This review on the ALX Zolo B Toadface is based on my own experience and opinion formed as a result.
After breaking my quantum EXO PT and then my Shimano Clarus while fishing in the lead up to my 2nd Western Province Junior Fish-off at Mofam on 17/2/13, I was only left with two rods for my provincial fish-off. After posting an update on bass fishing.co.za on my sorry state of fishing kit, I was incredibly pleased to receive a message from Brent Weber from Blue Water Gear (BWG) advising me he was coming to the rescue with the offer of a ALX zolo B rod that he would courier to me from Joburg in time for my divisional. Brent said I could choose one of the many different rods in the ALX range and I was amazed at the extent of the selection on offer. The range covered every technique and each rod was unique! I decided to go with the ALX Toadface which is a 7'2" medium heavy fast action rod. I chose this rod because my confidence technique is flipping and pitching.
So now I was prepared and kitted with this awesome rod thanks to the generosity and consideration of Brent and BWG for my junior divisional. I read up the reviews on the ALX Zolo B and felt even more confident it was the right tool for me.
I paired my black max 2 on it with 15lb InvisX. During the comp I rigged up the ALX with a Berkley gripper flipping jig and pitched into the deepest, thickest and largest laydowns I could find.
At the first laydown I pitched my jig and on the fall felt a solid thud but the line had barely moved and there was hardly any slack, the rod was just so sensitive that the slightest of bites sent an earthquake up through the rod! Now was the time to test the power of the ALX. I loaded up and set the hook hard and to say I was amazed at the way this rod handled would be a major understatement! That rod loaded and unloaded on the strike with such perfection! I brought the fish out of the laydown and landed him, a good keeper of 1.4kg.
Later that day I was fishing over hanging trees with the ALX rigged with a 5" Yamamoto Senko and was skipping it under the trees. The rod worked wonders again, I have never fished a rod that can skip like the Toadface. I started smashing them all the way down the bank using this technique and upgrading my bag quickly in the process, but I still needed a kicker. The bite went off for a while with one or two small fish being caught.
It was an hour until the end of the comp and I passed an overhanging tree with a chunky laydown beneath it, I knew there would be a good fish under there. So I re-rigged the jig and pitched it into the laydown, and on the fall i got eaten properly and as I had no slack in my line and she just powered deeper into the laydown. I was having none of this though and set the hook seriously hard and the rod held true, giving me total control on the strike. In no time at all she had wrapped herself up, deep in the laydown. Immediately I was on the trolling motor, before plunging my arm into the laydown, felt her face, took a firm grip and brought her up into the boat. She was a good kicker weighing in at 1.8kg.
I then caught another 3 fish off of that laydown before moving on again!
I still needed to get rid of a 970gram fish in my bag, so on my way to docking the boat I picked up my ALX and pitched my fluke onto a point and felt the slightest of taps (again the ALX showing off its amazing sensitivity!) I hit it hard and after a great fight got the fish in the boat and that fish contributed 1.01kg to my overall bag.
Confident I had a good bag we awaited the results for the comp.
The top3 bags were as follows:
This is undoubtedly the best rod I have ever fished with and I would 100% recommend this rod to any bass angler, be it a junior, senior, newbie or a Pro. This rod I believe is at a much higher level in terms of quality to cost ratio than most rods on the market today! The ALX was what contributed most to my win and without the sensitivity and power of the rod I would not have done as well.
Thank you very much Brent and the rest of the BWG staff for so kindly sending me this fantastic rod.
I will have the Toadface and definitely one of the other ALX rods in my arsenal for my junior nationals at Clanwilliam in April, And i have no doubt these rods will serve me well in competitions in the near future.