Fox Rage Ultron Belly Boat
After returning from Texas at the end of last year I went on the search for a short butted spinning rod, ideally with a casting weight of 7-28g. In Texas we had watched our guides working their lures whilst we drifted down a bayou, casting lures in the hope of hooking up with a Redfish. Our rods with their standard length butts were a hindrence, they either hit the gunwales or caught on the PFD, our guides were casting twice to one of our casts, their lures covering twice as much ground as ours as we were all drifting at the same speed.
It wasn't until early 2013 that I came across the new Fox Rage range of Ultron Rods and in that range was the Belly Boat. At first glance the butt looked a perfect length, the casting weight 7-28g, another box ticked, but then I looked at the length 168cm, I was looking for something closer to 2m.
I made a call to Fox International to get more information on their new rod. They were very helpful and sounded excited about the new range, I had to get my hands on one, money changed hands and the Ultron Belly Boat arrived in the post.
The rod is a two piece, splitting at the handle, the main rod is once piece. It is supplied in a cloth bag giving it some protection.
The finish is excellent, the high-modulus carbon black blank with matching whippings with silver trim along with with Fox's Braid friendly Slik Guides really does gie the rod a quality feel. The name of the rod is set in a white panel close to the EVA handled butt section.
The rod weighs an incredible 90g and deserves to be matched with a quality lightweight reel in the 2500 - 3000 range. I put a Daiwa Luvias 3000 on our rod which balanced beautifully.
Before I fished the Ultron Belly Boat I decided to compare it with my old lure rod a Tubertini Sotobo Coast (2.00m). Laying the pair out on the dining room table it was immediately obvious that the Ultron Belly Boat when measured from the reel seat wasn't actually that much shorter in length, in fact it was only 100mm (4 inches) shorter in working length! Maybe the shorter length of the Ultron wouldn't be an issue.
Time to get out on the water.
Your only going to hook a fish with your lure in the water, obvious really, but our lures tend to spend a fair bit of time out of the water during the cast, so the quick you can do it the better.
Out on the water the lightness of the blank with its very low swing weight made casting fast and furious, it was totally effortless. Casting was accurate even one handed.
Working lures, both top water spooks and Patchinko's was very easy, bouncing texas rigged SP's off the bottom just as easy. the shorter rod butt stayed well clear of my PFD, the seat straps and anything else a standard length butt would be banging against.
The 4 inches of lost rod length was a little worrying, fishing from a 13ft Hobie Revolution its important that you can get your line around the bow and stern whilst fighting a fish, with the mirage drive under the kayak you don't want the braid disappearing under the hull, anything could happen!
Well I was pleased to find that even with my short little arms I was able to steer the line both around the bow and the stern, a huge relief whilst hooked into a fiesty little wrasse in shallow water.
So far I have had Pike, Wrasse and Bass on the Ultron Belly Boat and it has been a pleasure to use. The short butt has still offered plenty of leverage under the forearm and I've not missed my longer butted rods.
Would I prefer the rod to be a little longer, to be honest yes, but only the extra 4 inches that I had on my Tubertini, but I can live with it as it is.
Is this the ultimate kayak fishing lure rod in the UK... at the moment I would say for my kayak lure fishing needs yes, I can throw every lure in my lure box and bring them to life easily with this rod. I can lure fish all day and my casting arm never tires.
What would I like to change, just that extra bit of length as long as it didn't upset the balance. I would also like to see how it would work as a traditional two piece (easier when I'm travelling abroad as it doesn't fit in my rod tube!
I would also like to see a lighter version in the range, similar to the Fox Rage Pro Series Baby Lure 0-10g
The Ultron Belly Boat does'nt break the bank, it's priced competitively for the quality of fittings and blank and I'm thinking about buying a couple more, I love it.