Versatility with a capital V is what Shakespeare’s two new 12ft Agility EXP Specimen rods are all about.
Both rods – 2lb and 2.5lb test curve - have been developed to cover all general carp fishing tactics including method feeder, straight lead, PVA bags and mesh sticks, as well as floater fishing methods.
However, the lighter test curve model is said by its manufacturers to also make the perfect heavy barbel or long range stillwater bream and tench tool.
To make this possible, the clever rod designers at Shakespeare have come up with a four-piece blank with an interchangeable middle section, enabling it to be set up for your chosen tactic.
If you want to cast further, or need to beef-up the rods power a bit for snag fishing - you simply change the middle sections over.
For instance the 2lb test curve version with its stiffer middle section fitted, makes a great short distance or margin style carp rod, ideal for Method feeder and straight lead tactics whereas with its lighter section in place you have a more than tidy small-river barbel or carp floater rod.
The action is definitely a lot more old school through style, than Shakespeare’s claimed progressively powerful, but this shouldn’t necessarily be taken as a negative – there’s less casting potential, but less chance of losing fish during the fight or at the net.
The heavier 2.5lb test curve model has a fair bit more casting potential, but still has a slight lack of backbone. It is certainly strong enough to cast out a PVA bag or Stick, and as long as you don’t want to cast to the horizon, it shouldn’t ever let you down.
Armed with the 2lb rod and a matching Agility FS reel I headed to Barston’s busy main lake and with so many anglers on the bank I felt the fish were always going to back-off towards the middle of the lake, so selected the more beefy of the rod’s middle sections.
Talk about going through the book! Straight lead, method feeder, and even PVA mesh sticks all proved unsuccessful as the fish simply refused to play ball through the early morning but with the sun climbing ever higher, the odd fish stated to show on the water’s surface.
A quick change to a zig-rig was called for and moments later the alarm sounded as one of Barston’s larger residents ripped-off across the lake.
The change of tactic had paid off handsomely and, as I slipped the net under a stunning mirror, I reflected that the Shakespeare EXP Agility had handled a diversity of tactics nicely enough, and that I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend either rod as a good all-rounder for the would be specialist angler.