rod reviews I often wonder exactly how much angling has gone into what is being written. I get the general impression, with many reviews I read, that the product has landed on the desk of the reviewer in the hope of a few kind words. There are many ways that these items are offered for review, complete giveaways, competitions prizes etc, and some companies have just one or two of any one product asreview fodder, and ship them around every possible avenue of publicity going. Yuki is a brand that has been on the European market for a number of years now, from a Portuguese base these Japanese-manufactured rods are slowly finding a place in the UK angling scene. The success and versatility of the whole range of rods can clearly be seen from the number of dedicated match
anglers across Europe that use rods from the Yuki camp, including the Welsh shore team and especially Wales’ twice world shore angling champion, Alan Price. Paul Hardy at Moonfleet Angling saw the potential here in the UK and soon became the sole importer and distributor for the full Yuki range. With deliveries from across the extensive range arriving regularly, Yuki rods are slowly making great inroads to the British market, and they’re helping many anglers with far more successful outings. A Decent Rod For £20!
When these rods first started to filter into the UK they were predominantly shore based, but as soon as the boat rods startedto show I was keen to grab hold of a few and see if there was similar
potential for the UK boa angler. I was also keen that they be left aboard my boat ‘My Way’ for a good period of time where anglers had the opportunity to take a slightly ‘use and abuse’ approach
to them all. Naturally I would be having a go myself, but more importantly I could sit back and watch the rods in action and see just what they are capable of. Fortunately for me, Paul was of
a similar mind and after one visit to the northeast a selection of Yuki rods from across the range were heading for north Wales. Throughout 2013 the rods thatappeared to receive the most attention from anglers afloat were the very cheap Ruby Mar and Ruby H rods, and at £20 the Yuki Ruby rods were certainly worth a try. I’d already read a few online comments on forums about these rods, one sticks in my mind and was along the lines of ‘It’ll be rubbish for £20’. Really, the Yuki range also consists of rods costing hundreds and hundreds of pounds, companies may offer budget value, but quite often the engineering behind the product equals that ofthe high-end models.
Put To The Test
Both of the rods mentioned come in 1.6m models with the Ruby H also having a 2.1m, slightly longer version. Imported as ‘ideal for the growing kayak market’ in the UK, they have found quite a niche market as cheap fun rods for boat anglers, with the added difference of powerful capabilities. Our first outing with the Ruby Mar rods came at the end of April when drifting around the
breakwater and rock ledges for small pollack. The rods were nice to use, but with the pollack rarely exceeding 3lb in weight we were hardly putting anything to the test. By the end of May the
smoothhounds started to appear in the bay, and with Holyhead famed for the above average size of smoothhounds caught around north Wales, this was surely to be a great test. Matched to small
Abu 6000 reels, the rods felt fairly well balanced and I had the ideal test in mind, during a few days fishing with a group friends that descend upon ‘My Way’ each June in search of the quality hound fishing. Along with our normal rod and reel outfits (we’re talking Daiwa, Shimano, Avet, Abu etc, all good gear) we also put out two Ruby Mar rods off the stern. Being small, this was the
easiest place for them to rest against the gunnels and ‘forget’ about as they fished downtide. Everyone was intrigued, myself included, to see exactly how the rods would perform. Well Built And
Extremely Powerful With two fairly equal sections and a very light tip, it was easy to arc the rod fully over, and despite having seen a video on the Moonfleet Angling Facebook page of a kayak being raised off the floor via a hook up with a Yuki Ruby rod, I must admit to an element of fear at the thought of snapping or shattering the blank. The tip tapers to a very, very fine diameter, and sadly we had suffered a few breakages in the weeks leading up to these few days. Each time an inch or two of the tip section snapped due to over zealous retrieval by anglers, and the age old problem of some folk reeling booms and links right up to the tip eye – one of my pet hates when hiring gear out to some crews! With such a delicate tip section this is to be expected at times, however I must add that my personal Yuki Ruby rod still has the ultra thin tip piece in order! But, you really do need to take care. As for the rods that suffered breakage, a little bit of microsurgery with a pair of snips to remove the broken couple inches left perfectly working rods.Hounds To 19lb! I cannot quite remember who managed to hit the first run we had on one of the Ruby rods. My guess is going to be the Scottish skate master Davy Holt. We couldn’t shake Davy off these rods, I’m not even too sure if his own rods were actually used over the few days
he fished with us, such was his enjoyment with the Yuki Ruby’s. The rods performed extremely well under the pressure that running sharks exert on tackle. Normally with light rods such as these, you have a tendency to slacken the drag a little more than normal to compensate for the weaker blank, not to mention adding to an adrenalin fuelled fight. Testing the rods a little more to the extreme we were able to tighten down on the drag and allow the blank to absorb the vast majority of the sharp dives and runs from the hooked up smoothie. Throughout each fight the rods appeared effortless, and we were able to tame every hound – the majority of which weighing averaged in the mid teens. On occasions we had double hook ups and had anglers, notably Davy and John Becker, dancing around the deck with their small rods while taming a smoothie! We landed numerous smoothhounds over the three days, and the majority fell to the Yuki Ruby rods. They performed extremely well and were able to cope with smoothhounds up to 19lb with ease. Granted ‘uptiding’ is a little problematic and a good outreaching rod rest is required if you want to fish up the gunnels and leave your rod at times. But on the whole, for £20 I really do think these rods should be a ‘must purchase’ for every angler that spends time on the sea – charter, small boat or kayak. They are a terrific steal at only £20, and will give a great amount of sporting fun to anglers of all capabilities. Just A Small Niggle On a personal note, I have been using the Ruby Mar mainly with a small fixed spool. I felt slightly awkward when playing some of the bigger smoothies, and would have preferred more fore grip when using with a multiplier to balance the load, but this would be a little hard to accommodate on such a small rod. Using a small Penn Battle 400 FS sorted this issue, allowing me a good amount of leverage required when battling 15lb+smoothhounds.Through the year many of our anglers have used the rods for the likes of small pollack and wrasse in particular, when drifting around the coast. The light rod and sensitive tips help ensure that they really
come into their own for this type of fishing light drifting.