Century Stealth 13' 8/9/10

seeking

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Following an extensive field test:

Cracking Post Jock!

I’ve tried out the 15’ and 14’ prototype Century rods, and during the course of A Day On The Tyne with Springer last year, I’ve been lucky enough to actually land a salmon on one!

So having tried them, and them fitting my ideal criteria for a new rod purchase (locally produced, robust, subdued finish, modern action, no bent-wire-piece-of-tat rings, no blasted keeper-ring and sensible pricing) I kept pestering Springer for a one to purchase. Alas Xmas came around and the rods weren’t in production. More pestering and with a bit of fishing planned overseas and Alan is more than happy enough to supply me with a prototype 13’ Century Stealth rod for a field test. At short notice one is winging it’s way to me before I hop on a plane.

I’m certainly a proponent of “try before you buy”, and do have a questioning nature, so like to test things before falling for any hype (having been a victim in the past):

Well, anyone who knows me knows I tend to analyse things and test away, so the first thing out of the rod tube (no bag but sensible compartmental rod tube) is to get it on the scales for a comparison. If you’re not a fan of stats, look away now :D

Here’s how the sections, and total weights compare with my other 13’ rod, a Hardy Swift.


I use the Swift a lot for travelling (tube goes in planes everywhere), and on the smaller rivers I tend to fish (Tyne, Ribble etc) it’s perfect most of the year round. But last year I managed to explode 3 Hardy rods. Modern, light and expensive, the walls of these overseas-manufactured rods tend to be thin. I didn’t have my micrometer so couldn’t measure the difference accurately enough to satisfy an engineer, but the reason the Century is heavier is clear – the walls of the sections are significantly thicker than the Hardy. More carbon. Like a B&W in fact. Reassuring. I’ve landed Chum salmon to 14lb on a Swift in fast water, and it’s a bit like gritting your teeth when trying to turn them, so more carbon is good IMHO.

OK, “now to take it to the river”. Will the extra weight it’s got on the Swift make a difference? I managed to blag a day off in BC fishing for winter-run steelhead and took the rod along to see how it performed.

Well, at least the reel seat fits a Vossler, so that’s 1-0 to the Century versus the Hardy, no tape required to stop the reel rocking. As soon as I reached the river, there was something fishy about the chosen spot...it reeked... last years chum’s fertilising the river, cycle of life and all that:





There’s something special about being in a steelhead river at Dawn, even when the water temperature’s 4 degrees C.



So down the pool we go, firstly using an 8/9 Wt Snowbee SH cut to 34g and 40’ and with a 10’ fast-sinking polyleader. This would be a normal-ish setup for my local rivers back home, and the rod casts with this line a treat. Tight loops unfurl over the water but nae fish oblige, 30-35 yard casts are effortless.

On to the heavier stuff, water and lines alike... There’s surely a steelhead under here:



So it’s out with the Skagit line. 650 grain with type 7 versitip isn’t getting down enough and so I swop down to a 550 grain head with 15’ of T-17 and a big tube fly with lots of tungsten cones on. Although I’m a bit reticent to start chucking this around too much on a loan rod, as the morning progresses I gain confidence I’m not going to explode it (bad memories of the Hardy’s) and the rod’s coping with everything I’m chucking at it. It’s throwing really nice loops with a skagit head, and it’s feeling effortless. I find that I can ping the fly to the far bank just by using a short bottom-hand dominant stroke, resulting in a lot less effort in the fishing. My Swift can only take a 500 grain skagit, under much suffering and always feeling that it’s turning into a noodle (the 11’6 Swift is better than the 13’ Swift in this regard).

Time for a breather and a bit of admiring the scenery



Then heading off to check out another pool. This is where things get really deep, big and brawly and where a 16’ length of leadcore (weighing 14g in itself) forms the sink tip:



Again the rod handles this no problem: 52 grammes total head weight! Effortless casting all day, just lots of fun and easy to cast.

