Sunday, 12 October 2014

Zebco/Browning Factory Visit

I recently had the pleasure of visiting the Zebco/Browning factory in Tostedt Germany. The purpose of the visit was to see all the new products for 2015. The products are all on display in a purpose built marquee situated in the grounds of the factory.

On display are products from all the Zebco brands, including  Zebco, Quantum, Van Staal, Fin-nor, Mustad, Black cat, Rhino, Radical and of course Browning. I will be honest I was like a kid in a sweet shop and I didn't know where to look first. The first thing I set my eyes on was the brand new Browning Sphere range of rods, which I have to say I am mighty impressed with. So impressed that one or two will soon be in my holdall, well hopefully any way :-) 

The blanks of the rods are second to none, with a super thin diameter and amazingly smooth action. These are then complemented by a well crafted specially designed handle along with the finest quality guides.

Amazing rods that will match or if not out class the very best rods available on the market today.

I had a good hour or so looking and taking pictures of all the new and revamped rod ranges. The work that has gone into making these rods perfect is staggering. Huge amounts of testing, refining, then retesting go into every single rod in every range. So when you buy a rod from Browning you know you are getting a top quality product.   

A magnetic force then grabbed hold of me and dragged me to the pole alley section of the exhibition. Here sat waiting was the jewels in the crown for me. The Xitan Z14, the Champions Choice Silverlite and the Hyper Carp poles. These were all set up on rollers waiting to be "waggled". I sat myself on the strategically placed new Browning box and started waggling. I picked up the Z14 which was initially set up at 13 meters, I wanted to see if it was actually 10% lighter and stiffer than the mighty Z12. Straight away the difference was noticeable, it is definitely lighter than the Z12 even at 13 meters, I added the 14.5 meter section and then the 16 meter section, at both of these lengths it is noticeably lighter and stiffer than the Z12, which is unbelievable as I have a Z12 and it is an extremely stiff pole.

Another one of the features I wanted to check out was the brand new square pole protectors. These are so comfortable to use as they take the direct pressure off the elbow. The flat surface of the pole protector helps distribute the weight to the entire forearm, it also makes it comfortable on your legs too.

Also on show was the newly designed puller bush, which will be fitted as standard to all Z14 puller top kits. It makes stripping the elastic from the pole smooth and effortless as there is very little friction due to the design.

Then I picked up the Silverlite, a pole designed for predominantly silver fish fishing. This thing has to be seen to be believed. The rigidity at 16 meters is phenomenal which gives instant butt to tip reaction, which is essential for silver fish fishing. If you don't fish for Carp then this is definitely the pole for you.  Next in line was the Hyper Carp which is at the complete opposite end of the scale. This pole has an unlimited elastic rating and is designed for the biggest of Carp. With this in mind you would think the pole would be heavy and floppy, well you would be wrong. This pole is stiff and fairly light but as strong as an ox. It will be perfect for big fish commercials.

I had a good hour checking out the poles, most of this time was spent sitting on the new Browning box, which is as solid as a rock and extremely comfortable. 2 styles are a available, the feeder version and the match version. The main difference is the legs. The feeder box comes with long legs that extend below the frame and footplate. The match version comes with shorter legs that extend above the frame and foot plate perfect for getting your box nice and low. There are also a multitude of accessories available so you can add to the stack system.

This is only a small part of the new products available from Browning, for further information on any of the products please check out Browning Fishing UK on Facebook or check out