Live Test | Garbolino Essential X-Tend Match Carp Pellet Waggler Rod Review

from Garbolino
RRP  £189.99

by Dan Webb |
Published on

As an angler who has never been a great fan of multi-length rods, I have to admit that I initially approached the Garbolino Essential X-Tend Pellet Waggler Rod with an element of scepticism.

Traditionally, multi-length rods were seen as great value multi-purpose tools. With the now widespread use of ready-rod bags, the need to assemble rods on the bank has diminished, so twin-butt rods will get used almost exclusively at the owner's favourite length.

Slightly rarer is the second type of multi-length rod that allows you to extend it without breaking it down. In my experience, such rods are only of any value at their standard, shorter length. I’ve always seen the additional section as a gimmicky add-on which, once fitted, destroys the rod’s action.

The fish playing action is sublime at both lengths.
The fish playing action is sublime at both lengths.

My advice has always been to buy the right rod for the job, not try to find one that promises miracles at several different lengths.

However, Garbolino’s X-Tend Pellet Waggler Rod challenged my preconceptions. There's no additional section, and to extend it you simply grip the blank above the handle, then pull and twist as if you are trying to take two sections apart. The extension comes free from the handle, and the rod can then be extended to its full 11ft 6ins length.

My testing ground was Meadowlands, near Coventry, a great location for assessing a pellet waggler rod. With large, crafty carp and varying waggler techniques required, it was the perfect place to see if the X-Tend could truly do it all.

THE VERDICT

I began with short casts to cruising fish using 2g and 3g mugging wagglers. At its shorter length of 10ft 4ins, the X-Tend was light, crisp, and had a glorious through action. It provided the confidence needed to hit every bite hard and fast, essential for wary fish. Although the carp I was catching ranged from 4lb to 8lb, there’s no doubt that this rod is soft enough for the more refined gear required on F1 waters.

As the early cruisers became aware of my presence and vanished, I switched to an ancient homemade splasher waggler originally designed for Boddington. I extended the rod to 11ft 6ins and the difference the extra length made was notable from the first cast. The rod felt more 'tippy' and progressively actioned, with the extra foot of stiffer carbon at the base providing the power needed to cast further.

At times, I even collapsed the rod back down while playing a fish to get it to rise to the surface closer to the net– a unique feature not possible with other rods.

Garbolino’s X-Tend Pellet Waggler Rod has certainly made me think again in terms of multi-length rods. Its ability to perform exceptionally well at both lengths makes it a real game-changer. Whether you are targeting carp at short range or casting far to the bank, the X-Tend Pellet Waggler Rod really does cover all your needs.

Garbolino X-Tend Pellet Waggler Rod

Tech spec

- Side-mounted hook keeper prevents snagging

- Additional carbon weave stiffens the lower section

- Comfortable cork mid-handle section

- Smooth carbon wrap secures section in butt when telescoped

- Engraved and contoured EVA lower grip

- Casting weight: 3g - 15g

Pros

  • Two rods in one will cover all commercial pellet waggler tactics
  • You can alter the length and action of the rod in seconds
  •  The performance and action are equally good at both lengths

Cons

  • If you only fish one style of pellet waggler, the correct length fixed rod will do the job just as well

Our pick of the alternatives

This rod really is a stand-out performer in the budget class – in fact, we reckon it’s a total steal at under 50 quid!

Pros

  • Seamless flat spot-free progressive action
  • Easy and accurate casting

Cons

  • A tad heavy in the hand

In 10ft and 11ft versions, the balance of power and fish playing action is unrivalled.

Pros

  • Implausibly good progressive fish playing action
  • Super modern design and aesthetics

Cons

  • The full-length EVA handle may not be to everyone’s liking

A class performance from a super lightweight fast-actioned blank, equipped with slim, light stand-off guides.

Pros

  • A forgiving action that makes very light reel lines feel almost unbreakable
  •   Light and thin allowing for hours of effortless casting without fatigue

Cons

  • A little too soft for bigger 10g wagglers needed on large waters – look to the Supera X 12ft carp waggler instead.

Author Dan Webb first became involved in angling journalism in 2015 and has worked as Tackle Tester at Angling Times since April 2021. He is a fanatical all-round match angler and former England Youth International.

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