Still nae fish though. But it’s a pleasure to be out on the river again.

So that’s about it. I tried the following lines with the rod:

Hardy Mach 2 8 weight – good

Snowbee Skandi SH 8/9 40’ 34g – excellent.

Snowbee Skandi SH 11/12 44’ 48g – 35+ yards overhead casting (not my strongpoint, the dog-nobbler duck) but done to test how the rod would perform.

Rio Skagit 550, 650, 750 heads with various tips. Personally I prefer the lighter ones.
To my shock, the rod was certainly capable of surviving my destruction test – basically a 750 grain skagit head, plus cheater and tip – total 66grammes, overhead casting :eek::eek::eek: It became a bit noodle-like and was not achieving the distance of the lighter lines, but I never got the impression it would explode.

So, the working tolerance (or perhaps “grain window” if you’ve got a bad case of the shack nasties :rolleyes:) is easily from under 35g to over 66 g.

A bit shocking, IMHO. The lighter lines load the fast-recovering tip, whereas the heavier skagits load a lot more deeply, but still recover quickly.

This was a prototype, and it did not have the internal balance weights (as an ex-stickfloat fisher with 15’ rods, I really like that idea as it beats the thick lengths of solder wire we used to load the butt with). Even so, I cannot work out why it didn’t tire me as much as throwing a skagit around on the Swift all day. Presumably because it took a lot less effort on my part due to the rod's action.

Personally I like to use lighter shooting heads for most of my small-river work, but where I’ve got a deep dub in front of me and limited backcast potential, then I whip a Skagit out. Ordinarily, I have to carry two rods for this (and walk twice as far as a result) but now, I know I will be able to use the one rod, and just interchange the heads. So, that’s it for me, the Hardy will go on C&M (care and maintenance, not catch and maul) and I’ll certainly be buying one (of each...)

Disclaimer: This isn’t an "advertorial", just my honest view. I’ve met Alan, but still expect to be buying rodS at the normal price! I respect what he has done because he’s displayed an entrepreneurial spark and actually put together a locally designed and made product that is modern and does the business, for a real-world price that can easily compete with the best.
My days of spending north of 500 smackers on a mass produced blank made in the far east are gone. I’m just a bit worried that the more he gets involved in rod design, the more he’ll start to sound like a “backwoods carbon cutter”.:D:):D:):D:):D:)

http://www.salmonfishingforum.com/forums/showthread.php?p=211367#post211367

and

After my initial test of that 13’ Century (above) in Canada, I noticed that I’d given the wrong weight for the shooting head used. So it’s off down the river again to double check which heads work alright.

Here’s a selection of Snowbee skandi S/H’s – 6/7 (20g) 7/8 (25g) 8/9 (34g) and 9/10 (39g)


With the river (admittedly less salubrious than BC :rolleyes:)


The rod could cope with all the lines, but using the 6/7 was a bit too light to load it effectively. Surprisingly the 25g of the 7/8 worked alright (just needed a quicker stroke than the 8/9).

The 34g 8/9 head was my favourite though, loading the rod deeply but still giving a good tippy feel. Snap-Zed’s worked a treat:


Self timer posing photo so sorry it’s not so good of a pic.

Another interesting day on the river. Can’t wait for the salmon to return ;)



They're taking the rod back shortly, but I certainly aplaud them for allowing me to try extensively before I commit to buying. I understand this will be one of Century's policies.

PS - Springer, I was right about you beginning to sound like a "backwoods carbon cutter" - is a 42g+ "grain window" due to the Autoclave technology:eek:

http://www.salmonfishingforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=16399&page=9

I ordered one of these rods. Today I took delivery of it, and am now the happy owner of a cracking piece of kit.:D

Cracking service from Century, next day delivery thrown into the price. Nicely finished, and I do like the composite handle.

