Fixed spools for boat fishing are really catching on, but rods to correctly accommodate them have been conspicious absentees. Now enter the colourful Grauvell Teklon 2400 boat rod with inter-changeable tips, and fittings throughout for an underslung reel, says Les McBride.
My latest review rod was surely a test to see just how much retina-burning bling I could handle without reaching for sunglasses! The Grauvell Teklon Boat 2400 – here is a rod so loud it should have a volume control. It sports four shades of red, black, orange, silver, pink and green, a rod so bright even someone in the final stages of glaucoma could appreciate it or not as the case may be. Although this sounds a frightening kaleidoscope of colours, as always beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and ultimately, it’s what’s underneath that counts.
I have never really warmed to the continental match/quiver tip style of rod. I’ve handled several over the years, from inexpensive 10ft £50.00 RRP examples, to 15ft telescopic versions costing in excess of £400, and I have never found one that I didn’t have some kind of aversion to. They were either too long or too soft through the blank, and there were regular issues of duff fittings and brittle tips etc. But then the Grauvell Teklon Boat 2400 appears, perking my interest to a whole world of possibilities.
The Teklon range is comprised of 3 rods, the 1800, the 2100 and the one on review, the 2400. The numbers correspond to the lengths of the model as in 2.1 metres, 1.8 metres and the review rod at 2.4m or 8 feet.
With all three rod versions the main blank comprises of two pieces with push-in joints rather than spigots. The Teklon 2400 has a butt section of 130cm, a middle section of 66cm and there are two 65cm push-in tips. The blank is rolled from hi-tech SIC TI Matrix HM carbon, with the colour coded tips formed from solid fibreglass. The Teklon 2400 Boat carries eight genuine Fuji CLCSG Low Riders guides. These guides are more usually found on expensive continental style shore rods. Each ring is under whipped in silver with burgundy over-whips and just enough epoxy varnish to provide a clean finish.
Attention to detail
The female section of each joint has a robust silver aluminium hoop to reinforce the joint, with the TEKLON logo tidily laser engraved on the butt section reinforcement and the aluminium gimbal fitting on the end. A Fuji DPS screw fitting has decorative pink aluminium spacers fitted top and bottom to colour match the reel seat with the gaudy red duplon handle covering and ergonomically shaped comfortable fore-grip.
The interchangeable tips are colour coded, with the light tip painted green and the thicker, heavier tip in hi-vis orange. Thread whipping is the same with burgundy over silver, although the tips are painted black in contrast to the light red colour of the main blank.
The load info on the Teklon states that the rod is designed to handle 50-200g of weight. My conclusions after testing is that this is a casting parameter rather than a maximum lead loading as might be otherwise associated with downtide fishing. I found that the green tip will handle casting with up to 4ozs of lead, while up to 10ozs can be gently swung away from the boat on the sturdier orange tip. If required, the heavy tip will certainly support more than 10ozs when downtiding. The rod is supplied in a zip-front hard travel case.
Perhaps against my better judgement, I attached a multiplier reel and did the usual thing of bending the rod this, that and the other way. I wasn’t particularly enamoured with the feel in conjunction with the multiplier and the Low Riders, which are essentially for use with fixed spools, but I required a base comparison to appraise the rod against.
The Teklon morphed into a different rod altogether when matched with medium-sized fixed spool reel loaded with 15lb braid. Balance and action felt much more natural, underlining the fact that this particular rod has been furnished and fitted with a fixed spool reel in mind. UK anglers are gradually accepting and adopting fixed spools for more and more aspects of boat fishing, but to date there have been few genuine boat rods that properly accommodate them.
The first trip was for codling and pollack from the port of Dunbar on the Scottish east coast. The fishing had been patchy due to big seas but a flat day this time allowed me to use smaller weights than the normal 8 – 12oz leads. I used 3ozs of lead and ragworm on a long flowing trace in conjunction with the lighter green tip, taking codling to 5lb and several pollack to 8lb. What a beautiful feeling there was in the rod… every little knock could be seen and felt, and the light tip handled the bigger fish without concern. I tried heavier weights on this tip and found that 5oz was the maximum, any more overloaded it and spoiled the bite detection.
On subsequent trips I employed the green tip for flatfish where all the pleasure was in the superb visual bite detection. Attention from little dabs – some as small as 4 inches long – could be felt like electric shocks on the tip. I would love to use the Teklon Boat with the green tip for black bream as it has all magic ingredients for brilliant breaming.
The orange tip changes the rod completely in that it swings from a sensitive species ‘picking’ rod to a more common-garden 12lb class boat rod. Sticking with the fixed spool, bite detection was on a par with standard 12lb class rods, still a pleasant rod to use and will in practice handle more lead than the stated 200g. I used up to 10oz (280g) in a fast tide without any overloading issue.
I caught a majority of small fish but bites were clearly seen. The orange tip involves the rest of the rod the action, and there’s ample backbone to cope with big fish. I look forward to tackling shallow water tope and smoothhounds on the heavier tip.
Additionally, the light tip was used to spin lures for mackerel and I found it excellent for this purpose, while the orange tip proved efficient at float fishing for pollack. The Teklon 2400 Boat rod is light enough to hold all day. The handle is particularly comfortable with the three grooves in the top part of the grip fitting fingers perfectly if you prefer using a multiplier.
While testing the light tip I carelessly managed to break it. This was entirely my fault and I hold my hands up to the crime. Normally I fish a nylon leader with braid, one of the advantages of which is that when the leader knot comes onto the spool, you know that the end tackle is close. In this instance I just snagged the bottom and snapped off my leader. Rather than do the proper thing and tie on a replacement leader, I quickly attached a new trace via a ‘Not-a-Knot’ connecter wound directly to the braid. Then, not paying attention, I wound in at speed forgetting to stop, grinding the wire connector into the small tip ring, and snapping the delicate tip 2 inches from the end….what a plank!
Such clumsiness would ordinarily see me turning the air blue with choice expletives and reaching for my wallet. However, this mini disaster actually brings me neatly to one of the best things about this rod, the Grauvell 5 year warranty. While some companies boast a Lifetime Rod Guarantee, in most cases it is valueless as only manufacturing faults are covered – if you break a section by accident you need to pay for replacement. With Grauvell this isn’t the case.
When you purchase a Grauvell Teklon you receive a warranty card which is filled in and sent back to head office to register your rod. This gives full 5 year cover for breakage whether it’s a manufacturing flaw or accidental damage. This warranty is Europe-wide and covers the whole rod. The only condition is that the broken part is returned to the dealer or place of purchase; they will send it to Grauvell, who will in turn send a replacement part free of charge. There are no handling fees, no postal charges, no hidden clauses and no questions asked, you just return the broken bit and get a new one. Even the tips are covered which is good news for hamfisted people such as myself.
A versatile package
After a few misgivings I must admit to being sold on the versatility of the Teklon Boat 2400. It’s a perfect compromise for the boat angler who doesn’t want burdened with a bundle of different rods. The green tip will show delicate bites from the smallest of wrasses and gobies, but still ably handle bigger interlopers such as bass and big ballan wrasse. The steelier orange tip covers wreck pollack, smoothhounds and tope. My experiences dictate that the rod is a better performer with a fixed spool than a multiplier, but you can use a compact multiplier reel such as an ABU 6500 or Daiwa Saltist 20 if you prefer.
The best price I can find for the 2400 is £129.98. Even this might seem expensive but based on the high quality of the carbon, genuine Fuji fittings, hard rod case, and best of all, the no quibble 5 year warranty, it’s a proper bargain and have I no hesitation in recommending this rod.