Anyone who fishes big waters like Rutland or Grafham will know that a fast-actioned rod is needed to stay in touch with your lure, especially in depths down to 90ft or more.
So when I was tasked with testing Rage’s newly-released Warrior2 Vertical 185 and Spin 240 rods, I was eager to get down to Rutland Water to see if they were up to the mark.
Having vertically-jigged Rutland for zander with the wrong rod in the past, I was a tad apprehensive when I made my first drop with the Vertical 185, but was swiftly reassured when my 25g jighead and lure hit the reservoir floor in 65ft of water with very little bend evident in the rod-tip.
At just 6ft (185cm) long, it was stiff enough for great bite indication but not so stiff that it took the sting out of the fight.
My lure remained in direct contact with the bottom at all times, which is essential if you want to spot bites when fishing from a drifting boat.
The Vertical 185 is labelled to handle weights of 14g to 28g, so when drifting over deeper water I thought I’d test a 30g jighead – and I’m pleased to say this heavier weight had little effect on the playing action of the rod.
When the zander finally revealed themselves on the fish finder at mid-depth it was time to switch to the Spin 240 and really cover some water.
This rod is a big-fish cruncher, rated to cast weights from 10g-30g, so I was happy to see that my 35g jighead wasn’t a step too far – the braided mainline slipped through the sleek guides effortlessly with no creaks of protest from the blank.
For me, the real quality of the rod revealed itself while retrieving the lure – I could feel every twist of its paddled tail vibrating down the blank. As with the Vertical 185 there was an element of stiffness in this rod, but as soon as you hooked a zander it was forgiving, and could cope with the most powerful lunges without sacrificing the thrills of the fight.
The verdict: These are perfect rods for deep-water reservoir fishing that give unfailingly excellent bite indication and playing quality. The sleek grey high-modulus carbon blanks and cork handles add a touch of class, and considering you don’t need to break the bank to buy them you’re getting a lot of bang for your buck. The Spin 240 is as much at home on any river, canal or lake as it is on a reservoir.
Price: Fox Rage Warrior2
Vertical 185 £39.99
Fox Rage Warrior2 Spin 240