ESP's new Onyx Spod/Marker Rod
When Kev Hewitt calls it the best spod rod he’s ever used, it’s time to take note
Your Big Questions
New ESP rods don’t come along very often…
Nope, the meticulous designers at ESP can never be accused of rushing things to market, and this rod is no exception. Crafted in collaboration with spodding machine Kev Hewitt for more than five years, the Onyx Spod and Marker rod has definitely been honed in the development stage and is only now ready for release.
What’s the ethos behind the rod?
Multiple BCAC winner Kev is known for basing his all-conquering approach on accurate baiting, and he’s clearly happy with the results of this rod, labelling it ‘the best spodder’ he’s ever used. The 12-footer has a 4.5lb test curve and is constructed from high-modulus carbon. It’s got a 50mm butt ring and the 16mm tip ring is an anti-frap model for added confidence when chucking big distances.
Brand-New Spodding Essentials
1. ESP Shock Leader
Spodding requires a shockleader to cushion the impact on your main line. ESP’s version comes on 25m spools and is available in Fluoro Green (to scare off gulls) or Dark Green and is rated at 35lb with an 0.36mm diameter.
2. ESP Marker Braid
Made from 100 percent Dyneema, this 0.22mm-diameter braid has a 20lb breaking strain and a super smooth feel for excellent long-range casts. It’s available in 300m spools and has no stretch for precision feature finding.
3. ESP Spod Braid
Given a bright fluoro green colour to ward off birdlife and buoyant properties for a quick retrieve, this tough 20lb 100-percent-Dyneema braid is ideal for using on your spod reel. A proper workhorse with Hewitt gives a thumbs up too.
Is it a stiff old broom handle?
Kev says his ticklist for the ultimate spod rod includes getting the stiffness just right. Too stiff and the rod is hard to compress, causing you to lose accuracy. Too soft and your ability to go long is severely compromised. This rod, he says, will easily give him pinpoint accuracy at up to 110yds with a large Spomb, and is capable of doing likewise at up to 120yds with the midi version.
And it’s a bit of an all-rounder
As well as chucking big payloads of bait far and accurately, this rod is also designed to be used for marker-float work. It boasts a responsive tip to help transmit feedback from the lakebed to the angler.
How does it look?
It’s classic ESP! Very understated branding and an old-school unground carbon finish.