It has been released by popular demand alongside the existing 12ft Agility Pellet Waggler (which I tested in these pages back in issue 264 in October 2012), but the two blanks couldn’t be more different.
The new 11-footer has quite a sensitive ‘tippy’ action married to a powerful middle and butt that delivers masses of big-fish stopping power and enables the safe use of beefy 8lb reel lines (the old two-piece 12-footer had a maximum 6lb line rating) while protecting hooklengths down to 2lb. As our main picture dramatically shows, it’s particularly good at keeping a small hook in place when a good fish gets right under your feet and goes mental.
It may only be 12 inches shorter than the old model but in both casting a float and playing a decent fish it feels like an entirely different beast. The old 12-footer had a more refined, almost ‘traditional’ float rod action whereas this one has guts galore while still retaining a nice slim profile.
This is another of those rods that annoy me because it’s got ‘Pellet Waggler’ written on it, making you think that it’s only capable of casting floats the size of a Cuban cigar. It isn’t. The rod will happily fish ‘normal’ 2AAA and 3AAA wagglers and 4lb lines on a stillwater, river or even canal, thanks to that forgiving tip. Like the old 12-footer, the 11ft version has two equal length sections, making it easy to carry made-up in a rod sleeve or quiver. At 11ft there’s plenty of length to generate all the casting distance you need for any typical commercial pool but you’ve got a bit more room to play with in cramped swims when hemmed in on either side of the peg.
Good grade zirconium oxide guides, secure screw down reel fitting and a comfortable split cork/EVA handle combined with an action free of flat spots make this an excellent buy. They’re in the shops now. www.shakespeare-fishing.co.uk