I have a new aquisition in the the form of the Shimano purist multi light specialist Rod. It is aimed, as the name suggests, at the All round specialist Angler targeting specimens of the smaller species like Roach, Perch, Chub etc. However, I feel it is capable of heavier applications too. It is a multi piece rod and consists of two 'Avon' tops, one is three quarter pound test curve ( 12oz )and the other is one and a quarter pound ( 1.25lb ) There are two, slim butt sections, that allow the rod to be used at two different lengths, eleven feet and twelve foot six inches. To complete the package there is a seperate 'carrier' section that facilitates the use of three different weight Carbon quiver tips, 0.75 ounces, 1.0 ounces and 1.5 ounces, which are included, for feeder and plain ledger fishing.
The Rod is beautifully finished to Shimano's usual high standards in a satin olive green with translucent olive whippings over the double leg fuji rings, which are fitted throughout, no single legs here, giving the rod a 'traditional' look. The overall look of the rod is very understated with subtle graphics. The full cork handle is slim and comfortable and comes with a 'slightly used' finish, and a hint of a green marbled effect here and there which might sound strange but it adds something to the overall look of the rod. A black screw winch fitting for the reel, again compliments the understated aesthetics of the rod.
Also supplied is a case in which to carry the rod and all it's sections plus two neoprene Shimano rod bands which is a nice touch.
Now, the rod is designed to do several different jobs and as such is a bit of a compromise in action, this means the two butt sections are of a fairly stiff nature and with either of the two Avon tops fitted it is these that demonstrate most of the fish playing action, that doesn't mean the rod is a poker, as the overall action in this mode is progressive and you can detect some flexing in the butt sections when playing reasonable sized fish. Remember the rod is aimed at the smaller species, however it shows it has the backbone to cope with rogue larger specimens, while still allowing smaller fish to be enjoyed on lighter tackle.
With the carrier section fitted to accept the quiver tips. the rod becomes a much softer tool, but still with plenty of power in the butt sections, and I would say that it is in this configuration that catching the smaller specimens would be at it's most enjoyable.
A first test..
I took the rod to my local lake yesterday evening for a test run and set it up in the twelve foot six, one and a quarter pound mode, and the rod does actually feel quite powerful set up like this. Fishing with Pellet for loose feed and float fished paste as a hookbait, my sole intention was to hook a Carp and give the Rod a thorough work out to see what it would or wouldn't cope with, but also ascertaining whether it had the finesse to deal with float fishing tactics.
A few small Roach barely bothered the rod and I could see that it was going to take a good fish to test the rod properly. A while later I hooked my intended quarry, the fish imediately tried to bolt under the overhanging bush that I was fishing next to, I applied opposite strain and the Rod took on a pleasing curve, the top section being the workhorse but with some curve towards the butt. The fish was easily stopped in it's tracks and appeared to give up more or less straight away, but on being showed the net, it decided to wake up and a good fight ensued, giving a better idea of the Rod's qualities as a fish playing instrument. The one and a quarter pound tip seems to be beefed up with the use of a fairly fast taper which is what seems to give it the extra power, at no point during the fight with the 13lb (ish) Carp was I not in control, so the Rod certainly has some power in this guise.
After that I changed to the softer three quarter pound top to try and ascertain just where it would sit as far as catching smaller fish was concerned. Again a few small Roach came along before I hooked something a bit larger, I believe it was a good Roach, probably over a pound, possibly an upper one pound, sadly I lost it fairly quickly to a hook pull, but fitted with the softer tip it certainly bent well and gave me a good idea of what was on the end, but all too briefly the sensation was gone. All was not lost as a short time later I hooked a small stockie Carp of about one and a half to two pounds, an ideal size to demonstrate the capabilies of the tip.
This fish stayed on and I enjoyed a nice fight, again during which there was a slight flexing in the rod butt, the main playing action being in the tip through to the mid (ish) section of the rod. Definitely some good feedback and the fish wasn't overpowered by the rod, nor was there any danger of a hook pull as there was plenty of cushioning action throughout, despite the stiff butt.
I have not yet had a chance to use the feeder set up of this Rod, but when I do I will add it on here.
This is a very nice, beautifully built and versatile Rod that Shimano have come up with, I can see it will be an extremely useful tool in My own fishing:
11ft 0.75 tip for float fishing and light feeder or ledger fishing for Roach and Perch, Tench, Bream and smaller Carp, plus Chub and smaller Barbel on the Rivers.
12ft 0.75 tip for floater fishing for sub double figure Carp
11ft 1.25lb tip for Stalking Carp on the bottom, or big Barbel on the Rivers.
12ft 1.25 tip for floater fishing for double figure Carp and upwards.
12ft 1.25lb for heavier float fishing or medium feeder or ledger fishing for double figure Carp and upwards, plus heavy Barbel Tactics.
Then there is the 11 and 12ft set up coupled with the quiver tips for fishing for anything from Roach, Perch, Bream and Tench to Chub and Barbel on the Rivers.
Which, apart from Pole fishing for Roach in winter, and some light Trotting for Grayling and Roach on the rivers, covers just about all my Coarse fishing needs..
If I had to buy all the rods seperately to perform those tasks, I'm sure it would cost Me considerably more than the cost of this one rod that has the capacity to do all the above and probably more besides. Coupled with the one obvious fact that I can carry just this one rod around with Me and cover ninety percent of My Coarse fishing, then you can see the advantages of owning such a versatile tool. It becomes especially useful on day trips away to the Mainland, fishing the Rivers and such. I only need to take this one rod and I should be able to cover just about any situation that arises.
Obviously the brief outing I have had so far with the rod isn't sufficient for me to give a really detailed account of it's capabilities, but having seen it in action and had a play around it's certainly got potential. Time will tell of course and I hope to put it through some more tests in the near future, and naturally record my findings here, but so far so good!