Matrix Horizon 11ft Carp Waggler rod review

Now that spawning is well and truly out of the way, commercial fishery carp are properly on the munch, and can be seen cruising the upper layers, picking off morsels passing in front of their noses.

It’s now that pellet waggler tactics start to come into their own, especially on venues dominated by big carp. But these fish, it seems to me, have learned the knack of feeding on the periphery of loosefed pellets. 

They actually shy away from anything that hits the water with a resounding ‘plop’ – a total reversal of how the original pellet waggler tactic came into being, when noise would draw fish into the swim. 

Matrix main image.jpg

Anyway, to keep pace with that development, more modern tactics involve the use of lighter, clear, fully-loaded wagglers. 

Few things are more satisfying than building a pellet waggler swim. Start feeding little-and-often and provided you are reasonably accurate with a catty, the fish will gain confidence. Get it right and they’ll soon be swirling at the pellets every time you feed… all of which tees me up nicely for this very modern new float rod from Matrix. 

Matrix doesn’t brand this a pellet waggler rod, preferring to call it a ‘Carp Waggler’. This reflects the rod’s all-round pedigree, rather than it being a one-trick pony.

The super-slim two-piece blank’s equal-length sections allow it to be brought to the water ready made-up, saving time. It’s also incredibly light, being built from an ultra-high-modulus carbon cloth. 

Key build features include premium grade slim ceramic guides that allow great distances to be achieved even with light lines and floats. There’s a unique detailed weave print on its butt section, and a tiny side-fixed keeper ring, which is a bit ‘Marmite’ in my opinion.   

The Carp Waggler’s 11ft length lends itself perfectly to use on small and medium-sized commercial pools with casts up to 35m. I reckon it’s at its best casting floats weighing from 3g to 10g, with reel lines from 4lb to 8lb. 

The blank has a parabolic, almost all-through fish-playing action to deal with everything from tiddlers to Titans. That perfectly suited the few hours I spent tempting a selection of carp from Decoy’s Elm strip lake. 

With a niggling side wind to contend with, I spent the first hour or so of live-testing chopping and changing my way through any number of sizes, shapes and styles of waggler. Eventually I settled on a short crystal finned version carrying enough weight to cut through the wind arrow-straight. 

The rods can actually cope admirably with floats from 3AAA right the way up to 10g. 

In addition, thanks to the blank’s hollow tip section, it generates sufficient tip speed to instantly lift line from the surface, making hitting the quickest of bites relatively easy. 

The hollow tip also offers a fair degree of recovery, giving it more casting potential than a spliced rod. Just one word of warning – in my opinion this isn’t a rod for heavy splasher-type wagglers, and certainly wouldn’t be up to coping with a big whack against a headwind. It simply doesn’t have the backbone for that. But for 90 per cent of commercial waggler fishing it will do just fine.

What the Matrix Carp Waggler does have going for it in spades is an ability to cope with very big fish on light gear, when its parabolic/through action takes on a superb lunge-absorbing curve. It works as a perfect cushion, preventing hook pulls and snap-offs. 

There's nothing not to like about this latest Matrix Horizon offering. It’s light and comfortable in the hand, casts straight and true, and has more than enough casting power to hit the 30m mark. Ideal for floats, and fish of all sizes, it’s a true commercial fishery all-rounder with a very high standard of build that is more than matched by its performance.

Price: £129.99