As well as my previous "try-before-you-buy" research, I decided to try more lines with the rod just now, so it's off to my normal testing ground for grass casting (here, http://www.salmonfishingforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=5067&page=16 but today the snow is gone;)).

I like this 13' rod because it will cast tight loops with a 7/8 SH for summer work, and yet also handle a 650grain skagit and 15' of T17 or leadcore for dredging, so it's quite the jack of all trades I was looking for in a new, bulletproof, locally made rod for a good price.

Now, in front of where I cast from, there's a birch tree. It's a bit of a way away. Normally, I can only touch it with the big rod. Today, though, I lined the 13' Century with a 9/10 snowbee SH, cut to 40' and 37g, with UFS polyleader, and hung the fly in the branches single speying...:eek: straight as a die, with no tailing loops even if I tried too hard:eek::eek:

A revelation.

Perhaps I've just got better over the winter lay off:rolleyes:. It was the set up I was using last week on my 16', and yet it was casting just as far with a fraction of the effort. More so, given that all the balance weights were in the butt and it didn't need too much force to snap the bottom hand.

Now OK, I recognise when I come to the river, shooting 60+' of running line is going to be a different proposition, but I'm looking forward to the challenge.

Now, just to catch a fish on it...
 
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michaelmoyola

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How much are you getting to say that seeking?:D:D

Only joking. I'd love to try one to see how good they are, see if they can make a speycasting novice look like an expert:D They definitely look the part anyway!
 

fishhead

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We have a load of Centurys from the Beach Casting range, carbon metals etc. Great rods for Beach work especially the gearbox range; they can chuck a bait a long way in the right hands.
Just like a Diawa Paul Kerry if your old school, same as the Diawa Wilderness range I guess...in the right hands! My question is.......wheres the pedigree?
This range of rods has no pedigree to speak of and the company that builds em has little or no experience in building flee rods let alone double handers.
If they prove themselves then I will eat my words, untill then....they need to be proved like any other product. IMHO Seekings word is not nearly enough for me.

fh
:D
 

Springer

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We have a load of Centurys from the Beach Casting range, carbon metals etc. Great rods for Beach work especially the gearbox range; they can chuck a bait a long way in the right hands.
Just like a Diawa Paul Kerry if your old school, same as the Diawa Wilderness range I guess...in the right hands! My question is.......wheres the pedigree?
This range of rods has no pedigree to speak of and the company that builds em has little or no experience in building flee rods let alone double handers.
If they prove themselves then I will eat my words, untill then....they need to be proved like any other product. IMHO Seekings word is not nearly enough for me.

fh
:D

Hello Fishhead,

I understand where you are coming from and agree that a well proven pedigree gives some people added peace of mind. As you acknowledge Century already have arguably the best pedigree in sea rods, holding all the distance world records and dominating every distance casting competiton the world over. Their range of carp rods is again possibly the most sought after amongst the hardcore carp guys who dont forget buy 3 at a time.

Century understand carbon composite technology every bit as good and in many cases better than most companies in the UK if not the world. It is for these reasons they are involved at the highest levels of the sectors they choose to trade in which as well as fishing rods covers aerospace and the pinacle of motorsport. Some of this technology is used in their fishing rods and we know that no other rod building company has access to this.

Century Technology

It was my job as a product design consultant to ensure that there expertise in composite tube technology was harnessed and steered in such a direction that the salmon fly rods 'hit the ground running' so to speak. Hopefully over the next few months this will prove to be the case, first impressions are very encouraging.

There will of course be no better test for you than trying them yourself, something that will prove to be very easy soon enough :)
 

crispin

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so it's quite the jack of all trades I was looking for in a new, bulletproof, locally made rod for a good price.

Other people have touched on the point that the Century blanks are produced in the UK.

Whilst not wanting to take away from what appears to be a great range of rods, to suggest that the blanks will be intrinsically better simply because they are UK built, is a bit of a fallacy.

