Every angler who experiences big fish, whether on river, lake or commercial pool, should have a rod like this in their armoury. And with a full recommended retail price of just £49.99, most anglers should be able to afford this one.
The 12ft, two-piece, Shakespeare Agility Specimen rod has a 2lb test curve and an easy progressive action. It’s ideally suitable for use with reel lines of between 6lb and 12lb – but it’s far from a one-trick pony.
Adaptability is the name of the game with this rod that’ll happily fish standard carp bolt rigs and PVA bags or belt out big Method feeders on specimen or commercial lakes where the fish have grown big and outgun many standard rod and reel combos.
It’ll also deliver large feeders or straight leads for chub and barbel on the rivers, fish floaters on a controller for surface-cruising carp or launch specialist feeders for specimen tench and bream on gravel pits.
The Avon-style action is fabulous for playing fish, but means this is a blank that struggles to cast a maximum 3oz load beyond 60 yards.
I teamed my test rod with Shakespeare’s Agility 60FS freespool reel (RRP £59.99) loaded with 10lb mono and headed for a local lake full of carp averaging from 6lb to upper doubles and ended up fishing three different methods with the same rod.
Starting out fishing PVA bags with a 2oz lead at 45 yards, on a bite alarm I enjoyed brisk action with ridiculously hard-fighting common carp. This rod delivers power aplenty, but does it smoothly.
When sport died due to disturbance in the shallow water I swapped to a controller float and dog biscuit to add another two good fish.
Finally, an hour’s stalking in the margins with freelined lobworms earned me a long, lean old warhorse of a mirror carp.