This 12ft Pellet Waggler rod is the latest addition to the best-selling Carbonactive Mini Plus commercial range from Preston Innovations.
Honed to perfection for casting splasher-type floats and big pellet wagglers on open-water venues such as Viaduct, Barston and Meadowlands, this rod was developed with input from talented match angler Andy Power.
Andy can list wins in the Maver Match This and UK Champs, as well as qualifying for three Fish O’Mania finals, in a long line of achievements.
In a chat I had with Preston’s brand manager Scott Geens about the ins and outs of the blank’s construction, he told me that Andy had netted fish to over 20lb from Viaduct during its field trials, so no worries on that score!
I was lucky enough to be given an exclusive preview of the new Preston tool, and I never pass up the chance of chucking a big pellet waggler around – besides, the sun was shining.
So I found myself pulling up in the car park of the Canal and River Trust’s day-ticket Engine Pool on the Earlswood complex, armed with little more than a few bags of 8mm pellets for bait and feed, and a box of distance-casting wagglers.
Engine regulars will know just how fickle this water can be. It’s very much feats or famine, but with rock-solid information that the pegs in the high 70s were rammed with fish, my confidence of nailing some proper lumps was riding high.
It was less buoyant after three-and-a-half hours of constant casting and feeding, feeding and casting, swapping between wagglers of the splasher, pellet, clear, loaded and unloaded kind, even some with popper discs.
Having gone through every permutation of floatfishing up in the water, all I had to showfor my endeavours was sore knuckles from what must have been a thousand raps from the pouch of my catty.
You could say my interest was flagging somewhat.
My photographer, Lloyd, had taken to doing ‘wildlife’ snaps – well, that’s what he called them, but I never realised that insects wore Lycra shorts and went jogging round lakes!
With time pushing on, what had I learnt? Well, the Preston 12ft Pellet Waggler rod has quite a fine tip for what is basically an animal tamer.
It will cast just about anything you care to tie on to the reel line, bar possibly a bagging waggler – anything else isn’t a problem.
Even the largest vaned pellet waggler from John Bonny (the Mad Hatter of float makers) can be cast completely out of sight.
I had matched the rod with a 6lb reel line – with 8lb your casting distances would suffer as the guides are all of standard match size to handle thinner diameter lines better. I’d recommend you to play your cards right and stick to 6lb line, not going higher or lower.
Then it happened. The float landed with an angel’s caress, to be greeted with a swirl as an Engine Pool brute couldn’t resist what was obviously my above-standard banded pellet presentation – or perhaps it was down to the fact that it was now getting dark. It matters not – the blank swept the line up in a none too sloppy manner from the surface, then kicked into its progressive fish-playing action.
Now I could finally see the benefits of all that field-trialling. Yes, the rod has unbridled power, but it’s all been channelled into the blank’s middle section. When you lean into a fish it absorbs then dictates… you know you’re in charge.
It’s a strange thing with carp that sometimes, if they feel they are on the losing side from the start, they all but give up. Right at the net, the Earlswood projectile made a half-hearted bid for the legs of the platform, but a smart side swipe from the rod brought it straight up on top and into the pan.
How good is that?
This classy rod from the Preston Mini Plus stable has plenty of brutish power tempered by just the right amount of finesse, and the build and finish are both top-notch.
It’s quite capable of dealing with the largest of fish, but it’s fun to use and sure to become a favourite with anglers visiting big open-water venues this summer.