countryside rangers. Everyone I let have a go with the rod enjoyed it and thought it was a lovely set up. Even Alberto (casting maestro extraordinaire) said it was nice to cast – praise indeed from the man who does not like my top end rods.

I used the rod with WF intermediate and sinking 10 weights – not a dedicated Pike fly lines – just two lines bought off eBay – they were made by Cortland. The rod casts beautifully – this is not a super fast rod – it has a nice through action – BROMANoDELL call this a “progressive action” which means it is slower actioned as opposed to faster actioned – which means it is a fishing rod as opposed to a casting rod. Seeing as how you will do more fishing than actually trying to analyse your casting this is a good thing – at least I think so anyway. I don’t mean it is a floppy – it just has action – and a nice one – a pleasure to cast all day. Sometimes I feel companies are too apologetic that a rod is not uber fast – personally I find casting fast rods difficult, I also find it difficult casting short distances with a fast rod – sometimes when a pike has followed the fly to your feet you run out of space and the whole turning around on the spot has not worked – you then  have to get the fly near the pike again quickly before it cruises off – I think this is where the “progressive action” comes into its own.

I tried this rod with biggest fly I own – a 7.5inch beast that is like casting some of the trout that I fish for – it was sweet as anything. The fly is so big you can see it at the end of this rather slack loop – my fault not the rod!

I am looking forward to further testing this rod when I get my float tube and when I finally get out in the boat on one of the big lochs. If you take a gander at what line weights the UK Pike guys recommend it is a lot heavier than what the Europeans use – In Europe it seems to be 8/9 weights whereas over here it seems to be 9/10 weights as standard. I have seen some lochs that will not let you fish if you have anything less than a 10 weight. BROMANoDELL seem to be a bit of an anomaly as they are a Swedish company with a 9/10 weight rod. 

Does it handle the beasts?

Well you see now, I have had a bit of a problem since I got this rod – the pike have not been playing ball – it has been hard going since the cold has hit us and the wind has been blowing. I have caught a few Pike however I have mostly been deep in water and taking pictures has been difficult. However what I will say is that if I had not been fishing with a big fly and deep with my sinker then I would have been heading home empty handed. 

At this point I would like to point out just how difficult it is to hold a rod whilst trying to take a picture of a splashing toothy beast!

I did finally get one wee boy too hold still long enough for a quick photo opportunity although he was not happy about it. 

I do not see you having any problems with this rod handling big Pike – it was strong enough to haul one of the beasts out of some weeds with no difficulties and I am looking forward to Spring already as I want to catch some of those big hungry post spawn mommas. 

Bottom Line

 A 9/10 weight is a rod you will need in your toolbox of tricks to go after the green beasts. It is essential to have a rod that can handle big flies and actually make the task enjoyable – Does BROMANoDELL’s Esox Lucius do this ? I would say without question yes. 

The rod retails at a cool £150, more expensive than the budget rods and less expensive than other suitable rods. The key here is that it is very possible to buy the wrong rod for the job. Someone commented to me that just because a rod does not have Pike written on the side does not mean it is not up to the job. I would say if you are buying a rod with Pike written on it you are at least going to be buying something that has been tried and tested with the beasts. Considering the rod was designed by Johan Broman who has spent most of his life developing top quality fishing tackle for several well known international brands – you cannot really go wrong!

BROMANoDELL are not just producing this Pike fly rod they are also manufacturing many other types of Pike rods. Now, you guys know how much I like my fly fishing however if the fancy ever took me to get myself a wee spinning rod for the beasts I reckon it would be one of these I would go for. In fact I met a guy who carried around a wee spinning rod for when his hands just got too cold pulling line – top idea!

Anyway, the rod is available at the Glasgow Angling Centre amongst others so I reckon I will be meeting a lot more guys down in my neck of the woods with these rods. 

Maybe I will be meeting some guys on the traditional boxing day Pike session waving their new BROMANoDELL Esox Lucius around for the first time.

Happy Pike Fishing!

