Tackle giant Drennan has recently added two new models to its top-end Acolyte Feeder series. The latest 10ft and 12ft Plus rods are said to be the most powerful within the family, which includes 10ft, 11ft and 12ft Ultras with lighter actions, as well as an existing 11ft Plus rod.
The 12ft Plus model I tested is constructed using the same super-slim, two-section high modulus carbon blank featured on all Acolyte Feeders. But on this rod its mid to top section areas have been substantially beefed-up, to provide the blank with a higher weight loading point.
This not only aids its casting potential, enabling feeders and leads to be propelled greater distances, it also allows heavier weights up to 60g (2oz) to be used.
Drennan claims casts up to 60m are easily achievable, with even greater distances possible if you have good technique and, having live-tested the model on a large open water venue, I wouldn’t argue.
Other notable features are its stand-off SiC lined guides that help to keep the line well away from the blank, enabling the reel line to move quickly and smoothly through its guides, again to help distance. To that you can add a high-quality original Fuji screw down reel seat, full length 23ins-plus cork handle, and three push-in carbon quivertips, which have been selected to blend in with the rod’s parabolic fish-playing action.
So when, where and how would you use this rod? It’s certainly well suited for large expanses of open water – including rivers – and for all species of big fish.
The blank’s extra backbone provides plenty of casting clout which makes it ideal for all types of feeder and straight-lead tactics, just as I experienced at Lincolnshire’s big-fish mecca Bain Valley at Tattershall Thorpe.
The fishery’s windswept and open Halifax Lake holds some very big carp, which are noted for their fighting qualities. During the warmer months when the water is coloured, these can be caught on a pole in the margins, but once the colour starts to fade away, so do the fish. And like so many big waters in clear conditions, fish tend to shoal up towards the middle of the lake, a good 70m from the bank, more than a decent cast for any type of feeder rod, let alone one with such a slim profile as the Acolyte Plus.
Bread is the key bait, as it is on so many carp lakes in the cold. But Bain Valley is deep, so the punched disks need popping-up some three feet off the bottom to find the fish.
The longer hooklength adds yet another degree of difficulty to the cast. However, a decent sized bomb soon sorted this problem out. I did feel, though, that using an ounce-and-a-half of lead at around 65m-plus, the blank was on the upper limit of its capacities. To be fair, it was a very long chuck, and the Acolyte’s tip recovery post-cast, and its responsiveness, were never found to be wanting.
The rod’s push-in quivertips are faultlessly matched to its carrier section, with the 2.5oz, 3oz, and 4oz carbon quivers ideally suited for Method feeders and all hair-rig tactics.
Once a fish is hooked the blank’s action is surprisingly robust, and enables you to pull very hard without it ever feeling as though it might fold when under pressure – perfect for all big fish, not just carp.
The 12ft length enables a quick contact to be made with fish hooked at distance, and nothing that I caught while live testing, ever felt like it could dominate proceedings, which again for such a light and slim rod is very impressive.
I wouldn’t use it with small hooks and light lines, as I feel it had a little too much stiffness toward the end of the carrier section for gossamer gear, but as it wasn’t designed for that anyway, it’s hardly a criticism. I am, though, surprised that Drennan hadn’t moved the butt guide further down the blank, even if it meant losing a guide further up (think carp rod) as this may have added even more casting prowess.
Another sure-fire winner from Drennan. The Acolyte Plus feeder would be every bit at home on Boddington Reservoir as on the banks of the Severn or Trent. Thanks to its same-length design, and top ‘n’ tail retaining bands it is easily transported ready made-up, and is sure to be popular with long-range feeder fishing fans.