Before having the pleasure of fishing the Foojin’RS rods, paper-theory suggested that this – the Lynx 93M – would be the go-to all-rounder of the range.
The truth is that the RS range contains a series of lure rods that are all completely different. However, even with that they (somewhat strangely) each seem completely capable of fishing a very wide variety of lures. So the conclusion I’ve come to is that – to explain each as succinctly as I can – I need to pick something that each rod feels the best at. You can consider it a given that you can also chuck any type of lure on each one – and most aren’t far off a 10/10 across the board – but I’ve tried to find the real reason to buy one over another.
Before I speak specifically about the Lynx, a little on the RS range and Apia rods in general…
If you haven’t fished or seen an Apia rod before, they are different. Solid. Clever. They don’t try to make the lightest rods on paper. They just make them the best fishing rods they can be. To fish one fills you with confidence. There are many rods that leave me with a certain degree of doubt when it comes to hammering them absolutely as hard as I can. Never with an Apia. In testing there are loads of times where I’ve just chuckled to myself, almost pendulum casting the hell out of a heavy lure that shouldn’t even really be fishable on such precision rods. It’s been fun.
I can never blame anybody who picks up an Apia in the shop that isn’t immediately blown away (though lots are). They’re not always as steely and light as shop-wigglers favour. I’ve had the pleasure of fishing with some lovely new Major Craft and Penn rods lately, and you could far more easily pick one of those if a shop wiggle explained all that a rod could do. But Apia designers are wired a bit differently. It’s all about the fishing and they don’t seem to care about how things look on paper when the geeks among us are browsing t’internet for clues.
I thought I’d have had the RS range all worked out well before they arrived. It looked easy. Springer 88ML (32g) and Lynx 93M (42g). The majority wouldn’t want anything else…
Although that hypothesis typically rings true with most “normal” rods, it turns out I was incredibly wrong with the ‘RS!
So what of the Lynx? We haven’t actually spent as much time fishing with the Lynx as we have some of the others. In fairness, it didn’t need it. One cast and one retrieve and you can tell how amazing the Lynx is going to be with certain lures. It’s a more obvious and ‘normal’ rod by today’s standards. Despite less fishing, every time we do go back to the Lynx from one of the other rods, we smile. There are certain things that it just makes so easy. It is absolutely the rod that a lot of UK anglers should be concentrating their thoughts upon in this range, given the popularity of surface lures here.
Faster and steelier than any in the range, the Lynx will be the rod for any angler who likes to work their lures a bit. Whether its a surface lure, diving plug or soft plastic. The tip is absolutely lovely. Very forgiving at the pointy bit while the speed of taper means it stiffens up so, so quickly. It’s crazy fast. As a result, you get good feeling at the lighter end of the scale, but the way the stiffness smoothly but very quickly kicks in means twitching a surface lure of almost any size up to about 30g+ is absolutely effortless. The heavier lure ranges that the rod will handle are staggering given the capability at the lower end. THE rod from the range for something like a Patchinko 140 or any surface lure from 12g or so. It also provides a very direct level of feeling for bottom-bounced baits too. Really nice.
Other rods in the range will cast further than the Lynx (Sky High 99M). Other rods in the range will be more subtle at times (Vivogue 96ML+). But the Lynx will prove to be the most obvious choice for a lot of our customers, particularly if they fish predominantly surface lures. Most anglers won’t need a longer rod than this and the lack of length over some of it’s longer brothers works in its favour at times.
Springer 88ML or Lynx 93M?
General enquiries of the ‘RS range prior to their arrival normally came from anglers considering their options between the Lynx and the Springer. On paper they would have been the main two to look at – being the shortest models in the range – centered around that 9’ average. However, the differences between the Lynx and Springer are huge! My Springer review will come later in the week, but it’s an ultra light rod in comparison. Much more subtle and great for lighter lures and estuary/calmer work. Whereas the Lynx has much more power in the butt – while still maintaining a level of subtlety in the tip.
So let’s rephrase the question… Lynx 93M or Vivogue 96ML+? Or Sky High 99M?
I’ll upload my full review of the Vivogue in due course, but they are different rods. The Vivogue could be referred to as a “power finesse” rod. Longer and capable with almost any conditions or lures you throw at it, but it comes in to it’s own with sub-25g lures (despite easily fishing heavier). Especially weightless plastics. It’s a bit like it has the tip of a 30g rod on the butt of a 40g rod. If that makes sense? Usually this kind of combo fails, but Apia have nailed it. In fact, I’ve never seen it achieved successfully. The Vivogue is unique. It’s a far more difficult rod to describe as it really does enjoy heavier lures too – giving you an insane amount of feeling through the blank – but it’s still a rod that excels with the lighter stuff if you’re looking for perfection.
The Lynx also has that 40g butt, but the power reaches further up the tip. “Snappy” is surely a word to avoid when describing a carbon fishing rod but, in terms of action, you’ll know what I mean when I say it. It’s also a word I have no fear in using with Apia rods as they are absolutely the most reliable out there. Anybody who has followed the Art of Fishing Facebook page will have seen pictures of Apia staff literally hand-testing every rod before it leaves HQ. We notice this attention to detail in the shop, seeing all but zero issues. Part of this is the solid build that Apia rods have, but the thorough testing ensures even fewer issues for customers, which I love.
And the Sky High? Possibly my personal favourite from the range for my own fishing (north Cornwall plugging and metals), but you’ll have to wait for the review on that one. If you want distance though, this is a rod that beats all others.
Take a look at the specs above and you’ll see a lot of similarities across the board. With a trained eye and a little fishing experience with the range, certain features start to make sense. I’ll go in to these kinds of numbers in a lot more depth in future posts. Not just for the Apia rods but others too. I’ll add a load of extra measurements and occasionally run a slightly more techy post to dissect some of the reasons why certain rods fish the way they do. For now, the limited info above is mostly just to introduce the range, and to introduce you to the four rods from the range that most UK bass anglers will find themselves trying to choose between.
As with all the best things in life, availability is limited and stock is available towards the end of March. If the Lynx sounds like the rod for you, you can currently pre-order through the Art of Fishing website. Or pop in to see us in-store.
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