We go the dis­tance with Ma­trix’s new Hori­zon feeder rods

Angling Times (UK) - - WELCOME -

IT’S al­ways struck me as slightly ironic that many of the best dis­tance feeder rods are de­signed by our Con­ti­nen­tal coun­ter­parts.

That said, mod­ern UK match tac­tics are start­ing to in­flu­ence the build char­ac­ter­is­tics and spec­i­fi­ca­tions of many rods, wher­ever they are made, and the four Hori­zon XD Class rods from Ma­trix are a case in point.

The em­pha­sis across the Chan­nel used to be on pro­pel­ling a feeder a long way, but now more thought has been given to the cush­ion­ing ef­fect that al­lows the user to reel a big ‘bin lid’ back without pulling a rea­son­ably sized hook out of its mouth. This is rem­i­nis­cent of our home-grown bream tac­tics.

These lat­est three-piece Ma­trix Hori­zon XD Feeder rods, in lengths of 13ft, 14ft and 14ft 7ins, and with max­i­mum cast­ing weights of 100g, 130g, 150g and 160g, all fea­ture ex­tended spig­ots for added cast­ing power, and en­larged guides (in­clud­ing on the quiv­er­tips) that shock­lead­ers and heavy lines can pass through un­hin­dered.

The blanks are of the fast ta­per type, with high weight load­ing ar­eas and a rapid post-cast tip re­cov­ery rate. All are bound to put a few ex­tra yards on your cast.

Four mod­els will be of par­tic­u­lar in­ter­est to the UK bream an­gler who fre­quents large open-wa­ter venues such as Bough Beech Reser­voir in Kent, or Coven­try’s Mead­ow­lands Fish­ery. They are the 13ft 100g (3.5oz) and 13ft 130g

(4.5oz), 14ft 150g (5.2oz) and hori­zon-bust­ing 14.7ft 160g (5.6oz) rods. For the live test I chose the 13ft 130g rod, which I reckon will be the best seller in the range.

It looks and feels ideal for out-and-out bream and skim­mer venues such as Ferry Mead­ows, near Peter­bor­ough.

Rather hand­ily, this was where I came across a cer­tain Mr Steve Ringer who was prac­tis­ing for a forth­com­ing match.

Af­ter a lit­tle gen­tle per­sua­sion, World Feeder Champ Steve agreed to let me use his seat­box, feed­ers and bait to run the rod through its paces – de­spite know­ing it would likely mean the spoila­tion of his care­fully fed swim.

In­stead, self­less Steve de­cided to have a wan­der round the venue for an hour rather than watch me cast all over the place and ruin his chances of catch­ing any­thing else!

So, what are you likely to get in terms of per­for­mance and han­dling from the new Ma­trix Hori­zon XD Class? I can tell you straight off the bat that it can be used with any type of feeder, al­though I found the win­dow type best to achieve dis­tance and ac­cu­racy. This is prob­a­bly more down to the feeder’s sleek de­sign and rear-end cast­ing weight than to how well the rod pro­pelled it.

In truth, the new 13ft 130g Hori­zon XD will cast any­thing you care to tie on to your line up to 3oz in weight, and do it with sublime ease. At 4oz, though, the blank’s mid-sec­tion lacks just a tad of steel. It still man­aged to chuck 80 yards-plus without too much ef­fort, and I sus­pect bet­ter casters than I’ll ever be would take it to the next level.

But face it, how many still­wa­ter match an­glers are reg­u­larly cast­ing 4oz weights those sorts of dis­tances any­way?

Were I look­ing to use beefier feed­ers at su­per-long range, my choice would be the 14ft 150g (5.2oz) rod, which packs a fair bit more oomph.

Back to the rod un­der test, I can hap­pily re­port that the 13-footer has a nicely cush­ioned par­a­bolic through ac­tion, with just the right blend of power and sub­tlety from mid to tip sec­tions.

This means it can be used with light­ish hook­lengths from 0.12mm up­wards and size 16 hooks or big­ger, with ei­ther mono or braided main­lines from 4lb-10lb. Thanks to its en­larged guides it can ac­com­mo­date a shock­leader too.

Price: £179.99

WEAVE PRINT Ap­plied to all sec­tions of all rods in the range, this gives them a very classy ap­pear­ance

En­larged guides fa­cil­i­tate easy line flow.

Graded car­bon tips suit the blank’s ac­tion.

A keeper ring al­ways adds a nice fi­nal touch.

An EVA han­dle end im­proves cast­ing grip.

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