Review of Sonik SK3 8-12lb class boat rod
There are a number of boat rods in the Sonik range – the cheapest – the SKS, then the middle range SK3 and the more expensive SK4’s. I am reviewing the 8-12lb class SK3 rod. The 8-12lb class is probably the most suitable for kayak fishing.
The rod is 7 foot 6 inches long (I prefer a 7 foot rod for kayak fishing, but it makes little difference) and comes in 2 pieces. The rod is split at the point where the fore grip ends.
The blank is quite an unusual blue colour which sets it apart from other rods – I like that. The 8-12 lb. rating is about right – maybe the rod is a bit more powerful than this, it could easily handle 20lb class fish.
Let’s take a closer look starting at the butt.
The butt cap is neat and not too bulky…
The distance to the reel seat is quite short – spot on for kayak fishing. The reel seat is a quality screw type fitting – very nice…
The fore grip in front of the real seat is comfortable, but unusually long, probably to take is all the way to the joint; a minor point.
The joint itself looks strong – a good thrashing showed no sign of give.
The rings are high quality 3 legged and lined. I personally prefer these rings to the newer smaller braid guides found on the SK4 range. For the simple reason that leader knots and weed do not get stuck in them as easily. The whipping thread is neat and the gold edging looks good. Just the right amount of varnish too.
The tip ring looks neat and strong…
The rod is made from carbon and feels light to hold. I would describe its action as somewhere between tippy and progressive – easier to see when the rod is in its full test curve, but not too tippy and not to through-action either.
So on to the most important part of any review – how did the rod behave when fishing. Well, there are few better places to test a fishing rod than the Bristol Channel. I took the rod out on a few trips before writing this review to see how it would stand-up against other tried and tested rods.
The first trip was near Minehead – lots of dogfish and a very severe run of tide. I was using an Aikos s-series reel loaded with 30lb braid. Baits were mainly sandeel. The tip sat nicely in the tide – due to the blank not being too tippy, it was easy to spot bites, even in the fast flowing water.
A spotted ray provided a good test of the power of the rod as it used its wings to gain maximum advantage in the tide.
The guides coped with the 30lb braid without any issues
Then on to another Bristol Channel venue noted for big ray and a decent run of tide. The conditions were more testing – a breeze was blowing against the strong tide causing a bit of a chop on the kayak. Again, the rod seemed to soak up alot of the bounce and movement of the yak which impressed me. Then a few decent ray to test out the rod…
All in all, I like this rod. The only things I would change are – I would add a hook keeper ring, shorten the grip in front of the reel and make the rod a tiny bit shorter (a personal preference). On the plus side, I would say the fittings were of a good quality, the rod is light and responsive, and the action is good – the 8-12lb class rating is spot on for kayak fishing and the rod could cover alot of kayak fishing scenarios – but catching big fish over clean ground is where this rod excels – sensitive enough to see bites and get some sport, but with enough power in reserve to tame big fish.
The Sonik SK3 8-12lb class boat rod is available from Veals mail order priced £60…