IT’S not often that a $129 rod blows you away in terms of performance and durability. For over a year I have been fishing with a Savage Gear Road Runner travel rod, the 7ft, 4 piece, 3-6kg spin model. There are another three models, both spin and baitcast, in the range which have been handpicked from Savage’s extensive international catalogue to be ideal for Australian conditions.
For the travelling angler, look no further. The Road Runner comes with a sectioned rod bag and quality hard case equipped with a durable, stitched in handle. With the total transport length being 58cm this neat package will slip inside a suitcase or back pack. The rod itself only weighs 128g, and when combined with the 250g hard case and bag, makes a minimal indent in your airline’s luggage allowance.
Each rod is finished with Savage Gear coil control, tangle free, corrosion resistant, single foot guides designed for braided lines. The Savage Gear gold label reel seat is a twist down design with the reel foot sliding into a contoured hard EVA grip. High quality cork is employed on a short fore grip and long butt grip, with the split grip layout exposing the high modulus carbon blank.
From a cosmetic standpoint, this rod ticks all the boxes. But as travelling anglers know, the true test of a multi piece rod is on the water. Each of the three ferrules are deep set for strength, however this does not incur a flat spot in the blank’s parabolic bend. In fact, this rod can take some serious hurt under load, and dish out just the same.
I run a 2500 size reel with 15lb braid over this rod, and am pleased to say it took seven days of beating on Melville Island in the Northern Territory. The fast taper, and 10-40g lure weight lends itself to flicking barra sized lures at all manner of creek and coastal species. It is a beautiful mangrove jack rod, ideal for lobbing a soft vibe into a snag pile and tangling with these ferocious fighters. On one occasion, I had a jack I was fighting engulfed by a 10kg Queensland grouper. In this instance you have no option but to lock up and give the fish everything you’ve got. I have never seen the humble Road Runner bend as much as it did at that moment, but that parabolic bend allowed me to apply enough steady pressure to turn the grouper’s head away from its home. On the same day the rod tamed barra to 70cm with ease.
The advantage of the Road Runner lies in its versatility, it is about as close as you will get to one rod that will do it all. Whether you are flicking a frog over lily pads for saratoga, chucking a metal slice at longtail tuna or jigging a plastic for a Sydney jewfish, you won’t be disappointed.
Savage Gear tackle is available in Australia through BCF stores.
By Luke Reilly