Shimano’s Backbone Elite rods have proven hugely popular with the offshore game fishing community, delivering a range of line class options at really good prices. The 2018 line-up has just been given a well-deserved tweak! There are eight rods in all; a 10kg stick with fixed guides and a roller tip, and three 15kg options in a selection of fixed guides, fixed guides with a roller tip, or fully rollered. The same choices are available in 24kg, and finally there’s a serious 37kg weapon with a roller tip. Of single-piece construction and 1.7m (5’ 7”) in length, the Backbone Elite blanks now utilise Shimano’s legendary TC3 material, which is the same three-ply graphite weave the early Tiagra Game Series rods were built on. The cosmetic has also been upgraded to a traditional game fishing colour scheme of black, gold and silver, making these rods an even sweeter pairing with Shimano’s TLD and Tyrnos lever drag reels.