A review of a 6-weight lure/ streamer rod for larger rivers and small stillwaters

Down-locking eel seat of the Maryatt Tactical Pro changes the overall balance.

One or two unusual but effective choices in this rod build. Marryat marketing leans heavily on the competition pedigree of French world champion Pascal Cognard. To my eye that might be the rod action, the matt black finish, the unusual down-locking reel-seat.

The old rule of thumb was that retailers found matt-finished rods harder to sell, their customers preferred nice, new, glossy rods. Times have changed, and matt fly rods do sell, but they tend to aimed at more experienced anglers, who prefer low-flash rods.
The ring set on this Tactical Pro has a fairly small lined butt guide, then fine-wire Recoil snakes, a slightly unusual but very light combination on a #6/7 rod; I doubt an experienced fly fisher would blink, a less experienced rod buyer might find the combination a little unusual.

The down-locking reel seat takes my reel farther from the grip. This form can increase the ‘swing-weight’ of a rod when casting, while also setting up a better balance while holding and fishing the rod. Again, these are finesse points which I assume points to the Pro part of the name – a rod aimed at a discerning and informed owner.

In use. The first round of casting I fitted the rod with a WF7F line which lives on a nice but fairly meaty reel. This is a crisp, positive rod, relatively stiff with a fast action, nothing wobbles or bounces, casting is very immediate and positive. On the Tactical Pro, the #7 line flies: easy, straight line distance. Double-hauling is not essential, but I’d be surprised if anyone buying this doesn’t double-haul. While using this set-up I was surprised to find my hand moved back from the front of the (rather good) cork grip. This was honestly unconscious, I assume I was feeling for some sort of balance; this is a light rod, so with the heavy reel on the seat my hand found that balance a few centimetres back from the front of the grip – I guess I found myself casting a longer rod. In any case the Tactical Pro cast well, and it didn’t feel overweight of out of balance.

A week or so later I had a very light modern reel in my car, fitted with a smart new #6 line. Now, I had decided I would be saying that this rod should be rated #7, but can cast a #6 line. With the light reel on the rod and that fractionally lighter line through the guides, the balance changed, my hand stayed at the front of the grip. The #6 (WF6F) line works well on this rod. Casting and feel is not bad at short range, then work most of the head out and the line flows like it’s part of the crisp, quick blank. I’m not sure which reel or line combination I’d say is best, they both work very nicely if I use what little casting nous I can muster and adapt a little.
I’d fish this casting streamers or lures. Possibly a river rod, in my fishing more likely a rod for small stillwaters. A sophisticated rod aimed at knowledgeable, experienced hands.

Marryat Tactical Pro 9ft 6in #6/7

Weight: 104.3g
Action angle: 72 degrees
Stiffness: 155.4g
Sections: 4
Rings: One lined butt-ring, single-leg snakes
Handle: Half-wells
Fighting butt: No
Cork quality: Very good, some marking
Reel seat: Down-locker, grey aluminium, black spacer
Blank: Matt black
Thread: Black
Build quality: High
Rod bag: Canvas
Rod tube: Nylon covered

Price: £545.00
From: Marryat stockists