This review was written by Black Magic Brand Ambassador Leigh Holtsbaum. Leigh is a hugely experienced saltwater angler based in Queensland, Australia. He travels up and down the Queensland coast chasing a wide range of species and has spent years putting our gear through its paces. You can follow Leigh’s fishing adventures on Instagram

Black Magic’s Gladius® SW Spin rod is a great medium-fast rod that in my opinion provides anglers with a range of fishing options. I’ve paired up the SW Spin rod with a 5000 sized spin reel and 20lb braid. This is a well balanced outfit that enables anglers to fish baits or lures with ease.

I like the feel of the SW Spin rod as it’s light enough to be able to enjoy catching plate sized fish but also powerful enough to subdue larger specimens. The rod has many great attributes that lends itself to a variety of fishing applications from stray lining or soft plastics casting for snapper, to pitching or towing small live baits for small pelagic species.

At 7’3” the rod’s length adds to the distance of the cast which enables you to cover more ground and hopefully get the lure or bait in front of the fish to entice the bite. Whilst the tip is sensitive the lower portion of the rod has plenty of power giving you the confidence that when a larger model climbs on you a fighting chance.

In recent months I have used the rod for a range of species using several different techniques and the rod has been up to the task on every occasion.

Spanish mackerel

Spanish mackerel are a favorite target over summer and autumn months in south east Queensland. Normally the domain for heavier spin or overhead tackle, the SW Spin rod is more than capable of putting the brakes on most fish.

On a recent trip using the outfit I was able to apply plenty of pressure to subdue the fish and keep them away from hungry sharks. Using unweighted live baits slowly trolled behind the boat I was able to watch the tip bounce with every beat of the baits tail and as soon I saw the tip start to move erratically it indicated a strike was about to happen. This is an exciting way of fishing but also one of the most effective particularly when the fish get boat shy in amongst the crowds that we experience off the Gold Coast.

Mangrove jacks

When chasing mangrove jacks your tackle needs to be tough and durable because they are dogged fighters who head straight for structure once they feel the hook.

Due to the heavy structure the SW Spin rod is on the lighter side of tackle I normally use however, it’s certainly up to the challenge. After some recent rains I headed to my local jack rock wall. The rig used was a single 5/0 C Point® hook with a small 1oz running sinker and 40lb Tough Trace, attached to the nose of live yellowtail scad.

When fishing in this environment I need the bait to land within a very small strike zone in a small eddy beside a rock to get the bite and not get snagged. The SW Spin rod provides an accurate casting ability even with a reasonable sized bait. The most important thing is then feeling the bait movements and anticipating the strike. During two separate sessions I was able to catch a dozen mangrove jacks between 55-62cm plus two nice flathead over 80cm.


I have also used the outfit successfully whilst stray lining for jewfish and snapper. In comparison to my heavier outfits this much lighter weight outfit sits in the hand nicely and you can fish all day without getting tired. This type of fishing is what the SW Spin rod is ideally suited for but can just as easily be used in the same environment casting lightly weighted soft baits.

I hope to give the Gladius® SW Spin rod a solid workout on the southern Great Barrier reef using lightly weighted soft plastics or vibes for coral trout and red emperor, and I’m confident it will not let me down. Additionally, I will be taking the rod to Gove in the Northern Territory later this year to chase barramundi and tropical speedsters like longtail tuna and queenfish.

Find out more about the Gladius® SW Spin rod here