If you had to choose just one feeder rod to handle all legering situations, it’s my guess many would go for an 11-13ft configuration.
This versatile combination blank was, I believe, originally launched by Daiwa and made available in both medium and heavy versions, green or red whipping denoting the rod’s specification.
Since that time similar rods have been produced many times over, and not just by Daiwa – just about every tackle company includes an 11-13ft feeder as a ‘must have’ rod in their range.
The very latest to hit the market has just been introduced by Preston Innovations as part of its new three-model Carbonactive Classic Feeder series.
These versatile rods are intended for the seasoned angling journeyman and – dare I say it? – are almost old-school. Classic retro traits include fast tapering high-gloss jet black carbon blanks with matching 25ins extra-long push-in glass quivertips, full-length cork and EVA handle and, most importantly, a seamlessly soft, progressive action free frpm flat spots.
My original plan was to take the Preston Classic to a medium-sized mixed stock fishery and run it through its paces with open-end and Method feeders of varying weights, fished at different distances, using a variety of baits. This strategy would in turn hopefully attract fish of many species, proving the rod’s worth as an all-rounder.
That was until almost every sheet of water, from lake to puddle, froze absolutely solid. Obviously the rivers would still be a Plan B option, but the tea-stained raging torrent that passed for the idyllic meandering Thames around Oxford looked about as inviting as a cold bath in January.
And so to Plan C. What you need when everywhere else is iced up is an inland ocean, a vast sprawling open expanse of water that the wind ruffles enough to prevent the ice from forming.
There was a very good reason that the car park at Boddington Reservoir was devoid of angler’s cars for the first time in its history. It was so bloody cold that you’d have to jump start a reindeer. I’d also heard on the grapevine that bites here right now were rarer than a Ringer snap-off.
Still, needs must, and after setting the kit up in the early 70s, with freezing cold hands I threaded the line through the rod’s sturdy double legged ceramic lined guides. Rigs would need to be simple affairs, as open-end feeders were hardly likely to bring much action my way. Relying on small but heavy Method feeders and straight lead set-ups, I began the test.
With the rod set in its full ‘three section plus handle’ 13ft mode, Preston claims it is capable of casting Method feeders and is equally suited to heavy work in fast-flowing waters. I reckon it is more than capable of doing both reasonably well, but despite the fast-tapering blank it’s definitely not a long-range Method feeder tool. It’s all a little bit loose and languid for full-throttle distance work.
It is, however, ideal at its full length for all deep-water bream and skimmer fishing. With the dolly butt section – which houses a single guide and fits above the handle – removed, the blank takes on an altogether different feel and casting action.
At the 11ft length (11ft 2ins to be precise) it will easily cast weighty Method feeders and has a lot more casting aggression. The fast taper kicks in when the blank is fully compressed, and will propel any type of feeder a surprisingly long way for an 11ft rod. It certainly isn’t poker-stiff, so it’s still capable of coping with soft mouthed fish.
I also rather fancy this would make a super river rod, perfect for hooklengths down to 0.12mm, smaller hooks and any species of fish. This very much keeps it in the mould of the classic 11ft-13ft design.