Middy International has the happy knack of producing great rods at a great price – in fact its original silver-coloured 4GS range still ranks among the best in its price bracket.
So when Middy boss David Middleton called to tell me he had the new Arco-Tech rods to show me, I was keen to see how the successor to the 4GS would measure up.
Within the Arco-Tech series there are two feeder models – the K-275 9ft/10ft and the K-306 10ft/11ft. Both are super-slim, but not so slim that you feel you need to treat them with kid gloves! A super-tough Kevlar wrap strengthens the blanks throughout. Both rods are multi-length, thanks to a short foot-long extension without eyes. Should you need to extend the rod to its longer length, simply slip in the extension in mid-session. A nice touch, you’ll agree...
There’s plenty of poke in the butt section, while the tip section is much softer, striking a pleasing balance between power and forgiveness. The action is soft to parabolic, so F1s or skimmers will still put a lovely flat spot-free bend into it, while the chances of losing fish when using light lines and small hooks are remote.
The final key feature is the unique ‘Trigger Tips’. These are super-sensitive carbon tips whose unique action emphasises the most tremulous of bites. The light tip, in particular, is very impressive in this respect and well lives up to its Trigger name.
Middy is really proud of these rods, quite rightly so, as they are packed with features, and raise the rod building and development bar even higher.
The live test at the pretty day-ticket Stretton Farm fishery just off the A1 north of Peterborough proved to be a sodden affair, with unrelenting rain all day long. The only bright spot was the 10ft/11ft Arco-Tech Carp Feeder rod on test performance – crisp as fresh lettuce, and with just the right blend of power and poise to make it ideal for most commercial tactics. The rod is no Olympic distance performer, but will easily handle a pub-chuck of 35-40 yards with considerable accuracy.
My best advice to anyone looking to own one of these slender beauties is to make sure you keep the line between rod-tip and feeder tight at all times to prevent it from looping back over the end guide. Make sure (with a quick tug prior to casting) that it isn’t caught up, as the Trigger Tip ends are very fine and wouldn’t survive the impact of a miscast.
Verdict: The Arco-Tech is an ideal rod for commercial anglers, and has some excellent new features. KTS Smooth Flow guides sit at a special angle to prevent wrap-ups during the cast and make the whole process very smooth. Being able to add a 1ft butt extension is very handy, especially as you don’t need to break down your tackle. The light and medium Trigger Tips are ideal for spotting tiny bites when the fish are in a fickle mood.
The rod is rated to 10lb mainlines and 8lb hooklengths, with a recommended maximum casting weight of 50g, so don’t think that it won’t handle bigger fish.
Personally, though, I would use the rod with 6lb mainlines, hooklengths up to a 0.19mm, and feeders up to 30g.
Price: £99.99 (but shop around)