Outfit review - Sonik SK3 #3/4 Fly Rod, Reel and Line
Author and small rivers expert Terry Lawton casts his expert eye over this balanced 3 to 4 weight fly fishing outfit from Sonik. Will it be up to the task?
The rod is supplied in a triangular green cordura-covered tube and a green rod bag. When I removed the rod from its bag, I noticed straight away that it is fitted with two lined stripping guides which I would have thought was a bit over-the-top for a 7’ #3/4- weight rod. The reel seat is machined from lightweight, marine grade aluminium which is hard anodised in black. A fixed hood is keyed to a channel built into the woven carbon insert. This automatically centres and holds the foot of any reel securely and ensures a permanent anchorage. The oversize screw thread on the sliding hood makes fitting a reel trouble free.
Assembling the rod threw-up a very simple but excellent innovation: instead of alignment dots, there are alignment lines! Long lines on the male ferrule and short on the female. They work so much better than dots. Ten out of ten for Sonik on this novelty. These lines and the reel seat make for a rod that is quick and easy to put together. (n.b. other rod manufacturers have used lines before - Greys for example, but I can't see why everyone does not use them all the time? Ed.)
The rod is built on a dark aqua green, high gloss Toray blank and is well finished with the main whippings – in matching dark aqua green - tipped with gold. Aside from the twin stripping guides, all the other guides are single-leg snakes. I would prefer to see the top ring closer to the hayfork tip ring. There is a fly keeper ring. The handle is made from good quality cork and is well-shaped and of a suitable size for the size of rod. Graphics on the rod are minimalist.
Sonik sk3 fly rods are claimed to have medium fast actions, which are easy to load and will present a fly at range with accuracy and should suit a range of casting styles. This 7’ model is the baby of the range and its length and line weight mean it is going to perform best on small streams and in tight corners, flicking a fly to fish rising under over-hanging bushes and trees.
But when fishing it is easy to forget that this is only a 7’ rod as it will cast a good length of line without much effort. But if you fish a heavy Czech nymph or a big, bushy fly, then you need to remember to change your casting stroke and slow down a little to take into account the extra weight or bulk of fly. It is a very nice rod to cast and fish.
Specification of the rod as tested
Blank: Japanese Toray carbon fibre, aqua green gloss finish. Alignment lines and length/line weight information on each section
Reel seat: Machined from marine grade aluminium, hard anodised in black. A fixed hood is keyed to a channel built into the woven carbon insert
Handle: AA grade Portuguese cork
Guides: Two lightweight high stand-off Aluminium Oxide strippers, black anodised. Hard chrome, single leg intermediates. Hayfork tip ring. Hook keeper ring
Case: Supplied in a good quality cloth bag with a triangular cordura tube with strap and carry handle.
Length ft (m) Rating (wt) Sections Colour RRP
7' (2.13) #3/4 (92g) 3 Aqua Green £74.99
8' (2.44) #3/4 (92g) 3 Aqua Green £84.99
8' 6" (2.59) #4/5 (101g) 3 Aqua Green £84.99
9' (2.74) #5/6 (103g) 3 Aqua Green £89.99
9' (2.74) #7/8 (107g) 4 Aqua Green £89.99
9' (2.74) #8/9 (108g) 4 Aqua Green £89.99
9' 6" (2.90) #6/7 (108g) 3 Aqua Green £94.99
9' 6" (2.90) #7/8 (111g) 3 Aqua Green £94.99
10' (3.05) #6/7 (116g) 3 Aqua Green £99.99
10' (3.05) #7/8 (124g) 3 Aqua Green £99.99
10' 6 (3.23) #7/8 (118g) 3 Aqua Green £109.99
11' (3.35) #6/7 (137g) 3 Aqua Green £119.99
Sonik Product Warranty
All Sonik rods are covered by a five year manufacturer’s warranty(excluding normal wear and tear) against defects in material and workmanship. In addition the company provides the potential for lifetime coverage against accidental breakage through the Sonik Rapidex Replacement Service. The purchase must be registered with Sonik Sports.
Where damage has occurred due to a defect in manufacturing, Sonik Sports Limited will, at its own discretion, either repair or replace the product at no charge. Sonik 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.
For all return shipments within the United Kingdom, the original owner will be responsible for £30 per section per claim to cover return shipping, insurance and processing. International customers will be charged actual shipping and insurance costs, and will be responsible for all related customs and duty charges.
Sonik SK Lite #3/4 Fly Reel
It is surprisingly difficult to get a well-made, good looking and lightweight small fly reel at a sensible price. So many reels are over-engineered for fishing with light lines and short rods where miles of backing and a drag that would stop a bolting horse are rarely needed, if ever.
The Sonik SK Lite fly reel is simplicity itself, with nothing to adjust or change. You can use it with either right- or left-hand wind simply by changing the way you put on the line. There is a simple push button spool release. The click check is just firm enough to stop over-runs when stripping line ready to cast. This is an attractive, lightweight and simple reel. It is machined from bar stock aluminium and finished with triple high gloss champagne-coloured anodising. The reel is 70mm in diameter and is supplied in a neoprene case.
Sonik claims a weight of 90gms and a backing capacity of 40ms. In my experience you will need to use very thin backing to get that amount on the reel. It is very easy to put on the backing and line at home and fill the reel nicely, But when you are fishing and have to wind-in a lot of line, it may not go on to the spool as smoothly and evenly and you may find – as I did - that the spool is over-full. Apart from that this is a very nice little reel.
The reel retails for £74.99 and spare spools cost £34.99. The larger #5/6 reel costs £79.99 and a spare spool £39.99.
Sonik SK3 fly line
We were also supplied with a Sonik SK3 weight-forward floating fly line. The line is ice blue and did everything that was expected of it. It handled well without any tangles, and cast and floated very well. The true test of the performance of a line can only be judged over some months of use: does it still float as well? Has the surface finish started to degrade or got very dirty?
The line has an 18” tip, 10’ front and rear tapers, 17’ 6” belly and 42’ of running line. SK3 lines are made in the UK - where some of the very best lines are made – and are available as floaters from #3 to #9, intermediates of #6-8, and medium sink #6-8. All are weight forward configuration.
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