What is the Savage Gear Parabellum UL designed for?
The Savage Gear Parabellum UL is an ultra light (UL) spinning or lure rod. It's designed for fishing very small and light lures and spinners on light line. Originally intended for trout spinning, they're also brilliant for perch, chub and small pike - or mackerel, pollack, wrasse and bass in the sea.
In what sizes does the Parabellum UL come?
The Savage Gear Parabellum UL comes in two sizes. The smallest is 6' 3" long and is recommended for lures between 0 and 5g. The largest is 7' 1" and is recommended for lures between 0 and 7g. They're both two piece rods and are extremely light: the 6' 3" Parabellum UL weighs just 89g, while the 7' 1" rod weighs 112g. They look and feel beautiful, even though they're only mid-range in price.
What's the action like?
As the name suggests, the Savage Gear Parabellum UL rods have a soft to medium action not quite parabolic, which means they're pretty bendy. They'll cast tiny lures quite a distance as they load well with very little casting weight. Lower casting weights obviously don't go quite as far, but at the higher end they'll whack out a tiny lure quite a considerable distance.
I know I shouldn't, but I quite often exceed the recommended casting weight on mine without any issues. It will chuck the 13g Savage Gear Prey lures miles - although it does bend perhaps a little more than it should!
If you like similarly mid actioned bendy rods, but prefer a bit of extra length, Savage Gear also produces some longer Parabellum models better suited to slightly larger lures.
What sort of lures is the Parabellum UL best suited to?
The 7' 1" Savage Gear Parabellum UL model I fish with tends to get used most with the Savage Gear Fry lures, which only weigh a few grams. It's also fine for use with smaller cranks, like the Savage Gear Diving Prey, spinners such as the Savage Gear Rotex range or small Mepps in size 0-3.
I also use it for Kopyto shads on small jig heads and soft plastics such as the Savage Gear Soft 4-Plays. It works pretty well for all of them, though for the soft plastics I prefer a rod with a faster action, as the Parabellum UL bends quite a bit which reduces the control you have over the lure a little.
What size reel balances the Savage Gear Parabellum UL?
I use mine with a Shimano Exage 2500 and it balances it very well.
I've pondered going smaller than this, perhaps to a 2000 or 1500 size, but the Exage 2500 does have the benefit that it lets the line peel off better than the smaller models, so casting distance isn't impeded.
What line do you use with it?
I'm using 15lb Power Pro braid on mine and it lets me flick a tiny lure a very long way. I've gone for 15lb Power Pro for a few reasons. Firstly, it's thin, strong and reliable. Secondly, the 15lb braid means I can handle a pike safely without the risk of it snapping the line off and leaving my hooks in its mouth, and thirdly, I lose fewer lures to snags. If you only fish for trout and there's no risk of much larger fish, you may as well go down a size and get some extra casting distance.
How is the build quality?
The build quality on the Savage Gear Parabellum UL is pretty good - it certainly feels more expensive than it actually was. The handle is made from "AAAA" cork and mine is of very good quality with no obvious flaws or imperfections.
The guides are smooth and cope well with braid, the reel seat is strong, tight and light and the blank is lovely. It's made from high modulus carbon fibre and has a "put over" joint, in which the tip section overlaps the butt section to ensure a stronger and slimmer blank.
The only drawbacks with it are minor: the tip section on mine is a touch loose and can rotate a little during a session so needs occasional realignment. I've partially reduced the speed at which this occurs by rubbing candle wax onto the spigot.
How does the Parabellum UL cope with fish?
It's fantastic fun! I've had some awesome sport on it with good-sized perch, chub to 6lb, dozens of hard-fighting rainbow trout and pike into low double figures and it's stood up to all of them. It perhaps might not cope with a truly huge pike, as it does bend all the way down to the butt - but it would certainly be interesting to find out.
The bend a strong fish creates in the rod, and the feedback the rod provides, is just brilliant: it's a really addictive experience, particularly when you hook into a decent fish. I absolutely love my Savage Gear Parabellum UL and it's by far the most heavily used rod in my collection. In fact, I find it rather difficult to get out of the habit of using it and my larger lures are seeing far less of the water.
Does it come with a rod bag?
Yes, like most of Savage Gear's lure rods the Parabellum UL rods come with a ready-to-fish rod bag. These allow you to leave your reel, line and trace attached to the rod. Basically you pull the two rod sections apart, poke the tip into the rod bag and then put in the butt section.
A quick wind on the reel handle and any slack line can be tucked out of the way. When you get to your chosen spot, just undo the velcro on the rod bag, remove the rod and reassemble - you're ready to go with no need to re-thread your line or tie on another lure trace.
Isn't this the same as the Savage Gear Troutizimo?
Pretty much. In 2013 Savage Gear quietly retired the Troutizimo rod and replaced it with the Savage Gear Parabellum UL. I have the Troutizimo but my fishing partner has the Parabellum UL.
Apart from the reel seat, which is a weird walnut wood effect on the Troutizimo and plain black plastic on the Parabellum UL, the two rods are identical in all but name. Personally, although the reel seat on the Savage Gear Parabellum UL is plain and inoffensive, it looks a bit less expensive than the one used on the Troutizimo which somewhat reduces the expensive feel of the rod.
Probably a silly question, but would you buy one again?
Yes, without a doubt. The Savage Gear Parabellum UL (and the near identical Troutizimo) are awesome little rods and an absolute joy to fish with.
If they made a similar UL rod with a slightly faster action I'd probably use that more, because I like to fish soft plastics from time to time, but to be fair, that's pretty much the only downside to me. Get one!