Get hands with this rod at this year’s The Big One Show
It’s fair to say that when it comes to fishing for pike I’m about as out of place as a wire trace in a winder box full of silver fish rigs.
As a match angler, after donkey’s years of trying to avoid the toothy roach-snatching critters, it’s my considered opinion that all you need do to catch a pike is fire out some maggots and wait for one to turn up and ruin your swim.
The sound of bronzes sprinkling over the water seems to work in a very similar way to summoning the Kraken. Hey presto! Esox appears and proceeds to chow down on anything and everything you might happen to be catching.
And there you go – pike fishing sorted! Thousands of matchmen will tell you that my version of things is not far from the truth.
Luckily, though, I do know someone who knows all about ‘proper’ pike fishing – the UK’s most successful specimen angler and double Drennan Cup winner Dia Gribble. He’s slipped the net cord under many of the biggest fish (pike included) in the country.
A hastily arranged meeting saw me pulling up alongside one of Dai’s favourite big-fish haunts, the picture postcard Copmere Lake near Eccleshall, Staffs. Focus of the day would be the latest 12ft two-piece 3.25lb Korum Snapper Cult Deadbait rods. These will cast deadbaits to the horizon, yet have an action sufficiently forgiving to avoid hook-pulls on a short line.
They look the part, too, boasting a full cork handle with a secure screw-down carbon inlayed reel seat. The blanks have ceramic-lined, braid-friendly guides throughout, and Korum has gone for anti-frap tip and butt rings, a wise move indeed.
So after a quick tutorial from Dai on drop-off indicators, leads, rigs, and the correct way to mount a smelt deadbait (yes, they do smell of cucumber), I was in business.
If, like me, you have little idea about pike fishing but fancy giving it a go, the Snapper range of deadbait kit is pretty much foolproof to set up. Anyway, with Dai’s experience, it wasn’t long before the drop-off signalled the first run of the day, which turned out to be a spirited scraper double.
The rod, which is quite stiff, does indeed have just about enough softness at the tip to make playing a fish an enjoyable experience but, as Dai was quick to point out, there are times when you’ll need to cast a big deadbait a long way, and that’s when you’ll appreciate the poke of this 12ft Snapper Cult Deadbait rod.
Our Verdict: The Cult Deadbait rod has been developed with plenty of input from Dai Gribble and Snapper’s leading predator angler, Ed Matthews. As a newbie piker I must admit that I found the rod quite stiff, hardly surprising as I am more used to softer blanks.
But as Dai said, you might find yourself having to cast half a mackerel, along with a lead, a very long way, which this rod does to perfection. Let’s be honest, with treble hooks it’s unlikely that you are going to pull out of the bait in mid-air.
What I like is the rod’s all-round presentation – understated decals, pleasing whippings, butt cap, run clip, braid-friendly and anti-frap guides, and carbon inlay reel seat. All that gives it the look of an expensive custom-built rod.