16 comments to BROMANoDELL’s Esox Lucius 9ft #9/10 Fly Rod (3-piece) Review

  • scott

    I like the thought of a slower rod, the one i use just now isnt too fast but you definately feel a hindrance in terms of short range casting like you say. Im surprised your biggest fly is 6 inches long though, mines average about that! I’ve tied up some monsters lately using full packs of flashabou!

  • I just measured it – it came in a tad under 8 inches – lets say 7 and a half. I am now going to add a quarter pound on to all the trout I catch :-)

  • Paul

    You guys comparing lengths, mines a nine incher ;-)

    Nice review Alistair.Hopefully you will hook a big girl soon and give the rod a proper test.
    The Barrhead Dams are where I’ve learned to fly fish for pike over the past 5-6 years.I’ve had some amazing days there,despite the morons who fish there. 15-20 fish days are not uncommon,although I’ve never had anything huge,biggest about 7lbs.
    The biggies are there though.
    I haven’t fished them since the drainage work on the Ryatt.

    Cheers

    Paul

  • Great write up Alister.
    I had the pleasure of fishing with this rod a month a go……just before everything froze over. I had to shorten the shooting head my friend had on by at least 80 cm as it was way to long but once that had been saughted, I must say it cast large chunky flies amazingly well. I particularly liked the gun metal reel seat as well.
    I’m always concerned these days though that manufacturers who are placing Pike inscriptions on there rods do so without truly developing or understanding what is needed from a pike rod but As Pike fly-fishing in Scandinavia is massive and has taken of in such a big way, many Swedish manufactures are spending a considerable amount of money on developing specific Pike fly-fishing equipment. My 1st port of call when looking for new developments in the sport invariably leads me to either Danielsson, Jensen, Loop, Bromanodell, Carl Anderberg, to name just a few.
    It hasn’t stopped snowing here now for 4 days and for once I am truly jealous that I’m unable to take advantage of the milder winters the UK has….My only consolation Is I will be going back to South Africa for 2 months in a few weeks….(family matter) and so will be able to do plenty of Saltwater fishing while I am there.
    I will place this review as a link on my blog today if you don’t mind mate.

  • Paul – I have heard good things about the Dams – one chap I spoke to said some great days were had during the summer on poppers – I wanted to fish the Ryatt after I read a very good write up about it however was told it was drained not too long ago :-(

    Simon – Thanks for the link – I really appreciate it – I still think Pike on the fly is seen as a bigger thing in Europe than over here – I think a lot more money is pumped into the stillwater scene in the UK – tell me do they have a lot of stocked ponds with trout in Scandinavia?

  • Paul

    The Ryatt was actually the dam I’ve had least success on Alistair,it doesn’t have as many features as the other waters.Not sure how the fishing has suffered as a result of the drainage.When the Balgray Dam (the biggest one at the roadside)was drained years ago it didn’t take too long for the fish stocks to recover.
    Im sure you’ve probably seen it but theres a current thread over on the Fly Fishing Forum about the dams. Alex Carnie who runs Harelaw and Snypes knows the place better than anyone.
    It’s been a while since I fished up there, got fed up with all the neds and litter.Might make a trip up soon.
    cheers
    Paul

  • Campbell S

    Nice write up Alistair. Also nice to see some reviews of rods that are not crazy expensive. Its hard to sometimes justify an extra rod but at that sort of price its not too shabby. What’s the warranty like with it, is there one?

    Hopefully next time I will get a chuck of it….

    The camo tube and sock makes me laugh, reminds me of an Action Man outfit or something. But not as funny as your green and blue fly, that was hilarious.

  • To be truthful Alister 90% of our lakes here in Finland are all stocked lakes.50 000 000 Trout fry and 70 000 000 Salmon fry are released into them each yr.We have over 100 rivers in Finland which hold good stocks of Trout ‘n Salmon which all move between the larger tracts of water,But only a hand full of rivers have returning spawning fish from the sea. My annual fishing license costs me 27 euros and that allows me to fish one rod and lure on any type of water and then I usually pay for a weeks license if I am fishing up in Lapland or anywhere outside my own home region.Angling with a pole and Ice fishing is free due to the everyman’s right which is in place here.
    Actually I am desperate to start more Grayling fishing here next yr.Its not uncommon to have average Grayling weighing over the kilo and a half mark.Plus I just think it is one of the most beautiful fish around.

