Hiro products are widely associated with excellent design, high quality and supreme performance. Experienced boat angler Dave Proudfoot is a fan of the Portuguese company’s gear, but the latest Hiro Metacarbo telescopic boat rod is a blooper in his book.
Some reviews warrant a comprehensive set of accompanying pictures and some don’t. The Hiro Metacarbo is one of those that definitely do not. Having used and been impressed with high quality Hiro terminal tackle for years, and only recently seeing Andy Selby of Weymouth Angling Centre using the Hiro Metacarbo telescopic boat rod, I eagerly handed over my card to purchase one of these half-priced, £99, spanking new rods.
The Metacarbo is rated to cast 100 to 300gms, which is fairly standard on this style of competition boat rod. All of five minutes after readying the rod for fishing, I was left utterly deflated and wishing I’d kept my flexible friend stuffed in my wallet. First flick out from the boat went well enough. The lead settled on the bottom and I lifted into the tackle to take up the slack. Without any warning, CRACK went the rod three inches down from the junction for the push-in competition tip! The air was as blue as the butt of the rod…what a let down.
On returning to the harbour I discovered that two other very disappointed anglers, using these Metacarbo rods for the first time, suffered identical breakage catastrophes, with both bursting in the same place while landing small fish. This cannot be simple bad luck or coincidence. Post match, I was graphically told of a further two Metacarbo rods which had also catastrophically failed in gentle fishing use. Other Hiro products including the excellent original Metacarbo telescopic (priced at £250) have stood the test of time, but this current batch of Metacarbo telescopic boat rods are another matter. Knowing what is detailed here, I doubt if Rui Gomes, the 2006 World Boat Champion, would be happy to have his name associated with these rods.
I can only presume that either there has been a serious manufacturing process problem, or the rods are now produced at a different factory using different materials. Whatever the underlying cause, I had my money refunded without issue. In my opinion this particular a rod is a far cry from the Hiro quality that I and a great many other anglers are used to.
What Hiro say
Planet Sea Fishing contacted Hiro’s UK agent, Barry Jeffries and he had this to say:
“Hiro have sold many hundreds of these rods without previous fault, but there has been a problem with the last batch. Hiro accept this. When the problem came to light, immediate action was taken to recall the product and refund affected retailers and their customers. Hiro are so concerned that production of the rod in question has been halted. Occasionally all companies suffer product faults but it is very rare, and Hiro have done everything in their power to rectify matters in this instance. The unfortunate Metacarbo telescopic boat rod issue in no way reflects upon other Hiro products which are acknowledged as among the best in the world.”