by Angling Times |

THERE are so many pellet waggler rods around nowadays that choosing the right one for this popular summertime tactic can be quite taxing.

Their quality and performance, and indeed their price, varies enormously across the various manufacturers.

Kicking off with a brand that has a good track record, then, makes sound sense, and few can rival Guru in this respect.

The company has many excellent products, most of which (including this rod) are aimed at catching big weights of big fish. In this heady atmosphere you want a rod that won’t let you down!

Guru’s new 11ft N-Gauge Pellet Waggler (and its companion 10ft version) promises a balanced action, plenty of power and accurate casting. It’s also comfy to hold, and because pellet waggler fishing involves constant casting and feeding that’s very important.

“But why can’t I just use my normal float rod?” I hear you ask. Well, standard three-piece float rods are designed to catch silverfish using light floats, fine lines and small hooks. Pellet waggler rods are built to chuck an altogether heavier payload – this week’s live test candidate has a recommended maximum casting weight of 15g, which covers just about any size of float you will ever need, while its progressive action handles bigger fish.

Two equal-length sections mean the rod can be carried on to the bank all rigged-up and ready to go.

So, if you fancy having a go at pellet waggler fishing but don’t want to invest too much of your hard-earned on a rod that only really comes out when the sun shines, Guru’s N-Gauge 11-footer will be your ideal fair-weather companion, and I’ll tell you why.


First up, if you shop around you’ll find this rod for just under £100, but its impressive array of furnishings belie its price tag. The handle is part cork, part Duplon, offering a firm but comfortable grip, and it’s dressed in super lightweight single-leg reversed guides, strategically positioned along the quality blank to maximise casting and fish-playing performance while minimising the risk of tangles or frap-ups.

Two equal-length sections
Two equal-length sections

All good on paper, but how would it actually perform? To find out I visited a new venue for me, the day-ticket Whetstone Gorse fishery just outside Leicester.

Enter the spacious car park, and on the left is a pretty oval-shaped lake with a large mature central island covered in trees and shrubs.

It was only a few paces from the car to the lake. I could see plenty of carp slowly cruising the upper layers, although most were close to the island cover, and there were a few proper lumps in their turnout.

By the time I’d carried my kit the few yards to the chosen swim the sun had gone in, it was all grey and misty and it had started to spit with rain. Ten minutes later the heavens opened – not exactly ideal pellet waggler weather!

The fish I’d spied moments ago had vanished from view, but when the rain eased, they were back again, and that’s how the day progressed.

They wouldn’t come to the constant feeding pattern normally so successful with this method. Instead they hugged the far bank, and every now and again I’d see a flash as a carp swirled at a falling pellet.

Pinpoint casting accuracy was essential, and the really tippy action of this Guru rod proved ideal for whipping out a smaller lighter float. Every now and again I’d get it spot-on, the float would land silently and the plop of the pellet hookbait right on the carp’s nose would be too much to resist. Basically, this was dobbing with a waggler.

A balanced action and plenty of power
A balanced action and plenty of power

‘just right’ in so many ways

I’ve handled enough rods of this ilk to know that the Guru offering has plenty of oomph in reserve, should I have needed to cast a heavier float further than I did. In practice, of course, pellet waggler rods need only cast as far as a catty can fire an 8mm or 11m pellet.

A fallen tree in my swim at the by now even wetter Whetstone Gorse gave me the chance to test the rod’s stopping power to the max, which happened every time I hooked a fish, and I landed them all bar one – enough to convince me that the 11ft Guru Pellet Waggler is very much a Goldilocks rod… ‘just right’ in so many ways.

Price: £104.99 (but shop around to get it even cheaper)

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