Pflueger meets the challenge
By Andrew McGovern The new Pflueger Medalist HMT range of rods are at the cutting edge of advanced graphite rod technology. Their extremely light weight, combined with amazing pulling power throughout the range, defies belief.
There are ten models available in the range and all ten have been designed specifically with Australian species in mind. Just as important is that the rod developers, based in Sydney, have also considered the multitude of harsh environments Aussie fishers are faced with around the country. Pflueger rods and reels have been available in Australia for thirty-odd years, yet have not equalled the popularity and loyalty their high quality gear experiences with the millions of recreational anglers in the United States. This range of Medalist rods will change this trend.
The mix of spinning (six models) and casting rods (four models) available cover every scenario you could wish for. From ultra light plastics fishing with small resin heads, to medium live-baiting and jigging rods for kings and jewfish, to heavy lure casting or trolling sticks for barra and mackerel. The team at Pflueger certainly haven't cut any corners when they put these rods together. The features of the Medalist range are of the highest quality, and quite simply, outstanding.
Some of the features which will spike the interest levels of hard-core fishos is the advanced polymetric resin technology and Fuji's brilliant titanium-framed silicon guides found on all Medalist models. The polymetric resin technology provides the best possible bonding of the fibres within the carbon cloth of the blank, which not only makes the blank lighter, due to less resin required to bond the fibres, but it also provides a blank with enhanced elastic properties, for greater resistance to fatigue and failure under load. The titanium framed silicon guides are rated by Fuji at three times stronger than the comparable stainless steel framed guides. They are also about half the weight and the saltwater fishers out there will love the fact they are 100% corrosion resistant.
The light spinning models PFLM-SP70LDS, PFLM-SP64LDS, PFLM-SP70L, PFLM-SP662LM, and PFLM-SP66L feature cork grips and the new Fuji A-Frame single stem titanium silicon guides. The reduced weight of the guides in all rods in the Medalist range allows behaviour more like the blank, delivering a rod that performs exactly as the developers intended. Add in the fact that the single stem guides allow a degree of flexing in the rod, meaning the line is able to follow the true curve of the blank.
So what does this mean in relation to performance, user comfort and compatibility when you are on the water? Put simply the rods are lighter than other comparable models, and significantly reduce user fatigue, allowing anglers to cast and retrieve for long periods of time without getting sort forearms and tired shoulders. In addition, when it is fitted out with guides, reel seat, grips and then sealed, the rod will perform, and follow the action of the original blank closely.
On The Water
Now you can talk all you like about the features, the look and even the feel of a rod, but how does it perform in the field? Well I was determined to give a few of these models a good thrashing on the water. The testing took me south to the bays of the north Eastern corner of Tasmania, across the South Pacific to the rocky ledges of northern NZ, and to several estuaries along the south coast of New South Wales. Throw in some of my local freshwater impoundments and rivers and you can see these outfits were fully tested in a vast array of environments and on a mix of species.
I extensively used the PFLM-SP70LDS model matched with the 8 ball bearing Medalist 6730, which is perfect for soft plastics and small hard body minnow casting. This particular model is a 2.1 metre (7'0") light spinning rod ideal for 2 to 4 kg line. I fished 4 and 6 lb braid over it for a variety of species, and have been impressed by how light it is to use.
What makes this rod special is that it has an extremely sensitive tip allowing me to feel even the slightest enquiry on my presentation, but also offers surprising pulling power. I have had a couple of sessions on flathead and big salmon in a few different areas, and the Medalist dealt with every fish in quick time. Where it also worked a treat was extracting some nice bream from the racks.
I suppose the most noticeable characteristic about this outfit came when I was flicking plastics around Wagonga Inlet on the New South Wales south coast. I could move around the system and change from heavy weighted jig heads of 4 or 5 grams to lighter heads of 1 or even 0.5 grams, yet the rod retained the same level of sensitivity and still transferred the lure action and any bites or takes beautifully up the blank. After a change of tide, I then worked a very shallow rock bar with resin heads on exactly the same set up — again the feel and performance was first class. Big Kings
Most anglers would agree that excluding PNG black bass, there isn't a tougher fighting fish then a yellow-tailed kingfish. These fish are something unique and have long held a special place in my fishing exploits. It was for these reasons I wanted to put one of the larger model Medalist outfits up against some of these ‘green backed warriors’.
It was a pleasure to use the PFLM-SP70H model and then to be fortunate enough to hook and land some of these ‘hoodlums’ on a recent trip to the Land of the Long White Cloud. I spent several days casting large plastic shads from the rocks with surprising ease and comfort thanks to this magic rod.
I matched the PFLM-SP70H with a 6060 Pflueger Medalist spinning reel which proved to be an extremely well balanced outfit not only for casting lures, but also for live baiting yakkas and small trevally, and general bait fishing with fish pieces and squid. This outfit landed in excess of 80 fish over three days on the rocks without a glitch. Species included snapper, salmon and kingfish with a few of the bigger model snapper and kingies pushing the rod almost to its limit. I landed a cracker king of 16 kilograms that remains one of my more memorable captures on spin tackle. The outfit handled fish in the three to four kilogram range with disdain as I was able to quickly turn their heads and whipped them into the rocks.
There is no doubt the range of Pflueger Medalist rods and reels are made from the highest quality components and provide the unique mix of power and finesse all in the one outfit. They matched any challenge I threw at them over the past few months on a variety of species in a variety of different environments. The bottom line is that these magnificent tools are fishing bliss!