Drennan commercial rods
The latest additions to Drennan’s hugely popular Red Range are perfect for targeting commercial carp with Method feeder or pellet waggler tactics
DRENNAN’S Red Range of tackle has made quite an impact over recent years, offering functional no-nonsense kit at affordable prices with lashings of Drennan quality, so much so that some top open anglers happily use the kit in preference to more expensive ranges, which tells you all you need to know about how good the gear is. Something that was missing from this exhaustive selection, though, were shorter punchier rods for taking on an average commercial fishery and more intimate pegs where an 11ft or 12ft rod was simply too long. Following extensive development and testing, Drennan have cracked it with this lovely little pair of 10ft rods to cover pellet waggler and Method feeder fishing. At 10ft you’re not going be blasting floats and feeders into the wild blue yonder but think about how many times you actually have to go long distance on commercials and you’ll only need the one hand to count them on. The vogue is for short chucks to islands or far banks and that’s where the new Red Range rods come into their own. Built around crisp full carbon blanks, the pellet wag rod will chuck a float to around 25m, nearer 40m for the feeder rod, and those distances are meat and drink on carp waters. However, what the rods do have in their favour over longer models is that when it comes to netting time, the shorter length means that the fish will come closer to the bank – no more full-length stretching to bundle a fish into the net. In short, you’re always going to be in control! Both rods have slim blanks with cork and Duplon handles, screw-down reel seats and a hook-keeper rings, and the two-piece design means they can be assembled and folded away in ready-rod bags in seconds. What’s perhaps of more importance is the action of the blanks and Drennan has made them with a ‘through’ action. This makes them bend somewhat alarmingly when a big fish is on but there’s power in reserve and the softness will ultimately cut down on fish lost under the rod tip or to hook-pulls. But it’s the price that really is the star of the show. Quality tackle has never been more affordable and the days of having to lob out £150 for a decent rod are long gone. Now, £50 will get you a rod that’s more than a match for the job in hand. At just £49.95 for the pellet waggler and £54.95 for the Method feeder rod, the wallet can breathe a sigh of relief. Those figures are remarkable as I can remember gazing longingly at Drennan legends such as the Super Feeder or DRX range and only dream about owning one. Now, you can get Drennan’s unbeatable quality and performance at a crazy price. So how do they match up with a fish on the end? The carp of Stretton Lakes in Lincolnshire were about to find out - the new Carp Lake on Stretton Lakes in Lincolnshire is home to plenty of hard-fighting commons and mirrors, a perfect testing ground. Picking a peg with to islands to go at, a clipped up 15g flatbed Method was launched to an islands at 30m, armed with banded 6mm pellet. There were no worries with the casting – the feeder flew true and straight, the rod didn’t have that spongy wobble that many low-priced rods have but nor was it like a scaffolding pole. I’ve seen Method feeder rods
back in the day that may have been useful for bass fishing off the North Norfolk Coast such was their fearsome stiffness but the Red Range Method felt just like a standard feeder rod; light, responsive with the perfect action to land the feeder up against the island mud. The carp took all of two minutes to find the bait and when the tip zapped round, I really put the shoulder into the fight. Drennan’s through action soaks up every lunge and shudder with ease and it doesn’t take long to get the fish under the rod tip. It’s not undergunned by any stretch of the imagination but nor is it too strong – the balance is right on the money. Even when a carp ripped off and hit the clip, there was enough softness in the blank to prevent a busted hook link or a pulled hook. With four carp safely in the net, it was time to pick up the pellet waggler rod. The second island was a more sensible 20m chuck and, having loose fed pellets from the word go, unmistakable swirls and tail patterns were erupting right where I’d been feeding. Out went a 6g pellet waggler followed by a pouch of 6mm pellets and under went the float! The float rod packs the same brilliant through action as its feeder brother enabling you to wind right down and pull fish to safety. It’s also very crisp and you don’t need a fullblooded strike to set the hook provided that you keep a tight line to the float. Drennan is right about the shorter length enabling you to net fish closer – my only trouble was that they kept trying to get behind the keepnet! The Red Range duo impressed me greatly and I wondered if there is anything that would improve them. Honestly, there isn’t a thing. Both are strong yet soft enough, will reach the required casting distance with the minimum of fuss and telling accuracy, and are a pleasure to handle. The Drennan Red Range, I think, is now complete!
For the money you’re not going to go wrong with this pair, made with commercial carp venues in mind and with the attention to detail and that you’d expect from Drennan. They’re not as luxurious as Drennan’s Acolyte range but, for pleasure sessions and even open matches, they’re bang on, easily capable of landing massive carp. You’ll not regret packing a couple in your rod bag.
Both Method and Pellet Waggler rods boast the same briiliant through action – strong but supple