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CARPology Reviews

Greys Relaunch An All-Time Classic!

Greys have just relaunched a classic rod, and luckily CARPology was first in the queue for a peek and test cast!

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It’s a bold move to launch a new range of rods under a classic brand name. All the memories and emotions bundled up in the originals may come flooding back to buyers, but can you ever repeat the same trick twice? If anyone can it’s Greys. One of the longest-established fishing brands in the world know a thing or two about manipulating carbon fibre, so it’s safe to assume they’re proud of these new releases having decided to bestow upon them a name that will conjure up many positive images for carpers of a certain vintage. Here’s what we learnt from our test day… 

1. All that heritage
For those unsure what we’re harking back to here, Greys’ original X-Flite rods launched early in the 21st century and immediately found favour with carpers—and barbel anglers—who loved their crisp, uncluttered looks and stellar performance. These re-imagined versions hark back to those days with subtly familiar design cues such as the red rings on either side of the reel seat and stealthy overall branding. 

2. Modern materials
Of course, Greys haven’t just pumped out a 20-year-old rod newly unearthed in a dusty warehouse. These X-Flite rods are completely new and take full advantage of two decades of technological advancements. Built on 30T carbon blanks, the promise to remain true to the original lightweight-but-powerful ethos.

3. Ringing
These new X-Flites have been bedecked in ultra-lightweight minima guides from Pac Bay—a well-established American brand that began making rod components in California in the 1970s. As is the standard on rods of this quality these days, all the tip rings in the range are anti-frap versions for trouble-free long-range casting.

4. Handle features
At the opposite end of these rods sit flared handles wrapped in full Japanese shrink rubber. Clamping down securely on your reels are custom-machined aluminium reel seats with SeaGuide hoods. An engraved butt cap offers a rare break from the all-black look of these rods and bears the X-Flite branding. Just above the rod handles sits an integrated carbon line clip which is perfect for fine-tuning your bite indication. 

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Built on 30T carbon blanks, the promise to remain true to the original lightweight-but-powerful ethos.

5. Understated looks
We live in a different era entirely from that of the turn of the century and so the 2021 X-Flites are far more subtle than their predecessors. In fact, you could mount a strong claim that these are just about the most understated rod you’ve ever seen. The all-black aesthetic is broken up by the tiniest dashes of colour. Perfect for the less-showy angler who appreciates quality but doesn’t have to shout about it.

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All the tip rings in the range are anti-frap versions for trouble-free long-range casting

What Adam Penning Says…
“I’ve had a fair bit of input into the aesthetics of the new X-Flites. The action hasn’t changed—the rods have great pedigree, having been around a long time and built a good following so we didn’t need to change that. The brief was to give them a modern facelift ready for a relaunch. I was very keen on a gloss black finish, simply because it isn’t used these days and I think it not only looks lovely but it’s unique in a busy market. The reel seat is stylishly and subtly engraved on both sides, and the overall look is minimalist without big logos or specs on view. 

“Japanese shrink covers a sleek, low profile handle and the blank is fitted throughout with super lightweight guides, beginning with a 50mm butt and ending in a practical 14mm tip guide. Each guide is whipped in black to match the blank. The finishing touches are very low key, dull red hoods either side of the reel seat—a nod to the famous red trim on the original X-Flites. The rods feel amazing in the hand and cast like a dream!”

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