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.
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!