Online tackle retailer Chapmans has produced quite a few decent rods under its own Stillwater brand since its inception.
But it’s fair to say that most have majored on economy rather than performance. Until now, that is!
Chapmans, in partnership with Daiwa, has just released an 11ft Pellet Waggler and a 10ft Mini Method Feeder rod under its new Stillwater Shuriken banner – and the pair fairly sizzle in terms of build quality, performance and quite astonishing value.
Both are made from slim, equal-length two-piece carbon blanks of some distinction. The 11ft Pellet Waggler is rated to reel lines up to 8lb, and designed for carp and F1 fishing. The 10ft Mini Method Feeder will handle 40g feeders, and comes with 1oz and 1.5oz push-in carbon quivers.
Key furnishing features on both include pleasing all-cork handles, aluminium oxide lined guides, classy gloss black whippings, and a keeper ring as a nice final touch.
And it doesn’t stop there, as I found out while live testing the wonderfully named Shuriken (pronounced ‘Shirken’) room-mates at Decoy’s icy cold Lou’s Lake. Happily, while one side of the horseshoe-shaped water was solid with ice, the other, where I was fishing, gave more than a fair impression of a balmy August afternoon, rather than a bone-chilling mid-February freeze.
But enough of the weather – let’s take a closer look at the Shurikens. It wasn’t until I got the rods back home and started delving into their construction details that I was even aware that Daiwa had a hand in their creation. However, within a couple of minutes of using them, I recognised that unmistakable steely ‘Daiwa feel’ running through the mid-sections, making them more than a match for the largest of commercial fishery denizens as well as pasty-sized stockies and F1s.
Not that these two rods are in any way cheapo whopper stoppers – both sport a quite superb and sweetly progressive action.
The seven white-tipped whippings on the 10ft Mini Method Feeder quivertips are brilliant. Regular readers will know of my dislike for quivers with anything other than a daub of blaze or orange paint on their ends. But I must admit that my attention was mesmerically drawn towards the white whippings, making missed bites very unlikely.
The 11ft Pellet Waggler has a very similar progressive action to its stablemate, but the tip-end is very slightly softer, giving it more whip and making it easier to cast light floats – in this rod’s case from around 4AAA (3.5g) upwards.
My first carp of the year on the float fell to a corn skin bait, set 3ft feet deep and cast tight against a line of Norfolk reeds – basically the waggler equivalent of dobbing.
Given the size and fighting spirit of the fish caught, I can certainly vouch for the power in reserve that still has enough cushioning to permit the use of reasonably small hooks and light hooklengths.
What's not to like about this pair?
The fact that you can buy both Shuriken rods for less than the price of a top-end feeder or pellet waggler weapon makes them a real steal.
Ideal for all but the largest of commercial fisheries, they have impressive fish-playing and casting actions, are very nicely furnished and fitted out, and combine good looks with an equally good performance.