Middy produces some impressive commercial fishery rods these days, and there’s something to suit everyone’s budget.
The latest Reactacore XZ feeder rods include the fast-taper three-piece XZ Ultra-Control 12ft 6ins all-round distance model. This test, though, is all about Middy’s two-piece 10ft 6ins Reactacore XZ Mini Commercial rod, built using the latest Quad-layering carbon technology. This involves four sheets of high-modulus carbon layered together at different angles, and results in a strong, rigid rod with a highly reactive parabolic fish-playing action.
The carbon undergoes a VC-X extreme pressure vacuum curing process that forces out any tiny air bubbles for a uniformly excellent action. The rod also benefits from Maximus weave wrap joints which prolong the life of the joints but increase the linear strength even further. All very impressive stuff!
The feather-light blank is exceptionally slim, and boasts classy SCX smooth cast guides, a small hook retainer, modern S-Line style reel seat, and two carbon quivertips. Middy rates the rod to a maximum 10lb mainline and 8lb hooklength, with casting weights between 10g and 56g. And let’s not forget the natty Middy MX-Series rod bag it arrives in.
These top-drawer rods are not cheap. The new 10ft 6ins Reactocore XZ Mini Commercial Feeder will likely set you back around £209, but the ‘wow factor’ alone justifies the price.
To confirm that quality I headed to Decoy Lakes. Its many lakes respond to all manner of tactics and the fish range from great big lumps through to turbo-charged barbel, F1s of all sizes, and a raft of silvers – all of which are of a decent size and will respond to most open-water tactics.
Putting this XZ rod together, you can’t help but be impressed by its pencil-slim profile. Its sections are pretty much of equal length when the carrier section’s quivertip is in place, so it can be easily transported ready made-up.
I was not, though, wholly convinced by its suggested 56g (2oz) maximum casting weight. For me the top end of the carrier section has slightly too much play in it. It would be fine with up to 40g (more than enough for your average commercial when using a rod less than 11ft long).
There’s no denying its impressive post-cast recovery rate, but this rod is clearly not of the ‘give it a whack’ breed! An over-enthusiastic miscast could prove very costly!
That aside, the performance of Middy’s flagship feeder-flinger offers a wondrous amount of torque and feel, and an all-round performance up there with the best commercial feeder rods.
The stunning gloss black blank has a phenomenal line pick-up speed, casts straight and true and is super lightweight in the hand. The parabolic action is responsive to any size of fish. Quite simply it’s immaculate. Does it have the ‘wow factor’? Most definitely!
Verdict: A genuine high-performance feeder rod, this top-end model will comfortably handle feeders and straight leads of 40g-plus with ease. Equally suited to light maggot feeder and flatbed Method tactics with wafter hookbaits, or indeed fishing a straight lead with bread discs.