1000 CASTS, THAT WAS YESTERDAY …
Hardly any discipline of freshwater fishing has undergone a greater transformation in the last decade than huchen fishing. Once upon a time, catching the secretive large salmonid was reserved only for those who were not afraid of freezing temperatures, nor of extremely tiring casting orgies that were often not crowned with success even after days. In addition, the best fishing grounds were often known only to the local heroes and were also guarded like a family treasure.
Today, all this is different, the social media is a widespread organ for the dissemination of expertise, know-how and other valuable information, which should actually make it possible for every angler to pursue huchen. This is joined by increasingly advanced equipment that has become more specialized to facilitate the catching of hucho hucho.
A blessing to some, a curse to others: fishing for the last representatives of their species has already taken on a „safari character“, secrets are virtually non-existent and hunting for Danube salmon has long since become a mainstream event. Nevertheless, this popularity of the endangered large fish also contributes to a certain attention within the public. Protection and conservation of the species play a greater role and are transported to the public. The increasing refinement of fishing methods is based not least on an improvement in fishing gear. In cooperation with their Ambassador Andreas Zachbauer, the Danes from Westin have designed a new version of the W3-Hucho. A spin rod specifically designed for huchen fishing and in my opinion an excellent product in this price range!
It has long been known that the huchen is not a great fighter, yet the fish reach capital dimensions and the appropriate weight. Multiply this Hucho BMI by the power of the water, i.e. strong current, rapids, ripples and other hydrological features that we have to factor into the fight, and it becomes clear why we need a really strong rod to be able to guide the fish to shore in the most targeted way possible.
The W3 Hucho is made from a two-piece Toray blank that gets additional reinforcement from Kevlar fibers. The blank is incredibly strong (3XH), which you notice immediately when you take it in your hand. Westin itself describes the action of the 2.65 m long rod as parabolic, but this should not be misunderstood and compared with the action of an UL-trout rod, which refers to the class of „pastry-fork“ directly compared to Westins hucho-tamer.
The W3-Hucho has an insane amount of power and the parabolic comes into its own when it is needed: when casting heavy lures and cushioning head-shaking huchen.With a specified casting weight of 50 – 190 g, the common Huchen baits from braid, spin flies, plugs and rubber fish no matter whether weighted with lead or better tungsten, on the jig head or just „light“, can be brought to the appropriate casting distance. The lure contact remains sensitive and the action is well transferred to the rod. The long handle which supports powerful casts, is made of premium EVA, so that at least a little protection against the cold is guaranteed in sub-zero temperatures. A small cork insert serves more of an ornamental purpose than a practical effect.
The diameter of the guides is important when fishing for huchen: We all know the frustration with frost. Frozen rod guides are no joy, and so for huchen it is clearly „the bigger the better“. The XXL guides of the W3-Hucho are ideally suited to counter this problem. 7 LTS guides with titanium-coated inserts enable a smooth line transport. The SKS-style reel seat provides a view of the Kevlar-covered blank and secures a reel in the 4000-5000 range. I liked the rod very much in my tests, no matter if huchen or taimen, also as a heavy spinning rod for big pike and the corresponding baits or even for catfish the W3-Hucho is excellent. In this price range (for about 130 € to acquire), this rod is a top model that leaves nothing to be desired, if you want to face the winter huchen fishing well equipped. Unlimited purchase recommendation on my part, and always remember that the huchen is an extremely endangered species and you should meet the fish with the necessary respect! Fairplay means here e.g. to go without treble hooks and barbs, to maintain photo sessions short and handle the fish ideally in the water!