We don't buy Brit-built watches rather than Swiss because they're better engineered, nor Nortons or Triumph over Suzuki and Kawasaki, or a Vauxhall instead of a VW, just because they're built here.

Similarly, to generalise and automatically dismiss far-Eastern carbon-fibre technology, or production methods, as second-rate to the UK's is just ridiculous.
 

andyjaffs

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Similarly, to generalise and automatically dismiss far-Eastern carbon-fibre technology, or production methods, as second-rate to the UK's is just ridiculous.

I agree, but I think some people buy locally made items to support indigenous business as well.
 

seeking

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Agreed, Andyjaffs:)

Crispin you have to be jeshing right? I used to use all manner of Kwaks, but the bike I loved the most was a Triumph triple (probably partly because it was different). It's certainly not inferring subliminal inferiority of far-eastern products. Mind, I have broken a few of those, and expensive ones at that.

... IMHO Seekings word is not nearly enough for me....:D

Hello Fishhead:)

And, as a cynical and contrarian blighter, I'd be forced to agree with you;)

But that's surely the point, I stressed it was only my experience, and opinion; and I did try before buying. And I am only an average caster, so I'd be keen to see how it performs in the hands of a Jedi master:)


3-post pot plant Zep:eek:
 
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Springer

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I agree with many of your points Crispin. IMHO there are two things that set a good product head and shoulders above much of its competition.

The first is technology.

If you dont understand what is needed to make a high performance, relaible product then your not at the races so to speak.

The other is quality control.

To ensure that your technolgy is utilised in a repeatable manner that allows it to prove its performance and reliability over a significant product life.

When I walk around the Century factory this afternoon like I have been for 18 months now I will chat with many local highly skilled people who have worked for this company for over 25yrs. Their passion for what they do and the pride they have in what they produce is overwhelming. They know what atlantic salmon are and they or their freinds even fish for them, they actually care that what they make works and it gives years of reliable use.

I firmly believe that this passion and pride isnt recreated in many blank/rod manufacturing plants in some of the far flung corners of the world. That is of course not to say you cant get a good rod made outside of the UK, Century are just offering an alternative UK made product who's country of origin will appeal to some more than others.

We all work hard for our money and equally we can all chose where best to spend it :)
 

easky

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Other people have touched on the point that the Century blanks are produced in the UK.

Whilst not wanting to take away from what appears to be a great range of rods, to suggest that the blanks will be intrinsically better simply because they are UK built, is a bit of a fallacy.

We don't buy Brit-built watches rather than Swiss because they're better engineered, nor Nortons or Triumph over Suzuki and Kawasaki, or a Vauxhall instead of a VW, just because they're built here.

Similarly, to generalise and automatically dismiss far-Eastern carbon-fibre technology, or production methods, as second-rate to the UK's is just ridiculous.


fair points Crispin but I think you are missing the main point about being 'locally made' - a lot of this is to do with some people wanting to support their local industries and people, there is a 'pride factor' about owning something made locally. American's for example are very big into this and the 'Made in USA' stands for a lot (see Simms who make a point of saying what is Bozeman made etc). Also look at discussion around the Cadburys takeover. So its not a quality issue which is the main factor but imo a pride factor ;)

... and seems Century appear to have both the pride and the quality angles well covered :)
 

springer mac

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when is century bringing out their prawn rod range?i thought i read somewhere here it was on the radar.and it would be great to hear what type of price,and how much does the fly rod range cost
 

crispin

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I'm a strong advocate of buying locally and supporting home industry, but the point I was making was that we shouldn't just assume that Far East = crap, UK = the World's best. Springer makes his point very well and it is very valid, QC is at the heart of successful manufacture and commerce. I have no doubt that Century's QC is very good.
 

Lohi

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I hate all manufacturing going to Far East, and support strongly any European rod makers that make their own blanks themselves. 10 points for Century for that. However, I am a B&W fan, so just ordered a new rod from their owens (and a British made Hardy Perfect 4 1/4" :eek:).
 

seeking

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... the point I was making was that we shouldn't just assume that Far East = crap, UK = the World's best...

