Three years ago I added a couple of the Fenwick Modulus Graphite (HMG) Inshore series rods to my back bay arsenal. A great price point rod with incredible sensitivity and a cork handle, it’s become a ‘go to’ rod of mine for bay fluke and light tackle stripers/weakfish.
Over the summer, I had the chance to meet with the team from Fenwick at ICAST ’23, which is where they announced the redesign of their entire rod portfolio with a collection of 264 highly crafted World Class, Elite, HMG, and Eagle rods. The pinnacle of the collection, the World Class series, provides hardcore anglers with 62 technique-specific rods to meet their specialized needs.
I had the chance to speak with Mike Brinkerhoff about the Fenwick World Class series while at the product launch in Orlando, which is where I had a first chance to handle these new rods. “In all of this new Fenwick lineup we’ve really redesigned it from the ground up, or from the inside out,” Brinkerhoff explained, explaining how the World Class rods are crafted from ultra-premium materials combined with a blend of high modulus graphite and Fenwick’s proprietary reinforcing resin, providing perfect actions for each and every application.
“Ultimately we’ve got brand new actions that we’ve started with new mandrels, new tapers, a new look and feel ultimately, from butt to tip,” Brinkerhoff added. Handling those new rods, what really stands out with the World Class series is how they feel in the hand; the Fenwick team explained how this unique design began by studying the human hand and overall ergonomics. What they learned through better understanding of human physiology was ultimately applied to a new form that acts as an extension of the angler’s hand maximizing comfort, grip, and overall feel without any extra material to deaden sensitivity.
“In our quest to build anglers the greatest fishing rods made by human hands, everything about these new rods is purposeful,” said Fenwick design guru Justin Poe. “From the transparent paint and minimalist design that eliminated unnecessary weight to the rod, to the handle and reel seat materials that not only added sensitivity but mimicked the natural form of the human hand to maximize the optimal fishing techniques.” Poe said there is nothing extra glued or wrapped onto these rods, explaining “that would take away from your ability to feel everything.”
A tailored foregrip boasts reduced length and added taper allow for a forward finger placement and better feel of action, while the bulb shape of the main grip fits the crux of the hand for a custom natural feel. “We did a bunch of research on this and the most sensitivity that you have is in your little finger and your ring finger…the reason being is that these are your workhorses,” Brinkerhoff explained. As such, the Fenwick World Series has been tailored to the concept of ergonomic effectiveness and overall sensitivity.
Available for both fresh and salt, a sneak peek at the World Class Saltwater rod models show four new spinning and 10 casting models designed for flats, heavy-duty, and travel–saltwater inshore and nearshore action. The rods feature a 40/36-ton graphite blend with proprietary reinforcing resin, and titanium guide frames with super thin zirconia inserts; all inshore models have tangle-free titanium guide frames.
Look for Fenwick’s World Class series rods arriving in shops sometime this fall, priced from $419.95 to $504.95. Also be on the lookout for our exclusive interview with Mike Brinkerhoff coming to our YouTube channel on October 30.