Testing the best deadbait rods on the market...
Dragon ‘Dr Spin’ Powercaster 12 FT 3 LB
Multi-fibre non-flash matt green blank with double-legged butt guide and thereafter single-legged Matsuku guides whipped in black. Weighing 500 gr, this is a good budget starter pike rod but it comes with its limitations, as the action doesn’t lend itself to casting baits very far. For the lesser experienced angler wanting to know if they will progress into pike angling it will deal with most close-range situations and comes with a 31 in. part-fitted cork handle, screw-down reel seat and keeper ring.
Rovex John Wilson Pike Rod 12 FT 2.75 LB
Weighing in at 300 gr, this distinguishable, but somewhat dated, green blank boasts black whipping to each guide. There are ten double-legged guides (including the tip), which are undersized and close to the blank, which will certainly cut down casting distances due to line friction, and the rod won’t cast big baits to the horizon. More suited to close-to-medium work with standard-sized deadbaits, with an action that’s certainly enjoyable during the fight. At 26 in., it is fitted with a Rovex screw-down reel seat and incorporates a keeper-ring, but lacks a full cork or EVA handle.
Shimano Purist Deadbait Classic 12 FT 2.75 LB
Non-flash matt grey blank with black whipping tipped in white to six seriously oversized double-legged guides. Weighing 312 gr, this rod just doesn’t feel or look balanced, and it has to be the huge offset eyes that contribute to this. However, its progressive action lends itself to casting big deadbaits to the horizon and then taming a powerful predator once hooked. The 26 in. part cork/part Duplon handle is fitted with a quality screw-down Shimano reel seat and has a carbon line clip.
Wychwood Agitator Bait 12 FT 3 LB
High modulus no-flash, grey matt blank with understated graphics and braid-friendly double-legged guides, finished in stylish black whipping. Although weighing in at 425 gr, it doesn’t feel unbalanced and the progressive taper action creates plenty of power. However the full cork handle fitted with screw-down reel seat feels too short at just 21 in. in length and will reduce casting distances considerably. The hook keeper ring is a nice touch though, and if it were fitted with a handle 4 in. longer it would have scored far higher.
Greys Prowla Platinum Bait 12 FT 3 LB
Lightweight, ultra slim carbon, matt grey blank with stylish graphics and black whipping to the SiC double-legged guides. Weighing a mere 312 gr, this rod feels well balanced and its smooth tip-to-butt through action lends itself to effortless casting of deadbaits and enjoyable playing of big fish at close quarters. The slender full cork handle’s length is 26 in. and is fitted with a quality screw down Greys reel seat, while the line run-clip and hook keeper ring show attention to detail.
Greys Prowla GS Bait 12 FT 3 LB
High modulus carbon, matt grey blank with stylish graphics and black whipping to the SiC double-legged guides. Weighing 368 gr, the rod feels slightly heavy in the mid section, however the progressive through action creates plenty of power to cast deadbaits to the horizon and sap energy from a big powerful predator whilst providing confidence that hooks won’t pull. The hard-wearing EVA 25 in. handle is fitted with a Greys screw-down reel seat and the line run-clip once again shows attention to detail.
Leeda Pike Rod 12 FT 3 LB
With understated graphics, this shinny grey blank has black whippings to double-legged oversized guides that create extra weight and a tip-heavy feel. Weighing in at 368 gr, it has a responsive tip, ideal for setting hooks at long distances, and the progressive action lends itself to casting big baits to the horizon, couple this with plenty of middle section power and it’s well capable of handling big fish at all ranges. The full EVA handle is 27 in. long and is fitted with a secure screw-down reel seat.
E-Sox Pikeflex 12 FT 3.25 LB
High modulus grey carbon blank with stylish top graphics but no need for technical spec to be printed on the rod. Although the green whipping to the braid-friendly double legged SiC guides keeps in line with the Drennan colours, it isn’t to everyone’s taste. A balanced, light rod weighing just 340 gr with a progressive action ideal for casting big baits a long way and subduing big, powerful pike, yet the responsive tip is ideal for setting hooks even at close quarters. The handle is an ideal casting length of 26 in. and part cork/Duplon with a quality Fuji screw-down reel seat.
NOTE: All products tested November 2011.
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