AT last the weather is warming up, the carp are waking up from their torpor, and before you know it the shallow antics of summer will be kicking in!
So don’t leave it until the last minute – now’s the time to get that pellet waggler gear ready.
Unlike a conventional waggler rod, pellet waggler rods tend to be shorter and a little more powerful – perfect for the constant casting of the small but weighty wagglers that this demanding method requires.
Added power and durability don’t have to mean laying out extra money, though, because there are plenty of choices in this increasingly popular sector of the tackle market.
We’ve sought out the best pellet waggler rods under £100 available today…
GURU N-GAUGE PELLET WAGGLER
WHAT THEY SAY: Quality components throughout the rod combine to create the ultimate blend of fish-playing action, power, accuracy and comfort.
Thin blanks and super-lightweight single-legged reversed guides ensure a superior balance to reduce fatigue during punishing sessions spent on this demanding method.
WHAT WE SAY: A delightful pair of rods with striking looks and capable of a powerful performance too.
Designed by Guru’s expert team, the two-piece rods are premium products at a reasonable price.
Price: 10ft £99.99, 11ft £104.99, www.tackleguru.com
MIDDY 5G 11FT PELLET WAGGLER
WHAT THEY SAY: Improving on the award-winning 3G, 4G and 4GS, the 5G retains the same two-piece fold-down design and soft action, but now the inclusion of Liquid Carbon creates a seamless action that needs to be seen to be believed.
WHAT WE SAY: Another faultless product from Middy, featuring the same quality fixtures and fittings as in its top of the range rods. This superb pellet waggler rod just sneaks into our selection because you can find it at under £100 if you look hard enough.
Price: £109.99 (but shop around), www.middytackle.com
MAVER REALITY MATCH TWO-PIECE 10FT WAGGLER
WHAT THEY SAY: This 10ft waggler rod is modelled on the earlier best-selling Abyss X range, raising the bar even higher in terms of performance yet retaining incredible value.
WHAT WE SAY: Stunning value and a higher quality of rod that can be enjoyed for less, providing the slightly shorter length isn’t a deal-breaker. It’s perfect for smaller commercials and for anglers seeking both finesse and class.
Price: £47.99, www.maver.co.uk
PRESTON INNOVATIONS MONSTER X PELLET WAGGLER ROD
WHAT THEY SAY: Designed for frequent casting, particularly at shorter ranges and to features such as islands, the short 11ft length of this Preston Innovations masterpiece enables ultimate control of the float during the cast and keeps you in full control as you net fish.
A seamless through action minimises the likelihood of hook-pulls and fish losses.
WHAT WE SAY: This is a versatile and affordable rod that will cover all but extreme distance pellet waggler work.
Perfect for match use, yet cheap enough for the occasional pellet waggler angler to afford, it’s an ideal introduction to this branch of the sport.
Price: £89.99, www.prestoninnovations.co.uk
LEEDA CONCEPT GT WAGGLER RODS
WHAT THEY SAY: A comprehensive range of rods catering for beginners and experienced anglers alike.
Slender two-piece blanks and a lovely through action lend them to all manner of commercial water waggler work, and the pellet waggler in particular.
WHAT WE SAY: These are cheap as chips, yet surprisingly good performers. We’d challenge even a seasoned expert to pick fault with this range, given the budget price. The 11ft rod would be our choice for most pellet waggler work.
Price: 10ft, 11ft and 12ft, all £39.99, www.leeda.co.uk
DRENNAN VERTEX PELLET WAGGLER RODS
WHAT THEY SAY: As replacements for the acclaimed Series 7 rods, the Vertex range takes advantage of improved materials and technologies. Designed for accurate and repetitive casting and handling all sizes of fish from F1s to large carp, a forgiving action holds power in reserve for bigger fish.
**WHAT WE SAY:**When it comes to rods, you can’t go wrong with a Drennan – distinctive looks and a beautiful balance, designed by a company with a well-established rod building pedigree.
Price: 10ft £88.99, 11ft £99.99, www.drennantackle.com
SHIMANO AERO X1 PELLET WAGGLERS
WHAT THEY SAY: Brand new and on their way to tackle shops now as part of the new x1 range, these lightweight and responsive rods with great fish-playing properties suit all kinds of floatfishing.
Lightweight carbon blanks are fitted out with Hardlite ringing and a comfortable yet highly capable cork and EVA handle.
WHAT WE SAY: A brand new range of rods released this year built on the success of the formidable x5 and x7. The x1 range retains some of the great features while hitting a lower price point.
Although these are comfortable all-round rods, the 15g casting weights and two-piece construction make this pair perfect for the pellet waggler on small to medium-sized commercials.
Price: 10ft £49.99, 11ft £54.99, www.fish.shimano-eu.com
AVANTA X3 POWER FLOAT RODS
WHAT THEY SAY: Designed to pack away neatly into ready rod bags thanks to a two-piece design that collapses into equal lengths, the 10ft model makes a perfect pellet waggler rod.
With its smooth action it will cast loaded floats up to 10g. The 11ft model is perfect for bigger venues and bigger floats up to 14g.
WHAT WE SAY: The experienced angler may be left underwhelmed, but the beginner or pellet waggler novice will really enjoy this piece of kit! A usable rod at price that’s near-impossible to beat!
Price: 10ft £32.99, 11ft £34.99, www.anglingdirect.co.uk
DAIWA 11FT NINJA MATCH PELLET WAGGLER ROD
WHAT THEY SAY: One of four float rods aimed at the match and pleasure angler, designed to cover all floatfishing applications.
A light, balanced carbon blank, cork handle with EVA grips and DPS down-locking reel seat, plus stainless steel guides with titanium oxide rings, makes for a quality and long-lasting product.
WHAT WE SAY: Loved by pleasure anglers due to their gimmick-free usability and price, yet also bought by match anglers as a cost-effective and convenient carp bagging solution.
Add a 3000 or 4000 sized Ninja reel and you have the perfect pairing.
Price: £64.99, www.daiwasports.co.uk