But compiling an arsenal of rods comes at a cost. It’s nice if you can afford to populate your armoury with top-range kit, but for less frequently used rods it can make sense to shop around for something that will do the job without breaking the bank.
TSF recently covered standard shore rods in a Total Tackle feature (September 2016) and the Blackrock Competition Surf 13ft was pretty impressive.
Coming in at just less than £120, you got a lot of rod for your money with the two-piece 13-footer – and you had the choice of fixed-spool or multiplier models. Building on that success, Blackrock now has a 13ft 6in two-piece – the Competition 13.5.
However, this isn’t just a longer version of the same rod, but an entirely different beast.
It’s rated for casting weights of 100g to 200g, which is roughly 4oz to 7oz, meaning that it will cope with big baits and all that it entails. Designed for rough-ground fishing, the Competition 13.5 has bigger diameter tip guides and a stepped-up action, making it a tempting prospect for anglers wanting a rod with the power needed to put a big bait out to those distant cod. Unlike the 13ft, the 13.5 is currently only available in multiplier mode, which should appeal to traditionalists.
The rod is built on a high-modulus carbon blank with a matt finish and a chequerboard pattern. The tip is a push-in design, which keeps the blank diameter down at the bottom end and makes for quite a slim rod overall. The butt section has a generous shrinkwrap coating for good grip, and a sliding reel fitting allows you to place the reel to your liking. The graphics are understated compared to many rods on the market, giving it quite a classy, no-nonsense look.
The nine guides are all lined, and as mentioned earlier, spaced for multiplier use. Overall, this looks a very decent rod for the money. The rough-ground credentials edge it towards the tournament type of rod that will repay good casting technique, while being forgiving enough to allow the less talented casters to still hit good distances. Well worth checking out if you need a rod capable of launching heavier payloads.
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