Review of The 小黑 MARK Ⅱ
The 小黑 MARK Ⅱor Little Blackie Mark 2 is the second generation of the小黑 prawning rod produced by Yu-Shang, a Taiwanese fishing rod producer. I bought this rod at the recommendation of one of the staff members at the ORTO prawning pond. Talking to the ORTO staff member, I mentioned that I preferred a rod that was stiffer and I have to say, the 小黑 MARK Ⅱfits that bill perfectly for me.
Here’s the description of the rod as provided by the manufacturer (Traditional Chinese)
My translation in English (with the help of Google Translate)
Many years ago, Yu-Shang created the classic prawning rod “小黑” that can often still be found at popular prawning ponds. What can overcome this classic? Yu-Shang has once again revised and modified the details and designs and has released the Mark II version of this classic rod. While still maintaining the excellent feel and stiffness, the addition of a 360o universal turn, reflective particles on the anti-slip handle, counterweight system, with the rod body utilizing a subdued but beautiful purple gold coating that changes colours at different light angles, the 小黑 MARK Ⅱis subdued but dazzling. Only 小黑 can surpass 小黑!
Sounds good right? I have to admit, this is a pretty gorgeous rod. I had some fun taking shots of it at Hai Bin Sembawang!
Here’s the technical specifications from the manufacturer:
|Rod Specifications||Total Length||Segments||Diameter||Weight||Stiffness|
This is in all honesty, my first prawning rod review, so I’m not too sure what I can comment on. In fact, I suspect this might be the first in-depth review of a prawning rod. Before purchasing my first prawning rod, I searched high and low online for a good solid review of a prawning rod, any prawning rod. I couldn’t find a single one and decided that I should do it just so others could have something to refer to when they look for reviews of prawning rods.
The version of the 小黑 MARK Ⅱthat I own was bought at ORTO for SGD$60 and is the 6/7 feet version.
I’ve had this rod for a few months now and I roughly estimate I’ve hooked over 200+ prawns with this.
From tiny ones like this
To nice jumbo ones like these
Personally, I find this rod to be excellent for its price. It cost me just SGD$60 and I think that’s a great price for this rod. While the technical specifications on this says that it’s a 3/7 rod, I personally feel that it’s more of a 2/8 rod. With the weight of a good sized prawn struggling on the end of my line, this is the maximum it flexes to.
My opinion is that the action on this rod is relatively fast, though if you hit a big prawn, you’ll still be able to feel the fight for sure. It fits right into that range between a soft rod where you’d have to fight the prawn for quite a bit before pulling it out, and a super hard rod where you’re able to literally haul the prawn out immediately. I did a rough count and for a medium sized prawn, it took me approximately 3 to 5 seconds to overcome the prawn’s backward movement and pull it out of the water.
My personal style is to go pretty quickly and while I most definitely enjoy the fight, I find that I prefer to get the prawn out of the water ASAP and get my hook back into the water and the action as fast as possible. The小黑 MARK Ⅱ fits my style pretty good and it’s probably not the rod for you if you want to really prolong and enjoy the fight with the prawn as much as possible.
A more flexible or softer rod is supposed to help with setting in the hook on a strike, but I’ve had little problems with the setting of a hook thus far. Most of the time if I do strike the prawn, I’m able to get it out. As far as I can remember right now, I’ve only had perhaps less than 10 occasions across the past few months where after I’ve struck and set the hook in, the prawn got away. I’ve even managed to set the hook into a largish prawn’s claw and pull it out!
Right now, between my super soft 7/8 feet ‘Still Good’刚心 rod and the 小黑 MARK Ⅱ, I’m using the小黑 MARK Ⅱat least 90% of the time. Most of the time the ‘Still Good’刚心 comes out, the only reason is because I need a longer rod.
Overall, this is an excellent rod and my only gripe with it is that there’s an odd clinking sound when it’s fully extended. I’ve checked the rod several times to make sure that the sound isn’t because I have something clinking around inside the rod’s segments, or if the rod is damaged. No luck. That clinking noise is still here. If any of you have an idea on what it might be, feel free to let me know.
Like I said before, this is the first prawning rod review I’ve written and I’m not entirely sure how useful it would be for you guys. Let me know in the comments below what you think and what I can improve on.