At long last the carp on commercials are up in the water and ready to be targeted using float tactics.
The obvious choice is the pellet waggler, a tactic that will dominate matches all over the UK in the next month or so.
Few things are as satisfying as building up a pellet waggler line. Feed little and often, keeping the pattern tight, and fish will start to swirl at your feed pellets as soon as they hit the water.
Then, if you can deftly land a waggler by feathering the cast so your hookbait lands behind your float with an enticing little ‘plop’, you’ll reap the rewards.
If you ever get a chance to watch master pellet waggler anglers such as Perry Stone or Warren Martin conducting their way through a symphony of pulled strings, you’ll know where I’m coming from.
All this brings me nicely on to Middy’s latest Arco-Tech K-335 11ft/12ft Carp Waggler rod. Like all those in the range it has a soft, parabolic action to subdue large commercial carp. Key features include a slim, full cork handle and KTS smooth flow guides.
‘Match This’ winner Chris Cameron helped develop the Arco Feeder rods, while Kieron Rich is behind the Waggler versions – hence the rigid mini-butts with a Kevlar wrap, which strengthens up the section to pile on some real stopping power if need be. A foot-long extension which can be added without tackling down is another feature of Arco-Tech rods.
I wasn’t surprised that Middy has come up with something a bit special in the pellet wag department. Since the launch of the quite exceptional 3G X-Flex rod a few years ago the standard has been upheld with super fish-playing actions, lightness in the hand, super-fast line pick-up, accurate casting, and an all-round performance better than most.
On the live test at the impressive day-ticket Stretton Lakes my plan was to put the 12ft Arco-Tech through its paces on the carp lake with a heavy pellet waggler at distance, then drop down to the smaller match lake in the afternoon to target its stockies with the rod in its 11ft mode using smaller floats, hooks and baits.
The morning session was a bit of a disaster as far as fishing went, as three hours of non-stop pellet pinging with a rod that cast straight as a die failed to interest the carp, which were preoccupied with spawning in the margins.
I can, though, report that the blank will handle reel lines up to 8lb (just about, as the guides are quite small) and floats up to 10g with some ease.
A change to the match lake saw its stockies queuing up for a 6mm pellet, hung 18ins below a 2AAA straight peacock waggler. Using a smaller, less obtrusive float with lighter lines and smaller hooks seems to be the way forward on commercials these days, and in this respect the new Middy Arco-Tech is sure to gain many friends.
It has just about enough whip in the tip section to propel a lighter float, as long as you drop down the reel line diameter accordingly.
The blank, although admittedly not the fastest in the world, is still nicely responsive, with a softly progressive action across the top section that morphs into steely carp-stopping power going into the butt.
Constant feeding while holding the rod proved painless on the wrists, and the handle was just the right length to manoeuvre effortlessly around my body
The new Arco-Tech 11ft/12ft Carp Waggler is right up there with Middy’s best. With a softly progressive action but just the right amount of backbone, it’s light and comfy in the hand, and casts straight and true with enough tip-whip to hit the 40m mark with larger floats.
Line pick-up speed isn’t the fastest, but there’s enough finesse to handle light lines, hooks and floats even when big fish are on the cards.
Price: £119.99 (multiple deals)