The Berkley Cherrywood HD Casting Rod is definitely not the right rod for all fishermen, but in the right hands, it’s a great option that provides many ideal benefits.
That being said, it is a bit of an odd duck as its features don’t always match the intended consumer.
However, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better value out there if all you need is a reliable fishing pole to get you through a season or two.
This review breaks down the Berkley Cherrywood HD casting fishing rod, examining what it does well and what it could stand to improve as well as who it works best for.
- Is an excellent value
- Comes in many configurations
- Made from composite materials
- Only has a fast action
- Only offers medium-level power
- Maximum 20-lb line test
Construction (craftsmanship, make quality)
The overall construction of the Berkley Cherrywood is mostly good with solid materials complementing adequate manufacturing processes.
You can get this casting rod in two pieces, though that only comes in the 6’6” model.
Just make sure you get a rod with adequate power as their rating system is fairly accurate and leaves little wiggle room to move up a weight class.
While those of you looking for an extra-long fishing pole will need to look somewhere else, the Berkely has pretty much everyone covered.
Berkley offers fishing rods starting at 5’6” and at every 6” interval thereafter all the way up to 7’– though, they do offer far more 6’ and 7’ rods than anything else.
Either way, this fishing pole provides a size suitable for virtually any size water, whether narrow or shallow, deep or broad.
This fishing rod uses a composite of different materials to fashion its blank which carries some advantages and disadvantages.
Keep in mind, the combination of graphite with fiberglass means that it minimizes each others’ weaknesses but also diminishes their strengths.
For the most part, composite is a fine material choice in that it combines the excellent flexibility of graphite with the relatively strong durability of fiberglass.
However, composite rods aren’t nearly as flexible as full graphite or graphite and carbon, nor are they as durable as purely fiberglass rods.
This is one of the areas that you could argue is why the Berkley Cherrywood is a bargain given that you can only choose a rod with a fast action.
This means that while you should expect plenty more control and the ability to fish in smaller, more confined waters, you have to trade in a bit of casting distance and the ability to cast multiple lures.
The Berkely skirts the line in terms of power by offering multiple options while also catering to something of a specialty.
To wit, this fishing rod comes in three different powers that range from medium-light to medium-heavy which affords you the option of fishing for plenty of different types of quarry.
However, this range also places the Berkley squarely in the “generalist” range of powers, catering to fish for neither the easiest nor the hardest catches.
That said, it works well for its niche as it allows beginners and bargain hunters alike to grow and move into different types of fishing.
This is one of the areas where the inclusion of fiberglass for the composite material bites the Berkley Cherrywood in the backside.
As a composite blank, you should expect this casting rod to pay for its added durability and power with the additional weight that will wear heavier on you over the course of a full day.
Thankfully, this casting pole made it a point to cut weight with a couple of the other parts of the rod, so it’s not that much heavier than most of the competition and lighter than most of the other composite competition.
If you notice us listing that this fishing rod only comes in a fast action as a con, don’t mistake that to mean that the rod’s action itself is bad.
On the contrary, one of the best qualities of the Berkley only coming in a fast action is that all of the rods, regardless of the length or power, cast and reel with great sensitivity.
When you combine the flexibility of graphite with the power of fiberglass, the improved action also translates to improved sensitivity.
This allows even beginning fishermen to feel when a fish is nibbling on their bait, so they can set their hook. However, the fiberglass weight decreases the potential maximum sensitivity a touch.
With a fast action and a composite construction, the Berkley Cherrywood’s taper follows similar principles as its action.
However, the taper refers far more to the construction of the blank than the action does.
Unfortunately, outside of some vaguely worded “hybrid design construction,” Berkeley doesn’t share any specific information regarding the layer construction of their blanks.
The Berkley comes with stainless steel rod guides, but this is not your standard stainless steel.
The steel in these guides uses a chromium oxide system that makes these guides 55% lighter without sacrificing any of their durability.
That said, being stainless steel guides in the first place means you should expect more breakage and replacement than with other guides.
Handle (material, shape, etc)
The handle is another bright spot, despite its inauspicious presentation, and that’s because Berkley went the tried and true cork handle.
While a cork handle may not mold itself to the contours of your hand, its value has proven itself time and again across centuries.
Not only is this handle comfortable, but it can also easily be made non-slip and won’t ruin from exposure to rain or water.
Type of Rod
As the name implies, the Berkley Cherrywood is a casting rod which means that the reel sits on top of the rod instead of underneath it.
It is another sign that this rod focuses itself more towards children and beginners– though it is still obviously a great option for someone looking to find a great value.
It also doesn’t hurt that this arrangement increases the Berkley’s casting accuracy which can help account for some of the accuracy lost with the slightly stiffer tip.
Uses (Who is this good for)
There are a couple of different types of fishermen that this rod would work for, but it screams at a couple of different fishermen specifically: beginners and budget shoppers. For budget shoppers, the reason is pretty straightforward: it’s extremely difficult to beat the Barkley’s price and provide a significantly better build.
For beginners, on the other hand, the reasons are numerous, starting with the fact that not only does this pole come in medium, it comes in three different mediums, allowing you to branch out a bit.
On top of that, the fast action provides solid accuracy and sensitivity to help with both casting and setting the hook.
Don’t forget the fact that this is a casting rod means that it should be easier for beginners to use as well– assuming they don’t tangle their line.
All of these features that make the Berkley great for beginners also make it great for kids.
Reel and Reel Seat Compatibility
As mentioned above, the Berkley Cherrywood is a casting rod which means the reel sits on top of the rod.
The seats fit snugly at first, so you do not have to worry about any wobble while reeling in.
The reel seat splits the cork handle, so you also don’t have to worry about that wearing away.
The Berkley Cherrywood comes with a 1-year warranty which is a bit on the low side, though when you consider the lost cost of the casting rod in the first place, any warranty is good.
However, a warranty is only as good as your ability to exercise it, and that may be easier said than done.
Berkeley is actually a brand owned by Pure Fishing Inc.
This point is brought up because Pure Fishing Inc has been in existence for close to a century.
As such, there’s no excuse that the brand is just a cheap, Chinese knockoff cashing in on a deal with a local factory and little to no infrastructure.
With Pure Fishing Inc and, by proxy, Berkley’s history extending back so far, there’s not much excuse for numerous customers being unable to reach the company by phone or have their emails unanswered.
While there doesn’t seem to be any specific reason for the bad customer service, the fact still remains.
It’s important to note that if you decide to purchase it from Amazon, then Amazon’s great return policy applies.
As we can see, the Berkley Cherrywood HD casting fishing rod is a spectacular deal for what you’re getting, but even that deal isn’t going to be good enough to entice some fishermen.
If you’re an exceptionally experienced fisherman who takes your time on the water seriously, this fishing rod will likely disappoint in some key areas.
Likewise, if you need a fishing rod that can maneuver through a variety of different, changing conditions, this is not the best option.
However, if you’re looking for an inexpensive model, and especially if you’re a beginner, then the Berkley Cherrywood HD casting fishing rod is a great choice.