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
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