Latest to join the Tri-Cast gallery of excellence are new waggler and feeder rods.
The latest Excellence Commercial series (see what I did there?) has been masterminded by the seemingly unstoppable match juggernaut that is Andy Bennett.
He had the boffins at Tri-Cast burning the midnight oil in pursuit of rods with perfect casting and fish-playing actions – and the results were, well… excellent!
The blanks feature the best possible carbon cloths and ultra-light resins. After all, Tri-Cast also produces parts for the aerospace industry, so the company’s extensive knowledge of all things carbon has been called into play to tweak the angles of the fibres, and how they are wrapped in multiple directions. This gives different actions in various areas of the blank.
Tri-Cast also spent time playing with the placement of guides and whippings to get the very best performance from its new family.
The 10ft (on live-test duty) 11ft, 12ft and 13ft waggler rods, Tri-Cast tells us, have a totally new through parabolic action that bends from the butt right through to the tip. As a result, anglers can feel every movement the fish makes and stay in full control.
The rods behave like a soft cushion when a big fish is acting up, by absorbing its lunges and soaking up the pressure while still piling on the power.
The tip section, I’d been told, reacts as swiftly as a striking mamba, setting the hook firmly without risk of snapped hooklength tragedies.
All that sounds almost too good to be true, but then, these are no ordinary rods. As ever, the acid test was to get one out on the bank and see if the reality measured up to the manufacturers’ claims.
One of the busiest complexes in my area is the fish-packed Portland Fishing Lakes. This mature, very nicely kept day-ticket fishery in rural Nottinghamshire is renowned for its peace and quiet, comfortable easily accessible pegs and superb clubhouse.
Here, I made a beeline for Long Island Lake. At just over 20m wide it’s beyond the reach of a far-bank pole attack, but responds well to a small waggler and hard pellets. Its stockie-sized carp lap these up.
Terminal tackle was simple – a 5lb reel line attached to a straight 3AAA peacock waggler, 0.17mm hooklength, and a size 18 hook with a banded 6mm pellet.
The short 25m cast tight to the far bank, often a tricky distance for a waggler approach, proved ideal for the 10ft Excellence which, I later discovered, could push out heavy-ish kit towards 35m without many problems.
I was also pleased to find that the Excellence was adept at casting my lightweight 3AAA float, especially given its hollow tip.
The rod cast straight enough most of the time, maybe wandering slightly to the right (or slicing, as a golfer might say), but nothing to get too peeved about.
And, just as Tri-Cast had predicted, the rod showed lightning-fast line pick-up which, for a two-piece blank with a through action, is quite something.
The real joy of fishing with this new Excellence, though, kicks in when a fish is hooked. Be it a small F1 or a proper zoo-creature, this rod will handle both – and everything between – to the manner born.
I reckon this ‘one size fits all’ attribute has a lot to do with
Mr Bennett, who is widely believed to be the best F1 angler on the planet and would be looking for a rod with subtle tippy softness, yet enough steely backbone to cope with larger fish.
As is often the case when lots of stockie-sized fish are present, I overfed the peg with pellets, which resulted in a number of foul-hookers.
Most of these pulled out before the net, but the exaggerated fight of fish hooked this way gave the rod a chance to shine.
Handy for a waggler rod, the 10ft Excellence will handle most weights of floats, within sensible limits of course. The only limitation I can see is in its casting distance – anything much past around 30m and I’d plump for the 11ft or 12ft model instead.
What's not to like? The Tri-Cast Excellence 10ft commercial waggler is one of the best rods you can buy, funds permitting. Light in the hand, it’s easy to manoeuvre, super-fast on the strike, and has an extraordinary capacity to cope with fish of all sizes.
My only very minor nit-pick is the dull-as-ditchwater graphics. C’mon, Tri-Cast – this is a state of the art, cutting edge bit of kit, so why not dress it up to fully look the part?