The tcf team looks at a selection of 13-foot Power Waggler rods, a tool you will need to fish heavily loaded, and pellet waggler tactics, a method that will dominate the commercial scene through the summer.

tcf Buyer’s Guide
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A POWER WAGGLER ROD

1 What sort of action does it have?
2 How strong is the rod’s line rating?
3 How well does it cast a pellet waggler?
4 How well does it cast a heavy or splasher waggler?
5 How well does it cast with lighter floats?
6 Does it have single- or double-legged line guides towards the butt?

tcf THE TEST
The only real way to test rods is to take them to the bank and fish with them. So always looking for an excuse to get some extra fishing in, the tcf team has brought a selection of 13 Power Waggler rods to the Glebe Fishery at Peckleton near Mallory Park in Leicestershire to put the gear through its paces on the venue’s carp-crammed Pool 1.
‘Mag and wag’ tactics are the order of the day with editor Gareth and deputy Steve spending at least an hour fishing with each of the rods they select. They are both using their own reels filled with 4lb Ultima Power Plus line that’s fished straight through to size 18 PR36 hook at the business end. The waggler floats are attached to the line by means of a Preston Waggler Adaptor that allows a quick change of float. To see how well each rod copes with casting different size floats the boys are spending the first half of the test fishing a 10g Drennan Scud to the far bank that’s around 45 metres away and the second fishing a 6g Preston pellet waggler shallow at around 25 metres. And to ensure they encounter some excellent rod-bending action to test the features of each rod they are fishing in adjacent swims. Bring it on!


KORUM
NEOTERIC 12FT FLOAT

RRP: £110
Pieces: Two
Line Rating: 4lb-10lb
No of Guides: 14
Guides: Silicone lined
Reel Seat: Screw-fit
Handle: Full cork
Contact: www.korum.co.uk

Verdict
Steve says: The only 12-foot rod but it’s certainly up to the job and it coped well with the task of casting both the loaded wagglers used. The beauty of a two-piece rod over a three-piece is that it can be taken to the peg already made up, a real plus to match anglers out there. During the test I bagged a carp on the far bank that took off like an express train, but the through action of the rod soon had it heading my way and safely netted.


GARBOLINO
SUPER G 13FT SPECIMAN POWER

RRP: £129.99
Pieces: Three
Line Rating: 3lb-6lb
No of Guides: 15
Guides: Silicone lined
Reel Seat: Screw-fit
Handle: Full cork
Contact: www.garbolino.fr

Verdict
Gareth says: This for me was the best blank of the bunch. I had to be a little careful when casting the 10g Skud, as it needed very little effort on my part to reach the far bank. At first I over-cooked the cast. I latched onto chub and bream using the lighter float and soon had the fish at the net. It also tamed a 10lb-plus carp that kicked off, but the power in the rod’s middle to lower sections soon allowed me to get it under control.


PRESTON INNOVATIONS
SENTIENT 13FT SUPER POWER

RRP: £225
Pieces: Three
Line Rating: 3lb- 8lb
No of Guides: 15
Guides: Quality lined
Reel Seat: Screw-fit
Handle: 75/25 cork/EVA
Contact: www.prestoninnovations.com

Verdict
Steve says: Another rod that’s well up to the task of dealing with big wagglers and distance. Casting was smooth with both floats and once on I had no problem stopping the lunging runs of carp to 8lb from the far bank with the rod’s progressive action.


AVANTI
13FT MATCHCARP POWER

RRP: £29.99
Pieces: Three
Line Rating: Not stated
No of Guides: 15
Guides: Alumina ceramic lined
Reel Seat: Screw-fit
Handle: 50/50 cork/EVA
Contact: www.dragoncarpdirect.com

Verdict
Steve says: This was the surprise package of the rods I tested, as I was unsure as to whether it would cope with the heavier floats. However, casting accurately to the far bank swim was a doddle and it handled the short work just as well. I bagged a few carp to 6lb and a number of bream and had no trouble playing them to the net. If you’re on a small budget, this one’s well worth a look.


