Where should i start? I have had quite a few sessions of late both hard and light rock sessions have been sqeezed in. But more than anything else i wanted to take the opportunity to explore the Century HPR rods in a little more detail. Before their release there was a lot no an awful lot of they do this they do that from people that used or tested / designed them. To compliment this there was also a lot of they can't do this and they can't do that....
So what are they realy like? I decided early on that i would shell out for a full set of 7'3, 7'7 and 9ft models so over a L1000 later i have all three rods and i have fished all three in many and varied methods now.
These rods were designed for set purposes in mind with the HRF angles, so are they only HRF rods? No no where near it they are so multi talented it is amazing. In Centurys own words i quote:
The 7'3 version HPR
This is best suited to Texas rigging, weightless worm and presentations in clean to fairly heavy ground across a wide weight and line range. It will handle plugs to the rated specification with ease but is more in tune with crank-baits rod and minnow's up to around 145mm. It has incredible balance that will work with reels in the 2000 – 3000 without modification and can handle pitching, flipping and overhead casting styles with ease. The rods are counter balanced with the fulcrum point based around the reel stem or, just in front. This is the do it all rod for Bass, Wrasse and a multitude of species from boat, kayak, skishing (wetsuit fishing) and shore.
The Staggered tip is recommended for Kayak and Boat where the mid section spigot is removed from the equation. 7-3" was designed to move the right amount of line on a strike, move around the bow and stern of a kayak and to give enough tip out of the water when skishing.
Bite detection is electric and the power in the rod completely seamless no matter the fish size. Bass to over 10lb and wrasse to over 6lb have been taken on this model."
They have summed it up nicely here thouugh now wrasse to over 7lb have been taken on this model though...
The rod is rated to 25 grams correct? Well this isn't in the normal rating range they are rated for sensativity at distances within the set weight range. There are rods that i wouldn't want to cast over the set amount on. This isn't one of them. Much like the Hardy fly rods or the Loomis nrx rods they have cut the weight to 25% on average yyet still overline by 2-3 line weights with ease. This is the same material though autoclaved by century. So i tested this and i have have fished lures to 38 grams with ease and pitched flipped 2-3 ounces on this rod! Just to see how it felt to be honest and it handled it with ease. The rod has back bone real back bone though this only comes into play when it is realy needed. Suited to 0.8-1.0pe braids and a 5 gram texas head i will feel everything that is happening. But it's a lure rod isnt it? Yes but also doubles a a terrific float fishing rod for saltwater or a short stalking rod for carp in the margins or surface fishing during the summer.
Mullet fishing with a 0.8 braid and 8lb fluro leader is a dream too. The rod protects the braids further than i could have imagined. A true all rounder by designed or accident? I don't care to be honest, if you pick the rod up and waggle it you feel nothing, though strap on a reel and get out and fish it then you feel everything that is happening it becomes an extension of you.
The more you fish it the more you feel what is happening. I love this rod my personal go to rod for most of my hrf rock pig fishing now.
The Century 7'7 HPR a true work horse, this is a little different rated at 28 grams again the sensativity ranges not the exact casting range. This was the first rod i fished in the range and when i picked it up i though jesus christ thats stiff i will not be able to feel a thing until the first bite that was.
Though again in century's own words i quote :
This is a bit more specialist but perhaps the best choice if dealing with windy coastlines, kelp bottoms, proper big boulders or dense matted weeds like japweed and bootlace weeds. It will of course work well with all the methods described per the 7’ 3” model but, this rod has more initial power availability making it great for work in weed beds and around boulders. It moves line very quickly and has a stiffer tip than the 7’ 3”. This in turn makes it the ideal choice for jerk style hard minnows and a multitude of hard lures. This rod will cast a good ounce of lead and this, along with the slightly stiffer tip makes it ideal for the Carolina rig (weight inline with the lure but, the lure carries no weight itself). This means that on those super windy days, you can keep contact with the weight but the fish can still pick up a weightless lure.
This rod excels at flipping. (Flipping has become a devastating close range method where a lure is lowered down behind some kind of structure or in to cover) The reel’s bail is engaged as wrasse and bass can hit so very hard that you need a strong, powerful rod but, still with very good bite detection."
This is a lot more powerful than the 7'3 model though this is designed for carolina rigging and draging up to 28 grams through the bottom with out the tip folding or colapsing on you, to which is does very very well indeed i must say. This rod will cast well above 28 grams believe my 4 oz of lead flies a long way doubling as a cracking close range bass bait fishing rod i found especially with braid fitted. Also a float rod, boat / kayak rod for larger jigging deep water pollock jigging no issues at all there. A hard plastic rod? Oh yes this is a cracking surface or popper rod i found personaly imparting life into patchenko's at distance with ease.
The reserves of power have to be felt to be believed i find they are just sheer power in reserve and when a 5lb pig hits right under your feet hit and hold you need to trust your kit and this rod has earn't it's trust this year several times. Indeed in 2012 this will also be my pike lure rod of choice for heavier lures well above the 28 grams mark for deep water fishing from a boat or float tube.
The last but not least 9ft version.... Well what can i say but a missile launcher is i ever seen one... Here what Century had to say on the matter:
This is the multi range lure rod that was designed and tested for soft lures to around 9" and hard lures in as wide a range (length and weight) as possible. It is super fast, loads very easily and rewards the angler with long, controlled casts at ranges other rods cannot match with this amount of control. It works with 'everything' but, as most testing was done under the cover of darkness, you can pretty much work this rod with your eyes closed. It excels with weightless soft lures like senko's and sluggos from 4 - 7" fished in the soft needle style and yet, will work a top-water bait equally well whilst being a dream to work slim minnows at any depth. Because of it’s super, super fast recovery and balance system, it doesn't throw wild loops of braid off the rod top which can lead to horrible braid knots when fishing weightless styles. Again though, this rod has been built for the modern lines that are available on today's market. The power of the rod is to be felt to believed but, it is not at all stiff and never locks up, just delivers more as required."
I out and out bass rod for my uses it will handle all the hard plastics i have thrown at it including the OSP Yamoto not the most aerodynamic lure but fires it out there. Soft needle tech comes alive with this rod suited to a 0.8 pe braid it will handle anything that swims in out waters. Though retains the senativity for rolling a 1oz ball weight through an estuary for flounder or bass. The least ysed rod merely because i dont bass fish that often but a piece of working art...... a 28 gram 9 inch stick bait going over 70 yards!!!! Thats some casting tool i can tell you.... I could go on and on about these rods but in reality they speak for themselves. By Choice i have matched mine with Shimano Rarenium 3000SFA reels (shallow spool).
Recent sessions have provided further insight to rock pigs and behaviour especially on the turn of low water in local marks they have become hyper agressive, and especially towards creature baits. Taking fish from reefs and sand bars alike running no more than 5 gram texas rigs.