MUSCLE POWER WITH A SPLASH OF FINESSE!
This pellet waggler rod tames big fish the gentle way
AS Angling Times revealed a few weeks back, Browning has revamped its range of Commercial King rods.
The latest models retain many of the build characteristics of the originals – slim carbon blanks, two equal-length sections and a responsive, progressive action.
However, Browning has further refined its best-selling UK range with improved cosmetics, beefedup casting prowess and a tweak to provide a little more power through the mid-sections.
All this has been accomplished without Browning significantly hiking up its prices, which something to be applauded.
So, with the summer sun in full water-warming mode and carp cruising about all over the surface of nearly every lake I have visited in the past two weeks, it made perfect sense to take a closer look at Browning’s latest Commercial King2 Pellet Waggler rods.
These 11-footers come in Medium and Power versions, the latter boasting around 15 per cent more stiffness and power for situations involving bigger fish, or casting heavier floats up to 30g.
My chosen test venue, The Pool at Fields End Fishery in Cambridgeshire, is noted for its mixed stocks, so I chose the Medium model with a maximum casting weight of 20g. This is ideally suited to lighter floats, hooks and lines. Assembling the rod, it’s immediately apparent that this is quality kit. At only 175g, it’s nicely balanced, with a superquick tip action and fast recovery. That means it doesn’t wobble around much, making long, smooth casts easy to achieve.
My float choice was the small flighted John Bonney model that comes free on the front of Angling Times this week. It flew across the Pool to a range of 25m with no effort. The slightly reduced handle length made feeding with a catapult equally effortless, and that made very short shrift of what
can otherwise be a rather tiresome ‘feed and cast’ routine.
Feeding little more than halfa-dozen 6mm pellets every 20 seconds or so, it wasn’t long before dark shapes were coming in to feed as soon as the pellets hit the water. But, as often happens on a well-fished venue, as soon as the float splashed down, they hightailed it out of the swim.
The answer to this fishy conundrum is to feed twice, immediately before and after casting. You will also need to feather the line, so that the float lands with a gentle kiss on the surface. Get it right, bites will be savage. You now need to get them out of the killing zone as quickly and quietly as possible, by keeping the rod low, simultaneously reeling and pulling back.
For this you need full confidence in your rod, and reel for that matter, keeping the fish moving without pulling the hook, breaking the line or having the fish charge back through the feeding shoal. Basically you are pushing your kit to it limits, and it needs to respond and perform in equal measure.
This latest Commercial King2 Medium Pellet Waggler rod does exactly that. The added bit of muscle Browning has added kicks in as the blank approaches full parabolic compression, but its non-locking action provides enough of a safety factor for you to be able to dish it out without fearing the worst.
I was also impressed with the rod’s ability to deal with fish other than carp. During the live test some pretty hefty ide decided to have a go. These are not exactly cage fighters, but can be welcome weight builders in matches.
Their lolloping ‘fall-over’ swimming action means they are effectively dragged towards the net – hook-pulls happen all too often when using carp-style pellet waggler tactics. But not with this rod. It handled everything from near-double-figure carp, through to heavyweight ide and big roach, with aristocratic disdain.
I REALLY liked the original Browning Commercial King rods, rating them right up there with many of the best models then available.
These latest rods look, feel and perform with every bit as much style, but with a little more bite.
Improvements to the cosmetics and furnishings give them an expensive topend look which belies their very sensible price tags.
BLANKS Made from ultra-slim high-modulus carbon blanks, they have two equal lengths so that they are ideal for carrying ready made up. The new Commercial King2 rods are designed with shorter cork handles so that they can be more easily manoeuvred around the angler’s body. The top section of the rod has a quick tip action with a fast recovery rate. This allows you to make longer and smoother casts. High-quality line guides are used throughout, producing super-slick casts no matter how great the diameter of your line. ACTION The rods have a perfect parabolic non-locking action which is ideally suited to commercial fishery carp of any size. TOP SECTION FITTINGS HANDLE
The rod isn’t just for carp, it was well up to the challenge of this ide.