  • I forgot to mention but a weeks license costs 6 euros so anyone coming here to do some fishing on the rivers you don’t have to pay the exorbitant prices private land owners charge in the UK. With everymans right here you can fish anywhere you like without getting a shot gun shoved up yer arse.

  • scott

    I WIN, i measured my biggest fly aswell, it came in at a whopping ten inches! still not that big i guess when you consider what pike are used to eating.

    Also i think the line rating differences between here and europe are a welfare thing, a lot of pikers on the continent kill and eat their fish so using a lighter rod is no issue whereas over here its a bit taboo to chap pike for food so heavier rods tend to be used to ensure that the esox go back without being exhausted to the brink of death.

    Having said that i use an 8/9 and im confident that my pike go back without any problems, I suppose its different if you fish big lochs / trout waters where 20 to 30lb fish are a real possibility, if this were the case then id be happier using a 10 or 11.

  • Alistair,

    I just want to say thanks for a good review on our Esox Lucius fly rod! Since me and my collegues put quite some efforts into developing high quality products for serious anglers, it makes me very glad when experienced anglers appreciate what we do.
    For Your information, PAC invited me as a speaker for next year’s convention, so I’ll be there together with Mark and Charles from our UK distributor, Fishing Matters. Maybe we’ll see eachother there.
    All the best to You,

    Johan Broman
    BROMANoDELL

  • Paul – Aye, I contributed to the thread – If you fancy a bit of company I will head up with you – I know the Pike fishing has never recovered to the same standard as it was before the Forth n Clyde was drained. I used to go down the Westerton stretch and catch a dozen (no biggies) however now I seem to struggle to catch a few.

    Campbell – I totally missed that out actually – I will find out – I suppose that is what the comments are for :-)

    Simon – Sounds great Simon – you think the Pike fishing is better over there or here?

    Scott – That is a very good point – I have been wrestling with why there is such a difference for a while – it makes perfect sense I suppose! I know Campbell was struggling the last time he caught a big momma with his 8 weight on the loch – maybe a true 9 weight at a minimum for the big girls! Lets see some photees of yer big flees in the forum!

    Johan – I am honoured you dropped by – it is a small world right enough – you certainly have built up a good reputation for yourself – can you answer the warranty question?

  • Paul

    I will let you know if I’m heading over Alistair.Gimme a shout if you get the chance to head up yourself.
    I only have a floating line for my pike fishing,need to get an intermediate or sinker to get down to them during the winter.
    cheers
    Paul

  • Its a hard one to call Alister.On a days outing here, I probably catch more pike ranging from 5lbs – 16lbs than I would have if I was in the UK and on average I probably hook between 5 & 10 per outing where as in the UK I would only average between 2 & 6 yet the average size in the UK were slightly bigger.Probably due to the strict catch and release policies in place.I am still waiting to break the 20lb’r mark, but with a move to Vaasa (which is on the Baltics west coast)at the weekend on the cards, I’m thinking it wont be long before I do break the 20lb mark.Actually I cant wait to fish the Baltic most days.We have just bought a place on the island of Replot and there are 4000 islands in the area to explore. So spring time will be a busy time for me.There is far less netting that goes on there than from the lakes here in Kuru so the sizes of the pike will be far greater. This I attribute to more fish for them to prey on.Herring and Especially the perch where the average size is around the 2lb mark.

  • Paul – aye – it seems that all the milder days I have been sitting in work looking out the windows :-( Defo a good reason to use sinkers – you used to do well up their?

    Simon – So where did you fish in the UK? you ever fish up here in Scotland?

  • [...] was Alex that caught the first fish – a Pollack while spinning – by this point I had my BROMANoDELL’s Esox Lucius 9ft #9/10 Fly Rod – a Pike fly rod that I cunningly modified for the sea by giving it a wash afterwards – casting [...]