The 10 best rods for F1 fishing

Here’s our selection of the very best on the market...

The 10 best rods for F1 fishing

by Angling Times |

Fishing for F1s could almost be a branch of the sport all on its own, thanks to the unique skills required to catch them.

Balanced tackle is probably more important for these pernickety little blighters than any other fish. When it comes to feeder fishing, short 9ft-11ft rods make casting and netting easy, as long as they can launch your baits the required distance.

Waggler rods, however, are a little different, as the short and powerful blanks suited to the pellet waggler simply won’t do for the smaller banded pellet and maggot hookbaits we use for F1s in the cooler months.

In fact, longer 12ft or even 13ft rods more akin to natural water fishing might make netting fish on confined pegs trickier, but they really are a massive help when presenting lighter floats at the 15m-25m loosefeed range.

Be it float or feeder, an F1 rod needs to be as soft and as forgiving as possible, to absorb the weighty lunges of a hard fighting fish that just doesn’t know when it is beaten.

Here’s our selection of the very best on the market...

Balanced tackle is probably more important for these pernickety little blighters than any other fish
Balanced tackle is probably more important for these pernickety little blighters than any other fish

Garbolino Essential two-Piece Method 10ft

The regular commercial angler looking for a premium product will love this rod. A smooth parabolic action that is capable of launching feeders up to 50m makes it ideal for bigger venues as well as shorter-range fishing. Equipped with three carbon tips – 1oz, 1.5oz and 2oz – any 2.2mm Garbolino tip will fit, making the rod even more versatile and ideal for skimmer fishing as well.

+ All-round quality rod that can cover a range of distances and species

+ Two-piece design makes packing in ready rod bags simple

- A little too light for bigger 50g-plus Method feeders

Price: £164.99, www.garbolino.co.uk

Garbolino Essential two-Piece Method 10ft
Garbolino Essential two-Piece Method 10ft

Preston Ignition 9ft Carp Feeder

Designed with both carp and F1s in mind, yet hitting a frugal price point, Preston is on to a winner with these rods. The 9ft is a blinding little rod with a soft progressive action – perfect for scrappy little F1s. The slightly cheaper carbon in these rods actually benefits the fish playing action as they simply keep on bending, but do lose some crispness on the cast as a result.

+ Incredible quality considering the bargain price

+ Great fish playing action

- Supplied with only two tips

- Lacks backbone for bigger casts

Price: £49.99, www.prestoninnovations.com

Preston Ignition 9ft Carp Feeder
Preston Ignition 9ft Carp Feeder

Daiwa n’zon S 50g 11ft method

With such an extensive range, it’s difficult to pick just one N’zon rod, but for F1s and lighter commercial work the S 11ft Method has to be it.

A soft tip end which quickly powers up into a meaty middle makes it great for both lighter duty work and taming the odd lump.

+ Surprising quality action for a sub £100 rod

+ All round rod that will handle bigger fish or even river work

- Only comes with two tips

Price: £95, www.daiwasports.co.uk

Daiwa n’zon S 50g 11ft method
Daiwa n’zon S 50g 11ft method

Free spirit Hi-S F1 Special 9ft

Free Spirit technology and know-how channelled into a specific F1 rod. Mega-light and slim, this rod is matched with a sensitive 0.75oz and a 1oz hollow carbon tip, which not only saves weight and aids recovery, but blends seamlessly into the blank.

An exceptional, no-expense-spared rod, ideal for casting weights of 10g to 42g.

+ Hollow tips give a fast recovery, aid distance and reduce breakages

+ Multiple other tips available

+ Stunning scratch resistant raw carbon finish

- Comes with only two tips

- Premium price

Price: £249, www.freespiritmatch.co.uk

Free spirit Hi-S F1 Special 9ft
Free spirit Hi-S F1 Special 9ft

Shimano X7 Finesse Feeder 9ft

A delicate wand-style rod designed for use with the lightest of feeders and the smallest of hooks.

The incredible parabolic action can be found on one of the softest blanks ever, making this a supreme short-range F1 rod. Quality carbon combined with expensive lined guides make this a rod which, in the right hands, can easily plop a feeder or bomb right next to features.

+ A great natural water bomb rod too

+ Comes with three spliced hollow tips

- Premium price

- A little too soft for bigger carp

Price: £249.99, www.fish.shimano-eu.com

Shimano X7 Finesse Feeder 9ft
Shimano X7 Finesse Feeder 9ft

Preston Monster X 11ft carp feeder

Perfect for bigger casts of 30m-50m where significant cushioning is required against small scrappy fish like F1s. Tips of 1oz, 1.5oz and 2oz can easily be matched to both feeder type and the conditions, making for a versatile rod capable of tackling all commercial water work along with natural water roach and skimmers.

+ Comes with three well-balanced tips

+ Extra length and poke lends it to use on bigger venues

- Gloss black finish hides the quality of the carbon

Price: £99.99, www.prestoninnovations.com

Preston Monster X 11ft carp feeder
Preston Monster X 11ft carp feeder

Guru N-Gauge 9ft feeder

A soft, tippy action that quickly powers up – ideal for mixed bags of fish both large and small.

This 9ft masterpiece is ideal for casting to the far banks of snake lakes, where its short length makes small but accurate casts a doddle.

+ Plenty of power lower down when required

+ Great for both carp and F1s on Method or bomb

- Action is a little bit too harsh for F1 bomb work in the depths of winter

Price: £109.99, www.tackleguru.com

Guru N-Gauge 9ft feeder
Guru N-Gauge 9ft feeder

Middy 5g trinity waggler 13ft 3 piece

A longer rod with a light and fast action, primarily designed for river work, but also ideal for lighter winter waggler fishing for F1s and carp with baits such as maggots and corn.

+ Great float control at longer range and with lighter lines

+ Ideal conventional waggler rod

+ Ideal river rod too

- Less suited to summer pellet waggler fishing

Price: £119.99, www.middytackle.com

Middy 5g trinity waggler 13ft 3 piece
Middy 5g trinity waggler 13ft 3 piece

Drennan Acolyte ultra 11ft

A gorgeously slim and light rod with a surprisingly forgiving action for such a fast-recovering rod. Ideally suited to silvers, F1s and smaller carp, hooklengths as light as 0.08mm (1lb) can be used with confidence thanks to its soft nature.

At just 128g, this is a mere slip of a rod that is beautifully finished with a Fuji reel seat and fully visible carbon detailing.

+ Minimal hook pulls, and fish losses are reduced thanks to the superb action

+ Premium Fuji reel seat and light twin legged guides

- Also suited to smaller rivers

- Too soft for bigger carp and pellet waggler work

Price: £189.99, www.drennantackle.com

Drennan Acolyte ultra 11ft
Drennan Acolyte ultra 11ft

Tri-cast Excellence waggler rods

A simply incredible range of rods catering for all F1 and commercial waggler fishing needs. Slim, lightweight and crisp, yet with superbly forgiving actions. Although aimed at the commercial market, you’d happily use any one of these four great rods – 10ft, 11ft, 12ft and 13ft – on any natural water, such is their speed and balance.

+ Stunning blanks in a range of lengths

+ Can fire even light wagglers considerable distances with accuracy

- Suitable for natural waters too

- Premium price

Price: 10ft £189.99, 11ft 199.99, 12ft £214.99, 13ft £299.99, www.tri-castfishing.co.uk

Tri-cast Excellence waggler rods
Tri-cast Excellence waggler rods
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