The name Ron Thomson, part of the Svendsen Sport group, has always been synonymous with economy end of the rod market. However their recent products have moved more up market in materials and finishes while still maintaining the budget price tags. Here David Proudfoot tests out the multi-section Ron Thomson Traveller Beach rod.
As I regularly fish abroad, mostly in the Scandinavian countries, I was asked to have a look at the Ron Thomson Traveller Beach shore rod to assess its worth for both packing and fishing. The six-piece rod comes in a sturdy hard case measuring 73cm (approximately 29″) in length and with a diameter of 12cm, it will fit into a large suitcase. The fabric covered, zip-topped case provides excellent protect and will thwart even the most clumsy baggage handler if booked in separately from your main luggage. It has both a shoulder strap and a short handle for carrying.
At 940gm, the Traveller Beach weighs slightly more than a standard beachcaster and this is mainly down to the five spigot joints however, it is still comfortable to hold for periods when a rod rest is not utilised. At 11′ 6″ (3.5m) long, it took a couple of casts to get used to as I have been using the longer Continental style rods of late. Once I revised my overhead thump style, I was soon able to throw the trace of feathers out to where the mackerel were shoaling about 90 metres from the pier. Although the rod is rated to cast from four to eight ounces, I found that the five-ounce weight gave the best performance while still leaving room to add a decent sized bait.
Fixed spool guides
The rod is ringed with SIC, silicon carbon, guides and the spacing of these does suit a fixed spool reel while allowing a multiplier to be used if that is the angler’s preference. The addition of one extra ring on the tip section and repositioning of all the rings on this section would ensure that the line did not rub on the blank during the retrieve. While the guides are not Fuji they do appear to be good quality and should last for years, given routine maintenance.
The three handgrips, which have a protective covering on purchase, are shaped from Duplon foam and are comfortable to hold. The graphite reel seat is substantial and firmly holds both large fixed spool reels and casting multiplier. Multiplier users may have preferred the reel seat to be fitted with the screw section to the top but this is a matter of personal preferences and does not affect a fixed spool reel. The epoxy finish on the high modulus carbon blank and whippings is neatly applied and shows no signs of bubbling.
The spigots themselves look built to last with foam plug inserts and a significant, protective over-whipping both above and below the joint. During my try out sessions, none of the fish I hooked were large enough to test the joints but bending into the rod to straighten a hook on a snag did not produce any groans or creaks from the spigots. The tip section has a white coating between the top eye and the two end intermediate eyes and while this is not a reflective finish, it does catch the light from a headlamp after dark.
Bite indication from the tip is excellent with dab rattles easily visible in the rod rest using nylon monofilament, while not bouncing excessively in the cross wind.
While this is probably not a rod for the out and out power caster I would be more than happy to travel with this as my only bait rod when targeting wolf fish in Iceland or double figure cod in Norway.
The rod is available from Glasgow Angling Centre and at present retails there for a penny under ninety pounds.