Major Craft Crostage Hard Rock 7'6" 7-28g 16lb.
Firstly a big thank you goes to Henry Gilbey for introducing us to these rods! When Del told me Henry was coming over with a couple rods that we could have a play with, I was immediately both excited and nervous for my poor little credit card! After telling myself numerous times that I didn't need yet another rod, this would just be a good opportunity to educate myself on a few new rods, brands and styles of rods. But then I picked up this little gem!
First impressions that day after a waggle,.. it was lightning fast! Hmm...maybe too stiff I thought after a few more waggles and shakes..? First cast and wow was I amazed at how well a short little rod like this could cast a 7g cone and a Sp! I think I had a senko on at the time, a lure I had only recently become confident in, but which I struggled to effectively fish on my 8ft+ bass rod. I let it settle and gave it a short, sharp twitch and was amazed how the tip literally "sprung to life"! This rod suddenly didn't seem stiff at all!!!! 5min later, I had decided I "had to have one" , so much for that little talk I gave myself hey?! A couple stock enquiry emails to Tom at MONSTER TACKLE, and my new purchase was on its way.
Now a few months and many sessions later, it makes me smile every time I pick it up. The name "Hard Rock" says it all really, a purposely designed rod that does its job superbly. It balances extremely well with my Daiwa Theory 2500 or a Shimano Rarenium 3000, and even after a full days fishing, you just don't notice any weight in your hand what so ever. Just looking at it, you would be forgiven for thinking it has too short a rear grip/handle, but in reality it is perfect, tucking in under your fore-arm snugly when you really pile the pressure on! The tip is just...insane! Electric! Not remotely "soft", but just err "springy", registering even the most subtle of takes, and helping you impart the tiniest twitches when needed, but doesn't come close to just folding/hooping over the moment you hook up. At 7'6" its the perfect length for rock fishing, and let me tell you its no slouch in the casting department either! Clip on a smallish hard lure and just smile as it flies out! A short, sharp, back and forth overhead style cast(hard to explain, but you see it on most Japanese you tube vids) and a komomo or salt skimmer just shoots out unbelievable distances like an arrow! In fact I took it on a recent bass trip just to see what it could do and was very impressed by how versatile it was. I would still say it is more of a soft lure rod, but it's a pretty impressive all-rounder too.
Rated 7-28g it will cast most/all softbaits you are likely to want to use for wrasse,bass or pollock, and makes you feel far more like you are able to bring lures to life, rather than just twitch- twitch- retrieve- twitch! It is soooo sensitive, you can feel every bump, bolder or kelp frond as you work the lure, and after a few casts you really begin to be able to visualise the underwater features and start to map the area out in your head. The recommended 16lb b.s line is about bang on in my book, but you could certainly fish far heavier if you wanted/needed, and have full confidence you could really horse out a big pig! Indeed on a recent wrassing trip, I watched Del hook and bully what we thought was a good wrasse fairly close in, with drag locked up fully, only to discover it was a tidy pollock!
The rod absorbed the powerful lunges as it tried to power down into the kelp beautifully, and showed us how deceptively powerful it really is.
All in all, a fantastic rod, that i just don't think can be beaten for the money, that I continue to fall in love with on every trip. A sheer joy to use, it has really opened my eyes to how good a rod can be at a specific task, and I truly believe its balance, sensitivity, power and over all action have really sped up my learning curve in the addictive world of HRF!
I have to agree with Neil, for the money it is a serious piece of kit that has been well thought out by Major Craft. I must admit that I am pretty new to this type of fishing but am learning all the time!! If you are into fishing soft plastics for wrasse, bass and pollack from the shore then this could be just the rod for you! Likewise as it is 7'6'' it is the perfect length for fishing from a boat or from a kayak.
It has got some serious power in its mid to butt section and I have used it and abused it for the last few months and it hasnt let me down. I have had hundreds and hundreds of wrasse with it topped off by that brute of 6.1lbs.
If you want to put out a senko 40 yards, piece of cake but it is equally happy pitching between boulders and gullies. It takes it all in its stride. I was like Neil and a little worried that the short handle wouldnt enable me to put the brakes onto a big wrasse heading for the nearest snag but quite the opposite as it feels almost like an extension of your arm. Fishing with it makes it very easy to twitch soft plasics over boulders and ledges and the shorter handle fits perfectly under your forearm very naturally meaning as soon as you strike it starts to lock up enabling you to put some direction onto the fish! As it is nice and light you can fish all day with it and at no point complain about its weight!! I fish with a shimano rarenium 3000 and it matches to the Crostage like a dream. The rating of the rod is bang on 7-28g and I know from Tom at Monster Tackle
that it is the most popular rod in France for bass!! Now those guys know their stuff when it comes to a decent rod and I have to agree with them, its a serious piece of kit!!!!