The rod matters not a jot - part 2 - the experiment

MarkW

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Back in the summer I set the hounds racing with the first instalment. Now for the experiment.

From October onwards one of my clubs has access to a local commercial that's 3ft deep with plenty of roach, mainly small but quite a few from 8oz to over a pound, odd carp, skimmers and bream. roach x bream hybrids to 2lb, odd rudd and perch (to 2lbs). My preferred way of fishing it is a light home-made waggler at 15 to 20 yards out, just overdepth, with 2 no. 10 droppers, 1.5lb Maxima main line, 0.08 hook link, fishing maggots (usually double) on a barbless B611 22. With a standardised method I thought it might be interesting to see what rod of the suitable ones I own fared best.

First up was a 13ft Titan 2000. verdict excellent, hit bites, very few lost fish, casts well. One to measure against, quite forgiving.

Next up a Microlite II 13ft. verdict, light to hold, casting OK, very few lost fish, missed some bites. Maybe a bit too soft.

Then an original Microlite 12ft. Not as light as the last two but generally OK though missed some bites and a bit soft, casting OK.

Finally I remembered that I had an old Shakespeare Boron Mach 2 13ft though cut down handle makes it 12' 6". This has proved the winner, best for casting and hitting bites, perfect for playing fish and only the weight counting against it but as the rod butt is resting on my thigh not a problem.

Total catch in 20+ sessions, several hundred roach with 10 over a pound to 1-6, about a hundred skimmers and a dozen bream to 3-12, several tench to 2lb, a few dozen hybrids with 3 over 2lbs, some rudd, a couple of nice crucians, several perch to 1-8 and two carp of 7 and 8lb,
 

Sam Vimes

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You've not stated an overt conclusion, but the fact that you have picked a winner suggests that one rod, in particular, is more suitable than the others, as I would anticipate. The fact that none of the rods being used were especially cheap, in their day, is interesting. The whole post appears to be contrary to the assertion that "the rod matters not a jot".

I suspect that one point you are maybe trying to make is that weight is fairly unimportant, at least in some scenarios. As one of my favourite waggler rods also happens to be the heaviest (carbon) rod I own, you'll get no disagreement from me on that score. However, I wouldn't want to trot with it.
 

Ken the Pacman

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Nice fishing (y)
How much of the difference would you put down to the spliced tip of the Boron given that the hollow tipped rods of that era tended to be fairly powerful in the tip and not as "mellow" as the splice.
 

Freesolo82

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On the topic of rods why can't you get a through action tip rod for under £150 (retail) Rods like the Acolyte Ultra's, MAP parabolix or Preston Supera's are just examples of a lovely through action that you just don't get on anything cheaper
 

Simon R

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About 5 or 6 years ago I picked up a Shakespeare Strike rod from a local car-boot sale for the princely sum of two quid.

I owned one as a kid and caught hundreds and hundreds of fish using it - I'm not sure how - I carried out an experiment comparing it to a modern-ish carbon float rod (spliced tip) and it was awful. I did catch using it but would have caught far more I'm sure had I been using more up-to-date tackle.
There's more details here: Tontine Once Again

I'm intending on carrying out a similar trial next year - same modern carbon rod against firstly a Shakespeare Alpha float rod - probably the peak of glass-fibre rod technology before the carbon fibre revolution made all glass rods obsolete - and secondly the original Shakespeare President - possibly the stiffest float rod I've ever handled - the butt and middle sections do not bend even slightly and the tip section doesn't bend much.

Simon
 

MarkW

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Nice fishing (y)
How much of the difference would you put down to the spliced tip of the Boron given that the hollow tipped rods of that era tended to be fairly powerful in the tip and not as "mellow" as the splice.
That spliced tip is forgiving, more than the hollow tips from that era. I bought the Boron rod in early 1984 for £120 and that autumn used it for the small skimmers on the Kennet & Avon Canal for which it proved ideal, by the following year we were short-lining it on the pole with elastic through quivertip eyes. It was remembering that skimmer fishing that tempted me into trying it out again. It's still OK for short trotting sessions and used to be my go-to rod for far bank waggler fishing for chub as it seemed to absorb the runs of chub under the snags.

Overall the Titan 2000 is the best of this bunch for light line waggler fishing, not bad for a stick either. One rod I've never owned (yes, I do tend to go for top of range or at least not far off) but would like to try is the 13ft Microlite 2000 although I have to admit I doubt it would make a lot of difference.

Years ago I once tried out the Titan 2000 against my old ABU Mk 6 for skimmer fishing with identical reels, lines, floats and hooks. The Titan hooked and landed every one but I bounced a lot on the ABU. I guess I'd adapt to the ABU in time as I caught thousands of fish with it in the past.

I'd have thought the Cadence rods the best cheaper options these days?????
 

JayBee

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Many thanks @MarkW for sharing your observations, very interesting.
I thought I was in a sgnificant minority when preferring Century Composites blanks with a self spliced tip to more expensive rods (ie.Normark Avenger mk1 & Titan 2000).
Being a self confessed light line, small hook, silverfish angler, I found that using the favoured rod and varying the strike from gentle lift (stick float close) to super Zorro (@20yds & 6ft & overdepth), distance and depth dependant, worked out OK.
Some will tell me that the best hollow tips out perform a good spliced version, but for me the combination of a crisper strike plus less bumped fish means that a good spliced tip is my preferred option,
 

Rick123

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Guys. For a long term test on many rods you need a very well stocked water as Mark suggested. Lots of bites to strike at and fish of differing size as a playing test. Must try some myself, I'm sure the Acolytes with come up very good.
 

trotter2

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Having had a few spliced tip rods in the past, from Bruce & walker, Shimano ,tricast, shakespeare, daiwa and silstar I can conclude not all are equal. Perhaps it's all down to the individual user it's difficult to add anything conclusive. My own preference is with a fine hollow tip these days more progressive action than the extreme tip action rods from the past. Acolytes are my favourite at the moment by quite some margin.
 
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