At the World Fishing & Outdoor Expo in Suffern, NY in March, Fenwick unveiled its brand new for 2020 HMG Inshore rod series. A perennial inshore favorite in years past, it’s been awhile since Fenwick had a major new saltwater product launch. But across the entire Pure Fishing family of products – Berkley, PENN, and even Van Staal – 2020 seems to be the year of the saltwater angler!
“We really wanted to get back into the inshore, ultimate light tackle rod,” noted tackle rep Chris Gatley in Suffern this spring describing the new Fenwick HMG Inshore series, a rod line ideally suited for jigging tautog, bucktailing fluke or tossing soft plastics at stripers or weakfish. Available in both spinning and conventional, the HMG Inshore appeared in shops back in April and has been tough to keep in stock.
In June, I picked up the Fenwick HMG Inshore 7-foot medium-fast rod (HMGIN70M-FS-2) rated for 1/8- to 1-ounce lures and 15- to 30-pound braid for back bay fluking in shallow water. Paired to an Abu Garcia Revo MGX30 spooled with 10-pound braid, it’s been an incredibly light and sensitive combination for light jigging. Built on 30 Ton Graphite blanks, the rods are spiraled with carbon thread for added strength and action, and feature Fuji Guides with stainless steel deep pressed frames and Alconite inserts. For cork fans, you’ll love the touch of these rods; a Sea-Guide double-locking reel seat also provides a more secure connection with your favorite reel.
There are 11 Inshore spinning rods from medium to heavy, in 7-, 7-1/2- and 8-foot models, some two-piece and others just one (from $99.95 to $129.95). It’s a pretty solid ferrule design, and the two-piece I have was virtually cinched in place for good after my first trip. There are four conventional casting rods in the series, from medium to heavy power ($99.95), and three kayak models (two spin, one conventional).
Truth be told, I made a rookie mistake and shattered my first HMG Inshore on a high-sticking violation while stubbornly trying to land a 40-plus pound ray. But for $100, I didn’t mind the quick trip to my local shop for a replacement. With the look, feel and function of rods costing twice as much, you can bet I’ll be back for a couple more; if I can stay ahead of the demand!