I’m always looking out for packable and portable kit. One of the pitfalls of living in London and being restricted to public transport is that moving larger kit items to and from the bank can be a little arduous – tube train doors could make an easy meal of a tip section. More compact and travel friendly kit takes the stress away from the commute, makes storing your tackle more efficient and lends itself to being kept to hand more often. The stories of city guys storing the old Hardy Smuggler fly rods in the briefcases really are true – I’ve seen it!
I came across the range of Spro Mobile Stick 6pc rods late last year and felt they immediately ticked a number of boxes for the type of rod the modern urban angler would be looking for. This range of six rods is designed with modern light lure fishing in mind with configurations of either 7′ or 8′ and casting weights of 0.6-8g, 3-12g or 5-15g. At a maximum packed down length of just 43cm these are clearly public transport-proof but my main worry was whether they were going to be a good enough fishing rod. I plumped for the 8′ 5-15g model with drop-shot fishing and jigging shads for both perch and pike in mind.
For the last seven months the Mobile Stick has been strapped to my rucksack just inside my front door waiting for me to get back from work. In the rucksack there is a reel with some 10lb braid, a box of small soft plastic lures and assorted weights, some wire traces, some fluorocarbon, a few different types of forceps and usually some sort of sustenance. The kit really is totally travel-proof and for a few hours in the evening after work it’s more than enough.
Convention says that multi-section rods tend to lose some of their action but I have to say that the Mobile Stick 8′ 5-15g has a really tight fast action with no evident flat spots. The fantastically slim blank is made from high quality carbon and weighs less than 120g which for a rod with so many joints is amazing. The small guides are light and functional, and while the whippings on the guides aren’t without a few flaws they are more than acceptable. The split duplon/cork handle is of the modern abbreviated kind and holding the rod gives the sense that the handle has been counter balanced – the rod feels immediately very comfortable in the hand. The simple rod bag is pragmatic and functional but I do feel that given the rods purpose as a travel item that a small rod tube would have really set things off.
The rod has been used with a variety of methods from ultra light jigging the excellent Fox Warrior Micro Shad to drop shotting with a 5g weight and J-Flash minnows right through to launching small topwater baits for pike. I’ve tried to break it, I really have! The designers at Spro really have hit the nail on the head in terms of the action and durability of the Mobile Stick, this one has taken all kinds of hammer. The sensitivity with smaller jig heads belies the relatively high casting weight of the rod, it has given plenty of transmission on jig heads as small as 2g. Where the Mobile Stick really excels however is right in the middle of its stated casting weight. Drop shot fishing with a 5g weight and a Savage Gear Soft 4-Play in 8.5cm brings the super fast action of the rod to life.
While testing the rod I actually caught my new PB Perch, a fish of way beyond my previous best of 2lb 4oz. The forgiving tip section of the Mobile Stick absorbed every terrifying lunge of a fish that I watched engulf the Micro Shad in crystal clear water. I’ve lost very few fish while using this rod and given the average size of the perch I hook is probably only around 2-6oz this reflects very well on the subtlety of the tip.
This isn’t to say the Spro isn’t man enough to chase larger predators with. I often find myself connected to a rogue pike whilst perch fishing. Quite why a fish so large takes such an interest in a 2″ shad I don’t know but they sure love a J-Flash minnow! At no point have I felt like the Mobile Stick wasn’t up to playing and landing larger fish – this rod really is a true all-rounder.
If like me you’re trying to scale down not only the strength of your kit but also the size of it too then the range of Spro Mobile Stick spinning rods really is worth checking out. At a retail price of around just £74.99 not only are the rods excellent fishing tools in their own right but also a real bargain, and there is a rod in the range to suit most light modern spinning techniques including spinning for other species like chub, trout, bass and wrasse.