The newest member of the unique family of Matrix Carpmaster rods, the Little Pig Feeder, shares the same build characteristics as the hugely popular 8ft, 9ft, and 10ft models.
All incorporate an extra-long middle section which eliminates the need for a mid-blank joint, and adds to the perfect progressive fish playing action. It must be said, though, that these rods do take a bit of getting used to, and the Little Pig is no exception. This probably has more to do with the look of it before assembly, rather than its performance once you are fishing with it.
The elongated mid-section is unlike anything else on the market, and could be greeted with scepticism by those who have never used a rod like this. Maybe they should accept that perhaps this is the way all very short rods up to10ft long should have been built in the first place.
So, without too much huffing and puffing, what has Matrix done to this Little Pig that sets it apart from the rest of the litter? After all, there is already an 8ft rod in the Carpmaster Feeder range. For starters, it is finished with a set of extra-chunky ceramic lined low profile guides that won’t bend or buckle when the rod is carried around ready made up. These look good, and not at all out of place.
Matrix also tells me that the blank has what it calls “more refined action”, which I take to mean that the rod retains its classic progressive playing curve that tightens up the more you pull. This is not easily achieved with such a short length of carbon, but Matric has given the road a touch more backbone toward the handle to improve its casting and big fish-handling properties.
Live testing took place on a bitterly cold morning that saw a thin layer of cat ice form across picturesque Wood Lake at Panshill Fishery near Bicester, in Oxfordshire.
Feed was therefore kept to a bare minimum, despite the lake’s prolific stocking that includes some very big chub.
The Matrix Little Pig would clearly be more than capable of handling flatbed Method feeders up to 30gas long as they were cast underarm along the margin or just beyond the pole line. Today it would deliver a light bomb and some bread discs, to attempt to catch a fish big enough to put that “more refined action” into play.
A nicely muscled mirror duly took a liking to the hair-rigged bread disc and was just about heavy enough to fully compress the rod into its sweeping, progressive fighting curve – which turned out to be faultless, with no flat spots. Just like the other rods in the Matrix Carpmaster Feeder rod range it had that certain feel about it that suggested it would be every bit as good with F1s, light lines and small hooks as it would be with much bigger carp and elasticated Method feeders.