Marryat Tactical 9' 6 weight rod
Reviewed by Philip White, APGAI
Earlier this year I was asked to try this rod and give an honest opinion of its performance. I certainly tried it on the spot and found it to be an easy casting rod that threw both long and, more importantly, short lines very well indeed. However, I am old fashioned in my ways and not prepared to put my name to anything unless I have tried it out properly, so I have used this rod right through this year, both as a teaching tool and as a fishing rod on suitable waters. One of the first things I did was to put it in the hands of a number of well qualified APGAI Instructors at Carsington on a very windy day and it got a very good reception from them.
The rod has what I call 'feel', a must for teaching beginners, and loads and unloads smoothly for effortless casting. It is light in weight and quick in action without being stiff, has a good progressive bend and handles decent size fish well. I do not normally fish waters with stocked 'doubles' but the rod has handled fish of up to around 4 pounds very well in the hands of beginners, a far more important test than if I was using it. It also plays smaller fish well without overpowering them. In a 'dry' test - flexing the rod without a line - the tip damps (stops) quickly without a lot of bouncing and quivering, always a sign of a well designed rod.
Cosmetically the rod is pleasing on the eye, having a green blank finished with green whippings, single leg rings that I am growing to like( always been a snake ring fan in the past), a top quality half wells cork handle that fits the hand nicely and an attractive green reel seat with figured hardwood insert. As a River Keeper for many years I have grown to hate high gloss rod finishes and the finish on this rod is a step in the right direction having a much less glossy finish than usual. It is a four piece rod and comes in a nicely finished square Green Cordura case that is ideal for travelling. I would take this rod anywhere in the world and would be quite happy to use it in both freshwater and saltwater where I would expect it to punch above its weight if needs be.
I have been using the rod with a longish belly 6 weight line for teaching but actually use a 5 weight for my own fishing. Because of the rod's easy, progressive action it handles a short line well which allows me to teach using a fairly short length of the 6 weight long belly line to begin with and then to extend line once their casting starts to develop. The 5 weight line I use is right at the top of the weight scale, almost half a line weight up on the normal 5 weight, and the rod will throw 25 to 30 yards of this quite easily if necessary.
Price obviously play an important part in the purchase of a rod and this rod, priced at £325, compares very favourably with others at much higher prices.
I have been so impressed with it that I am now using a 10' #7/8 Tactical for my boat fishing on the still waters and Irish Loughs and am also thinking of a smaller, lighter, stream rod as well.
Where to get one?
The good folks at Alternative Tackle have the full range available online for you to choose from!
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