Live test: Pre­ston In­no­va­tions 11ft Mon­ster Pellet Wag­gler rod

The lat­est Pre­ston pellet wag­gler rod is guar­an­teed to mon­ster in all your cap­tures with a per­for­mance that all but elim­i­nates hook-pulls or line breaks

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PRE­STON IN­NO­VA­TIONS 11ft MON­STER PELLET WAG­GLER RRP: £94.99

AS EX­CLU­SIVELY re­vealed in An­gling Times, Pre­ston In­no­va­tions has re­cently in­tro­duced four rods aimed at an­glers who fish com­mer­cials. The Mon­ster range in­cludes two Carp Feed­ers, a Method Feeder and a Pellet Wag­gler model. All are packed with key fea­tures such as unique low-pro­file reel seats that bring the reel closer to the hand, mak­ing the rods eas­ier to fish with. To these you can add EVA butt and thumb grips for added cast­ing sup­port, and low-pro­file lined guides that greatly re­duce tan­gles and the like­li­hood of snap-offs on the cast. Two equal-length high mod­u­lus car­bon sec­tions make the rods a dod­dle to carry to your peg ready made-up. All this adds up to in­no­va­tive, well-built rods with plenty of key fea­tures, util­is­ing the lat­est tech­nol­ogy. De­spite this they are priced sen­si­bly enough not to cause the mis­sus to throw a hissy fit when the Bar­clay­card bill hits the hall car­pet. Not that these rods are merely cos­met­i­cally pleas­ing – Pre­ston has re­fined their per­for­mance, which re­sults in a slightly beefier back­bone than be­fore. You get more cast­ing clout and ex­tra pulling power through mid-sec­tions to show the big­gest of fish who’s boss. So, with the sum­mer sun in full wa­ter­warm­ing mode, and carp cruis­ing about all over the sur­face ev­ery­where I’ve vis­ited, it was high time I took a much closer look at the new Mon­ster Pellet Wag­gler.

This 11ft rod, the name of which says it all, has had plenty of in­put from worl­drenowned an­glers Tommy Pick­er­ing and Des Shipp. To­gether they prob­a­bly know more about how a fish­ing rod needs to per­form than the rest of us put to­gether. My live test venue was Steve Gre­gory’s Horse­shoe Lake, on the day-ticket Rush­field com­plex near Lin­coln. Its heavy­weight carp are suck­ers for their pel­lets, and al­ways will­ing to feed close to the sur­face – ideal can­di­dates for pellet wag­gler tactics. My set-up was sim­ple enough – noth­ing more com­plex than a 6lb reel line matched to a 6g pellet wag­gler float, 0.17mm hook­length and size 16 hook with a 6mm banded pellet. The rod will cast floats up to around 15g, but there’s not quite enough whip in the tip for it to cope with any­thing much less than about 4g. Fir­ing in lit­tle more than half a dozen 6mm pel­lets ev­ery 20 sec­onds or so, it wasn’t long be­fore dark shapes hove into view as soon as the feed hit the wa­ter. How­ever, as of­ten hap­pens on a well-fished venue, as soon as the float splashed down, the fish dis­ap­peared. The trick is to feed twice, im­me­di­ately be­fore and af­ter cast­ing. But you will also need to feather the line, so that the float lands with a gen­tle kiss rather than a sloppy smacker on the wa­ter’s sur­face. Get it right and bites will be sav­age. But you need to get your hooked carp out of the feed­ing zone as quickly and qui­etly as pos­si­ble.

To do this you need the reel’s clutch set quite tight, but not locked up. Then, with the rod tip kept as low as pos­si­ble to the wa­ter, lean into the fish. With­out chang­ing the rod’s po­si­tion, pull and wind at the same time un­til your quarry is within net­ting range. Once you’ve done this a cou­ple of times, play­ing even the largest carp be­comes pretty straight­for­ward, pro­vided you have full con­fi­dence in your kit. And this is where a rod with the per­for­mance of the Mon­ster Pellet Wag­gler re­ally earns its corn. Its pro­gres­sive ac­tion will cope with all the lunges and head­shakes of a big carp with enough mus­cle through the mid­dle to lower sec­tion ar­eas to keep you in charge at all times. Even when the blank is un­der full par­a­bolic com­pres­sion its non-lock­ing ac­tion pro­vides enough of a safety buf­fer for you to dish it out with­out hook-pulls or snapped lines. The blank was able to deal equally well with other species. Plenty of smaller F1s and ide joined the party, and al­though they don’t have the fight­ing qual­i­ties of big carp they are still wel­come weight-builders in a match. With some other pellet wag­gler mod­els these smaller fish tend to come off at the net when the rod is held in a ver­ti­cal po­si­tion. But I can hap­pily re­port that such irk­some events don’t oc­cur with the Pre­ston rod.

The Mon­ster Pellet Wag­gler is a su­perb tool for com­mer­cials

A pro­gres­sive ac­tion means that fish of all sizes should be landed

It’s best to keep the rod tip low and pull and wind un­til fish are in net­ting range

The rod will cast floats weigh­ing up to 15g, al­though it’s less pro­fi­cient with less than 4g

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