Drennan Acolyte Pro 8m Whip V Daiwa Tournament 8m Whip

dave brittain 1

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7 yrs ago I had a break from match fishing and made the mistake of selling my Black Magic III's which won me a number of matches on Wye fishing for big weights of roach and dace to hand. Last year I returned to match fishing and with a number of matches booked on the Wye this year decided I needed a couple of whips to cover both the Wye and my local rivers, (Parrett and Tone).

After reading a load of reviews there were 3 contenders. The Daiwa Tournament, (Airity & Air in different re-incarnations), the Drennan Acolyte Pro and the Cadence.

My main requirement was that the whips would have to cover everything so that ruled the Cadence out due to the top 5 and not the top 3 being telescopic. It's a very popular whip on the Wye and if fishing rivers was the only requirement I would have been hard pushed to beat it at the price.

There are conflicting reviews on the Tournament/Acolyte however with the Acolyte being around £230 and the Air being double the price, (£470), there was really only one contender so I ordered an Acolyte with a spare top kit.

Just after I ordered it, I received a call from one of my friends, "Dave a friend is selling a 10m Tournament, hardly used at a very good price. Are you still looking for a whip?"

Sods law, however I asked how much and it was actually too good an opportunity to miss so now I had two whips to cover all requirements.

The prime requirement on the Wye is to catch as quickly as possible and this requires a specialised approach. Floats are 3-6g, line is usually 0.16 to 0.14 hook length and hooks are wide gape 16's and 14's. Swinging to hand is the order of the day with bonus fish on the cards which need to be netted. Elastic depends on the angler but in general it's 12-14 solid through 2 sections or grey hydro or equivalent through 1 section, (flick tip removed).

My elastic of choice this year is Nick Gilbert black amber core hollow which I've found to be superb on commercials. With this in mind I elasticated both No 2's with it and fitted both top sets with the excellent acolyte tensioning bungs, (see Acolyte video on U-Tube).

Lengths with the flick tip removed are:

6m.jpg
6m

7m.jpg
7m

8m.jpg
8m

Some reviews state that the sections are the same however this is definitely untrue as the Drennan No 3 is very slightly wider diameter than the Daiwa and only goes onto the No 4 one inch. The 9m Daiwa extension also goes some way into the Drennan. In summary although the sections don't look visibly different they are.

Both whips are super slim and at 6m are superb with the Drennan weighing 268g's elasticated and the Daiwa being slightly heavier at 283g's. Add the 9m extension to the Daiwa and it weighs 359g's. Add the 10m section and it weigh's 449g's however recovery and balance remain excellent at all lengths.

Weight wise at all lengths it's hard to tell any noticeable difference although the Drennan on paper just edges it however in reality you can hardly feel the difference as balance and recovery come into play and this is where the Daiwa starts to just edge it.

Both whips are light, slim and straight with superb recovery and there is very little in it until you come to feel, reassurance and strength. This is where the quality of the Daiwa edges it. Although the Drennan feels reasonably strong and recovers very well, the Daiwa has a reassuring feeling to it. Not quite steely, just quietly reassuring and very slightly more refined. For me this is where the Daiwa comes into its own. Adding the extensions and it's easy to see why many anglers regard it as the best whip ever produced however the downside is the premium you pay for it.

The Drennan is a superb tool you would find difficult to fault. I have no doubt it will serve me well and at half the price of the Air which is almost identical to the Tournament it would be difficult for most to look beyond it unless you needed the additional length.

With the flick tips fitted both whips were superb even at full length.

In summary there's not a lot to choose between both whips at 6-8m other than the fact that the Daiwa is marginally more refined and gives a little more reassurance in terms of strength although this may be down to user interpretation. Both are great whips and I'm sure they'll serve me well.
 

nejohn

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I did a similar exercise about a year ago, but I also included the Tri-cast trilogy whip in my choices , like Dave I found that the Daiwa and the Acolyte were fairly similar with the Daiwa edging it for me as it just felt a little crisper and better balanced, price wise although initially the drennan looks good value but you get an extra top kit with the Daiwa and you can also usually get a bit of discount with the Daiwa unlike the Drennan so in reality there is not a great lot of difference. The Tri-cast however was another kettle of fish, maybe not as much finesse as the other 2 but much more versatile and as an out and out speed tool it is very good indeed and if you do bump into something a bit bigger than expected it can deal with it (within reason) so ended the hunt totally confused and still trying to decide which one to get
 

jasonb

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Good write up Dave, I've had a couple of acolytes since they came out and I've used them a lot almost exclusively with flick tips on the Thames and they have bee excel Ant and very strong. Like you I could not justify daiwa' new prices and I can't see myself ever going past 8 mtrs. I've treated myself to some grey hydro to laggy them up with to use on the Wye this winter which will rake some getting used to but to be honest I'm tempted to stick with what I know and just use flick tips....I'm up there fir the next 3 weekends, I think it will be a bit muddy this Sunday.
 

frankg

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I did a similar exercise about a year ago, but I also included the Tri-cast trilogy whip in my choices , like Dave I found that the Daiwa and the Acolyte were fairly similar with the Daiwa edging it for me as it just felt a little crisper and better balanced, price wise although initially the drennan looks good value but you get an extra top kit with the Daiwa and you can also usually get a bit of discount with the Daiwa unlike the Drennan so in reality there is not a great lot of difference. The Tri-cast however was another kettle of fish, maybe not as much finesse as the other 2 but much more versatile and as an out and out speed tool it is very good indeed and if you do bump into something a bit bigger than expected it can deal with it (within reason) so ended the hunt totally confused and still trying to decide which one to get

Get the Tricast Nejohn....you know it makes sense!. :) I've landed carp to 7lb+ using the FLICK TIP on the Tricast....was fishing for silvers but he came along! :D
 

dave brittain 1

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Jason for the Wye my go to elastic was always 12-14 solid through two sections. Unless you're on bleak I'd recommend elastic every time, solid or hollow as there are too many bonus fish. I rarely fish below 0.14 hook length on there and a 14 hook with 3 maggots is my normal approach. As you'll be aware the roach go to 2lbs + as do the perch and if you hit a chub with elastic you'll be unlucky not to get it out. If it's a barbel providing it's one of the run of the mill 3-4 lb fish you'll still have a chance of landing it. Will see you Sunday, hoping we both draw well.
 
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