I had the opportunity to travel to Barston Lakes near Solihull this week, and attend the Sonik Sports trade display, designed to pre-launch a raft of exciting 2018 products. As it was by invitation and appointment only, I also had chance to have a lengthy chat with carping legend Frank Warwick where, funnily enough, we barely mentioned the forthcoming goodies, instead comparing notes on a multitude of other subjects including shark fishing off the quarterdeck of a warship, motorcycle accidents, family, and many others!
Aside from an enjoyable hour in good company, the trade show had much to whet the appetite. As consumers, there is much to look forward from the Sonik stable next year. The recently released Vader X range of carp rods and reels, have, according to Commercial Director Ian McCormack, sold thousands of units already, and with more on order, and are set to be amongst the biggest ever Sonik sellers, but that is just the start of it! Although demand for the Vader X has been extremely high, a further gap was identified for a similar product, with a higher modulus blank, and a matching reel, which would slot into the next price band for those who want a little more for their money. The Dominator X is a step up, featuring 1k carbon wrap, 50mm butt rings, and much more, and is available in a variety of lengths (10’, 12’ and 13’) and test curves of 2.75-3.5lb. Twin the rods with the new Dominator X 8000 reel, and you get a potent combination for around £200 at rrp, but with the superb Sonik ‘Buy 2, get 1 free’ deal, that price point will offer exceptional value for money! I had a quick look at the reel, and noted extremely slow oscillation, giving outstanding line lay, and it is supplied with a pair of anodised aluminium spools amongst all the technical specifications which will have you drooling! Don’t forget the new Dominator X landing net either, with a 2 piece, 8’ handle, it makes short work of long zigs, and a stainless steel spreader block supports a medium depth mesh so you can unhook your prize quickly, and safely!
Of particular interest to me, I also examined the brand new Magna selection of travel, dropshot, and LRF spinning rods. I currently use the Light-Tec rod for much of my light lure work, and although I love it, the Magna is a definite upgrade. I’ve been asking for a white tip section to improve bite indication (it’s so much easier to see) and the Magna range now have just that! Yay! The Magna rods have everything else you would expect too, from ‘K’ style guides, to lock down reel seats and ultralight blanks, and will certainly find a place in my tackle room. The most impressive thing about these rods is without doubt, the price. With the LRF and dropshot rods coming in at under £50, and the four piece travel rods at less than £100, these are set to take the lure fishing market by storm next year…
The new SK-TEK range of ‘soft goods’ comprises bedchairs, bivvies, rod sleevs/bags, pouches, luggage, cradles, and numerous other goodies, all designed to complement each other, and give the angler the ultimate solution to tackle transport, protection, and storage issues. As expected, all items are feature packed, with handy ideas to make your fishing easier, or more comfortable! I was impressed with the SK-TEK cool bag, which has a unique Ridgemonkey sized sleeve under the lid, and internal elastics to support cool blocks and prevent them sliding about to ensure that ‘cool’ remains in the right place, rather than fall to the bottom of the bag. You can even keep frozen and chilled items separate thanks to a removable divider system, to ensure your foodstuffs stay fresher for longer! New bivvy designs, extra comfy bedchairs, sleep systems, and much more within the SK-TEK catalogue will have customers queueing to snap these up. Innovative design and quality materials should see the SK-TEK in high demand, and I saw many orders taken, so expect them in shops soon!
What else? A new set of commercial/match rods and reels, along with a variety of accessories should have the match and pleasure angler dribbling, a fine range of new barbel/specialist rods, and much more, including the Sonik Sports Sea range which is set to be expanded, with new rods which cover every casting style, with weights up to 8oz, so that baits can be blasted to the horizon with ease, and more importantly, in safety. There are new SKS and AVX surf reels, new luggage, and even pre-tied sea rigs to look out for as Sonik start 2018 with a bang! I can’t wait, and I’m really looking forward to getting more kit on the bank, and hopefully, catching a lot more fish!