The Tri-Cast excellence is of the many impressive commercial fishery rods to hit the market, everything from refined snake lake and pond models through to powerful creations that will graze the horizon. Within Tri Casts range there is something to suit everyone’s depth of pocket.
At the topmost pinnacle of Tri-Cast’s latest feeder rod releases is the new Excellence range developed in conjunction with match ace Andy Bennett.
These top-drawer rods, as you might expect, are not cheap. The new 11ft Excellence on live test duty will likely set you back around £209, but you definitely get what you pay for.
So what exactly will you have in your hand in return for your herd of eight little Cockney ponies?
Well, on the face of it you’ll be getting a great looking ultra-slim, ultra-light rod with lightning-fast reflexes and superb high-end furnishings.
Tri-Cast’s design flair and technological genius come together in a blank with both beauty and brains. In a nutshell, the rod enjoys a high resin-to-cloth ratio, which contributes to its non-locking action
In addition, Tri-Cast has used its not inconsiderable aerospace knowledge to realign the way the carbon fibres are wrapped together. This all adds to the rod’s lightness, rigidity and post-cast recovery speed.
Other luxury touches include three push-in carbon quivertips with coloured whipping bands – yellow (fine) 1oz, green (medium) 1.5oz, and red (stiff) 2oz.
Low-profile single and double-legged ceramic-lined guides, and a dependable Tri-Cast reel seat and full cork handle, complete this impressive package.
Tri-Cast claims the rod will cast bombs and feeders of around 50g using mainlines up to 8lb, which is standard manufacturers’ marketing speak for a commercial feeder rod of this ilk.
In my humble opinion, though, top-end or flagship rods should always have the ‘wow factor’. Yes, you’re shelling out for classy furnishings, fittings and carbon technology, but without that noticeable ‘edge’ all that alchemy counts for nowt.
And so, to discover the aforementioned edge, on to the live test. A favourite water of mine is the peaceful day-ticket Stretton Lakes complex, just off the A1 north of Peterborough.
The fish here are all of a decent size, and respond to open-water tactics, which makes them ideal helpmates for testing feeder rods.
As you put this Tri-Cast Excellence Feeder 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 moved around ready made-up.
I was not, though, wholly convinced by its suggested 50g maximum casting weight and, for me, the top end of the carrier section has a little too much play. There’s no denying its impressive recovery rate, but this rod is clearly not of the ‘give it a whack’ breed. An over-enthusiastic miscast could prove very costly in more ways than one!
But there the criticism ends. The performance of Tri-Cast’s aristocratic feeder-chucker will have you purring with satisfaction. It has a wondrous amount of torque and feel, and a handling performance up there with the very best.
The immaculate gunmetal grey blank has a phenomenal pick-up speed, and its responsiveness to any size of hooked fish is as smooth as peaches and cream.
Verdict: A GENUINE high-performance rod for the commercial fishery connoisseur, this top-end Tri-Cast Feeder will handle most weights of flatbed feeders and straight leads to 30g-plus. It’s as much at home using a maggot feeder with light lines and small hooks for F1s as it would be targeting far bigger fish with bread discs in winter.
Price: £209.99 (but shop around)