Tackle on Test – Banana Delta X Fly Rod

Farlows Retail Manager, Tom Clinton, puts one of the store‘s new Banana Rods through its paces on a trip to Mexico.

While preparing for a recent trip to fish on the southern tip of the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico with Farlows Fishing Manager, Nick Hart, we were given the chance to fieldtest the Banana Delta X – a line of rods from a new brand to Farlows for 2019.

Tropical Flats Fishing in Mexico

The trip itself was my first foray into the world of tropical flats fishing and although bonefish and permit were my main targets, in reality I was happy to hook as many different species as I could! The rod we were sent to test arrived two days before I was due to leave and, after some hasty repacking of my trusty SportTube at home that night, everything was ready to rock!

When you go on a trip with the party comprising four self-confessed ‘tackle tarts,’ you can expect a wealth of ludicrously tasty gear to be brought along. Indeed, we had something like eighteen fly rods between us, probably over twenty fly reels and as many lines (if not more when you factor in spare spools and the like).

I was excited to try an 8’ 8” 8wt glass rod, which I had made myself in the run-up to the trip, but the one I ended up using the most during the course of the week was the Delta X from Banana Rods.

Banana delta X single handed fly rod It was a well–balanced outfit

The Tackle Setup

The size we were sent to trial was the 9’ 9wt (although Farlows has elected to stock the 9’ 8wt instead). Straight away it felt incredibly light in hand compared to a lot of other 9’ 9wts I’ve used, and the blank was really slim. I paired it with my trusty Abel Super 9/10 , and it ended up a very well-balanced outfit.

When I was put onto my first few small bonefish, I was amazed at how hard they pull for their size. The rod handled all of their smaller runs with aplomb, with a nice progressive flex that certainly felt like it would handle heavier or faster running fish without a problem. I had paired the rod with a RIO Direct Core Bonefish line which, as a combo with the Delta X, casts beautifully.

When the wind wasn’t tricky I was able to keep a nice amount of line in the air and lift off the water for quick shots when necessary. It also punched a decent line out into the surf on the more exposed beaches as well, though this was when I paired it with the RIO Direct Core Flats Pro line instead.

Banana delta X single handed fly rod The rod had a nice, progressive flex

All-in-all I would say that this rod quite clearly performs in line with its price-point.  The manufacturing quality and presentation (tube and rod-sleeve) are immaculate and its action speaks for itself when you pair it with the appropriate line and reel. I’ll certainly be looking to try out some of the smaller freshwater sizes, as well as the double-handers. If they all perform in the same way, then this brand could be a game-changer – and they are exclusive to Farlows in the UK!

Lovely bonefish caught on a Banana Rod A bone on a Banana, I can‘t wait to try more of these rods

Historically it has been considered ominous to bring a banana on board a boat, but in the case of these Bananas, I’d say they can only bring good luck!

Ian Welch

A freshwater biologist by training I drifted into angling journalism and am now Farlows Group marketing manager. A hopelessly inadequate fly angler (the team are hoping to put that right.) I have fished all over the world and am now most at home fishing for River Test grayling, River Ebro catfish, Indian mahseer, or battling giant freshwater stingray on the Thai rivers. Away from my rod I do a bit of shooting and a lot of fruit and vegetable growing!