A few weeks ago we looked at Daiwa’s latest N’ZON tackle range for feeder anglers.
There are more than 30 new rods in the line-up, three dedicated feeder reels, luggage and nets, not to mention superbly designed ‘tough as you like’ feeders.
Here there’s a choice of metal cage, distance, tunnel and square models and plastic-bodied open-enders, plus three coated bombs – dubbed Tri, Quad and Oval.
So without further ado let’s take a closer look at an N’ZON rod. Those with the ‘Z’ prefix, including the Z XL 13ft Feeder on live test duty, are the more expensive models, ranging from £165 up to £235, while the ‘S’ range starts at £84.99 and rises to £110.
Both marques cover all feeder disciplines, from short bomb work to hitting the horizon.
Daiwa rates the 13ft Z XL Distance Feeder rod to casting weights up to whopping 180g (6oz), and it’s worth mentioning that there are two other 13ft
Z XL rods rated to 120g and 150g respectively, plus three Z series 14ft rods with the same loading capacities.
Not so long ago such rods would have been considered specialist tools, suited only to European anglers. However, these days Irish loughs and Scottish lochs, big wild waters, and huge reservoirs such as Bough Beech and Boddington are commonly used for feeder matches. So there is a need for distance-casting tools that can handle hefty feeders and a wide range of fish species.
Having fished with the rod on three occasions when distance casting was a priority, I can tell you that the N’ZON Z, XL is fully up for a big chuck.
Obviously its 13ft length helps generate added tip speed if you allow a decent drop between rod-tip and feeder prior to the cast. This, matched with a high weight loading point and fast taper three-section blank, adds up to a mega-pokey rod.
I have caught a few skimmers and roach on the Z XL 13-footer, and I didn’t suffer problems with lost fish or hook pulls – although I wouldn’t go below a size 16 hook or line lighter than 0.16mm.
I can see this rod being an option for those who target big-fish venues and need to cast heavy feeders or leads into the middle of next week.
Good as this rod is for distance work, I would probably choose the 150g or 120g Z XL 13ft Distance rods as these would provide a more cushioned, progressive fish-playing action, rather than the raw power of the 180g model.
I can, though, see match and pleasure anglers who fish the Trent, or any major river that needs to be tackled with hefty feeders and end tackle, finding a place for it in their rod holdalls.