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ICAST 2015 Coverage

A New “Favorite” Rod Possibly Coming to the US Market?


Date: 8/4/15
Location: Orlando, FL
Admission: Buyers & Press Only
Manufacturer: Favorite
Reviewer: Zander

Introduction: Every ICAST there is that one company that one rod company that manages to really surprise us with their offerings, leaving us with hope that they will successfully introduce their products into the domestic market. This year that brand called “Favorite” which we have heard about, but never seen their products firsthand before.


The team at Favorite gave us a look at a wide range of rods. This brand is very popular in the Ukraine and surrounding regions

Favorite is a brand that was created by a company called IBIS, which is based in the Ukraine. IBIS is a major distributor of all things fishing throughout the region and the Favorite rods are popular in countries including Russia, Belarus, Romania, Hungary, Czech Republic, and Germany. This year was the first time the company and brand showcased at ICAST, and they came with the goal of meeting with potential new distributors of their rods.


Unlike the US many rods in the company's home country of Ukraine are multi-piece so they can be easily transported

The team at Favorite are very passionate about fishing and rod building and showed us a good cross section of their rod lineup. Obviously not every rod will ultimately make it to U.S. shores but suffice to say that the company has a very broad offering. The rods look excellent, and have a very enthusiast styling to them. The Favorite rods make use of a variety of components, and the high end rods use Fuji components, even Torzite guides.


This rod has my name all over it...

Imagine our surprise when they started walking us through the price points and the rods were about 20-40% cheaper than comparable rods with the same components. They explained the situation in their home market that has shaped both their rod and business strategy.


....the "Zander" Series is designed for... yeah you guessed it.

Fishing in the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) region is very popular but there have been both political and natural challenges that have only made fishing more difficult. Fisheries have been strained and are constantly pressured, and anglers in the region require a very sensitive rod to be successful, but also one that is not priced out of reach for mainstream anglers in the region. The result was a strategy to build the most balanced rods possible when it comes to performance, features, and overall value. Styling was never sacrificed in their rod designs as they strongly believe that fishing should be fun and exciting, and that fishing a “Favorite” rod should only add to the positive experience.


One of the newest rods is the Solo Series which features a minimal grip design and Torzite guides and only retails for $220 dollars!

There were so many rods in the lineup it is hard to narrow it down to just a few series. The ones that really stuck out to us included Solo and Synapse. The Solo is the first new offering in a new line of high end rods and utilizes the latest technologies including a minimalist carbon fiber grip which minimizes weight and improves balance and sensitivity when paired with lightweight finesse spinning reels.


The Synapse BFS is designed for Bait-Finesse Applications


The rod features very clean enthusiast styling

The Solo spinning rod makes use of Fuji Torzite guides and weighs only 60g for the six foot model. The rod may be lightweight but it is all business with a thin and stiff high modulus solid tip. The Solo looks like an excellent choice for finesse fishing jigs and drop shot rigs. We were shocked to discover that the rod is designed to retail for only $220-$250 dollars, an amazing value for such a high end rod.


The team at Favorite explained that this rod is designed to pair with lightweight baitcasters like the Shimano Aldebaran


On the baitcast side they showed us the Synapse BFS limited rods which are designed for bait-finesse applications, using a baitcast rig for ultra-light fishing. They explained most rod brands that we are familiar with build rods designed specifically to handle bass and are too powerful for the average European fish, so these sticks are designed to handle ultra-light lures that are ideal for perch, zander, trout, and chub.


The Favorite Drive Series rods make use of Fuji components and retails for only $180 dollars


A look at the Drive Series carbon split grips


As more and more western anglers are turning to bait finesse applications this rod could be a very good tool for anglers here as well. The Synapse BFS Limited also makes use of Torzite guides and is finished with a Fuji SKS reel seat and is designed to pair well with a reel like the Shimano Aldebaran.


Another sub 200 dollar rod series is the Favorite Variant which makes use of SiC guides. Clearly Favorite offers a wide range of rods at very reasonable prices, and we hope the brand becomes available in the US soon!

These are just a few examples of Favorite rods that could potentially come to the US, they also had mainstream and value rods that are selling for as low as $30 USD. High quality, modern enthusiast styling, and affordable? One of these things does not belong, and yet Favorite has managed to deliver all three in their home region, making it easy to understand why these rods are a favorite (pun intended) among CIS anglers. We are very excited of the prospect of Favorite rods coming to the U.S. and hope that they can successfully make the leap in the coming season.









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