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Sakura Stingray SGS 702 M

I’ve been meaning to review this rod for a while now, I took a punt in buying it when I first started fishing with the soft plastics at the beginning of the year, and Im pleased to say it is serving me very well.
At seven feet in length and built on a nice slim dark blue and grey blank, when coupled with a 2500 or 3000 sized reel it feels light and well balanced in the hand. The balance point when set up with a reel is just in the centre of the front screw down winch grip. The taper on the 5-21 gram rated blank is super fast and initially the rod feels very stiff and capable of working hard lures effectively. Despite the stiff feel, the tip bends very nicely and progressively through to the middle of the rod where the super stiff butt takes over and gives the rod some real power for dealing with bigger fish. Feedback when working both hard and soft lures is good, the tip, although stiff, is sensitive and when fishing for Bass there are no issues with feeling exactly what is going on at the other end as the the fish bites the lure, I can most of the time, tell exactly when to strike. The rod works very well with soft plastics fished Texas and Carolina styles and plenty of feedback can be felt when making bottom contact. I must admit to having some issues when fishing for Wrasse in the beginning, I just did not seem to be able to read the Wrasse bites and failed miserably to hook up. Of course at first I thought perhaps the rod wasn’t right for the job and that the tip may be too stiff, but eventually and predictably it turned out to be my lack of experience in fishing for the species that was the problem, and I have now taken a good few Wrasse on this rod and in fact I would say it is ideal as it has plenty of stopping power for when they are diving hard towards any structure. You cannot use too soft a rod for these fish and truthfully I would not want to go any lighter than this rod for fish of even half a pound as they would easily get the upper hand on any lesser tool!
So onto the build and finish of the Stingray.
Understated it is not! it has quite a ‘blingey’ finish compared to some other models on the market but it is quite tasteful and I like it, I’ve always had a thing for slightly overstated rods and I like contrasting whippings like the gold and silver ones that are featured throughout on the Stingray. The EVA handle is of the Fuji IPS type but used in reverse here with a matching winch down reel fixing finished with an aluminium ( i think ) collar as is the EVA butt.
Rings are Fuji SIC single leg throughout and each ring whipping is finished in black thread with the silver and gold tipping. There is also a nice ( and blingey!) woven carbon effect feature on the butt section next to the reel seat, this contrasts nicely with the metallic blue finish on this section of the rod, the tip section being in plain un-ground grey carbon. 
Thats it really, there’s not much more to say about the rod except that as a tool to do a job it does it well, and at a reasonable price too. I am extremely pleased with mine and have caught many many fish on it this year so far and I have no designs on changing it at the moment. I am not known for my ability to look after my equipment and so far it’s standing up well to the abuse I give it, having had a few knocks in my clumsy hands! To summarise I would say this is a great HRF rod, especially for the newcomer, it’s well finished, durable and does the job perfectly well.

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