THE NEW range of Samurai Blanks have been very well received even though it’s very early days. The versatility and reliability of the existing range over the last few years has given this small range of blanks a very good reputation, especially in the lighter spin end of the market. However, there have been a few gaps in the range that would suit a few of the more common styles of fishing, particularly in 6kg+. These last few additions to the range are giving rod builders plenty of scope to build all manner of rods, especially in the new Net V carbon cloth, and there are a few more on the way.
The slower taper of the Net V 008 and 009 blanks lend themselves to the heavier fishing done with braid. When you have a look at a few of the styles of fishing done these days you can see why there’s a market for a tough, durable rod. The big barra getting about the snaggy country in a few of the dams are a classic example of when you need a good strong rod that can fish braid yet not be super-fragile, weigh a ton and cost a fortune. There are plenty of shallow reefs around that are turning up some good catches on soft plastics as well.
In the last Rod Builder’s Corner I played with a cut down NV 009 that could be used as a 10-15kg baitcaster or light jig rod. For this month’s column I decided that a hefty spin rod built on the NV 009’s little brother, the NV 008, would be a nice addition to the rod rack. We’re not going to cut this one down, leaving it at 7ft for casting slugs and poppers or for working a few of the bigger plastics with heads around the 1oz and 4” tails. Keep in mind that when you head out to some of those closer reefs to jig a few plastics (different from deepwater heavy jigs) there’s a fair chance you’re going to spot a few mackerel or tuna – or, further north, the likes of trevally and queenfish.
What impresses me, and most others who pick up this stick, is just how light they are for the power that you get out of them. The Net V cloth has a lot to do with this – it’s a stiffer material and the slower taper of the blank sees the load distributed over a greater length of the rod, much like we see in some of the top-end Japanesse jig rods. Many casting rods do tend to have fast tapers or actions but I’m sure you’ll like the action of this rod when casting heavier slugs and poppers as the weight loads the rod upon the cast and you can use the power over the length of the rod to really pelt that lure out. You’ll notice, too, that we have a more gradual spread of runners to suit the slower action of the blank.
As far as the general butt assembly of the rod goes I have left this pretty standard with a 12" rear grip plus rubber butt cap, FUJI reel seat and 8" foregrip. Should you want to keep the rod as light as possible and add a touch more class, some cork grips would make for a very classy rod.
I highly recommend the new range of MNST tips, as I have found the profile of the frame ideal for many rods due to the shape of the frame with the side supports forming into the ring frame. What this basically means is that there are no edges for the line to catch on and you end up with a sleek and strong tip. I like to use a size 10 ring due to the fact that when leaders are tied to the main line some knots can get quite bulky with the smaller rings choking and catching the knots as the pass through upon casting.
When it comes to the guides you can use your standard BSVLG guides with a high frame stripper or use the new series of Alconite guides, the BMNAG. These have a similar frame style to the tip with the guide feet forming into the ring frame with no harsh edges. They are a very smart guide and well suited to such a rod.
Like the NV 009 I looked at last time around, this blank isn’t just restricted to a spin rod – it’s a very adaptable blank with boat and baitcasters well with in its scope.
Model - NV 008 SPIN 6-10KG
Butt - 12" x 1/2" Eva
Winch -FUJI DPSM 20 (fixed hood up)
Foregrip - 8" x 3/8" eva
Cap -FUJI BCBRC 22
Tip -FUJI MNST 10/3.0
Guides -FUJI BMNAG 10-105; 12-120; 16-140; 20-173, 25-226; 30-310