MIDDY
13F T0 14FT CARP BAGGIN MACHINE

RRP: £119.99
Pieces: Three, plus 1ft extension
Line Rating: 8lb
No of Guides: 14
Guides: F. Factor lined
Reel Seat: Loc-tite screw-fit
Handle: 50/50 cork/EVA
Contact: www.middytackle.com

Verdict
Gareth says: A pretty powerful rod this, it had no problem casting to the far bank but importantly it had the power to tame big fish quickly. I’d say the action is a classic progressive and that allows you to fish a bit lighter than with some of the more power packed rods, but you beef things up casting-wise with the extra 1ft dolly butt extension in. This holds a double-legged line guide, so you need to make your mind up before you set up.


GREYS
PRODIGY 13FT POWER

RRP: £99.99
Pieces: Three
Line Rating: 4lb-8lb
No of Guides: 15
Guides: Quality lined
Reel Seat: Screw-fit
Handle: Full cork
Contact: www.greysfishing.com

Verdict
Gareth says: Very nicely balanced rod with a blank that I’d say displays quite a ‘tippy’ action with loads of power in the middle section, I’d use this happily with wagglers up to 12g. I like the matt gunsmoke grey finish and in use the rod performed well, casting accurately and giving me the ability to bully fish over 3lb in quickly.


RON THOMPSON
DOMINATOR 13FT MATCH

RRP: £49.99
Pieces: Three
Line Rating: 4lb-8lb
No of Guides: 15
Guides: SiC lined
Reel Seat: Screw-fit
Handle: Full cork
Contact: www.svendsen-sports.co.uk

Verdict
Gareth says: This rod is a bit of a beast with virtually all the action in the top section. If you regularly need to cast very big wagglers or fish waters with plenty of outsize carp then I would be inclined to look at it. As a result it’s quite heavy and we used a biggish reel to balance it.  They flip side is that because things bottom out quite quickly it’s suited to heavier lines which you will mostly only get away with when the carp are feeding aggressively.


SHAKESPEARE
MACH 2 13FT COMMERCIAL

RRP: £60
Pieces: Three
Line Rating: 8lb
No of Guides: 16
Guides: SiC lined
Reel Seat: Screw-fit
Handle: 75/25 cork/Hyperlon
Contact: www.shakespeare-fishing.co.uk

Verdict
Steve says: This is another rod that’s well worth a look at if you are on a tight budget. Again I had no problem casting the range of loaded floats and when into fish the rod coped with ease, especially when an angry carp decided to go walkabout and took the strain as I leaned into the fish to turn it. Once at the net the rod’s tip comfortably cushioned any last-minute fight left in the fish.


NORMARK
13FT COMMERCIAL CARP

RRP: £149.95
Pieces: Three
Line Rating: 3lb-6lb
No of Guides: 16
Guides: Quality lined
Reel Seat: Screw-fit
Handle: 75/25 cork/EVA
Contact: www.thenumberone.co.uk

Verdict
Gareth says: This is quite a chunky rod that has a slightly stiffer tip than most of the rods in the test, but it did not prevent me from casting the lighter waggler float accurately to the short mark. It took me a few casts with the Skud to get my distance to the far bank due to the stiffness of the tip, but once I found the distance it was straightforward. Once into a fish the rod handled very well with no concerns.


SHIMANO
NEXAVE-AX 13FT MATCH

RRP: £84.99
Pieces: Three
Line Rating: 3lb-8lb
No of Guides: 16
Guides: NMV lined
Reel Seat: Screw-fit
Handle: 75/25 cork/EVA
Contact: www.shimano.com

Verdict
Gareth says: I hooked up with a near double-figure carp on the first cast with the 10g Skud and after stopping the fish’s initial run, the rod easily allowed me to draw it back towards me and into the net. Once I went on the short line, I was able to cast the lighter float accurately.


CORMORAN
SPECILAND POWER MATCH

RRP: £90.50
Pieces: Three
Line Rating: Not given
No of Guides: 13
Guides: SiC lined
Reel Seat: Screw-fit
Handle: Full cork
Contact: www.belstane.com

Verdict
Steve says: This had the stiffest tip of all the rods I looked at and when it comes to launching heavily loaded bodied wagglers a great distance, this one will cope with next to no effort. On the downside it was a little difficult to control the cast of the lighter float and on many occasions I tended to over shoot the mark. On the fish-playing front the rod held its own and played carp to 8lb with ease.


