Angling Times spoke to Richard Griffiths - Shimano's Brand Manager - regarding the development of their brand new range of Beastmaster Commercial Feeder rods.
This is what Richard had to say about the fantastic selection of all-round rods...
Q. How long have the new Beastmaster commercial feeder rods been in development ?
A. The development was started on the 8th of May whilst the Head European Product designer, Andre Piters was visiting the UK with carp rod development in mind. 1 year does not sound a long time for a development, but we can turn around new samples extremely quickly, i think we had a total of around 50 samples after all of the tweaks.
Q. What lead to Shimano bringing out a range of rods with spliced in quivers-tip top sections, as opposed to the standard push-in quivers ?
A.We looked at the action that push in quivers gave and suggested that a quiver that spliced into a specially designed carrier would give a more natural action in each tip. The commercial range was developed with the idea of making a range of rods with a faultless action but at an affordable price.
Q. How much influence have Steve Ringer and Alan Scotthorne had in the design of these rods ?
A. Steve and Alan were both involved and new samples of each rod were sent direct to them for field test. Steve tweaked the actions from the original rods adding or removing power from areas of each blank, fine- tuning them to suit Commercials. Obviously with his pedigree the changes made dramatic differences to each rod.
Q. When starting off the design of a new feeder rods what is your standard criteria as regards .Guides…. Carbon Cloth… and Fittings….?
A. The first brief is to produce a rod to a certain cost because you don’t want to end up with something that is priced out of the market.
Then with the cost set the choices of rings and fitting were decided to suit the rods best, slim reel lightweight seats were chosen because they are more comfortable to use and would not throw the rod out of balance, lightweight rings were chosen but the configuration of each rod was different because of how the rod was to be used e.g.… the 12'6'' Distance feeder was ringed with larger rings to the tip for use with shock leaders.
Q. What is your/ Shimano’s present perception of how the new rods been received by the UK feeder angler.
A. I believe the rods have been taken well which was expected because myself and Steve were extremely pleased with the final product.
Q. Do you believe short feeder rods have a long shelf life and why so?
A. I think as long there are commercials a short feeder rod will be in demand. With so many venues needing a short cast, this type of rod will be better landing fish, more accurate, better in confined pegs and also a lot more fun to use. The 911 Pellet rod was also designed because of this, after fishing a match at Boldings i noticed an angler fishing 5m on the splasher wag and decided on a rod that could be used for this but also have a more all-round 11ft length as well.
Q. What is different about these rods to any other rods on the market?
A. These rods are a big step forward and a lot of unique features like shorter length handles 2 pc transport lengths, balance weights, tapered extensions rather than parallel extensions to stop any flat spots appearing when an extension is added. Other features need a little explaining such as a slow taper to the blank, a thicker diameter tip and slimmer diameter butt giving a slow release of power through the rod meaning the rod bends on a small fish and doesn’t lock-up on a big fish.