Live Test | Preston Innovations Dura Carp Feeder 10ft review

from Preston Innovations
RRP  £54.99

by Dan Webb |
Updated on

There seems to be an increasingly competitive battle in the sub-£50 price rod range, with a whole host of companies producing contenders for the ‘world’s cheapest usable rod’ category.

Rather than join the scrummage, Preston Innovations have tried to rise above the rest with their new Dura range of rods by using £50 as a target price, rather than an impassable barrier. Both 10ft and 11ft Pellet Waggler rods sit in the £45-£50 bracket, as does the 9ft Carp Feeder.

Getting a longer feeder rod to perform well for less than £50 is a difficult task, however, which usually ends with the rod being ‘usable’ rather than ‘enjoyable’. This is why the 10ft, 11ft and 12ft Dura Carp Feeders are sensibly priced at £54.99, £59.99 and £64.99 – affordable, yes, but with very little compromise on quality.

The Preston Dura Carp Feeder exceeded my expectations.
The Preston Dura Carp Feeder exceeded my expectations.

These were my expectations when I took the range to Marston Fields Fishery near Sutton Coldfield. Faced with a cast of around 20m to the island on Sycamore Lake, the obvious choice would be the 9ft Carp Feeder. Buyers of the Dura range, though, are unlikely to be top-flight match anglers with deep pockets, and more likely club, open match and pleasure anglers – the ordinary guys on the bank who will buy a feeder rod to cover a range of venues, rather than a full set to cover every conceivable peg. For this reason, I went for the 10ft  version – an adaptable length that could be used to tackle almost any commercial in the country.

Expecting a small F1 every cast, I tackled up with a small flatbed feeder, a size 18 hook and tiny pink wafter. Despite having enough potential to whip the feeder right over the island, the lake and into the far-bank margins, the gentle lob was very manageable.

THE VERDICT

The blank was light, and soft enough to prevent the minimalist cast feeling too cumbersome. The little extra length wasn’t an issue either, and had very little effect on my accuracy.

On my second cast, which clipped the overhanging grass, the rod whipped forward. Instinctively picking up and winding down, it bent right down to the reel seat as a very solid weight slowly thumped on the end. This was no F1!

If this was the script for a Hollywood movie, I’d have buried the tip, hung on for grim death, and a dramatic battle between man and commercial monster would have ensued. Although the fight got me excited and was great fun, in reality, I felt very much in control the whole time, and I netted near double figures of surprised carp on a slightly under-gunned 18 hook.

The rest of the morning followed the script. Regular mini carp and baby F1s graced my net, giving the 10ft Carp Feeder an entirely different challenge. These scrappy little things are expert escapees, and regularly bounce off a barbless hook when faced with an unbalanced set-up. Despite the bargain pricing of my weapon of choice, surprisingly few of them managed to get away.

Although it’s possible to buy an adequate 10ft feeder rod for less, is it really worth it when £10 to £15 more delivers so much extra in terms of performance? A £55 rod is never going to give you what a £200 rod will, but an extra few quid spent at the budget end makes a huge difference.

The Dura Carp absorbing the lunges of another hooked fish.
The Dura Carp absorbing the lunges of another hooked fish.

Expert rating:
3.0

Pros

  • It features good quality guides along with the same top-end reel seat and composite handle found on premium rods
  • Arguably the most adaptable rod in the range, suitable for most commercials, small rivers and lakes

Cons

  • The inclusion of a third tip would have made the rod even more versatile

Our pick of the alternatives

Expert rating:
2.5

Wallet-friendly 24T tensile carbon, with DPS reel seat and titanium oxide guides. Supplied with 1oz and 1.5oz carbon quivers.

Pros

  • Represents great value for money
  • The slim blank has plenty of power for dealing with bigger fish

Cons

  • Not the lightest 10ft rod on the market

Expert rating:
3.0

A full carbon blank with the responsiveness of Diaflash technology, this sublime rod comes with three quivertips.

Pros

  • Comes with three top sections with built-in quivertips giving it excellent tactical versatility
  • A superb progressive action and without a doubt one of Shimano's best rods

Cons

  • The three top sections might not be to everyone's liking and makes storing the rod made up ready for the next session more awkward if you need to use a different tip

Expert rating:
4.0

Stunning action and amazing casting potential. Supplied with 1oz and 1.5oz Megatop quivers.

Pros

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

Cons

  • These are designed specifically for use on commercial fisheries so their versatility is limited if you're looking for a rod that could also be used on other types of venues

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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