To the best of my knowledge these new Shakespeare Cypry rods are the first from Shakespeare to be aimed specifically at carp anglers. Priced to appeal to the novice, junior or ‘just about managing’ carp fan, the line-up of 10 rods includes three-piece and telescopic models – popular on the Continent, less so over here.
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It’s the three 12ft two-piece rods with test curves of 2.5lb, 2.75lb and 3lb, as well as the beefier 13ft 3.5lb and 10ft 3lb rods (for work at close quarters) that will be of most interest to UK carpers.
The full carbon, two-piece blanks all feature an abbreviated handle with EVA thumb and casting grips, reliable screw-down reel seat, and a set of six hard-wearing ceramic-lined guides.
As I have said many times before, I hate using a carp rod that feels like a reincarnated telegraph pole. One of the best aspects of carp fishing is feeling the fight of the fish. If you stifle that fun by using a poker-stiff rod, you take away much of the motivation for going carping in the first place!
Now, I know there’s a time and a place for beefy carp rods. If you need to chuck a heavy lead a very long way you need something with the power to do the job.
But frankly, most carp anglers don’t demand such extreme performance. Many of them fish relatively small lakes where a 100-yard cast would land the rig in the trees on the far bank, in someone else’s swim, or even in a completely different pool.
Consider this too – an increasing number of pleasure anglers use a carp rod as a second ‘sleeper’ set-up, sitting it on a bite alarm beside them while they fish a pole or feeder. The aim is to produce one or two bonus big fish during the day, and the chances of that happening are greatly improved if the rod in question can chuck a baited hook a manageable distance where loosefeed can be accurately placed in the same area.
So, when putting Shakespeare’s budget-priced Cypry 12ft 3lb test curve carp rod through its paces, I knew I’d taken hold of a bit of kit that should prove hugely popular with a large number of anglers.
For the great majority of venues, this rod will cover every eventuality. Its workmanlike action will handle reel lines from 10lb to 15lb, and cast large Method feeders and solid PVA bags. In the hand it’s reasonably light and comfy, and it gets a big tick for its surprisingly responsive tip, which generates considerable casting clout when needed.
Plenty of transmission makes it a joy to play fish on – you can really feel every twist and turn of a hooked carp. The progressive action firms up quickly around the mid-section, providing enough backbone to steer fish away from snags and safely into your net.
During the live test at the quite superb day-ticket Willowbrook carp lake in Northamptonshire I used a variety of tactics to land fish approaching 20lb – small PVA bags, Method feeders and even surface controllers were well within the rod’s capabilities.
I got to thinking that it wasn’t all that long ago when I’d have expected a rod with this one’s build quality and all-round performance to set me back at least £100. At less than a third of that, the Cypry is an out-and-out steal.
Shakespeare’s Cypry range is ideal for anyone wanting to get into this addictive branch of fishing. It offers the would-be Terry Hearns lots of tactical scope, with enough power to handle Method feeders and solid bags.
A progressive action enables L-plate carpers to hit distant marks if and when required, but at the same time they needn’t worry that fish will break the line or pull the hook out at the net.