Tuesday, March 30, 2010


The top picture shows the Shakespeare Salt Travel Beach rod, a nice 11'6" six piece affair. http://www.bosfish.co.uk/PRODUCTS/RODS/ss553beach.htm
The second picture down shows a dandy 7' five piece Shakespeare Travel Boat Rod. http://www.tackleshop.co.uk/tackleshopcouk/ctl10390/cp44734/si3489060/cl1/shakespeare_salt_travel_boat_rod_20lb_to_30lb
The bottom picture shows a Daiwa Wilderness Travel Beach Rod, a 12' or 13' four piece rod.

I have owned the Cabela's telescoping surf rod for over a decade. I think I'm the one who convinced them to sell it, and I'll talk more about that later.
I want to buy one or more of these rods. I'd really like the Shakespeare Salt Travel Beach Rod, with the Daiwa 13' Wilderness Travel Beach Rod as a strong second choice. Actually, I'd like to have one of each.
Daiwa and Shakespeare make these very useful rods but do not sell them in the USA. I have found very little interest in any of the UK companies wanting to give me a quote on shipping either. I have tried to buy the Shakespeare pictured at the top of the page for well over a year now from all of the UK fishing shops I could email. Many just did not respond, and the few who did acted like I was asking them for a spot-on recitation of the elements of the periodic table instead of a shipping quote.
I've had the same problem trying to buy the Daiwa surf rod from the same dealers. No go. I tell them I live in Texas, I'm willing to pay what I know will be exhorbitant air shipping rates and that I'd like to buy two travel rods. Now, I could understand the hassles involved if one were shipping one piece rods that were 12' or 13' long. I think it'd be a big hassle to ship a rod that was 6' or 7' long.
But these are gonna be like maybe a hard plastic or cardboard tube just a little over 4' long at the most for the Daiwa, and much shorter for either of the Shakespeares. Not unlike architectural documents or drawings that might have been shipped overseas in pre-internet days.
I traded some drums with a very nice fellow in Germany. Shipping was a wee bit more complex than shipping parcels in the states, but not much. A customs form, some insurance, and just pay some money. Not that complicated.
I wonder if they are concerned about any shipping charges for warranty claims, as the Daiwa USA Rep Miguel wondered in the email he sent today in respose to my question about how to buy one of these rods.
Miguel responded in 7 days, which is reasonable given the nature of my question, but told me that the Wilderness Travel Beach Rod was not carried in the U.S. (I had long ago figured this out). He said he couldn't arrange for one to go to a US dealer for me to buy (?), nor could they sell me one direct (understandable). He said he'd try to call the UK shops for me, and left a 1-800 number, so I'll try calling him tomorrow.
I know the power of the internet. So do you. The Cabela's Telescoping rod pictured above, THE BIG WATER, is a nice light to medium duty surf rod. I think I am the reason they sell it.
Back in the late 90's, we had a small SUV and got a new hot rod four door import mid-sized sedan. We liked taking it down to Port A and Corpus, but with first one and then two kids, space was at a premium. I had several inshore saltwater rods that were two piece and fit well in the trunk of the car, but my longer surf and pier rods wouldn't even fit into the trunk.
I found some asian company that actually had a picture of THE BIG WATER rod on the internet, and some text in some asian script. But at the bottom of the page was the address of the U.S. representative of whatever company was making this rod. That company was located in Houston, in a ghetto-esque long since seen it's heyday office building on Harwin Drive.
No one was there. I left a letter indicating my desire to purchase a few of those rods, for real American dollars, and my phone numbers and slipped the letter under the door.
Cabela's didn't have an online presence yet, but in their catalogs they had blurbs about asking customers to suggest products that they should carry. So I did. And I sent them a letter asking them to sell this rod and in six months or so, it appeared in their catalog and I got an email telling me they were selling it. I bought two right away.
I've since bought several more, and they're a quite decent rod for small to medium sized salt water fish. For a guy like me, who often makes fishing a quick highlight to an otherwise family activity beach trip, it's a handy rod. I've caught quite a few fish on it, albeit smaller ones, but have caught sand and speckled trout on it of anywhere from 2 to 3 pounds and it did just fine.
But it's not a heavy duty surf rod like the Daiwa and Shakespeare rods featured above. Something capable of hauling in a kingfish or some kind of mackeral, or a barracuda or shark, or any other sort of the wide variety of fish one can catch in and near the Texas Gulf Coast surf.
America, and especially this American/Texan, needs one of each of these rods. The boat rod is handy not only for boat fishing, but for canal, bay and especially pier fishing. I have a German version of the boat rod shown above, and I don't care much for the spigot ferrules that it features (which are different from those shown above) but once I get it together it's a heck of a rod.
I use my German travel boat rod for pier fishing on my California trips. In October of 2008, it saw action at the Malibu Pier and at the Santa Monica Pier. It landed two halibut. I took a big heavy duty Zebco Saltwater reel with me, for sometimes simplicity is best The rod fits in my carry on bag and since I don't check bags due to the cost, my carry on is usually crammed to the hilt with stuff. The closed face Zebco, specially designed for salt water, is much less likely to be damaged than an open face spinning reel that I would normally want to have. I've also used my Curado loaded with braided line for pier fishing on this rod.
The German rod came from an online American dealer (who barely speaks broken english) somewhere in the northeast part of the country. It was decent price and overall I'm happy with it. The fit is so tight that it is hard to get apart, but I finally hit upon the solution of using the rubber pads that you open jars with to twist the pieces apart without using the guides as leverage. So two rubber pads solved that problem.
I figure there has to be thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of guys and gals like me who would like to have a compact but heavy duty surf rod that would fit in the trunk of even a small car for folks who like to fish at the beach. A lot of folks are moving to smaller cars and suvs from their giant SUVs these days, and have much less room to carry stuff. Our next vehicle will probably be a four door Toyota Tundra truck, if I have any say in the matter. These travel rods would stow perfectly behind the back seat, safe and sound.
I've got a couple of good friends in the UK, as does the wife, who would gladly take delivery and then reship them to me. But I hate to bother them with something so trivial, and it's an extra hassle in their already busy lives. But I guess it has come to that.

No comments:

Post a Comment