Shakespeare plays it right


Shakespeare have really upped their game and clawed back their old reputation for selling excellent mid/lower-priced tackle for the typical pleasure and club angler on a budget. This Sigma match rod range is tailor-made for those of us who spend most of our time on the commercial pools as it combines loads of fish-beating power with the shorter lengths that are easier to use on tight man-made pools. There’s a 12ft Match, 11ft Waggler and 10ft Waggler in the float range with very palatable catalogue prices between £34.99 and £39.99, and four short feeder rods plus the return of the legendary Sigma Wand with great RRPs between £34.99 and £42.99. I chose to field test the three-piece, 12ft Match rod rated to carry reel lines to 6lb. The rod has a bit of ‘poke’ that you wouldn’t want if you spent all your time finessing silverfish, but that power is brilliant when you’re hooking powerful fish like carp and tench. The Sigma match rod was teamed with a matching Sigma 35FD (front drag) five ball bearing match reel that has a recommended retail price of just £26.99. The combination felt cock-on and performed faultlessly. For a total outlay of the rod/reel combo at full retail price of £67 I think this is a really good buy. With a 5lb breaking strain reel line and a 4lb hooklink I was completely in charge of any fish hooked on my local commercial carp complex. The rod had a very pleasing through action under full compression yet was nice and ‘tippy’ to keep the hook in place when big fish thrashed at the net. Perfect for commercials! In near perfect conditions the blank launched the 3AAA waggler an easy 25 yards and picked up sunken line sweetly. Three hours fishing produced a nice net of commons, mirrors and F1s with no problems and my respect for this kit only grew. I didn’t hook anything larger than 5lb, but this rod will land doubles. For the money it deserves my Product Of The Month award.