A bad workman blames his tools but has to have the right tools in the first place.
And this is where my new Shakespeare Mach3 XT Lite Match /Float rod earns its place in my collection.
This first day review continues on from this post which you might want to read first.
A fishing rod is a fishing rod right…. wrong. As I have now found out that having the right tool in your hand…. makes a MASSIVE difference in whether you land fish or they bump off.
Yesterday, 21-12-2016, I went to my clubs lake near where I live to test out my new Shakespeare Mach3 XT Lite Match 13ft rod. Our lake is not a commercial, filled to the brim lake, so this time of year the fish are shy, and I mean shy, in biting. A couple of fish a visit is a good day in winter, so having gear that takes full advantage and minimizes bump off losses is vital.
Peg 1 on our lake is sort after as it is where the river inlet is and thus fish tend to accumulate here, so I made a b-line for it and setup the rod ready for action.
Maggots where the bait of the day and if you look at the picture, a cast half way across got the tell tale float drag of a Perch and this is where the real difference between this rod and my carp waggler showed.
My carp waggler, a great rod for its job, is stiff and thus the Perch style knocks and bumps tend to bump off more fish than it lands unless you on something say over 2lb and well hooked. It then has power to make sure you get it landed. But loosing so many fish over the last few weeks and lead me to add a softer action rod in the Shakespeare Mach3 XT Lite Match. Playing the 6oz Perch was so different and a pleasure as every knock and bump was socked up by the soft rod tip and netting the fish when I was tiered was a breeze.
Great stuff but now I need to land something a few pounds in weight to really see how this rod handles.
After a bit of a lull in the swim, I moved to another swim, change is as good as a rest, and tested how the rod helped with casting. A completely different experience in that, each cast, short or long was easy to make happen and accurate time after time which again pleased me a lot.
The fish gods were obviously on my side as not to long after moving the float sake fully and on lifting the rod got a damn good bend in it. A real fish was on. This is where my new analogy of a soft tip float rod is like using a number 4 elastic in your pole, all the tugs, bounces, twists and lunges are soaked up by the rod, you just have to slowly reel in and let the rod do most of the work for you.
Landing the 2.5lb Bream –> was again a breeze, making winter fishing a real pleasure, more than it has been over the last couple of weeks and making a soft tip match / float rod part of my kit has proved to be the best decision I have made in a long time.
The Shakespeare Mach3 XT Lite Match 13ft rod is an old model now I know and I am sure the new models available will do much the same job so if you are suffering with way to many fish bumping off on the strike on when reeling in, go to your local fishing tackle shop and ask the guys there to kit you our with a match / float rod to your budget, I am sure you will be amazed, as I am.
Wishing you tight lines