The Tronixpro Naga MX sits alongside the company’s other three top-end surf casting rods, Medusa, Cobra and the Viper, it follows in the Tronixpro tradition of naming their higher end rods after snakes. Legend has it that the Naga is a deity, taking the form of the king cobra, an ideal name for the heavyweight in the Tronixpro range!
The past five years have seen a massive industry change, the rise of the continental style rod cannot be denied with more and more anglers shunning traditional rods in favour of their longer style cousins. Tronixpro has been at the forefront of this revolution, releasing some incredible British centric rods that have helped anglers make the crossover. So it’s with some surprise to find out that the Tronixpro Naga MX is not a three-piece continental style rod at all, but, a conventional 14ft, two-piece beachcaster, complete with a reducer and capable of casting 5 to 8oz leads plus bait. What’s even more surprising is the brains behind the rod, Joe Arch, an angler with an unrivalled match pedigree and advocate of the continental style surf casting rod.
Joe’s philosophy is simple “when you look at the UK market, whilst an awful lot of continental style rods are sold, the traditional beachcaster is still the one most anglers use. When Tronixpro approached me with the idea of a signature rod, I wanted it to reflect this. Tronixpro already does some great continental rods and I wanted to help design something that was a bit different.”
The first thing you notice about any Tronixpro rod is the colour. From green to orange to white, they’re always different, bucking the trend that a blank must be black. The Tronixpro Naga MX is no exception, finished in a stylish shade of deep red and finished in red and silver whippings with a light red shrink wrap caressing the lower third of the butt section. A unique phosphorescent paint finish between the tip and third intermediate rings on the tip section aids bite detection at night and gives the rod a complete look. Fuji K Alconite guides in silver complete the fittings, their lean forward frame design reduces the number of tangles in certain conditions whilst also aiding line slip through the guides, reducing friction to help you cast further. To secure your reel two Tronixpro Coasters are included along with a hard-wearing rod bag with extra pouches for the reducer and coasters.
It’s worth mentioning that the colour scheme of the Tronixpro Naga MX was not only designed to look good but also for practicality too. The red blank and silver guides make the rod stand out in low light conditions. The addition of the phosphorescent paint aids bite detection at night and allows you to see what’s happening without having to continually shine your headlight on the rod tip. A quick charge by your headlight or better still, an UV light will keep the tip glowing for hours.
The Tronixpro MX is designed as a fishing rod, it’s not designed to be cast across a grassy knoll in the Cotswolds but to be out battling fish all around the coast of the British Isles. Consequently, the action has been tailored to allow for casting to maximum fishing distances whilst also retaining good bite detection. The rod is constructed from 40 ton carbon, a lightweight material that allows for a slim diameter blank with maximum strength and minimal weight. The two equal sections are 7ft, whilst not the easiest to transport, the two piece construction suits the blank action better for performance. To enable the angler to choose their casting style the rod can be fished either with the reel up or down and a 22 inch reducer has been included for anglers who fish with the latter. For those casting up reel a quality, Fuji butt cap is included.
Although the rod has been designed to fish baits at range it’s also flexible. The power has been tweaked to be forgiving so even inexperienced users can cast to effective distances, whilst still retaining bags of power for the experienced, big chuckers to get baits flying. The versatility of the rod means it’s an ideal candidate for a multitude of different types of fishing, Joe himself describes it as “a British style rod that can do pretty much everything.” The supple tip makes it ideal for fishing gentle, rolling beaches for smaller species from whiting to flatfish. The beefier butt gives it the umph to combat bigger fish such as smoothhound or conger from snaggy, kelpie, rough ground rock marks often found around South Wales or the North East whilst coping with strong tides such as in the Bristol Channel.
To get the most from the Tronixpro Naga MX it’s best to fish with leads between 5 and 6oz, these are the optimum weights that will give the Tronixpro Naga MX the balance to get the best distance. These are also by and large the most popular leads you will use in most fishing scenarios. For the angler who will be fishing in serious tides then the rod is more than capable of casting leads up to 8oz plus bait.
In a fishing scenario, it becomes more obvious that this is a solid all round fishing rod. The mark we chose to test the rod was a mixture of different ground with fish resident at different distances and all sizes to give us a good overview of what the rod is capable of.
A gentle lob to around 70 yards was achieved with ease without the resistance you often find from out and out court casting rods. A half pendulum to give some momentum and distance had the lead firing out to good distances. A full house pendulum demonstrated that the rod is a serious casting tool too. Launching into the cast you can feel the power begin to unfold and release as the rod catapults a 5 and half ounce lead towards the horizon. The forgiving action makes this a nice rod to use, you don’t have to be an all round technical casting wizard to get it to sing and for most anglers, this means you can concentrate on your fishing rather than your casting.
In the field bite detection is excellent. Fishing at both medium and longer distances it’s clear to see the different movements on the rod tip. It’s easy to distinguish between the gentle movement of the sea and tide as opposed to a bite from a smaller fish. Small pouting were plentiful during the opening stages of the session and in all instances, the gentle rattle of a small pouting was easily identified even at range.
When it comes to the bigger fish, for some, bite identification at range becomes less important but the rods power in terms of subduing a running fish is more critical. Something demonstrated well by landing several smoothhound during the session. The mark itself has many obstacles that need to be avoided and a running tide that can make playing bigger fish tricky. The Tronixpro Naga MX though has plenty of power that enables you to lift into a big fish, subdue and eventually stop it in its tracks when it begins to use the elements against you. This extra reserve of power is also useful for negotiating any captures around obstacles during the fight as well as in the latter stages when it comes to landing fish. Having complete control of the quarry is vital to make playing and landing a prize capture a successful operation. During the session, several smoothhound were caught with the best around 15lbs demonstrating perfectly what this rod is about.
Although we’ve emphasised a lot during this review that the Tronixpro Naga MX has been designed primarily as a fishing tool first, it shouldn’t distract away from the fact it’s a very capable casting rod too. In the right hands, it can put a lead to some serious distances. It hasn’t been tried on a court yet, all of the testing has been primarily focused on fishing, but, we have no doubt that if the rod was put in the right casting hands, it wouldn’t have any problem competing with some of the very best casting blanks out there.
Length: 14ft, two-piece plus 22inch reducer
Casting Weight: 5 to 8oz
Guides: Fuji K Alconite with silver stainless steel legs and surround
Reel Seat: Tronixpro Coasters
Rod Bag: Yes, hard-wearing cloth rod bag
Butt Cap: Yes, Fuji butt cap for casting with your reel up
In conclusion, we love the rods fishing ability, the way it casts and its potential too. The fact it has been fished with properly over the past 18 months is a testament to how good it is in most beach and rock angling situations we find ourselves in. Each prototype has been fished by Joe and the Tronixpro team across different venues and scenarios. With each new prototype, extensive notes have resulted in modest but significant changes to the blank and fittings to produce the final product, a real quality, fun to use, a capable fishing rod that has a pedigree and dare we say it, soul, too.