LEEDA
CARP ATTACK 13FT

RRP: £39.99
Pieces: Three
Line Rating: 2lb-4lb
No of Guides: 15
Guides: Quality lined
Reel Seat: Screw-fit
Handle: 50/50 cork/EVA
Contact: www.leeda.co.uk

Verdict
Steve says: Although it did cope with the heavier float the rod had quite a soft tip, so I was not entirely confident when casting the longer distance. That said it did handle the lighter float and once a fish was on it coped with the chub and bream with little worry. I would certainly have no problem fishing swims that require a short chuck, but I’m not sure whether the rod would handle a really big-weight waggler.


DRENNAN
SERIES 7 13FT POWER CARP
RRP: £79.95
Pieces: Three
Line Rating: 3lb-7lb
No of Guides: 14
Guides: Quality lined
Reel Seat: Screw-fit
Handle: Full cork
Contact: 01865 748989

Verdict
Steve says: This rod has a light, sensitive tip action, but it’s surprisingly strong and gave no worries about casting heavily loaded floats 40 metres-plus. Its light tip also gave more feel on the shorter casts and would allow you to fish lighter hooklength-wise than with some of the others. When playing fish the rod’s progressive action coped with the initial runs of carp up to 8lb and at the net the soft tip prevented any hook pulls at the last minute.


Conclusions
The first thing to point out is that although the tests on the 13 rods were carried out on a stillwater, all of the rods would be ideal for use on the river fishing stick float or waggler for taming big chub and barbel.
On the whole, all the rods in this test will cope with the rigours of constant casting over a long period with just about any weight of loaded waggler out there although we would not recommend you use all of them with fully loaded Method waggler set-ups.
When it came to launching the heavier 10g Drennan Skud to the far bank a few rods stood out from the rest due to the ease with which we could cast to the mark. The Garbolino Super G came out well, as the rod seems to do all the work and it needs very little force to put the float out. This was a feature that we also noticed with the Drennan Power Carp, the Preston Sentient Super Power, the Middy Carp Baggin Machine and the Shakespeare Mach 2. The surprise package was the Avanti Matchcarp Power. Being the cheapest of the rods on test we wrongly expected it to be a little too soft to handle well-loaded wagglers, but it coped as well as the more expensive models. The only rod that we had any real concerns about when casting floats of over 10g was the Leeda Carp Attack. We felt it was a little under-gunned to cope with the weight, but we had no issues with the lighter floats.
On the subject of the lighter floats, casting with all the rods was a no-brainer except for the Cormoran Speciland Power Match. It has quite a stiff top end that can force you to overshoot the mark when casting short. The Normark Commercial Carp was also a little on the stiff side, but its tip was forgiving enough and caused little problems.
When it comes to playing and landing fish all the rods in our test passed with flying colours with none of them letting us down between the strike and the net. There is very little to choose between them when it comes to this feature as all the rods have been designed to deal with commercial carp that on many venues now go well into double figures. In fact, the Garbolino Super G proved its worth when a 10lb-plus fish took a liking to Gareth’s maggots offering. The Shimano Nexave-AX also preformed well when another lump picked up Steve’s bait over on the far bank and sped off down the lake.
One of the most crucial moments when playing a fish is when you are about to land a fish. More often that not when the fish surfaces and sees the net it will bolt and so it’s important that the rod’s tip is soft enough to cushion that final break for freedom to avoid hook pulls.
All the rods passed the test on the day, but we found the stiff tip on the Cormoran Speciland Power Match a little harsh and we would advise that you err on the cautious side when it comes to main line strengths on this one.
Now we are no slouches when it comes to casting a feeder to far-off features, but one problem that we seemed to find with all rods in the test was consistent accuracy All the rods that we looked at will do a job of work for the heavy-waggler angler, as they will cope with fishing pellets shallow and casting heavy, loaded floats to far-off features or open marks. More than ever, though, it comes down to how much you want to spend.


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