I’ve always had a soft spot for all things Tri-Cast. Not only are they UK designed and built, but the Lancashire company’s kit is always up to the job asked of it.
When I got wind of its Excellence rod range, I confidently expected more of the same – but my enthusiasm was nothing compared to the excitement of Tri-Cast boss Steve Hopkinson when he visited Angling Times.
He was positively brimming with joy over the eight new models. A long time in the making, these are the most technically-advanced rods to come out his factory.
All that development time was well spent tweaking and making minor adjustments to each rod in conjunction with Tri-Cast’s team of top match anglers including the mighty Andy Bennett. Tri-Cast has never been content to release rods and poles that are very good – they want to give the public tackle that’s beyond compare, and the Excellence range is just that.
Every aspect of modern UK match fishing is covered. Waggler rods ranging from 10ft to 13ft will handle commercial carp and river chub and roach with equal aplomb, and 9ft to 11ft feeder rods can do the same. There’s also a pocket rocket of an 8ft Power Wand for short-range work on carp lakes.
But what makes them so good? Well, aside from the fixtures and fittings that include a lightweight screw reel fitting, hook-retaining ring and delicate guides, the beauty of an Excellence rod lies in the very best carbon fibres and ultra-light resins used in its construction.
Not only does this keep overall weight down, and therefore improve performance in the hand or when a fish is hooked (the 11ft waggler model weighs just 148g), but it also delivers a parabolic action. In simple terms, this means that the rod bends all the way from tip to the butt. It’s this softness and flexibility that makes it as good at heaving big carp away from snags as it does scaling down to light hooklinks for roach.
The same can be said of the feeder rods and Power Wand, although the butt section is stiffer and provides the backbone to punch a feeder accurately to the distance required.
Couple this with the lovely soft through action in the remainder of the rod and you’ve found the holy grail of rod design.
Each feeder rod is supplied with three colour-graded push-in carbon quivertips that are fine, medium and stiff or – if you prefer to think in ounces – 1oz, 1½oz
In keeping with the modern vogue, all except the 13ft waggler rod are two-piece so they can be broken down and stored ready to go in hard case rod sleeves.
Tri-cast excellence rod range prices
Tri-Cast Excellence 10ft Waggler: £189.99
Tri-Cast Excellence 11ft Waggler: £199.99
Tri-Cast Excellence 12ft Waggler: £214.99
Tri-Cast Excellence 13ft Waggler: £299.99
Tri-Cast Excellence 9ft Feeder: £189.99
Tri-Cast Excellence 10ft Feeder: £199.99
Tri-Cast Excellence 11ft Feeder: £209.99
Tri-Cast Excellence 8ft Power Wand: £179.99