Full cork handle
Eva down locking fore grip
Matt low glare finish
Light balanced blank
Medium fast actions
What could possibly prove to be as popular as Daiwa’s TDR and Yank N Bank rods?
Strong contenders must be the 10ft, 11ft (on test) and 12ft Pellet Waggler rods in the new and very affordable Harrier range.
All eight models are realistically priced to put them within reach of anyone wanting to own a Daiwa rod but not blessed with infinitely deep pockets.
That doesn’t mean that the blanks used in their production are in any way inferior, or have cheap fittings. In fact, judging by the test sample sent in to me at Angling Times it’s as though the company has taken extra care to ensure that these bargain-priced models meet Daiwa’s usual high standards.
They all boast a low-glare matt finish which gives them a nice hand-built look, the full cork handles have reliable locking EVA foregrips, and along the blanks are correctly positioned double and then single-leg lined guides which contribute to a medium-fast, progressive action with no flat spots.
Okay, I wouldn’t bet on them being made from the finest high modulus carbon fibre cloths, but these graphite-built beauties feel light and well balanced, with no wobble and a crisp post-cast recovery.
However good a rod may look, the acid test is how well it performs, and a few hours spent throwing around a variety of pellet waggler and splasher floats confirmed the 11ft Harrier Pellet Waggler’s suitability as a cracking small to medium-sized commercial fishery tool.
It is more than comfortable handling floats from 4g up to 10g and reel lines from 6lb-8lb but it’s – let’s say – just a little too ‘manly’ for anything much lighter in the float department.
The fast tapering two-piece blank generates a surprising amount of power, certainly considerably more than I had seen up until now from a graphite-built rod. It’s not overly pokey, it doesn’t feel in the least like a broom handle, but it’s quite a muscular caster. Don’t be afraid to give it a fair old overhead whack to punch out a float against a headwind.
Fish are dealt with quickly and efficiently too, something I found particularly useful when needing to guide lively 3lb-5lb carp around the tackle-wrecking thick reed beds surrounding Sallow Lake on the day-ticket Homeclose Fishery in Rutland.
If you regularly visit a snaggy venue holding big carp that respond well to float tactics, this could be just the rod you’ve been looking for.
It’s built to take the odd knock and bounce back unscathed, and at a penny under 50 quid it really is a steal.
Daiwa has dressed this rod to look like one costing three times the price. Well suited to bigger commercial fisheries, the blank delivers ample fish-playing power and casting clout, but its carefully crafted carbon and glass construction and fast tapering design prevents it from being overly aggressive.