The Fenwick HMG Inshore Spinning Rod lineup is a mid-tier spinning series of inshore rods that employs premium components and high-quality materials.
Though similar to other conventional casting rods in the fishing industry, this lightweight spinning rod applies a carbon spiral wrapping technique to the body construction for unparalleled strength.
Granted, this inshore spin casting series is a durable option at an affordable price, but there are plenty of decent spinning rods on the market that also work well.
That’s why this review examines the HMG Inshore spinning rod series, to see if it’s the right model for your next fishing trip a few miles off of the coast to land the biggest fishes.
- Extremely sensitive blank
- Excellent cork handle
- Spiral carbon blank
- Not a budget-friendly price
- Not the smoothest casting
- Only fast action
Construction (craftsmanship, make quality)
A big part of what makes the HMG inshore fishing rods an excellent choice is the manufacturing process for the blank construction that uses spiral carbon strips to provide additional strength to the body construction.
This design sees spiral carbon threads arranged in crosswise carbon wraps to create a durable construction– even for the Fenwick HMG 2-Piece Spinning Rods.
This approach accomplishes several things but an often overlooked one is the considerable weight difference with carbon composite rods that don’t have reinforced rod blanks.
Of primary importance with these graphite rods is the reduction of twisting to the carbon graphite blank which will last for more than a couple of seasons.
The spinning series further shows itself to be a decent quality rod thanks to deep-set stainless steel frames that help prevent insert popouts more than most.
Still, this approach works well, especially when paired with the strong, durable stainless steel guide system used, and allows for a consistent, if not abundant, casting frequency.
The grip features a contoured cork handle that not only provides the general benefits you expect from cork but also increased comfort.
That last bit is especially important for inshore fishing rods as those fishing trips regularly last all day when using a charter boat and require a comfortable grip to get the most out of your excursion.
Given that this is a mid-tier inshore fishing rod, it shouldn’t be terribly surprising that the spin casting lineup doesn’t offer a wide variety of lengths.
However, arguably the more surprising aspect of this dynamic is that there aren’t many options to choose from if you want Fenwick HMG 2-Piece Spinning Rods either.
Not only does the HMG Inshore only offer a single two-piece model but it’s in the shortest length category of 7′.
When you consider that these spin casting poles also come in lengths of 7’6″ and 8′, it’s difficult to understand why Fenwick didn’t make other two-piece models, especially for the longer options, to make transporting them easier.
Making sure an inshore pole can handle hours of fishing requires more than just a lightweight carbon graphite blank.
That said, carbon composite isn’t any better than carbon fiber blanks, though the HMG’s use of 30-ton carbon threading significantly increases this pole’s sensitivity, even if it makes the rod a bit more brittle.
Still, carbon binding the blanks with carbon thread does a great job of increasing the strength and durability of the carbon blank while still maintaining a lightweight carbon-graphite body.
This combination works especially well for the HMG inshore to help account for the rigidity of the 30T graphite carbon fiber material– all at an accessible price.
Unlike the standard HMG, the Inshore line eschews the cork rubber grip in favor of premium cork.
While some may miss the great traction afforded by cork rubber, they’ll get plenty back with the increased durability of AAA cork. This choice pays dividends when you don’t have to deal with the TAC rubber cracking or flaking off of the handle.
This fishing pole only comes in a fast action edition which will somewhat reduce your distance casting but should help make accurate casting much easier, as is true for any fast action rod.
That said, keeping the action in mind, the rod action of the HMG Inshore is especially important given the rod’s length.
Thankfully, this fast-action pole has a particularly precise action for a smooth cast without uneven tapering along the blank.
These inshore fishing rods offer a wide variety of power ratings that make them far more nuanced than your standard medium power rod.
That said, the HMG Inshore is far more of a heavy power option and doesn’t even include a model in the light or ultra-light category.
Of course, that’s not as much of a problem unless you’re crappie fishing or targeting some other soft-mouthed species.
Keep in mind that the difference in power between a heavy power and medium power rod may not feel as drastic when compared to the difference between medium and light.
Still, the ability to choose a heavy or even extra-heavy power rating is great when going after larger fish– even if it doesn’t come in a variety of lengths.
One choice that might make some consider the HMG Inshore merely decent spinning rods is the corrosion-resistant stainless steel guides with Fuji Alconite inserts.
Granted, these guides are far more braid ready than options using aluminum oxide inserts, but they still put a limit on smooth casting compared to oxide-treated rings.
Still, the stainless steel deep set guides provide extra strength, highlighting a focus on durability at virtually every part of the pole.
It also doesn’t hurt that this guide system allows for a slightly heavier lure weight without having to worry about the inserts popping out or the line slicing through the guide rings.
Handle (material, shape, etc)
Cork fans can rejoice as the HMG Inshore comes with an AAA-grade cork grip handle, though this might actually disappoint some people who were hoping for the traditional HMG’s cork rubber material.
The main difference between this premium cork handle and a cork rubber grip comes down to traction.
The Inshore’s approach favors a comfortable cork handle over one that provides additional tackiness, though that can be fixed with a little bit of tape.
On the other hand, at least you can comfortably rest assured that you don’t have to worry about the durability concerns and peeling that often accompany cork rubber grips.
Uses (Who is this good for)
Unlike offshore fishing, an inshore angler knows they’re unlikely to find a good option at a true angler-friendly price.
Granted, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to pay an enormous price for a solid, all-around inshore fishing rod either. Still, the difference in price will often come out in the use of excellent components.
Regardless of your type of fishing, inshore species tend to be larger fish, so unparalleled strength afforded through high-quality materials and top-end construction is a must to keep up with hours of fishing on deeper, open waters.
The cork grip handle and long-distance casting of the HMG Inshore work well for most forms of fishing in this niche.
Still, this is likely not nearly as good of a choice for beginners who tend to benefit more from smooth casting than the distance this series offers.
On top of that, a beginner would also do better finding a model at a more accessible price– even if that means they won’t benefit from the higher-end construction.
Reel and Real Seat Compatibility
The HMG Inshore pole comes with a Sea-Guide Soft Touch Alien Reel Seat with Positive Lock design that makes it one of the most ergonomic reel seats available.
However, it’s top-tier components like this that push the spinning series out of the “true” angler-friendly price and into a somewhat more expensive category.
The adjustable locking reel seat provides a secure platform thanks to the double ring seat design that keeps almost any type of spinning reel firmly in place with a double ring seat.
However, the ergonomic reel seats pair especially well with a carbon graphite reel body to transfer vibrations whether you’re bass fishing or crappie fishing.
A rough guide on fishing rod warranties would likely place these decent spinning rods somewhere in the five to seven-year range.
And while this option’s price alone might push it out of the three or one-year warranty range, I’m not sure anyone expected a lifetime warranty at this price point.
Granted, it’s only for manufacturing defects, so it’s likely not much more effective than a one-year warranty.
Conclusion (Wrap Up)
The Fenwick HMG Inshore Spinning Rod may not come in at a proper angler-friendly price.
But, for the premium components and excellent casting performance, the spin casting lineup still offers an accessible price for those wanting to try their hand with this type of fishing.
With great casting distance and a wide range of power ratings, this pole can serve as an excellent crappie trout or bass spinning rod.
While the HMG Inshore might not use the popular TAC cork rubber grip of the standard spinning model, its handle is still extremely durable and more comfortable than most.
And though a stainless steel guide on fishing rod might not be the smoothest, it allows the use of braided line and the ability to cast a heavier lure weight.