IMHO, absolutely nobody has expressed that view/assumption :confused: All I said was my criteria for a new purchase was "locally made". That said, though, "Patriotism" is not my middle name :rolleyes:

I'm a strong advocate of buying locally and supporting home industry...

Excellent, so we're all on the same page then:):D:):D:):D
 
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seeking

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How much are you getting to say that seeking?:D:D

Only joking. I'd love to try one to see how good they are, see if they can make a speycasting novice look like an expert:D They definitely look the part anyway!

What a difference a couple of months make... Now you've bought one, you Young Cynic, you:p:p:p.

Actually Michael, Century got £409 for the pleasure of me saying that:eek:. Mind, it was money that was slated for fishing a certain Scots river that decided to slap some bonkers regulations on, forcing me to re-evaluate my spending priorities...:) I'm glad I took the rod, as the long-term gain is surely mine.
 

michaelmoyola

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What a difference a couple of months make... Now you've bought one, you Young Cynic, you:p:p:p.

Actually Michael, Century got £409 for the pleasure of me saying that:eek:. Mind, it was money that was slated for fishing a certain Scots river that decided to slap some bonkers regulations on, forcing me to re-evaluate my spending priorities...:) I'm glad I took the rod, as the long-term gain is surely mine.

Havent bought one yet, I havent the money as yet but as soon as I do...;) Some things just have to be tried to know how much you like them yourself! Glad I did, Century will be glad too when they get £429 of mine:D

Tell me this, have you tried any of the 14'ers and what did you think compared to the 13'?
 

seeking

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Havent bought one yet, I havent the money as yet but as soon as I do...;) Some things just have to be tried to know how much you like them yourself! Glad I did, Century will be glad too when they get £429 of mine:D

Tell me this, have you tried any of the 14'ers and what did you think compared to the 13'?

Sorry MM, I misread a post: Ok, you've not bought one, but it seems you're sold on one:D

I've had the pleasure of trying both, and liked both. I've tried the 12'9 and the 15's too. All cracking rods.

But my personal preference was for the 13', despite the fact I naturally err to longer rods for line management issues. More versatile, and practical on some of the rivers I fish (backcast and space can be a big issue), and on open water it's able to still cast as far as I can with longer rods, it comes close to an ideal all-rounder IMHO. With a 14' rod, there's a favourite lie I cannot cover due to an overhanging oak tree (this is why I donated my 14' B&W Norway last year for the forum meet that Springer Mac won), but the 13' is canny.

I travel a lot on planes and a 13' 4-piece is the best for travelling too. Through the season, especially back-end, my rod (lined up, fly on) is "broken" down in two and stored in the cellar, ready to be shoved in the car when the Ribble Web Cam (http://www.ribblefisheriesca.co.uk/webcam.asp - apologies for the shameless plug for RFCA) shows an ideal height. Because it's only 6 1/2 foot long, it's easy to handle that way too. I have another 13' rod, as noted above, and have landed decent fish in big flows, but feel that the Century has a lot more oooomph, power and ability to beat fish quicker than the other rod, hence my purchase. I have no regrets, other than not having landed a fresh fish on it yet. Mind, me and Jock will be competing for that pleasure on the Tummel this weekend!
 
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michaelmoyola

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Sorry MM, I misread a post: Ok, you've not bought one, but it seems you're sold on one:D

I've had the pleasure of trying both, and liked both. I've tried the 12'9 and the 15's too. All cracking rods.

But my personal preference was for the 13', despite the fact I naturally err to longer rods for line management issues. More versatile, and practical on some of the rivers I fish (backcast and space can be a big issue), and on open water it's able to still cast as far as I can with longer rods, it comes close to an ideal all-rounder IMHO. With a 14' rod, there's a favourite lie I cannot cover due to an overhanging oak tree (this is why I donated my 14' B&W Norway last year for the forum meet that Springer Mac won), but the 13' is canny.

