Tested Shimano’s new carp rods
Not long ago, rods of this quality would have cost you £100 each. Not any more!
TO MY mind, one of the best aspects of carping is the fight once you’ve hooked a fish.
If you stifle that fun by using a ‘poker’ of a rod with all the forgiveness of a telegraph pole, you take away most of the reasons for going fishing in the first place!
Now, I know that there’s a good case for using beefy carp rods if you need to chuck a heavy lead a long way. But frankly, most fishermen in this country don’t demand such extreme performance from their carp rods.
Many of them fish relatively small lakes where a 100-yard cast would land the rig on the far bank, in somebody else’s swim or even in a different pool.
What’s more, an increasing number of pleasure anglers use a carp rod as a second ‘sleeper’ set-up, laying it on a bite alarm beside them while they fish a pole or feeder. The aim is just to produce one or two bonus big fish during the day, and the chances of catching are greatly improved if the rod can cast a manageable distance where they can loosefeed baits accurately in the same area.
So when I recently put Shimano’s budget-priced Alivio DX carp rods through their paces, I knew I’d got hold of a bit of kit that will prove hugely popular.
There are no fewer than seven rods in the latest 2016 Alivio DX range, including two 13ft versions with 3lb and 3.5lb test curves, four at 12ft (2.5lb, 2.75lb, 3lb and 3.5lb), a 3lb marker rod and a 5lb tc beast of a spod rod – there really is something for everyone.
For my money, and for the great majority of venues, the 2.75lb rod on live test duty would do very nicely, as it has a beautiful action.
Light and responsive, it is a joy to fish with – you can really feel the twists and turns of a hooked carp, using the soft progressive action of the blank to steer fish away from snags and into your landing net.
But there is a price to pay for all this user-friendly action. This rod doesn’t have the backbone to cast long distances with heavy leads or big PVA bags. If this is what you want, buy the 3lb or 3.5lb version.
That said, if you use 2oz-2.5oz straight lead rigs, or small, 10p-sized mesh bags, the casting performance you can extract from this rod is more than enough for most situations.
Unlike a stiffer, more overtly powerful carp rod, the more responsive action of the Alivio DX 2.75lb actually makes it easier for most anglers to wind up the cast.
I predict that many carp anglers will actually cast further with this rod, simply because they can get it to bend thoroughly before letting rip.
Not that long ago I would have expected rods with the build quality and performance of the Shimano Alivio to have a £100 price tag – so at barely more than a third of that it’s an out-and-out bargain.
Bending into a beauty at Willowbrook Coarse Fisheries near Oundle.
This double was no match for the action of the Alivio DX on test.