Drennan's first reel was worth the wait

For a tackle company like Drennan to bring out its first-ever reels after 40 years in the industry is quite an exciting development, so as soon as we had a sample we were out on the bank to put it through its paces.

The model chosen was the Series 7 Floatfish 9-30 reel, priced at just £32.95, surely among the best bargains currently around.

Loading the reel with mainline is simplicity itself. No need for any backing¬ the three shallow spools supplied with each reel fill perfectly to the lip every time with a maximum of 100yds of line needed. And, once you have filled the spools, you simply fit the rubber grommet that carries the corresponding line size into the recess on the front of the spool housing.This enables you to instantly recognise your line size ¬ a brilliantly simple idea.

Using the reel proved a comfortable, trouble free, experience all day. The front lip of the spool can be easily reached with a forefinger, making repeated casting a cinch, and the smooth oscillation gives a good line-lay with no signs of bedding-in or twisting.

The bail-arm trip functions faultlessly, and although I am no real fan of rear drag reels, especially for floatfishing, I can only report that the rear drag system on the Series 7 Floatfish 9-30 reel performed smoothly and perfectly.

Retrieve speed is about right for a floatfishing reel ¬ too fast and you are going to get spin-ups on your hooklengths, too slow and it all starts to feel a bit laboured.

All in all, a thoroughly nice, dependable little reel that has some great little extra touches and performs better than many costing more than double the asking price.

The rod
Drennan’s Series 7 range has proved to be something of a revelation for match and pleasure anglers since it was first introduced by the Oxford-based tackle giant just over four years ago.

They are favourably priced, with every rod costing under £100 (most in fact are under £80), and the complete 13-rod line-up covers just about every running line tactic you would ever need to use on a commercial fishery.

The latest addition is the 13ft Silverfish Float rod priced at £89.95. Like all Drennan’s recent 13ft float rods, it features a unique foot-long screw-apart lower handle that enables you to break the rod down into two equal 6ft-long sections.

This simple but revolutionary design helps to avoid all the problems and tangles normally associated with trying to carry around read-assembled three-piece 13ft float rods.

This feature also reduces the number of ferrules (joints) situated in front of the hand, and the balance and action of the blank is said by the manufacturer to be ‘noticeably improved’.

And this was something I immediately observed when live testing the rod. I had half expected the blank to feel a bit on the top-heavy side, with a very stiff middle area that would compensate for the missing top section and offer the blank that little bit of extra backbone for casting and the playing of fish.

To my complete surprise, the twin section blank provided me with a very well balanced float rod that has a somewhat tippy feel, but then effortlessly bends into a progressive playing curve as you pile on the pressure.

The casting action is best described as being ‘cushion soft’ and is perfect for smaller wagglers up to around 4AAA loading.

If you’re looking for a good, well balanced and easy to transport 13ft ready-rod capable of tackling any mixed commercial fishery, then the unique Drennan Series 7 Silverfish Float would definitely fit the bill. The company can be proud of it.