Putting The Nordic Stage Cheater To The Test
Recently I embarked on a trip that has been a long time in the making to the pristine wild rivers of West New Britain Province in PNG. I was to be the guest of Riccard Reimann who owns and operates Baia Sportsfishing, without a doubt the premier Black Bass sport fishing operations in the world. Needless to say the target species was to be the infamous black bass and their close cousins the spot tail bass would also be on the hit list. With everyone else on the trip toting rods in the 40-60lb class I was feeling bold and a little trepidations with my new Nordic Stage 10-22lb Cheater. Although being light in comparison to other peoples arsenal it was the heaviest rod in mine and I was dead keen on sticking to the Nordic Stage stable for the trip. To make a long story short... I was very pleased I did as the rod performed beautifully.
12lb's of spot tail subdued by the Nordic Stage Cheater...
A full understanding of the gears limitations were needed as I went into the chase as I was running 30lb braid and 50lb leader over a 22lb rod. This is something I would NEVER recommend to anyone that does not have a 100% firm understanding of their gear, load up angles etc. In short there was to be no high sticking, but many comfortable, drag locked lean backs giving the fish as much pressure as possible without overloading the rod. To be fair, I was actually quite surprised at how well the rod faired and after a few fish were boated I was getting far bolder with fighting style.
Not the biggest, but an interesting challenge getting them out of the snags...
The reel I chose for the trip was a 5000 Shimano Stradic... I chose this due to its work horse nature. If I had my time again I think a 4000 sized comparable reel would have been more suited to the rod, and still have performed the desired duties. In saying that the stradic still proved itself an acceptable match and was my go rod and reel and for the trip.
My biggest for the trip... Just shy of 20lb and angry!
As I got bolder with the Cheater I actually decided to give the Nordic Stage Scout 8-14lb a crack at a black. To my excitement this was carried out with success, although I was probably lucky it was not a extremely large fish. For local SE QLD fishing I am excited to apply this rod to large bass and mangrove jack.
A bass for the Scout as well!
Overall, despite perceived limitation the Nordic Stage Cheater actually turned out to be the perfect rod for the trip. Its light weight nature gave me no discomfort for 4 nonstop days of casting, but still provided the back bone when required. This trip was so enjoyable I am already planning the next and I can say for sure that this rod will accompany me again.
Drop me a line if there is anything else you would like to know about the rods, the trip or any other gear used.