Steve Souter took the Teknos Tournament rod down to the beach to investigate whether it had the guts for full-on rough ground codding, or was it of a more timid disposition fit for gentler clean beach fishing?
The Grauvell Teknos Tournament Beach is a rod that gave me some pause for thought. The clue is in the name one might surmise, so could it withstand the relentless battering that’s part and parcel of northern cod hunting? I decided to find out. I took the Tournament Beach onto a local beach, and, aside from just slinging leads, I thought to drag them through some rocky snags that the far end of the venue is renowned for.
The high modulus carbon construction Tournament Beach measures 13 feet and breaks into two equal sections. Tidy black and red whippings secure 8 intermediate Titanium SICs plus tip guide. The slim-line 21mm diameter, parallel butt carries high quality Japanese shrink rubber and an adjustable screw-reel fitting. The moveable reel fitting is a double slotted affair designed to constrict and lock against the rubber below when screwed up tight on the reel foot.
The push-in joint is thread-wrapped on either side, with a reinforcing stainless band at the top of the female portion. Perfect butt and tip alignment is aided by a white indicator line on both sections. The rod is supplied in a tough zip-up vinyl bag and it does not come with a reducer.
Ideal for High Reel
At 13ft and weighing less than 20ozs, this rod is most suited to high reel work, while guide placement invites either a multiplier or fixed spool reel. Rated to cast 100-175g or 3½ to 6ozs, I opted for a Daiwa 7HTMAGST reel spooled with 0.35mm Sakuma Nite Crystal line and 70lb leader. The small multiplier felt lovely on the rod and I was surprised by just how solid and secure it held in the fitting. I did however harbour concerns about the staying power of the fitting when supporting big fixed spools, or the larger the multipliers necessary for full-on rock marks… and made a mental note to investigate later.
The last few guides including the tip are too small, and court inconvenience and problems. Take, for example, that a Gemini Genie Clip just manages to squeeze through the tip guide, while a Breakaway Fast link does not. This issue is not unique to this rod, and it baffles me that I am still confronting the problem after years of openly growling about it. Having to cut the rig clip off in order to thread the rod is pain enough, but the sure knowledge that a weed-clogged leader knot will jam solid in the small diameter tip guide isn’t confidence inspiring. Because the upper guides didn’t offer much leader knot clearance, I replaced the 70lb with an alternative tapered leader to affect a smaller knot.
Both high swing and flatter casting styles achieved good distances with 5oz and 6oz leads on a day of negligible wind. Even a serial over-the-top corner-swiper like me could find a decent bend and good distance without throwing everything into the cast. The butt is not un-budging and even a modest caster will squeeze more than adequate distance from what is every bit a ‘fishing’ rod. The tip, while not soft, is certainly not catatonically ‘tournament’ stiff as most would understand it. Rather, it is pleasantly tensile for good lead control, and, perhaps less obviously, clear bite display at middle distance and longer range.
Bumping the lead back over a set of rocks revealed more of the rod’s fishing character. Feel through the blank is excellent, and when snagged solid there was grunt enough to aggressively bang the lead clear. This is not to suggest that this is an out-and-out heavy ground rod… because it’s not. Serious rocks and thick kelp, while not utterly beyond the Tournament Beach, are at the outer limit of what this rod is comfortable with.
With most of my enquiries satisfied, I took the rod home and challenged the reel fitting first with a Saltist BG30H then a large fixed spool. The upshot is it didn’t like the bigger reels. The fitting shifted under both reels with only moderate handle pressure from me. The problem was clearly worse with the FS reel, and something like the 8000-size Penn Affinity or Surfblaster reel is far from 100% secure in this reel fitting.
In answer to the self-posed question back in the very first paragraph, this is a not an overtly stern rod made or intended to absorb a repeated diet heavy rock fishing. The Tournament Beach is a compliant, standard length rod tolerant of simple casting styles and capable of excellent distances. It’s excellent for high reel beach or breakwater work for cod or anything else for that matter. As the Tournament tag alludes, it has sufficient guts to handle broken ground, and I am confident that it will stand up to yet rockier situations… but only if push comes to shove.
Fixed spool users and indeed anyone intent on using a larger multiplier would be well advised to fit a permanent reel fitting. The matter of the small guides is purely superficial, but it is a complication to manifest particularly in weedy conditions. The height of the tip could do with some reflective jazzle to help with low light and night bite spotting.
The Tournament Beach 13 is available through Grauvell dealers and carries a sub £185.00 price tag, but it can be found for closer to £150 if you shop around.
- High modulus carbon blank
- 2 equal sections
- Length: 13ft
- Blank weight: 650g
- Casting weight: 100 – 175g (3½ – 6ozs)
- Guides: Titanium SIC
- Grip: Japanese shrink rubber
- Adjustable reel fitting
- Rod bag supplied
- RRP: £184.99