Preston Innovations Carbonactive 12′ 6″ Feeder Rod
I have for some time been aware of the ‘Carbonactive’ range of rods but never had the pleasure of actually handling one – that is until this winter.
Last summer at one of the FM fish-ins I found myself fishing next to FM regular and former Drennan Cup winner Andy Nellist and during the day our conversation turned to chub and chub fishing. I told Andy about the River Ribble and how I was still looking for what I considered the perfect chub rod. Andy quickly explained that he was totally sold on Preston Innovations ‘Carbonactive’ feeder rod and found it perfect for his chubbing on large rivers like the Thames. At that point I remembered that Graham Marsden had also raved about the same rod last year when he had used it exclusively for his winter chubbing and, on a feature for Coarse Fisherman magazine the previous summer, Stu Dexter the features editor and one of the most experienced matchmen I know was equally impressed with the range.
Well, when anglers of this calibre give a product such rave reviews only a fool would refuse to listen, so with this winter’s chub fishing in mind I bit the bullet and blew the dust off the old wallet. And boy, am I glad I did.
Marketed as the ultimate feeder rod, it’s much more than that. Unlike most rods which claim to have multiple tips the rod does not come with the usual push-in quiver tips, it comes with three different colour-coded top sections giving a faultless curve with no flat spots. This is VITAL when chub fishing as any sudden increase in pressure will cause the fish to drop the bait and a confident bite on this rod just has to be seen to be believed, a small tap and the rod just folds over and if that isn’t enough, playing the hooked fish is an absolute dream.
Don’t ask me how the blank is engineered because I don’t have a clue, but for me the remarkable thing is the rod seems to retain it’s rigidity and crispness on casting, yet bends effortlessly when playing a fish. It’s ability to absorb the lunges of a hooked fish is also impressive. This season I have bullied big chub away from snags only to find the fish hooked by the tiniest sliver of skin imaginable leaving me amazed that I actually got it to the net. And, in all honesty I cannot remember losing a single fish from a hook-pull this winter.
The manufactures suggest a line rating of between 3-7lb and I would say that is about right. I use it with 6lb main line, usually straight through, but sometimes scaling down to around a 4lb hooklength during tough conditions.
As you would perhaps guess for a rod in this price range all the fittings are of top quality and incorporate SIC rings, Fuji screw-down reel fitting and the blanks are made by top carbon specialists Asaki. A combined cork and black hyperlon handle feels and looks good and I particularly like the increased width of the cork at the base of the handle – again, don’t ask me why, but it just feels right.
The rod is also available in an 11’6″ version but I chose the 12’6″ model as I wanted it to tackle big rivers and the increased length would help me set hooks at distance, particularly when upstreaming. For those of you looking for an all-purpose chub rod then the 11’6″ model may be the better choice and more suited to small to medium rivers.
As for it’s other uses I know the rod is also very popular with bream anglers (a successful match angler I know uses nothing else) and I’m sure it would be a hit for fishing commercial carp waters with small method feeders or groundbait feeders.
But to me it’s a chub rod……. and by far the best I’ve ever used!