In this rod review article, we’ll be having a closer look at the Snowbee Spectre RMX Saltwater Predator 9ft 8wt fly rod – yes that’s a mouthful.
It’s a fly rod designed to be a perfect crossover fishing tool covering light saltwater and heavy freshwater applications.
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As a disclaimer, it’s important to know that Snowbee sent me this rod for a test and review a while ago. Even though I didn’t pay for the rod myself, I was very eager to test the rod and give my opinion about it. Snowbee in no way incentivizes or forces me to give a good review, so what you’re seeing here is my own honest opinion.
Where and How Was the Rod Tested?
Before diving into the rod’s details and performance, I always like to briefly touch on where and how the rod was tested. This is important for you to know as a potential purchaser of this rod, as my opinion is based on the specific scenario I used the rod in.
My aim was to test the RMX 8wt on some bass and carp in a local dam. For the bass, I made long casts with relatively large crease flies and had a great chance to test the rod in windy conditions. For carp, short accurate casts were required.
Pairing it up with the 8wt RMX, I strapped my Shilton SL5 to the reel seat, which was running a RIO Versitip 8wt floating line and head. I attached a straight 9ft length of Stroft 10lb line to the fly line, which ran up to my fly.
Where Does the Snowbee Spectre RMX SP 8wt 9ft Shine?
In my opinion, the main area where the RMX Saltwater Predator shines is its power. You really feel there’s a ton of it from the moment you pick the rod up.
This is confirmed by what Snowbee has to say about it on their website: “This is not just the standard rod with a different logo, the blanks have a steeper taper and thicker wall profiles to handle larger, more powerful fish.”
This design change has really increased the power in both the casting and fish fighting applications. Don’t, however, confuse power with fast action or capable line speed. Those are two completely different characteristics. Here, I’m talking about pulling power and the ability to deliver large flies.
Where Does the Snowbee Spectre RMX SP 9ft 8wt Fall Short?
Now that we looked at where the 8wt RMX performs well, let’s look at areas that aren’t necessarily its strongest points.
From a general fishing point of view, the rod does exactly what you need it to do. But, as I always say, there’s no such thing as a perfect rod, and in the case of the RMX 8wt, I felt that the recovery rate could have been better.
Now, please don’t think it’s poor, but as you stop the cast, there’s a slight oscillation that’s visible as the delivered line travels through the air. Would this impact your fishing experience? I doubt it. But, if your primary point of success is accuracy, this might not be the best rod for you.
Now that we’ve looked at some performance characteristics of the RMX 8wt, let’s look at the rod build and accessories in more detail.
The rod is shipped in a Cordura-covered tube that has an orange and black checkered finish. The rod’s full details are present on the side and on the cap, making it easy to identify if you have a bunch of rods stored together.
Inside the tube, the rod is stored in a black four-compartment sock that includes all the model details – excellent when you travel with multiple rods in a single tube or case.
Now the bacon, the rod itself:
The Spectre RMX Saltwater Predator has a decent fighting butt for an 8wt. I compared it to some other 8wts I had on hand, the Temple Fork Outfitters BVK and the Moonshine Vesper, and it’s by far the longest.
This means that the fighting butt does a great job at positioning the reel farther away from your body and other potential snags while you’re busy fighting a fish. It’s made from a combination of cork and rubberized cork.
The full aluminum reel seat has a dark gunsmoke color and is saltwater ready. It has two uplocking rings, with the bottom one incorporating a bushing to really keep your reel stable. I don’t think you’ll have to worry about your reel coming loose on this one.
A nifty angler-friendly touch is a marker on the reel foot ring that shows you where the slot is for the reel. Just something small that makes setting up your rig a tad easier and quicker.
The grip has a full-well shape that’s slightly on the larger side. The cork used is of reasonable quality, and it has rubberized cork rings in the front and back for added durability.
The blank has a medium-fast action and is made from a combination of 40-ton and 36-ton carbon fiber. It really feels very durable and solid in hand.
Line Guides and Other Fittings
Now, the line guides are where the Spectre RMX really gets interesting. The first stripper guide is American Tackle’s Microwave guide, and it’s something you generally find on conventional rods, especially spinning rods.
How it works is that it funnels the coil coming off the reel into a narrower path and thus reduces energy lost due to the line slapping from side to side. I do believe in its use on spinning rod applications, but I couldn’t really feel or see any improvements on a fly rod.
If you’re going with the Spectre RMX Saltwater Predator, I recommend checking your backing to fly line connection to ensure the knot has a very small profile. The last thing you want is a large knot getting stuck to this eye when you’re fighting the bonefish of a lifetime.
All the other line guides are strong and sturdy stainless steel snake guides. The rod also includes a hook keep and it has an aluminum winding check, which further reinforces its saltwater ready pedigree.
The blank has a matte natural carbon finish, dark grey thread wraps, and silver accent wraps. Each section has alignment dots to help you get on the water quicker.
Something else that I always check on rods, especially saltwater rods, is how thoroughly the clear coat is applied around all hardware. In the case of this 8wt RMX, the clear coat protects all line guides and will prevent the ingress of water, even on the underside of the guides.
My Personal Thoughts
So, let’s look at what my personal thoughts are about the Snowbee Spectre RMX Saltwater Predator 8wt.
- The rod has ample pulling and casting power, allowing you to deliver large flies and really crank down on stubborn fish.
- The well-sized fighting butt keeps the reel away from your body while you’re fighting a fish.
- The clear coat is applied very evenly and covers all the areas that could potentially become a problem, especially in saltwater environments.
- There are alignment dots on all rod sections and the reel seat.
- The rod is on the heavy side, weighing in at 4.4 ounces.
- I would have liked the recovery rate to be slightly better.
Who Should Buy the Snowbee Spectre RMX SP 8wt?
So, who should consider buying the Snowbee Spectre RMX Saltwater Predator 8wt? I think it’s a great option for the angler looking for a reasonably priced crossover rod that will be one of those workhorses in your arsenal. It will be an amazing bonefish rod, and I know it does a great job at fighting carp and bass.
I hope that you found this review helpful, and if you have any questions or comments about the rod, please feel free to drop them in the comments section down below.
Until next time.