I recently got to handle the Catch jig rod, rated for 250g jigs. The guide placement has the distinctive spiral, or acid wrap as it is also known among fishermen.
The rod is constructed from a graphite/glass composition and finished with Fuji guides and reel seat. I fished it over several months with several different reels: first with a Daiwa Saltist 30T, a favourite with numerous jiggers; and then a Maxel 30 lever drag reel. Both reels balanced well with the rod and the PE 4 and PE 6 Gosen line felt at home gliding through the guides. I found there was no lipping of the line when it was being retrieved straight onto the reel spool. When jigging vigorously, occasionally line would fall to one side of centre, but this was due to the jigging action, rather than the guide placement being off.
The rod is rated for 250g jigs and dances this weight of lure well. 200g and 300g jigs were also worked without issue.
On a trip to the Karikari Peninsula, jigging in 100-plus metres, I had plenty of water column to get a feel for the rod and its capabilities. Once hooked up with 8kg of drag, the rod didn’t flinch, but fought fish well. The rod put good leverage on the fish and had power in reserve; I certainly didn’t have that scared look on my face some anglers have when their rod starts to bend and look like a letter of the alphabet!
As I didn’t have any 30kg-plus kings grab my lure I did a bit of a test at home with some weights, to stretch the rod a bit and see how manly it really was. This was probably a bit naughty and not recommended by rod manufacturers (unless you are happy to forget any warranty claims if there is an accident).
Measuring off 13kg of weight I gently lifted it off the ground, resisting the urge to close my eyes. Sensing the rod flex all the way through to the gimbal, I started to get those nagging thoughts in my head - ‘Maybe this is a really dumb idea’ ... ‘How much will they charge me if it breaks?’
I was a lot more uncomfortable than the rod turned out to be; it readily passed the dumb-idea-of-lifting-weights test I’d given it. I chickened out when contemplating more weight – I’m happy to give it a big tick for fishing heavier line like PE6. Actually, this is probably scratching the higher end of the spectrum anyway, as the rod doesn’t have an official PE/max kg load rating by the company.
Looking closer at the blank, I noticed it’s a little thicker than other jig rods I’ve handled. This isn’t a criticism, but an observation of its overall make up. I would have to say categorically: it is an excellent rod for the money and ticks all the boxes for the enthusiast jigger who finds himself (or herself) attached to a huge green torpedo.
If you pushed me to be picky, I would say that a gimbal nock cover would be a nice finish to the rod as I poked myself a couple of times while putting the rod into the ‘battle station’ position. On the other hand, you could always pinch one off another rod at home.
For its current price of $299, I would recommend it for anyone getting into jigging or wanting to upgrade their existing entry level rod and go to the next level. Would I buy one? The answer’s Yes!