I’ve often said that I’m not a great fan of long, three-piece rods but being in a position where I get to test, fish with and thrash them, I have to admit that they do allow you to cast further without the need for exaggerated casting styles.
The Teklon Surf Team 4500 is a well-balanced rod once the reel is clamped in place, plus there’s a counterbalanced weight fixed into the bottom of the butt.
It’s rated to cast leads of 100g up to a hefty 225g so it’ll cope with just about every aspect of shore fishing around the UK. The real advantage comes when you need to blast baits out over clean, sandy beaches, used in conjunction with a large fixed-spool reel loaded with braid, as you can send baits way out towards the horizon. I felt that it worked best with a 170g grip lead on a single-hook pulley rig baited with either a bunch of rag or a small whole squid. These were easily cast to the 80m to 100m range, well into the main tide flow, which helped pull the tip round into a nice curve for bite detection. Sadly, the only bite came from a dogfish of less than 2lb but the bite was easily spotted as a slow tug-tug, typical of a doggie.
During the main tide run, the strength of the current meant that I had to switch to a 200g lead to hold bottom. While the rod coped with casting this lump of lead plus bait, I’d advise you to make sure that the reel’s drag is clamped up tight to avoid spool slip during the cast that could cause a nasty cut to your finger, so it would also be advisable to wear a casting glove.
The ground is quite rough on the Bristol Channel mark where the test was carried out and that’s where I found that the extra length of the rod can help avoid snags; by holding the rod tip high and winding fast you can keep the rig and fish above the rough stuff much easier than you could with a shorter rod. On the test day we experienced some crazy extremes of weather, from warm sunshine and a flat-calm sea to a howling gale with driving rain, sleet and hail. Despite the horrendous conditions the rod performed well with putting the bait to the desired range and demonstrated good bite detection. Its superb performance is due to its construction, with it being made from Japanese high-performance graphite along with the very best components, including a Fuji screw-up reel seat and under-whipped Fuji KW guides with Alconite liners.
The Teklon Surf Team 4500 is a smart-looking rod and after giving it a good thrashing in tough conditions I can guarantee that it delivers top performance on the beach! The guide system causes very little friction during a cast so you don’t lose valuable distance or waste effort. So, if you’re a fixed-spool user looking for a rod that delivers distance with good bite detection, it’s well worth checking out this model!
Value for money: ★★★★★★★★★
|Blank material: 60-ton Japanese high-performance graphite|
Overall length: 4.5m
Rings: Six, plus tip – Fuji KW
Whipping: Metallic blue, tipped with silver
Reel seat: Fixed screw-up
Contact: Grauvell UK on 01235 821877