My day out with these rods has got to be one of the most enjoyable day’s tackle testing I have had in a very long time. There is something mesmerising about easing a float through on a pacey river, holding it back and then watching it disappear under the surface! This effect is enhanced, of course, if you are using a sublime piece of tackle, like Maver’s new Superlithium Green Power bolognese rod, to aid you in your quest! I have been lucky enough to visit the Reglass factory in Bologna, Italy, where these rods are manufactured – and having seen the processes used to make them I knew they would be quality.
In fact, bolognese rods are one area where quality tackle is probably more important than in many other areas, because you have to hold them for long periods as you are fishing to achieve good presentation. Furthermore, you are often balancing big floats with light lines, small hooks and the chance of quality fish, so the action of the rod is paramount. It has to be crisp enough to allow good line recovery on the strike, but forgiving enough to cushion the lunges of angry river fish. There are three rods in Maver’s bolo rod range, starting with the cheaper Arthemis MX model. This is only available in a 6m length, and retails at £199.99. This felt absolutely lovely for the money, and perfect for those who want a good 6m rod for a reasonable price.
For my test today, though, I am using the more expensive models, Maver’s Superlithium Green Power MX rods. These are available in 6m or 7m versions, but for the purposes of today’s test I’ve opted for the 7m model. I prefer a longish rod for this sort of work, as I believe it gives superior line control and pick-up, which can really help improve presentation and help you hit more bites. The first thing that strikes me is just how light the rod is. Couple this with a comfortable handle, and you could happily stand in the water fishing with this rod all day. Threading the rod up, I was impressed with the high quality of the Fuji guides – sure to help when feeding line off the reel to ease a float through the swim. As they say, though, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, so I was keen to catch a fish on the rod and see how it responded. This was to prove the tricky bit! I fished on a very cold morning on the ‘outflow’ peg at Burton Joyce. The same peg, in fact, where Tom Pickering caught one of the legendary nets of bleak that once saw him crowned the ‘Bionic Bleaker’. Since the ‘cleaning up’ of the famous Stoke Bardolph sewage works, however, there aren’t so many bleak in this part of the river – but no shortage of roach or dace. Still, the cold weather had definitely taken its toll on the sport, and it took me a good 20 minutes to get a bite – and sadly when I did I came back with a sucked maggot.
However, at least I had hope that there were some fish there and so something to work at! Soon after, I connected with my first fish of the day, a quality dace that came around halfway down my peg. The rod felt lovely; really crisp, but at the same time forgiving enough to allow fish to be played confidently. This set the tone for a really enjoyable day. It was very hard, but the occasional bite really kept me on my toes. They were all quality fish that I caught too – with a couple of 8oz roach also making an appearance later in the day. The key seemed to be really slowing the bait down in the feed area – you had to be on your game, though, as they were very fast bites even with a bit of line on the bottom, and it was easy to miss them. After four hours’ fishing we had to call time as the light was dropping, and with a dozen chunky fish in the net it had been a very tough but rewarding day. At a shade under £350 for the 7m version, the rod I tested is a significant investment. But for anyone who does a bit of bolo fishing and who wants a quality piece of kit for the money, I would definitely recommend taking a look.
Maver Bolognese Rods: • 6m Arthemis £199.99 • 6m Superlithium Green £289.99 • 7m Superlithium Green £349.99