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Interview of co-founder of Orient Rods Vladimir Mazepa to online magazine ONHOOK:

ONHOOK: Tell us please what changes in the model range of rods can be expected by fishermen in the coming 2018 season?

ORIENT: This is a very capacious question and there are a lot of plans for 2018. I want to dwell more specifically on the future novelty which is the carp rod Iva 13' 3,5LB. All the forces are thrown on its series production now. This is very important for us since with its release we can fully form our own concept of rod design which, depending on the power distribution over the rod’s blank, is divided into three types:

  • "Full Drive" – provides the most uniform power distribution throughout the rod’s blank;
  • "Butt Drive" – in contrast to the Top Drive, has a more powerful Butt Section;
  • "Top Drive" – as opposed to the Butt Drive, has a more powerful Top Section and a softer Butt Section;

We hope that thanks to our design concept and basing on casting styles, individual features and physical capabilities, as many fishermen as possible will be able to choose the most suitable fishing rod for themselves!

We have already developed and put into series production rods of the Butt Drive concept - Venus and Chameleon, Full Drive – the Bestia line of the rods, and now it is time for our long-awaited Top Drive design rod - Iva 13’ 3,5lb.

We have constructively increased the power of the Top Section and made a softer Butt Section in Iva 13’ 3,5lb. This will allow making the most effective distant casts along a shorter arc and with any length of a line overhanging. The Butt Section also plays a very important role in this design: thanks the structural features, it's easier to impart the maximum acceleration to the Top Section (like a whip work), and quickly stabilize it after a cast. Another characteristic feature of Iva is the absence of a 50 mm guide on the Butt Section. Having removed the guide and having made a softer Butt Section, we have achieved synchrony in the work of the Top Section - Butt section system and ensured maximum convenience when reeling a fish in. We received a patent for such a rod blank design and the first prototype was introduced in Poland last year, where it was tested in a competition. The further tests were conducted around the world under various conditions throughout the year.

The second novelty is 10’ Astra 3,5LB. It’s a rod, designed in the Butt Drive concept, appropriate for stalking and boat fishing lovers. It will be an exquisite but at the same time rod with a huge potential for extreme tasks solving.

I deeply hope that we will manage to introduce an updated 13’ 3,5LB Galax, – it will be a budget-friendly rod from the Full Drive line. It’s going to be made of quality Japanese carbon fibre material.  We will try to design the blank with high efficiency, but with a bit simplified trimming and no carbon finish.

And definitely our another recent development - Bestia 12' 3,5LB will occupy a worthy place in the entire line of the Full Drive rods. It will differ from its older sister not only with a shorter length and a smaller weight. It will also have a slightly stronger Top Section (in comparison with Bestia 13‘ 3.5LB rod).  This will give the opportunity to increase acceleration when casting the rod, easily and without failures work with weights in its test range and as a result neutralize the length reduction.

We also came out with an updated version of one of our most popular models - the Venus V2 13' 3,5LB at the end of the last year. The rod is of the Butt Drive design concept. Its detailed description is already published on our website.  The only thing I can add is that the new model appeared to be even more efficient. It has already demonstrated excellent results in all sorts of top castings and competitions all over the world. These are our plans for 2018.
If to speak about our far-reaching plans: there is prepared technical documentation and a filed application for patenting another revolutionary solution in rod blank design. But that, like they say, is another story.

ONHOOK: The excitement surrounding your new models is akin to what happens before the release of the latest IPhone model. There is an active discussion on the Internet, great many people have heard of them, but few have held in their hands. Can you explain such phenomenon?

ORIENT:  I associate it with several factors. First of all, we develop all the rod models by ourselves. We perform the whole cycle - from a drawing and a prototype stage to starting the production of a series model and providing the strictest and uncompromising quality control. We get invaluable help from our friends, acquaintances, dealers, professional sportsmen in different countries. They take the most active part in testing and “fine tuning” of new models. But unlike Apple we do not hide our new developments. While prototypes are being tested, there is an active discussion of them on various forums and Internet resources. We, in our turn, do our best to listen to and take into account all constructive comments, wishes and pieces of advice. And the second factor: I hope that we have already gained confidence in our brand. Many people see our scrupulous and reverential attitude to the release of each model. If there are any minor omissions and nuances they forgive us for them for a while. Special thanks for that!

ONHOOK: Some of our followers take the first steps in carp fishing. Which of your products would you advise for beginners?

ORIENT:  To my mind the rods line Bestia is the most comfortable in work (casting/playing a fish) and not only for beginners. There are rods in this line with different stiffness, but I would advise to choose Bestia 13 3,5LB. It is comfortable to cast and to reel a fish in with it. Unlike our other models it does not require any special physical and technical training in casting, as well as the experience and skills in playing a fish. If the budget is limited, it is better to take a closer look at sales of this model on the secondary market or at the previously produced rod Galax 12.6 ' 3,5LB. You can also wait for the updated rod Galax 13 3,5LB release.

ONHOOK: How did you come up with the idea of rods and Throwing Sticks production? It is very complicated from the technological side. What prompted you to do that?

ORIENT:  It happened of its own accord. In near past we were general representatives of the English firm Sonik. We have very actively tested not only their products, but almost all the models of their rivals as well. We put everything under the microscope, so to say. We studied various nuances in the design concept of blanks, made a simplified stand for checking the rods under loading and introduced an innovative arrangement of guides on a rod's blank. It was later copied by Famous brands. We  conveyed all our thoughts  to the management of the firm and even began to negotiate on the production of our rod under their brand. But the company unexpectedly broke the contract with us and  went for another firm and a multi-million dollar contract. It appeared to be a blessing in disguise. It was the time when we decided to make use of our best practices but under our own brand. Everything started with the patenting of our new design concept which eventually received the name FIR-TREE. The alumni of Kharkiv Aerospace University provided a great help in its development.

The rods Chameleon 13 ' 3,5lb and Galax 12.6" 3,5lb became our first models. They were produced under the control of a former representative of a famous British company in Korea. Well, and afterwards - you already know. We started to make throwing sticks long ago. The first ones were plastic and then appeared the opportunity to make them from carbon. Now we already hold several patents for various modifications and design concepts of them. We sell throwing sticks all over the world.

ONHOOK: Which fishing rods do you use by yourself? Where and how often do you manage to go fishing?

ORIENT:  The thing is that I have no regular rods. I try to use different rods at competitions and while fishing. It allows not only to test the prototype in combat conditions, but also to compare it with other models. Such an approach helps a lot in the final improvement of a rod. I have almost given up fishing, now only tests and work take all the time.

ONHOOK:  And finally tell us please about the fish of your dream, capture of which still stands fresh in memory.

ORIENT:  This question appeared to be the most difficult to answer. I had to bring back to memory all my performances and fishing since 2005. Probably, the most intriguing and joyful for me was hooking a carp weighing 18,970 kg at competitions in Vysokopolye, Ukraine. It was a large fish format and we almost lost all hope for getting prizes. The miracle happened about an hour before the end of the competition. Biting - playing a fish, all went well, but at hooking and lifting the landing net began to tear. With some primitive sense of a hunter I had to throw on the game and drag it to the coast with hands. For that gift of fate, we got the “Big Fish” prize of the tournament and a cash reward for setting the record of the reservoir.