Product Review: Shimano FX
I think I am a bit strange when it comes to my surf fishing setup, and by that, I mean I do not have all 12' rods. If you've read some of my other reviews, you have seen that I usually run 4-5 rods, and they vary in size from 12' being my tallest and 8' my shortest which is the rod we are going to talk about today. I love fishing with this rod as my #5 because it is incredibly versatile and has proved itself several times over.
Line WT" 12-25 Lb
Lure WT: 1/2 -4 oz
Power: Medium Heavy
I was in the market for a new smaller rod to throw lures this spring and started looking around. I had a good idea from a few friends on what I wanted to get and how to use it, so I visited my local Half Hitch Tackle Shop and began shopping around. The staff there is fantastic as always, and they jumped right in to help me out. We went through several rods and then finally came to the FX. I did what I always do first when I grab a new rod off the shelf: look at the price tag, $22.99? Um, yes please!
Here is the description from Shimano: "Redesigned for 2019 to give anglers the ultimate value, the Shimano FX Spinning Rods are designed to fit the budgets and skill levels of any fisherman. The FX rods are perfect for any stream, river, lake, or light saltwater application. These rods feature a convenient two-piece construction for easy transportation and storage. With models ranging from ultra-light rods for panfish and trout to seven-footers perfect for walleye and bass, the FX series has great versatility. These rods feature a durable aero glass blank construction with comfortable EVA grips and reinforced aluminum oxide guides." (-Shimano Website)
Still with me here? Good! It gets better. I paired it up with a Penn Battle 3 4000 reel and 20 lbs braid fishing line. The Battle 3 series has become one of my favorite reels thus far in my collection (I might do a review on that, but there are much bigger fish in the world that have, so their publications reach far wider than my humble blog that you're enjoying). I took the rod out to the beach not too many days after and got it in on the surf fishing action. The bottom line, it did not disappoint, and it was a little more fun fighting fish with it.
One particular evening, I was fishing with my friend Justin on a bit of rip just as the sun was going down. The magic hour was upon us and the pompano (which had been scarce at the time) decided to come out to play. I keep the FX on the closer to shore side (30-70 yards typically) to not try to overthrow the rod. That night, a nice Pompano decided to jump on the line and start fighting. We were both very close to the rod when it hit, and it bowed over as if a monster fish was on the hook. Imagine, if you will, your eyes being fixated on your 12' rods, and it bends way over. What are you feeling? Did your pulse pick up a little? Did you let out that "oh boy" giggle (no judgment here, I do it each time!). That's what happened to me.
I pulled it out of the sand spike and began reeling. I had to adjust the drag up a little, and the fight was on. The rod stayed bent the entire battle, and the pompano was giving it all it had to get away. The rod and reel held up superbly. As I was fighting, I laughed a little and said to Justin, "This one is fun." It truly was! It wasn't a one-way fight like with my 12' rods where I had all the leverage. No, this 8' was perfect in every way to bring in this fish, and I still had the advantage. The other day, my daughter brought in a nice 12" Pompano on it and handled it masterfully. She asked me if the rod was hers after that fish, which that answer is most definitely no (she already acquired my Penn 9' Battle 3)!
After owning and using the FX for a few months now, I am extremely satisfied with it. It has survived several trips from Navarre to Orlando on my rod rack (also known as a ski rack, but I don't ski so there!) and behind the RV. I haven't had an eyelet damaged, haven't seen any signs of cracking or spidering in the aero glass, and the foam grips have held up surprisingly well. When those grips go, I will be switching to shrink wrap for a better feel and longevity. Its casting ability is suprising for such a light rod. A 1oz sinker has flown much further than I anticipated (which is another way for saying I broke something) and I normally throw a 2oz sputnik when I am surf fishing with it. I can easily get it out 60-70 yards which suprises me each time. Action on a lure has proven to be very smooth as well. The fast tip gives me the ability to make some moves but also feel everything along the way.
Shimano made a phenomenally priced rod for multiple uses here. With the other sizes available, it could very well be a whole set for your fishing needs. For now, I am happy with my 8' in the surf and I will be throwing some lures soon for trout in my local bay. I feel that it will cast well, and I have complete confidence to bring in the fish.
Thank you for sticking around for another product review! I'm glad you're here and hope that this was helpful for you. Stick around as there will be another review dropped for your viewing pleasure next Friday. If you have something you'd like me to take a look at or review, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will see what I can come up with to get my hands on it. Go forth, and do good things!