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Flextec CRX88 10’ 4-piece # 6/7 fly-rod - the review

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The Flextec CRX88 fly rod The Flextec CRX88 fly rod

Terry Lawton takes a look at this very reasonably priced rod from Flextec to see how it stacks up against more expensive options. Do you always get what you pay for?

Review by Terry Lawton

The manufacturer Flextec states that the CRX88 range was designed primarily for presentation rather than simply maximum distance. A rod that would present a fly gently and accurately at reasonable distances rather than the other side of the reservoir, but still with a reserve of power when longer casts are demanded and big fish need to be brought under control.

First impressions

What does the rod look like? The CRX88 is built on slate grey, Torayca high modulus IM8 carbon gloss blank and is supplied in a black Cordura tube and with a black rod bag. There are two lined stripping guides, a fly keeper ring, and the other rings are high-rise Sic snakes. All the whippings are tipped in silver which is smart and discrete. The standard of whipping and varnishing is remarkably high given the price of the rod. The full wells handle is of good quality cork without too much obvious filling, as is the rubber-tipped fighting butt. The generously-sized anodised aluminium reel seat has a carbon insert and should accommodate most reel feet. The rod weighed-in at 148gms (on my local Post Office scales), a little heavier than the manufacturer’s figure of 134gms.

All-in-all a very pleasing package apart from the labelling which is a bit flashy.

Performance

From an appearance build point of view there is nothing to complain about. But will the rod perform? Will it present a fly accurately at regular fishing distances and still have enough power to lift-off a sunk line and handle powerful fish?

My first casts with a #6 WF line showed that the rod could place a cast accurately and with little effort up to about 45 feet. The rod tracked well and was well damped. It lifted the line well and was a pleasure to cast.

I then tried it with a heavier line and tried hitting some casts really hard and the rod did not wobble as much as I might have expected and the damping stopping any unwanted flexing very quickly. The rod certainly has the power to lift a heavy line.

I decided that I liked the rod much better with the #6-weight line as it loaded the rod well and felt very much lighter in the hand. If you were fishing for big fish on a windy day then the heavier line weight might be the better choice, but for all-round fishing, I would stick, very happily, to a #6-weight line


Conclusions

The CRX88 range runs from a 9’ #5/6-weight through to an 11’ #8/9-weight. These rods should be good for stillwaters, lochs and big reservoirs and sea trout and summer salmon fishing.

This is a well-made, versatile rod at a bargain price of £69.99. You have got to wonder how the rod can be sold at this price. What corners have been cut? Or, why are other rods so expensive, in relative terms? How long will this rod last?

Some people are only too happy to quote the old “saw” that you only get what you pay for when you buy something cheap. But that is not always the case. Even if one of these rods lasts for only a couple of seasons and then needs replacing, you could buy three or four CRX88s for the same price as one top-end rod, without having to make the initial outlay and the benefit of a clean rod handle every couple of seasons. The choice is yours!

Guarantee

All Flextec rods are covered by an unconditional lifetime guarantee which will cover any problem you may have with your rod, including accidental damage. The guarantee applies to the original owner only who must register their purchase within 14 days.

Where damage has occurred due to a defect in manufacturing, Flextec will, at its own discretion, either repair or replace the product at no charge. Flextec reserves the right to offer the nearest alternative from its current range in cases where the product has been superseded by newer models and replacement parts are no longer available.

A handling charge of £30 will be applied per section per claim to cover return shipping, insurance and processing for any claims made from within the UK. For any claims made from outside the UK a charge of £40 will be applied.

Specification for the rod tested

Colour: Slate grey
Blank: Torayca High Modulus IM8 Graphite Carbon
Sections: 4
Action: Medium/Fast
Guides: Sic (Silicon Carbide)
Reel seat: Gunsmoke Anodised Aluminium
Handle: AAA Quality Portuguese Cork with Fighting Butt (depending on rod size, see table)
Weight: 134gms
Bag: Rod Bag and Cordura Tube
Cost: £69.99


Buy now at www.tacklediscounts.co.uk


Options

Model Code Length (ft/m) Rating Sections Weight (oz/g) Fighting Butt
FLEX-N-CRX88-9456  9'/2.74 5-6  4 4.13/117  No
FLEX-N-CRX88-9467  9'/2.74 6-7  4 4.27/121  No
FLEX-N-CRX88-9478  9'/2.74 7-8  4 4.59/130  Yes
FLEX-N-CRX88-10456  10'/3.05 5-6  4 4.59/130  No
FLEX-N-CRX88-10467  10'/3.05 6-7  4 4.73/134  Yes
FLEX-N-CRX88-10478  10'/3.05 7-8  4 4.90/139  Yes
FLEX-N-CRX88-10489  10'/3.05 8-9  4 5.39/153

 Yes

FLEX-N-CRX88-106467  10'6”/3.20 6-7  4 5.08/144  Yes
FLEX-N-CRX88-106478  10'6”/3.20 7-8  4 5.25/149  Yes
FLEX-N-CRX88-106489  10'6”/3.20 8-9  4 5.39/153  Yes
FLEX-N-CRX88-11478  11'/3.35 7-8  4 5.57/158  Yes
FLEX-N-CRX88-11489  11'/3.35 8-9  4 5.71/162  Yes







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