I travel a lot on planes and a 13' 4-piece is the best for travelling too. Through the season, especially back-end, my rod (lined up, fly on) is "broken" down in two and stored in the cellar, ready to be shoved in the car when the Ribble Web Cam (http://www.ribblefisheriesca.co.uk/webcam.asp - apologies for the shameless plug for RFCA) shows an ideal height. Because it's only 6 1/2 foot long, it's easy to handle that way too. I have another 13' rod, as noted above, and have landed decent fish in big flows, but feel that the Century has a lot more oooomph, power and ability to beat fish quicker than the other rod, hence my purchase. I have no regrets, other than not having landed a fresh fish on it yet. Mind, me and Jock will be competing for that pleasure on the Tummel this weekend!

Thanks for that, yep I'm definitely sold on one:) it will be the 14' 9/10 most likely.

I see what you are saying about an all rounder, makes sense too.
I have one DH rod at the minute as I sold my 15 footer last week, its a 13' Loop Adventure, I like it and get on well with it using a spey line as well as a shooting head so I dont see the need to have two 13 footers. Thats what is making me sway towards the 14'. The wee 13' will do me for that size and I might get a wee 12 footer for really light stuff during the summer, something cheap.
The 14' though fits the bill spot on for me for most of my fishing and casting, especially for practicing the casting. It will let me use different lines and the amount of feel it has is really good for me to see if I am doing the thing right.
It will also be good for fishing the likes of the Moy and other bigger Irish rivers.
What lines did you like on the 13 and 14 footers?


PS, good luck on the Tummel. Hope you beat Jock to a fish:D:D
 
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seeking

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What lines did you like on the 13 and 14 footers?


PS, good luck on the Tummel. Hope you beat Jock to a fish:D:D

The 13 will, IMHO take a lot, see the first posts on the thread, when I was trying before buying. Personally I like it with 32-36g SH's, favourite being a 34g Snowbee Skandi SH intermediate, with 10' UFS polyleader for the cold water at the moment. Plus skagits in the 550-690 grain range (with 6" tungsten fly weighing 5g:eek:); 9# Mach 55.

The 14' I'd have to get Springer to confirm, but the 60' Century head was the one I used, nice line as well. Also used 660 skagit - cracking.

All the best with your choice Michael.

Thanks for the wishes for the Tummel - I suspect Jock's planning to ply me with whisky to dull my senses and take Longchuck's bottle!
 
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Fruin

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I only tried the 13' for one day and it is a cracking rod. I have often heard the expression "the rod casts for you", but have never really believed that until I tried this wee stick. I had to make a conscious effort not to put any effort into the forward stroke in particular. Basically, with an 8/9 AFS head I felt like i only had to move the rod into the correct positions and it did the rest. Others preferred the rod with a 9/10 shooting head, and this probably made it even easier, but for my style the 8/9 was wonderful on it.
 

paddymc

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seeking said:
The 14' I'd have to get Springer to confirm, but the 60' Century head was the one I used, nice line as well. Also used 660 skagit - cracking.

Hi Seeking, can I ask which of the 14 footers you were talking about above ?
 

Springer

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The 14'er that seeking used was the 9/10 and it was with the 56' - 9/10 Stealth spey line :)
 

Springer

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Hi Springer rods must be selling well can't get one all out of stock
regards
mick

Hi Mick,

We have been taken a little by surprise with the demand for the rods in every length. We built up what we considered to be a good launch stock, essentially what we thought would be 3 or 4 months supply and we have sold them all in under a month.

Its a bit of a double edged sword but I am happy to take any advance orders to ensure you get one of the next batch, I have around 6 rods pending at present. Just drop me a PM if you want to get on the list, I expect the next batch to be ready in 2-3 weeks.
 
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