Daiwa Powermesh Carp 12ft 3lb test curve review

After around 20 years away, Daiwa’s iconic Powermesh carp rods have returned to the fold. 

Seven models span three 12ft rods with 2.75lb, 3lb and 3.5lb test curves. There’s also a distance-casting 13ft, 3.5lb rod, as well as Spod, Floater and Stalker versions, so all bases seem to be covered!

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The Powermesh heritage is still spoken of in hushed tones by carp anglers of a certain age, although the new breed are a far cry from their classic namesakes.

These latest rods are slimmer, faster and considerably lighter than the old-school favourites. The one thing they still have in common with the classic Powermesh rods is unbridled power – but more of that later!

Clearly Daiwa, currently designing and constructing its best-ever carp rods across all price points, hasn’t skimped on materials and furnishings for its latest Powermesh offerings.

The slimline blanks boast a strengthened high-grade woven carbon build. When called upon to do so they serve up more than enough casting power for long-distance and PVA bag work. 

The astonishing parabolic fish-playing action, as you can see from the image, tightens up quickly across the rod’s mid-section so you’ll stay in charge when faced with hard-fighting big fish in snag pit swims.

As to fittings, these new Powermesh rods are finished to a very high standard, incorporating original Fuji DPS reel seats, slim profile shrink grip handles, stainless steel frame guides with lightweight LS ceramic-lined rings (including a 50mm butt guide) and an aluminium butt cap. 

With ‘demanding situations’ a high live test priority, a trip to Oxfordshire’s Clattercote Reservoir was arranged. The big carp on this prolific runs water respond best to long-range solid bag and margin tactics, although the latter option is not for the faint-hearted. Rods need to be picked up and locked up fast to stop fish (as the Drifters sang) going ‘under the boardwalk’.

My choice of rod, the 12ft 3lb test curve Powermesh, can be found online as part of a ‘buy two or three’ package for as little as £84.99. 

Now, you may be wondering why, when 3lb-plus tc rods are so popular, I chose the 3lb option. It’s quite simple really, and worthy of note if you’re a prospective customer. Having handled the entire new Powermesh range last October, I felt the 3lb rod was at least the equivalent of a standard 3.25lb or even 3.5lb Daiwa model. 

What’s more, having now fished with the rod, I am qualified to say that it’s a fair bit more pokey than its rating would suggest.

That’s almost certainly down to its crisp action rather than its test curve, but bear it in mind if you’re looking to buy a set.

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That is a course of action you shouldn’t miss out on if you’re in the market for a set of quality, high-performance carp rods at a sensible price. 

They cast brilliantly, will play the biggest of fish superbly well and, I may add, would make awesome French kipper weapons. 

Our verdict: The new Powermesh carp rods have enough grunt to safely cast the heaviest of leads, and will outcast virtually all other carp rods in their price bracket.

The fish-playing action is unrelenting, putting you in control at all times – these rods are worthy inheritors of the iconic Powermesh name. 

Price: £169, but shop around and look on the internet for multiple deals