Shimano Aero X1 10ft Pellet Waggler rod review

Shimano pulls out all the stops with the 10ft Aero X1

Shimano Aero X1 10ft Pellet Waggler rod review

by Angling Times |

TO put it bluntly, there are so many pellet waggler rods around nowadays that choosing the right one can be a minefield.

They come in a bewildering array of lengths and casting weights, and prices vary from dirt-cheap to ‘how much?’.

So kicking off with a recognised manufacturer with a proven track record makes sound sense, and few can rival Shimano in this respect.

The mid-priced Aero X5 and top-end Aero X7 models are considered by many to be quite exceptional, and as they are aimed at catching respectable weights of big fish you’d imagine Shimano would already have all the bases pretty much covered.

Well, apparently not. The company has now released its Aero X1 collection of 10 new models, all aimed at the budget end of the market.

Shimano Aero X1 10ft Pellet Waggler rod
Shimano Aero X1 10ft Pellet Waggler rod

Now, being fairly well acquainted with Shimano’s current Aero models, all of which I happen to think are very good indeed, I was intrigued to understand why the lads had chosen to release yet another.

I did suspect that the X1 offerings would be little more than a rag-tag bunch of no-hopers, soon doomed to a life in the bargain basement buckets.

Anyway, enough of my cynicism – the facts is that Shimano sent me a couple of its new Aero X1s, including the 10ft Pellet Waggler on test and backed up with a shiny new Ultegra reel. Shimano’s email suggested that I wouldn’t be disenchanted – but the proof of the pudding, as they say…

My live test venue was Decoy’s Lou’s Lake. With its high banks it’s not too badly affected by the wind, and it’s so shallow that the water warms up quickly once the sun gets on it.

The fish then come up in the water and respond to float and pellet tactics.

Given that it’s been the most bizarre April in living memory, with frosts every morning, I wasn’t totally convinced I would catch owt on a float anyway!

Goodness knows what havoc the weather is wreaking on the carp which, it seems, are almost desperate for some warmer water to swim around in and start their usual jollies!

Before I began fishing, I checked on what Shimano had to say about its new 10ft and 11ft Aero X1 Pellet Waggler rods. Well, along with the rest of the Aero X1 range each has an all-carbon build, it’s dressed with durable single-leg Hardlite guides, has a cork and EVA handle with a screw-down reel seat, and is said to be suitable for chucking floats of up to 15g.

A cork and EVA handle with a screw-down reel seat
A cork and EVA handle with a screw-down reel seat

I have to say that from the moment I slid the rod out of its cheapo-looking bag I was impressed. The classy looking two-piece matt gunmetal grey carbon blank has eye-catching gloss black whippings with nice red trims along its butt section.

Its Hardlite guides are perfectly positioned to complement its fish-playing action and, standing off as they do a little higher than normal, they help to stop the reel line sticking to the blank on wet days.

The classy looking two-piece matt gunmetal grey carbon blank has eye-catching gloss black whippings with nice red trims along its butt section
The classy looking two-piece matt gunmetal grey carbon blank has eye-catching gloss black whippings with nice red trims along its butt section

Pellet waggler fishing is all about constant casting and feeding. If your rod is to work for you it has to be light in the hand, with a crisp and clean line pick-up speed and enough balance so you can feed, cast and strike pretty much in a single movement. That’s a tall order for any rod, let alone one that comes in at under £50.

I’d loaded the new Ultegra reel that Shimano had sent me with 5lb line, plenty strong enough for most commercials as long as there’s a little stretch, which most lines have anyway. I choose a loaded dumpy little 2SSG (3g) float to provide enough casting weight without landing with too much kerfuffle. A 0.15mm hooklength and size 16 pellet banded hook, set to fish 2ft deep, completed my set-up.

First cast, and before I’d even had a chance to ping pellets around the float, the reel line zinged across the water’s surface and the rod-tip buckled round.

Shimano’s pocket-friendly Aero X1 range of pellet wagglers has just raised the bar to a level few will be able to compete with
Shimano’s pocket-friendly Aero X1 range of pellet wagglers has just raised the bar to a level few will be able to compete with

As Shimano’s new baby took on its fighting curve, best described as on the through side of progressive, I realised it would be the ideal tool for fish of all sizes, with enough cushioning to allow for light hooklengths and small hooks, even when big fish were on the agenda.

After my third fish on the spin, if you’d blindfolded me and asked me to price up this rod, my guess would have been between £150 and £200.

Even without a blindfold, when it comes to branded entry-level rods then Shimano’s pocket-friendly Aero X1 range of pellet wagglers has just raised the bar to a level few will be able to compete with.

Price: £49.99, www.shimano.com

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