Drennan International first applied the Acolyte name just over a year ago to its 13ft and 14ft Acolyte Ultra match rods. So popular were these that it was inevitable more in the same vein would follow, and sure enough, the Oxford-based company has just extended the range with 11ft and 12ft Acolyte Carp Waggler rods.
These are built with the same high modulus carbon fibre cloth which gives them an exquisite lightness and balance. You get blink-of-an-eye tip speed and a progressive fish-playing action that never locks up. The rods bend, then bend a bit more, and continue in that vein no matter how much pressure you apply, or what angle you care to apply it from.
These super slim two-piece blanks weigh in at just 128g (11ft) and 135g (12ft). Both rods feature crisply sharp line pick-up and cast a reasonable distance – although I certainly wouldn’t class either of them as out-and-out pellet waggler chuckers. Rather than being one-trip ponies they are quite versatile, with super-flexible top sections suited to propelling smaller wagglers to their mark.
Fans of big waggler tactics should note that Drennan claims the 12ft Acolyte Carp waggler is capable of handling 20g loaded floats with reel lines of up to 7lb, which puts it right up there in the power pellet waggler bracket. But not having had the chance to use the rod I can’t confirm this.
I did take the 11ft version to the carp-crammed Lakeside fishery near Towcester for a workout, however, and boy, is this a good rod! It’s the epitome of what a commercial carp waggler rod should be all about. It casts wagglers from around 2AAA up to 10g-plus with unerring accuracy, and its jaw-dropping parabolic action allows you to play the fishas hard as you want, without ever feeling you might pull the hook or break the line. It absorbs every lunge of a hooked fish quite effortlessly, right up to the point where it’s ready to net.
During the live test my confidence in the rod grew to the extent that I even started locking up the reel and allowing the blank to take all the strain. To my amazement, most of the carp just popped up to the surface and waved a fin in surrender, much the same as bream and skimmers do.
Its ridiculous lightness – the rod tips the scales at just 4.5oz – makes constant casting and feeding with a catapult a painless operation. If I were to be realty pedantic I would shave a couple of inches off the handle to make the rod more manoeuvrable in tight corners, but other than that the Drennan Acolyte 11ft Carp Waggler is without fault.