Monday, 2 August 2010

A review

I'm far from qualified to do a tackle review but I think I am totally within my rights to publish my thoughts on products I have purchased and used.

So here goes: The Flextec Streamtec 9ft #4, four piece rod rated at fast/medium.

I was told to buy a nine foot rod by my new found friends. I have a Steve Parton 8ft 6 which I have been using everywhere. It casts ok, it is well made and is built on British carbon in England.

I needed a back up, so a 9 foot it was.
The rod I was recommended to buy was a Grey’s streamflex but this was well out of my price range. So I had a look around.

The Airflo streamtec and Flextec streamtec caught my eye. Both 4 piece, like the Grey’s.

Now the Airflo sells for a realistic £100. The only trouble with that is that in 12 months you know it will be about £70 when they sell it off, as the ‘new’ model has arrived. Just like football tops I suppose. But definitely one to consider as it had a ‘best in test’ in a leading magazine they advertise a lot in…mmm.

The Flextec is imported by Tacklediscounts, a company I had used in the past with total satisfaction. But I had never bought a rod or even a reel off them.

The problem these guys have is that they eBay the rods and reels at a greatly reduced RRP. This instantly gets you suspicious. RRP means nothing. On the other hand the RRP was the same as the price for a Grey’s and I suppose it has to be; to make it look the equal. Also, if you buy one at a much reduced price on eBay you can brag to certain gullible mates how you saved so much money. So maybe their strategy worked on me. You also get a lifetime guarantee which is worthless really at these prices. But fair do’s others do the same. Might as well buy another when it is out of its normal guarantee.

I was also impressed with the eBay feedback and also the spec of the rod including its low weight. I was not looking forward to holographic logos however.

I worked the net and found conflicting reports including someone who said the rods were made in the same factory as a very famous make. I suppose most of them are these days. Like makes of beans really. You wouldn’t move for bean factories if they were all processed in different places! So after weighing it up I thought I’d get one.

Buying is a piece of cake if you are canny with eBay. Decide what you are willing to pay, look at what previous folk have bought them for, put in your bid and wait. With a re-occurring product, you’ll get one eventually. And I did.

So for £69 including postage I was the proud owner of a bag of you know what or a genuine bargain.

Next day delivery saw me opening my parcel. It was like Xmas. Only the shape gave away the clue to what might be inside.

The rod tube blew me away with its quality. At least £25 worth. Now that’s called first impressions. On the downside, I thought that I had now bought a £45 rod. Take the VAT, carriage and profit off, I then thought I may have bought a £20 rod. Oh bugger! But it looked good, very good.

I took it yesterday to the Wye and I have to say I was knocked out! It suits me perfectly. I used a new Flextec reel and a line I had knocking about but never used before.

The Flextec Streamtec seems rather marvellous value to me. It is less than 3oz, it did not snap, felt great to cast with and had a feel at the top end, can’t describe it, which helped to put my flies down very gently. It is beautifully finished (no holographics on this model) and it also subdued some really nice fish which is surely the proof in the Bakewell pudding. The large rainbow in my previous post (estimated at 5/6lb) was caught with a length of stroft 0.14 leader (gut) which I had forgot to upgrade for the town stretch, so that says something

The new rod had a very testing first outing. If I had paid £200 and it had a top brand on it I would have been more than pleased.

Biggest problem is that this is not now destined to be my back up rod. But on the plus side the hand built Steve Parton job deserves a rest.

Where’s me cheque. Tackle Discounts?

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