Sonik Sports SKS Carp Rods
Tue 11 June 13
With the recession hitting all aspects of life including pastimes and hobbies, there has been an influx of low priced rods hitting the racks of the tackle shops. With the price of a rod being low, a lot of anglers automatically think that the rod is not going to be much use to them, but with anglers wanting a high quality product for as little money as possible, Sonik Sports have come up with a range of rods which a lot of anglers are praising very highly indeed. After hearing the praise for the SKS range of rods from several tackle shops I have visited, when I was told that a set of the 3lb test curve SKS rods had been sent to the UKMA office for review, I was pleased to be asked to put them through their paces on a session that was planned.
The SKS rods have been constructed on a slim matt finished carbon blank that is pleasant to the eye. Sonik have not gone overboard on the cosmetics – which is where a lot of manufacturers let themselves down on with a low priced rod – and directly above the reel seat, Sonik have simply placed their name and the model of the rod. The blank itself is what I would call a “compound taper” in that it has a softish tip section which blends well into the butt section when it is bent. Even though the blank is on the softish side, it will still cast a lead and a small PVA bag accurately even with wind blowing into your face or from the side. The tip recovery of the blank is very fast and surprised me considering the price tag. Sonik have done a remarkable job to create a blank that recovers as fast as the SKS does for the price range.
Sonik have also thought about what the modern angler looks for in a rod, and have fitted the SKS with lightweight SiC rings – which in the past have only been found on rods costing considerably more. In fact, to buy a set of SiC rings on their own to rewhip an older rod would cost almost the same price as a SKS rod would complete! Sonik have not gone for the fashion of fitting a 50mm ring set to the rods, and have gone for the traditional 40mm ring set. The tip ring has had some thought put into it and is bigger than what you would expect to find on a rod of this price. The larger diameter tip ring allows for better line flow on the cast as well as lowering the issue of clogging up with weed on the retrieve or playing a fish. The rings are whipped on using a black thread and tipped off in a subtle copper trim. The butt ring is of the double leg design with the remainder of the rings on the tip section being of the single leg variety.
The reel seat is one of Sonik’s own type DPS style, fitted with gunsmoke collars & hood, and easily handles the larger Shimano reels (used for testing and should also be fine with Daiwa reel feet also), holding them snugly and with no movement when tightened up. The reel seat has a small duplon button at each end to cap it off. The lower grip has been fitted and shaped out of duplon to offer a non-slip area for casting even with wet or slimy hands. The grip is of a low profile with a small larger section at the bottom end which stops the hand slipping off when giving it the “big one”. The end grip is finished off nicely with Sonik’s traditional laser etched stainless button.
One little touch that Sonik have got spot on, is the line clip that is permanently fitted to the butt section above the reel seat. Instead of fitting the line clip to the side of the blank, they have fitted it underneath the blank. When I first saw this, I thought it was strange, but after using it, found that the positioning was actually better for line release than a side mounted clip. Even with the line pulled tightly into the clip, it released on a take with no problems and no damage to the line at all.
As mentioned, the Sonik SKS rods were taken on a planned session to a lake in the Devon countryside. As the wife was also fishing with me, it was the perfect session to put them through their paces from both a newcomer and experienced angler’s persepective. It wasn’t long after the rods were cast out that the first take of the session was calling for our attention, and I took the first chance. The bend in the rod was more than I was used to, but handled everything that both myself and the fish could give it with no fear of the hook pulling out of the mouth under pressure as the SKS blank soaked up every lunge and run with ease. I was actually enjoying the fight from the fish for once compared to my own stiffer blanked rods! After a 5 minute battle, the fish was drawn over the net cord and after pulling the scales down to 24lb 15oz, it was the perfect start to the test of the rods. I was pleasantly surprised on how the rods performed and compared to other low priced rods I have used in the past, the SKS blew them out of the water! The next fish on the SKS wasn’t that far away and I let the wife take this one to see how the rod performed in the hands of a newcomer. I have to point out that this was the first time that the wife had been carp fishing and although she had caught small species in the past, this fish was the largest that she had ever hooked at this point in time. With listening to advice given by myself to her on what to do and how to counteract what the fish was doing, it was only a matter of minutes before she had managed to put a 15lb 2oz common on to the unhooking mat. During the fight she had made a couple of little mistakes, but the rod had soaked up them perfectly and the fish had stayed on. Point proved? I think so. Later on in the evening, one of the SKS rods was away again, and I was playing a fish in the dark on a rod that I was not used to. This fish was more powerful than the first and went on several runs with the rod at full curve on a tightish clutch, but I was at no point thinking that the hook was going to pull out. After 10 minutes or so, a 26lb 2oz common was on the mat, and the SKS was proving to be a complete joy to use and to handle.
During the week that the session run through, several more fish were landed on the SKS by both of us – mainly to the wife during the day light hours as she didn’t feel comfortable in playing a fish in the dark just yet, and the only hook pull that occured on the SKS during the week was down to a piece of broken boilie from the PVA stick being jammed between the point and bend of the hook which would have meant the fish was lost regardless of rod used (something that was a first for me in my 30+ years angling!). Below is a picture of her new PB of 23lb 4oz caught on the SKS.
I cannot say anything negative about the SKS rods at all, and for the price there is nothing out there that I have seen which can touch them for performance or quality. The blank is responsive and recovers quickly with next to no wobble in the tip and the rod feels completely balanced with a 10000 size BaitRunner reel. Unlike a lot of other low priced rods, the SKS look very classy indeed and if you didn’t know how much they cost, you could be mistaken in thinking that the price tag is at least twice the selling price.
We tested the 12’ 3lb test curve model of the SKS and I have been going on about the low price of the rods without giving it away yet, but the SKS rods have a RRP of just £59.99 each!!!! I can honestly say that if you are looking to replace a set of rods without wanting to break the bank, you will not go wrong with the SKS range. Sonik have also included their Rapidex warranty with each rod which offers a lifetime warranty on breakages to the original purchaser regardless of how the rod is damaged or broken. Full details of the Rapidex warranty is available from Sonik.
Sonik Sports have done it again with the SKS and I can honestly see these rods flying out of the shops in their thousands, as long as anglers can get their head from around the old adage of “you get what you pay for” as this quote does not apply to the SKS range as you are getting a lot more than what the rods’ price tag suggests.
Visit the Website: http://www.soniksports.com/