Review of Blackrock Aventine lure rod

My wife is always asking why I have so many fishing rods. I always try to explain that you need different rods for different types of fishing (she doesn’t buy it either !). The truth is, there’s no one rod that can do everything, and if there was, then it probably wouldn’t be particularly good at any one specific type of lure fishing.

I love my light line lure fishing, in particular I enjoy fishing for perch with soft plastic lures. There is alot of subtlety involved with this type of fishing, and I get a real buzz from hooking hard fighting perch on really light fishing tackle. If you have tried it, you probably understand, if not then I am probably trying to explain colour to a blind man…. but stick with me, as you might be interested in the rod I am going to review…

I am always interested in light rods between 6 and 7.5 feet long for my kayak lure fishing. The modern trend seems to be aimed at producing ultra fast taper rods which only bend in the top few inches. Whilst these types of rods are very sensitive, and transmit bites well, they are also very harsh, and personally I believe a lot of perch are lost through the hooks pulling. I prefer a medium-fast action in a perch lure fishing rod. This sort of rod is still sensitive, but is also forgiving enough to soak up lunges from bigger fish, and soft enough in the tip to avoid losing perch.

When I first saw the Blackrock Aventine 7 foot 3 UUL rod, my first thought was that it looked good and was nice and light. Then I pulled the tip of the rod around, and realised that the action was spot-on for the sort of lure fishing I love. But the really cool thing about this rod, was the fact that it had interchangeable tips – pretty neat huh ?!! Now I have been in this game long enough to know that whilst a rod might look good, it really needs to perform. It was with this in mind, that I have been using the rod in anger for over 4 months now, and the description below outlines my thoughts and experiences whilst using the rod…

Good Looks

The first thing you notice about this rod, is the finish, and the graphics. Quite unusual, and very smart, but not too tarty if that makes sense ?

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The butt section of the carbon blank, has a criss-cross overlay which does look good. The whole blank is noticeably thin. The butt cap is neat and just about the right size…

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Moving up the blank, there is a weedless hook keeper just below the reel seat. This is a great little gadget, and does the job it is supposed to do – great to see this on a purpose designed lure fishing rod.

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Sensitive Type

The reel seat is another real highlight of the rod – it is a bare-bones type, where the blank of the rod is fully exposed between the reel inserts. Not only does this make the reel seat lighter, but it also enables the blank to be gripped whilst working a lure, which greatly improves sensitivity. Believe me – it works ! Oh, and it also looks uber-cool.

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Above the reel seat is the usual blurb and graphics…

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Rung for success

The Aventine blank is not furnished with standard Fuji rings, but they do look pretty good. Blackrock look to have come up with a set of anti-tangle type rings (similar to the Fuji concept K’s).  And from my use of the blank over the past few months, I have not had any tangles whilst casting my lures with light (4 to 6lb) nanofil (I wish the same could be said of some of my other lure rods). The rings are light, and thus far, I have had no issues with the frames rusting or the inserts cracking.

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The main joint of the blank is pretty standard, maybe could have done with a bit more re-enforcing with the whippings, but its just a minor observation. There is a good amount of room for wear and tear on the joint.

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Moving on to the tip section. The rings are neat and tidy, not too much whipping thread or varnish, I know they are copies, but they do the job, and you cannot ask anything more.

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Double Lure Tip – Very Smart

The tip tapers nicely, and then it all stats to get a bit interesting. The Aventine is a bit of a dark horse. It comes with two different tips. They are stored in a plastic tube, rather like the quiver tips of old.

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The two tips provided on my Aventine 7’3” UUL rod were…

– 1-8g

– 3-10g

The tips slot into the tip section of the Aventine…

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You have to be a bit careful when inserting/removing the tips – just a bit of common sense needed (the tips are very thin). The rings on the 2 tips are small and neat.

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The tips blend into the main tip section of the blank very nicely; there is not much of a flat spot. In the next image, you can really see the action on the Aventine. As I mentioned at the start of the review, I really like the action and taper of this rod. Not too tippy, but also quite powerful, there is alot of bend in the top of the rod, not just the last few inches of the tip, but at the same time the rod is not sloppy or soft at all; its still quite crisp…

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The lighter tip (1-8g) is very sensitive, a bit too sensitive for me if I am being honest. But I know that there are alot of perch fishermen out there who love to fish micro jigs, and the lighter tip would be spot on for those “wasp botherers” !

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Under Pressure

So how does the rod perform under pressure ? Well, there was only one way to find out… I started off on my local river, and the rod was soon pulling out perch on small 2g Zman Grubz. The tip was great, and I could feel every tiny little pluck from the perch through the bare blank reel seat. I managed a 2lb 7oz beauty which fought well, but never stretched the rod. Great tip action for the perch. In subsequent trips, I also caught a lot of chub to 3.5lbs. The best test on the river were the pike which ran around like, well pike ! The rod was at its best when throwing small soft plastics in the 2-4g range – and I nearly always used the 3-10g tip.

I was beginning to take a real shine to this rod. It wasn’t perfect for the river, being a tad too long. But then again, I hooked some chub at range, which I probably would have missed with my shorter 6’6” river lure rods, so swings and roundabouts.  I managed to get hold of some heavier tips (the heavier tips sold with the other Aventine models UL and L, also fit the UUL rod). I had a kayak fishing trip planned to China. And rod tube space was at a premium… the choice to take the Aventine was a bit of a no-brainer. The rod was versatile, and with the multi-tips, it could cover several lure fishing scenarios, which otherwise would have seen me taking multiple rods.

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The rod behaved really well, and I was even fishing 10g metal vibes with it, using the heavier tips.

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I was catching red fins, which were like mini-tarpon. They have very soft mouths, and lots of the fishermen were losing fish through the hooks pulling out – no such problems with the Aventine…

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Conclusions

The Aventine covers a lot of different lure fishing situations. The scenario which it is best suited to, is fishing small soft plastic jig head lures on bigger waters, such as lakes. Its 7’3” length means it can cast lures a long way in the kayak. The blank is very thin, and sensitive; and also very light. I love the reel seat too. The greatest USP has to be its multiple inter-changeable tips. A simple but great idea, which works really well, and sets it apart from many other lure rods. The other notable discriminator is the price… you can pick up this rod for under £60 !!!!

It’s really difficult to be negative or picky about a rod in this price range, but if I was to have a free range to improve the rod specifically for kayak lure fishing, then this is what I would change…

– Add the ability to store the spare tips inside the butt of the rod

– Shorten the rod to 6’6” to broaden its use to cover rivers

– Make the butt shorter (distance between the butt cap and the bottom of the reel seat) to avoid impinging on kayak PFD

– Add a leash ring, and move the weedless ring above the reel seat to avoid interference with kayak rod tubes

– Add some heavier spare tips

All in all, a unique lure rod for an incredible price. If you get the chance to try one out, do so. You will not be disappointed, and I suspect you will buy one without too much hesitation. A great rod to have in your armoury, as it covers so many different scenarios, and is a pleasure to use, as well as being a highly effective fish catcher.