It's a fact that, on some big waters, the angler who can cast the greatest distance catches the most fish.
The problem has always been that genuine big-cast feeder rods have commanded premium prices, so have only been available to those who don’t baulk at handing over up to £180. Until now.
The lads at Shakespeare have added a 14ft power feeder rod to the outstanding, mega-value, Agility rod range that will send a feeder 80 yards and hit the 100-yard mark in the right hands. And it does it for under seventy quid!
The traditional three-piece rod comes with three push-in carbon quivertips rated at 2oz, 3oz and 4oz. These allow you to launch straight leads, or leads and PVA bags and Method feeders up to 3oz on the commercial pools and big stillwaters.
The rod will also cast across big rivers like the Trent, Severn and Thames with maggot feeders equipped with ‘dead cow’ strip leads to give those huge, heart-stopping drop-back bites from big chub and barbel.
Line rating is officially given as 8lb but I fished 11lb Korum Xpert mono through mine with no problem whatsoever, so would be happy to use reel line up to 12lb.
The Agility 14ft Power feeder has a massively strong butt section and bottom half of the middle section to generate casting power, with a progressive action above that.
Guides – even on the quivertips – are large diameter to help with casting distance and allow free passage of leader knots.
The diameter of the blank where it enters the cork handle is a tiny bit larger than some, though not offensive. The cork/duplon handle is just 60cm (2ft) which I initially thought was quite short for a big-cast rod but, on the bank, I had no problems generating the power to punch a 1.5oz bomb and a small PVA bag of maggots 80 yards into an old, submerged stream bed. This deeper water at the friendly Fields End venue at Doddington near March, Cambs (01354 740199) is a well-known, winter fish-holding feature but, depending on what peg you’re fishing from, it can require a big cast to hit it.
I teamed my test rod with the new Shakespeare Agility 60FS freespool reel (RRP £59.99) which complemented the long-cast rod beautifully.