My first impression was I liked the rod a lot, action-wise. It's light, crisp and tippy. What I don't like are the single-legged rings, which are a little on the flimsy side. I seem to end up bending at least one of them back to where it needs to be every other time I go fishing.
I understand why single-legged rings are fitted to rods - it makes them cheaper to produce. But when you're paying around £50 for a rod should that not mean the rings are at least up to the job..?
Beyond that gripe, I like the rod a lot. Regardless how the sea fishing goes this summer, it's going to be the rod I kick off my pike fishing with come the autumn. I like the slim blank, the well-built reel seat and the hybrid cork/duplon handle.
You barely notice it's in your hand - I'd probably notice it even less if I teamed it up with a lighter reel than one of the old Baitrunners I've blagged off my drain rods. It casts nicely - even when you overload it's stated max recommended casting weight of 30g. I've pushed it to nearly 50g and it doesn't seem to care.
Not that I'm expecting to be using many 50g lures when I start pike fishing again. I'm undergoing quite a sea change on that front too, as I look to different tactics come the autumn. I'll need a couple of rods for this, so I've also invested in its sister ship, the Spincast.
This another nice rod to fish with, flimsy rings - again - aside. It's slightly lighter, with a full duplon handle. I've ended up with one of each, in 2lbs and 1.75lbs test curves respectively.
The Esox rods are priced between £45 and £55, depending whether you go for the 1.5, 1.75 or 2lbs test curve, while the Spinflex versions come in around a tenner cheaper. I was going to say reasonably-priced, but see above regarding the rings.
++Found a great reel to use on them - click here for review of ABU Cardinal...